Single Sideband Association
Serving Amateur Radio since 1960
into the voice of the Association,
kHz at 2300Z
In a follow-up to a report earlier this year, solar researchers are now dubbing the sun's recent activity as a mini-max. This is because the maximum period of activity so far has been shorter than usual.
Researchers note that sunspots are now showing up and lower-density areas are appearing in the sun's corona. As such this current situation demonstrates how hard it is to accurately forecast a solar cycle.
They note that this cycles strange peak appears to have its roots in 2008 and 2009 when sunspot numbers were far lower than scientists expected. Solar flares, which are associated with sunspot numbers and the sun's magnetic activity, were also relatively quiet in that same time frame.
The average for a solar cycle from minimum to maximum and back to minimum is in theory 11 years, however it can actually take between 9 and 14 years. The current solar cycle is expected to start fading in 2015 but it will likely go out with some increased activity.
The researchers note that historically speaking, there are usually strong flares leading to numerous auroras on Earth at the end of the solar peak. This is because particles from the sun strike our planet's magnetic lines and excite gases in the upper atmosphere.
Ron Turner of Analytic Services Inc. is a senior science advisor for NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program. He summed it up by saying that the current Cycle 24 is one of the weakest in the 24 cycles since 1755. (NASA, other published news reports)
On December 12, 1961, OSCAR 1, the first Amateur Radio satellite, was launched into orbit. OSCAR 2 followed on June 2, 1962. Both paved the way for the amateur satellites that followed.
By 1963, the US ham population had reached a quarter of a million, although at that time there were more CB operators than hams.
During the 1960s, repeater operation began on 2 meters. At first, there was a fair amount of confusion -- questions of legality had to be sorted out by the FCC, a lot of hams thought channelized operation wasn't a good thing, equipment had to be developed, etc. But eventually things settled down, and repeater operation on 2 meters took off, with repeater operation on other VHF/UHF ham bands and 6 meters soon to follow.
On March 27, 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake and the resulting tsunami struck Alaska and caused extensive damages in many parts of the state. As in most natural and man-made disasters, hams were quick to put together emergency communication links to help with disaster relief.
Late in 1967, incentive licensing returned to ham radio. This had been an on-again/off-again issue with FCC for about 15 years.
-- Al Brogdon, W1AB
Serrie notes that Emory Health Care in Atlanta, Georgia, is among a growing number of hospital systems to adopt ham radio as a secondary means of communications. He says that hospital administrators and government officials took a lesson from Hurricane Katrina, which left some Gulf Coast medical centers isolated from the outside world, as wired telephones and cellular communications failed.
Serrie interviewed John Davis, WB4QDX, who noted that some of the technology thats been around for almost a century is still relevant. And according to Davis, in addition to major hurricanes, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 rekindled interest in ham radio as a public safety tool.
Reporter Serrie noted that the number of amateur operators is at an all time high of over 720,000 hams licensed here in the United States. All in all a very positive report on one of the major roles that amateur radio is playing in service to the nation in the 21st century.
If you missed Jonathan Serries
report when it was first broadcast, you can catch
it on the web.
Georgia Cracker Radio Club Newsletters from the past Provided by WA4IQU and ND4XE
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