RAC Ontario Sections Bulletin for February 13th, 2021



1.  Ontario QSO Party 2 months away.

Last year we had participation from all multiplier areas in Ontario. We hope to grow the
participation this year.  If you plan to operate (even if only part time), please let us know
at oqp @ va3cco.com

--OQP Manager, Tom, VE3CX


2. New quantum receiver the first to detect entire radio frequency spectrum

A new quantum sensor can analyze the full spectrum of radio frequency and real-world signals,
unleashing new potentials for communications and spectrum awareness.

Army researchers built the quantum sensor, which can sample the radio-frequency spectrum
from zero frequency up to 20 GHz and detect AM and FM radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other
communication signals.

The Rydberg sensor uses laser beams to create highly-excited Rydberg atoms directly above
a microwave circuit, to boost and hone in on the portion of the spectrum being measured.
The Rydberg atoms are sensitive to the circuit's voltage, enabling the device to be used as a
sensitive probe for the wide range of signals in the RF spectrum.

-- full article at Southgate Radio News

3. A “Perfect Coronal Mass Ejection” Could Be a Nightmare

A new study in the research journal Space Weather considers what might happen if a
worst-case coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth — a “perfect solar storm,” if you will.

In 2014, Bruce Tsurutani of Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Gurbax Lakhina of the Indian
Institute of Geomagnetism introduced the “perfect CME.”  It could create a magnetic storm
with intensity up to the saturation limit, a value greater than the Carrington Event of 1859.
The interplanetary shock would arrive at Earth within 12 hours, creating a sudden impulse
of around 234 nanoteslas, and the magnetic pulse duration in the magnetosphere would
be about 22 seconds. Orbiting satellites would be exposed to “extreme levels of flare and
interplanetary CME shock accelerated particle radiation,” they said. The event would follow
an initial CME, allowing the storm cloud to hit Earth with maximum force.”

The CME’s 12-hour travel time would allow little margin for preparation. The CME would hit
Earth’s magnetosphere at 45 times the speed of sound, and the resulting geomagnetic storm
could be as much as twice as strong as the Carrington Event. Power grids, GPS, and other
services could experience significant outages.

More recent research led by physicist Dan Welling of the University of Texas at Arlington took a
fresh look at the “perfect CME,” and he was able to reach new conclusions.

Welling’s team found that geomagnetic disturbances in response to a perfect CME could be 10 times
stronger than calculated, especially at latitudes above 45 to 50°. “Our results exceed values
observed during many past extreme events, including the March 1989 storm that brought down the
Hydro-Québec power grid in eastern Canada, the May 1921 railroad storm, and the Carrington Event
itself,” Welling summarized.

A key result of the new study is how the CME would distort and compress Earth’s magnetosphere.
The strike would push the magnetopause down until it’s only 2 Earth-radii above Earth’s surface.
Satellites in Earth orbit would suddenly find themselves exposed to a hail of energetic, and
potentially damaging, charged particles.

-- full article at ARRL news

4. Ham Radio forms a planet-sized space weather sensor network

Considerable interest exists in developing space weather forecasting technologies that use
Earth’s ionosphere as a sensor for events in its neighboring atmospheric layers. The
ionosphere occupies a privileged niche in the geospace system, as it is coupled into both
the terrestrial weather of the neutral atmosphere below and the space weather of the
magnetosphere above.

To fully understand ionospheric variability on small spatial scales and short timescales, the
scientific community will require vastly larger and denser sensing networks that collect
data on continental and global scales. With open-source instrumentation cheaper and
more plentiful than ever before, the time is ripe for the amateur radio community
to take up the challenge.

The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) is a collective that unites amateur
radio operators with the research community in the space and atmospheric sciences. A
new HamSCI effort, the Personal Space Weather Station project, aims to develop a robust
and scalable network of amateur stations that will allow amateurs to collect useful data
for space science researchers. The next HamSCI workshop will be held virtually
19–21 March 2021, and it will focus on midlatitude ionospheric measurements.

Read the full story at

Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation

-- Southgate News

This concludes this week's bulletin.

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager

Posted by: Paul Caccamo <va3pc @ rac.ca>