August – what a great month for extraterrestrial fun!

This week, here in the UK, The RSGB plays host to YOTA 2017 – Youngsters on the Air – there are  80 young people under the age of 26 from 27 countries – from all over IARU Region 1 as well as Japan — representing their national amateur radio societies at this event, which is taking place in Gilwell Park, UK.  An International Space Station ARISS contact has been planned for astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA, using the call sign NA1SS and the  (YOTA) event, call sign GB4YOTA, today, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at approximately 18.38 UTC. This will be a direct radio contact, operated by GB4YOTA.

Downlink signals will be audible in the British Isles and parts of Europe on 145.800 MHz FM (+/- 3kHz doppler effect).  (August 10th update – there were technical difficulties  but contact was made 90 minutes later – see and hear the whole event and both sides of the conversation on this RSGB video  https://youtu.be/b3wPGH3VFPQ )  

Coming up this weekend is the peak of the current Perseid meteor shower with the 12th August being the most intense.  Here is where an RSP can really come into its own, allowing you to explore meteor scatter on a wide range of frequencies, and even record 10 MHz chunks of spectrum for future analysis, using the recording feature in SDRuno.

Later in the month, the solar eclipse will be a big event in the USA with scope for some serious propagation experiments.  Accessing remote RSPs at different locations is a great way to find out more about the way “Grayline” propagation works.  For more on Grayline and Meteor scatter propagation – go to http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-propa5.htm