07/26/2020–The University of Maine Wireless Sensing Laboratory (WiSe-Net Lab) and AMSAT have signed an agreement to collaborate on building and operating MESAT1, Maine’s first small satellite. Carrying an amateur radio payload in addition to science payloads, MESAT1 is set to launch sometime in the next 3 years under NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI), which provides opportunities for nanosatellite science and technology payloads built by universities, schools, and nonprofits to ride-share on space launches. AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, celebrated the announcement.
“This is a great day for AMSAT and UMaine’s WiSe-Net Lab,” Coleman said. “This partnership is a true win-win for both education and the amateur radio community. The collaborative effort under AMSAT’s engineering and operations teams has once again succeeded to bring another opportunity to AMSAT.”
07/24/2020 – Due to travel and gathering restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ARRL Board of Directors met on Friday, July 17, 2020 in a remote session, using the Zoom videoconferencing platform.
During this session, the Board took the following actions:
Accepted the final recommendations of the Band Planning Committee. Committee chair and ARRL First Vice President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, introduced the motion to adopt the plan. An earlier draft of the plan was introduced at the Board’s in-person January meeting. After the January Board meeting, the Committee received and considered hundreds of comments from interested amateurs. The final band plan can be viewed on the ARRL website.
Voted, in anticipation of hiring the new Emergency Management Director, to modify the charter of the search committee to study and, if appropriate, prepare a report on, the implementation of a new Standing Committee of the Board to emphasize emergency communications and provide advice to the CEO in these matters. The report is expected to be delivered to the Board by November 24, 2020.
The ARRL Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2020 scholarship awards. There were 103 awards this year, totaling $144,450. The non-profit Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has generously awarded a grant to the ARRL Foundation to match each scholarship award on a dollar-for-dollar basis, lifting the grand total of scholarships awarded to $288,900.
Several New England Division youths were the recipients of scholarship awards:
The Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club Scholarship
Megan G. Wagner, KC1FGH, of Westford, Massachusetts
The CTRI/Chris Seeber, KA1GEU, Memorial Scholarship
Julie Knappik, KB1YTT, of Raynham, Massachusetts
The FEMARA Scholarship
Yettive S. Crestohl, K1YTV, of Marblehead, Massachusetts
Joseph F. Murray, KC1EGK, of Braintree, Massachusetts
Edward G. Ridolfi, KC1CMF, of Kittery, Maine
Bahnou Hazel Upton, KB1OIS, of Mount Vernon, New Hampshire
The Alfred E. Friend, Jr., W4CF, Memorial Scholarship
Numerous lighthouses and lightships will be activated for the upcoming International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, August 22-23, 2020. Among the 33 or so registered in the United States, five are situated in New England:
K1LX, Permaquid Point Light, US0124 (ME), Direct to Lincoln County ARC
KM1R, Faulkners Island Light, US0243 (CT)
N1QLL, West Quoddy Head, US0041 (ME), Direct or buro (Send SAE, no stamp needed)
W1QK, Avery Point Lighthouse, US0190 (CT), LoTW
W1TUK, Sankaty Head Light, US0135 (MA), direct or QRZ.com
The Nantucket ARA, W1TUK, plans to operate in International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend at Sankaty Head Light once again.
According to NARA’s Jerry Horton, W2JH: “We kicked off planning last Sunday during our weekly outreach video conference. We will operate at least two HF rigs on Saturday [August 22, 2020] from about 10 AM to 4 PM, with Sunday serving as the rain date. We are exploring the possibility of streaming our station; at a minimum we want to capture plenty of video and lots of photos for after-the-fact posting. The whole gang is involved, sharing assorted tasks: readying equipment, obtaining access to the lighthouse, site prep, publicity, handouts, etc. Should be fun!”
From ARRL Web:
Registrations for this year’s popular International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) appear to have been largely unaffected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place this year over the August 22 – 23 weekend. By mid-July, more than 200 entries had been received, and some 400 are expected to have signed up by the event weekend.
New to this year’s event is Corsica at Phare d’Alistro, which for ILLW purposes carries the French number of FR0030. Two lighthouses in Ghana will be on the air for the first time, as well as Buck Island Lighthouse in the US Virgin Islands (VI0001). Germany is well in the lead with 54 entries, followed by Australia with 29 entries, and the US with 27 entries.
This event is designed as a fun weekend to encourage exposure to amateur radio and lighthouses to the visiting public, and ILLW stresses contacts should be more than just an exchange of signal reports. All participants are urged to observe local COVID-19 safety guidelines. —Thanks to Kevin Mulcahey, VK2CE
As part of a Nationwide HF Skills Exercise for MARS Members and Amateur Radio Operators the Chief of ARMY MARS and the Chief of Air force MARS have announced an exercise for July 20-24, 2020.
Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to participate in Daily 60 Meter Nets on Channel 1 (5330.5 KHz USB Dial) at 1200 and 2000 local times (Noon and 8pm Eastern time).
Amateur Radio stations will be asked for real life Infrastructure failure issues, and possibly other information to be relayed to MARS stations on that channel. Reports of no issues are just as important as reports of any issues. Be prepared to provide information to help the MARS station determine your FIPS code. Your Zip code is the easiest way to communicate that.