ARRL Marks 28th Year of Hosting USTTI ARAC Course
Students from Ghana, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago attended the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) Amateur Radio Administration Course (ARAC) at ARRL Headquarters October 3-7. ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, coordinated the session and led the course. ARRL Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Meeting Planner Lisa Kustosik, KA1UFZ, coordinated ARRL’s participation with USTTI.
According to Price, the students work in their respective government telecommunications offices dealing with telecommunications and Amateur Radio testing, licensing and monitoring. “Our four students – Aisha Namiiro (Uganda), Ruby Kissiedu (Ghana), Harrinath Sawh, KC2HFO (Trinidad and Tobago) and Rudra Bidaisee (Trinidad and Tobago) -- made the trek to Newington,” said Price. While in Newington, Sawh upgraded his license from Technician to General. This is the third year in a row that USTTI participants have successfully sat for a US license exam. In 2010, Mary Coleen Cas from the Philippines and Chalew Anteneh from Ethiopia earned their Technician licenses, becoming KJ4YPQ and KJ4YPR, respectively. In 2009, Yaw Kwarteng from Ghana earned his Technician license, and is now KJ4PVL.
The ARAC curriculum covers a wide variety of Amateur Radio topics and concerns, including licensing, spectrum requirements, disaster communications and antenna requirements. The curriculum also covers the ITU and its regulations, as well as the process leading to the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12). “All four students took a keen interest in how the Amateur Radio Service has developed through its history and continues to develop today,” Price said. “There was a particular interest in licensing and human resource issues, and students were receptive to our ideas and suggestions concerning these issues.”
ARRL staff members served as faculty, teaching units within their areas of expertise. Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, W5MPC, taught a unit on Amateur Radio’s emergency communications capabilities. Membership and Volunteer Programs Assistant Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, explained how to establish Amateur Radio clubs. QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, taught units on digital communications and the fleet of Amateur Radio satellites. VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, and Assistant VEC Manager Perry Green, WY1O, along with ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND discussed licensing, examination and regulatory issues. Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, discussed electromagnetic compatibility and RFI issues, and Laboratory Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, supervised each student’s successful assembly of a 40 meter receiver kit, that each student got to take home.
USTTI is a non-profit joint venture between leading US-based communications, IT corporations and leaders of the federal government who together provide tuition-free management, policy and technical training for talented professionals from the developing world. Each year, the ARRL hosts a course on Amateur Radio to introduce or further educate regulators and other spectrum users to its needs and unique issues; this is the ARRL’s 28th year to host the ARAC. The next ARAC course is slated for fall 2012.