Canadian Satellite Will Listen for ARRL Field Day Stations


A Canadian research satellite will listen for Amateur Radio transmissions during ARRL Field Day as it passes over the US early on Sunday (UTC). The University of Calgary’s “Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (ePOP) Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI)” on the CASSIOPE satellite.

“The RRI will monitor 30 kHz band segments in the CW portions of the 40 and 80 meter amateur bands during 2-minute segments on 28 June 2015,” said Gareth Perry, a post-doctoral fellow in the University of Calgary’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. “The satellite will be at 375 km altitude — inside the F-region ionosphere — during the pass. Morse code transmissions within these bands will be decoded and then used in conjunction with Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) observations in order to study propagation and conduct ionospheric science.”

“If we’re able to identify the stations, then we’ll post a list of which ones we heard,” Perry told ARRL. He said the experiment is part of a recent effort within the Amateur Radio community to contribute to large-scale scientific studies of the ionosphere and space weather.

CASSIOPE (CAScade Smallsat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer) is a Canadian-designed and built satellite. It has two primary tasks — a telecommunications technology demonstration, and a science mission, the latter carried out by the e-POP. The e-POP is a suite of eight instruments that study the outflow of plasma from the ionosphere into near-Earth geospace.

Funded by the Canadian Space Agency, CASSIOPE is operated by a community of Canadian and US scientists from more than a dozen institutions. Its operations headquarters is located at the University of Calgary. — Thanks to Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF (Virginia Tech), and Gareth Perry (University of Calgary)