Amateur Radio Accompanying “Great Northern Way” Arctic Russia Expedition


Amateur Radio will be onboard for the “Great Northern Way“ Arctic expedition in Russia. Listen for R3CA/8/9/0 along the route. The historical-geographical expedition was due to get under way in mid-February from Novy Urengoy (Yamal). The project commemorates the 400 anniversary of the Northern Sea Route and will be part of a research program, “Mysteries of the Russian Arctic.” Two all-terrain vehicles will carry participants along a 10,000 kilometer (approximately 6200 miles) route on frozen Siberian rivers, the open spaces of the Arctic tundra, and the land-fast and drifting ice of Russia’s Arctic seas. The expedition plans to make stops of about 1 day each on some Arctic islands, which would be of interest to Islands on the Air (IOTA) enthusiasts.

Heading the expedition is the president of the Russian Geographical Society’s Arktika Center and polar explorer Vladimir Chukov, R3CA. Call sign designators will indicate the location — R3CA/8 (Yamal), R3CA/9 (Taimyr), and R3CA/0 (Yakutia, Chukotka). Operation is anticipated on SSB in the vicinity of 14.120 and 14.260 MHz.

The radio operator is Valery Nesterov, RA9J. In Tiksi, Yuri Zaruba, UA9OBA, the president of the Russian Robinson Club, plans to join the expedition, which is carrying an Icom IC-7000 transceiver. An Icom AH2B mobile antenna will be used while under way, but when the expedition is parked, inverted Vs will be deployed.

Some of the islands in Asiatic Russia that the expedition may activate include AS-005 (Dikson Island), AS-152 (Bol’shoy Begichev Island), AS-082, AS-163 (Makar Island), AS-029 (Bol’shoy Lyakhovsky Island), AS-164 (Nemkov Island), AS-070 (GUSMP Island), AS-038 (Ayon Island), AS-065 (Kolyuchin Island) and others depending on the ice situation.

The expedition plans to visit sites associated with research and development of the Russian Arctic, historical monuments, and places of interest related to natural history and cultural heritage. The expedition members will conduct environmental monitoring along the Arctic coast. A series of documentaries about the history and current state of the Russian Arctic and its people is planned. The expedition’s progress will be tracked on its website. The expedition also will visit local attractions, meet with village residents and the youth and school children, and take part in events related to the social and cultural life of the Arctic regions of Russia. — Thanks to The Daily DX, Great Northern Way expedition website