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Canada C3: The Polar Prince

Canada C3 was a unique 150-day voyage of a retired Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, the Polar Prince, commencing in Toronto, Ontario and travelling down the St. Lawrence River and following the three coastlines of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans, via the Historic Northwest Passage, terminating in Victoria, British Columbia. Canadian Radio Amateurs led by Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, installed a WSPR beacon that provided round the clock transmissions at three Amateur Radio frequencies throughout the 150-day voyage.

2020 IEEE Symposium logoSymposium on Antennas and Propagation

On Thursday, July 9, Radio Amateurs of Canada will participate in the 2020 IEEE AP-S Symposium on Antennas and Propagation by hosting a virtual presentation on the Canada C3 WSPR Project.

The Symposium on Antennas and Propagation is the premier international forum for the exchange of ideas on state-of-the-art research in antennas and propagation and radio science.

Through a range of technical and social activities, it provides an opportunity to interact with the world’s leading experts in antennas, propagation and radio science from academia, industry and government.

Originally scheduled as an in-person conference in Montreal from July 5-10, it is being presented as an online symposium as a result of the global pandemic.

Amateur Radio at IEEE AP-S/URSI 2020

Antennas and propagation are very important to Radio Amateurs so it is not a surprise that many participants are Amateurs – in fact call signs for 105 symposium registrants have been entered into this year’s registration system.

Amateur Radio activities and events have been associated with Symposia over the last six years and are usually organized by Amateur Radio clubs in the locations where they take place. They have provided opportunities for Amateurs to meet in person and to showcase the Amateur Radio Service to the Symposium participants.

This year Radio Amateurs and Canada (RAC) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) are both very pleased to have an opportunity to make virtual presentations about different aspects of Amateur Radio.

The ARRL will provide a virtual tour of the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW on Wednesday, July 8 at 1 pm.

RAC will present an overview of the Canada C3 WSPR Project – “An Epic Journey to Celebrate Canada and Connect Canadians” – on Thursday, July 9 at 3 pm.

Links to these events are available on the conference website to those who have registered. Others interested in the RAC presentation can watch it online by clicking the following link: 

 https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/916691509

More information on the Symposium can be found online at:

https://2020apsursi.org/AmateurRadio.asp

Registration is free for the online symposium this year at:

https://2020apsursi.org/Registration.asp

Weak Signal Propagation Reporting System (WSPR) Project

High frequency propagation from a beacon installed on a retired icebreaker along a route through the Canadian Arctic

Canada C3 was a unique 150-day voyage of a retired Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, the Polar Prince, commencing in Toronto, Ontario and travelling down the St. Lawrence River and following the three coastlines of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans, via the Historic Northwest Passage, terminating in Victoria, British Columbia.

Canadian Radio Amateurs led by Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, installed a WSPR beacon that provided round the clock transmissions at three Amateur Radio frequencies throughout the 150-day voyage.

WSPR (pronounced “whisper”) stands for “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter”. It is a protocol, implemented in a computer program, used for weak signal radio communication between Radio Amateurs.

Ultimate 3 beacon
Ultimate 3 beacon

As shown in the above diagram, a tracking link enabled Amateurs to gather information worldwide from those receiving WSPR transmissions from the Ultimate 3 beacon.

Many of the locations visited by Canada C3 were located in areas where radio communication is difficult. Phenomena such as “arctic flutter” and disturbances from the aurora have traditionally been a problem in the North and there had been little continuous information on high frequency propagation from these areas.

For more information please visit:

https://2020apsursi.org/WSPR.pdf

 

Update on Canada C3 Expedition Award: September 1