On Thursday, July 9, Radio Amateurs of Canada participated in the 2020 IEEE AP-S Symposium on Antennas and Propagation by hosting a virtual presentation on the Canada C3 Weak Signal Propagation Reporting System (WSPR) Project.
RAC President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA and Barrie Crampton, VE3BSM, were joined online by people from Canada, the United States and Latin America to view Barrie’s presentation on the development, operation and results of the project.
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. A video of the presentation is provided below.
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.
The conference organizers responded immediately after the presentation with the following message:
Dear Glenn and Barrie,
Once again, thanks sincerely for your presentation today on the WSPR Project, HF Propagation in the Canadian Arctic.
Your choice of topic was an excellent one and it fit very well with the theme of the conference. It highlighted a highly original Canadian contribution to radio science, and more generally, raises the awareness and appreciation of Amateur Radio within the IEEE community.
We also very much appreciate the time and effort you put in to prepare this presentation under unusual circumstances and with such short notice.
Additional Information about WSPR
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.
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.