Operation Dark Skies: Part 1 October 14 | Part 2 October 16

Promo for Operation Dark Skies Simulated Emergency Test showing a solar eclipse

Updated: September 20/23

Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT – RAC Community Services Officer

Radio Amateurs of Canada has received a great response to our call for participants in the Operation Dark Skies events and thanks everyone for their interest. We have provided updated information below.

This year’s Simulated Emergency Test will coincide with a celestial phenomenon: a solar eclipse!

NASA’s solar eclipse webpage states:

“On October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central and South America. Visible in parts of the United States, Mexico and many countries in South and Central America, millions of people in the Western Hemisphere can experience this eclipse. During an annular eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing. Review these safety guidelines to prepare for Oct. 14, 2023.” (Click here to experience the October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse with a real-time 3D data visualization.)

The Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is a Canada-wide exercise in emergency communications, which is administered by Radio Amateurs of Canada’s Community Services Officer and Section Managers.

This year ‘s event is known as “Operation Dark Skies” and will be held in two parts which are described below.

Part 1 will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023. A Training/Information Session to prepare for this event will be held on Friday, September 22.

Part 2 will be held on Monday, October 16, 2023. There will be two Training/Information Sessions to prepare for this event. They will be held on Saturday, September 23 and Monday, September 25.

Please see below for complete information.

Promo for Operation Dark Skies Simulated Emergency Test showing a solar eclipse

The Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is a Canada-wide exercise in emergency communications, which is administered by Radio Amateurs of Canada’s Community Services Officer and Section Managers.This year ‘s event is known as “Operation Dark Skies” and will be held in two parts which are described below.

Operation Dark Skies: Part 1
Saturday, October 14 – National Canada-wide SET

Part 1 of the SET will be held for five hours on October 14, 2023, including the solar eclipse.

The objective is to gather information on Amateur operations before, during and after the solar eclipse. All data will be reviewed for future planning of emergency events.

Radio Amateurs of Canada is looking to engage as many operators as possible and utilize all bands and modes.

CanWarn-trained individuals can also give up-to-date local weather reports and visual observations during the event. Reports will be sent to or on Winlink to AUXC-CAN.

Registration:

Operation Dark Skies Part 1 is open to everyone interested in the 2023 simulated emergency test. All individuals who would like to participate in the National SET (October 14) must first register by sending an email to . Please include your name and call sign in the message. 

You will receive confirmation by email and be invited to an online information session and briefing as described below .

Information/Training Session for Part 1:

Date: Friday, September 22

Time: 7 – 9 pm Eastern (Time zone: America/Toronto)

Google Meet joining info:

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/uuu-eakg-hwc

Or dial: ‪(CA) +1 587-977-8029 PIN: ‪469 967 726#

More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/uuu-eakg-hwc?pin=6038956665725

—–

Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT
RAC Community Services Officer


 

For more information on the solar eclipse visit:

Operation Dark Skies: Part 2
Monday, October 16 – Local Niagara Region SET

Part 2 of the Simulated Emergency Test will be held on Monday, October 16  in partnership with Niagara Regional Emergency Management and the Niagara’s Community Emergency Response Team.

Full-scale Exercise Dark Skies 2023 is part of the Niagara Region’s emergency preparedness efforts for the total solar eclipse which take place next year on April 8, 2024.

The exercise will have multiple roles for Certified Emergency Response Training (CERT) and the Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) such as:

  • Field/site deployment including staging areas and demonstrations of field communications
  • AuxComm Support at Regional Emergency Operation Centre
  • Support within Regional and Municipal Operations

Radio Amateurs of Canada is looking for three teams to set up staging areas for the SET and also teams that are willing to deploy for both operational and demonstration purposes for Emergency Management officials.

  • Team 1: Staging Area in the Burlington area; a 5-person team
  • Team 2: Staging Area in the North Toronto/Orangeville area; a 5-person team
  • Team 3: Northern Ontario field deployment for Provincial communications. More information will be announced at the Information and Training Sessions.

There will be two Information/Training Sessions for Operation Dark Skies: Part 2. These sessions will be for individuals who wish to volunteer for Monday, October 16 local Niagara Region SET  and focus on the expanded full-scale exercise in partnership with Emergency Management.

Registration:

All individuals who would like to participate in the Local Niagara Region SET (Monday, October 16) must first register by sending an email to . Please include your name and call sign in the message. 

You will receive confirmation by email and be invited to the online Information and Training Sessions which will be held on on September 23, 24 and 25 at 7 pm Eastern. 

SET Reporting will not be done this year so please attend the training sessions for more information on the reporting procedures.

Information/Training Sessions for Part 2:

Session 1: Saturday, September 23 ·

Time: 7 – 9 pm Eastern (Time zone: America/Toronto)

Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/kbg-vxny-iqa

Or dial: ‪(CA) +1 587-687-9316 PIN: ‪588 713 980#

More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/kbg-vxny-iqa?pin=7024306209156

Session 2: Monday, September 25

Time: 7 – 9 pm Eastern (Time zone: America/Toronto)

Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/njs-mdcx-iip

Or dial: ‪(CA) +1 613-916-4760 PIN: ‪279 561 236#

More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/njs-mdcx-iip?pin=7073651663687

 —-

Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT
RAC Community Services Officer

2017 Eclipse Photo taken by Gary Mikitin, AF8A
2017 Eclipse Photo taken by Gary Mikitin, AF8A
Calling All Amateurs: We Need Your Help During Solar Eclipses!

Members of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) will be making radio contacts during the 2023 and 2024 North American eclipses, probing the Earth’s ionosphere. It will be a fun, friendly event with a competitive element – and you’re invited to participate.

Both amateur and professional broadcasters have been sending and receiving radio signals around the Earth for over a century. Such communication is possible due to interactions between our Sun and the ionosphere, the ionized region of the Earth’s atmosphere located roughly 80 to 1000 km overhead.

The upcoming eclipses (October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024) provide unique opportunities to study these interactions. As you and other HamSCI members transmit, receive, and record signals across the radio spectrum during the eclipse, you will create valuable data to test computer models of the ionosphere.

For more information, go to https://hamsci.org/festivals-eclipse-ionospheric-science

More about solar eclipses:
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eclipses/home/

NASA’s Citizen Science Program:
Learn about NASA citizen science projects
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