Alexey (Alex) Tikhomirov, VE1RUS and Pierre Fogal, VE3KTB, are currently putting VY0RAC on the air from the VY0ERC station of the Eureka Amateur Radio Club for the RAC Canada 150 Award and will continue to do so until Friday, November 10.
VY0ERC is located within the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) facility known as the “RidgeLab”, located approximately 15 kilometres from the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Eureka weather station.
The RidgeLab is one of three PEARL facilities in the area and its coordinates are 80.05N, 86.42W at an altitude of 610 metres on a ridge running roughly north-south. PEARL is operated by the Canadian Network for Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC).
Amateur Radio operations are mostly on SSB and digital modes, the choice driven primarily by propagation and the local noise situation.
VY0ERC is located just west of the geo-magnetic pole, and thus very near the centre of the auroral oval. Propagation in and out is often better in one direction than the other.
Pierre and Alex will be on the air as often as their scientific duties permit and will sometimes appear for short periods several times per day.
They are taking advantage of a captive, technically adept audience (their colleagues that are on site) to cultivate new Amateurs and so you may be in contact with Peter McGovern (SSB and digital) or Emily McCullough (digital) under the supervision of VE1RUS and VE3KTB.
While at Eureka, Alex and Emily will be involved in operating LIDARs (laser based instruments used to detect the presence of particulates and molecules) that measure atmospheric aerosols and ozone.
Peter is the PEARL operator and is responsible for providing support to the PEARL science projects.
Pierre is the PEARL site manager, responsible for instruments and personnel on site and logistics, as well as participating in various measurements. In addition to these measurements, instruments at PEARL measure various atmospheric parameters from the ground to approximately 100 kilometres altitude.
PEARL has been active since 2005 and is one of a very few High Arctic research stations in the world.
Pierre and Alex will operate as VY0RAC from VY0ERC until Friday, November 10.
Background information about VY0ERC
In early 2016, Alexey Tikhomirov, VE1RUS, became the trustee for VY0ERC and with that the Eureka Amateur Radio Club (EARC) was formed with Alex, Pierre Fogal, VE3KTB and John Gilbert, VE3CXL, as the club’s initial members and Executive. The establishment of a radio club at Eureka was inspired by the commemoration of Canada 150 and the 70th anniversary of the Eureka Weather Station.
The Eureka Amateur Radio Club is located in the environs of the Eureka Weather Station which is itself located at 79 degrees 59 minutes N, 85 degrees 56 minutes W on Ellesmere Island (IOTA NA-008). VY0ERC is currently operating out of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) Ridge Laboratory (RidgeLab) located approximately 11 kilometres as the crow flies from the weather station (https://www.candac.ca). The RidgeLab is set on top of the hill at 80 degrees 3 minutes N and 86 degrees 25 minutes W at 600 m.a.s.l. The separation is significant as Eureka is in grid square EQ79 and the RidgeLab is in grid square ER60, and as the RidgeLab is above 80 degrees N, it is in ITU zone 75 rather than ITU zone 4. Both are located in CQ zone 2. Pierre is a Site Manager at PEARL. For more information visit https://www.qrz.com/db/VY0ERC.
The 70th anniversary of the establishment of the original Amateur station at Eureka, VE8MA, was featured in the May-June 2017 and July-August 2017 issues of The Canadian Amateur magazine. In the article Alex and Pierre provided the following short bios:
“Alexey Tikhomirov got his passion in Amateur Radio at RW9HWR and RW9HZZ (currently UI9I) club stations in 1993. He was licensed in 1997 as RA9HAI. Since 2012 he has been certified in Canada as VE1RUS. He is a trustee of the Eureka Amateur Radio Club’s call sign VY0ERC and holds a Station Manager’s position in the Halifax Amateur Radio Club.”
“Pierre was first licensed in 2000, rather later in life than many Amateurs, while living in Colorado. He still holds the Extra class licence KC0IGY. He returned to Canada in late 2004 but it would be 10 years before there was time to pass the Canadian exam to become VE3KTB. His interests include chasing DX, contesting and just about anything else. Science and Amateur Radio have always gone hand-in-hand for him, allowing him to activate NA-008, NA-043 and operate from KC4AAA.”
For more information about the RAC Canada 150 Award visit: https://www.rac.ca/rac150/
A schedule of operations can be found at: https://www.rac.ca/rac150/operations/