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Gaston Bertels, on4wf. IONOSFERA. SKW-0040 “Second European Space Weather Week” ESA/ESTEC : 14-18/11/2005. Objectives. Support the Radioamateur Community working HF DX (long distance HF radio-contacts via ionospheric refraction) with space weather related information.

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Gaston Bertels, on4wf



“Second European Space Weather Week”

ESA/ESTEC : 14-18/11/2005


  • Support the Radioamateur Community working HF DX (long distance HF radio-contacts via ionospheric refraction) with space weather related information.

  • Provide Radioamateur data to the Scientific Community studying the Ionosphere (and Space Weather).

  • Actively participate to the ESA space weather pilot project and SWENET by promoting space weather service and providing useful user feedback.

User needs
User Needs

  • Radioamateurs need general information on iono-weather and predictions of ionosphere propagation. Useful data and tools include:

    • Main Space Weather indices (current and predicted)

    • Propagation Predictor

    • Coordinate conversion (from locator, prefix)

    • Great Circle path Calculator

    • MUF Predictor

  • There is potentially a Scientific interest for Radioamateur contact data which is a world-wide source of ionospheric properties. To this end radioamateurs data need to be made widely accessible and easy to read and analyse.

User feedback
User Feedback

  • About 460,000 radio-amateurs have been informed about the Ionosfera service (and ESA Space Weather) through conference, publication in specialised journals/mailing lists and web sites.

  • About 1000 have looked at the service in the last 12 months.

  • Very positive feedback was received on the information (educational) aspect of the service and its provided tools (in particular “Propagation Predictor”)

  • The manual procedure for filling HF contact data was found too demanding and already redundant with the existing mandatory one.

  • However, 13Users accepted to send their own log book with HF contact informations. This constituted a database of 113.005 logs over the period 2003-09-01/2005-04-30 which has been used to develop empirical prediction model.

  • No clear contact with Scientists were established yet.

Future of service s

New AMSAT-Italia website :

Future of Service(s)

  • Ionosfera relies on voluntary work and contributions in line with the not-for-profit principles of Radioamateurs (hence Amsat Italia).

  • With this constraint it seems possible to maintain the service with the following activities:

    • Website maintenance (including improvement of graphics, contents, ...)

    • Continuation of collection of data on achieved HF DX contacts (logs)

    • Logs will continue to be analysed and results published on Ionosfera website

    • Prospect for collaboration with Scientific community on the collected data

  • Possible problem: if SWENET operations stops a free hosting somewhere will have to found.

Service improvement
Service Improvement

  • Data (HF DX logs) collection through website (Service 1) is unpractical. If found to be interesting (to ESA and/orthe Scientific Community) data collection procedure could be changed (with new softwares).

  • Ionosfera will benefit of any process attempting to secure unity of data source for each of the indexes !!

  • Ionosfera will appreciate advances in forecasted value of the "HF DX Space Weather Index(es)" :Short term (current week) and long term prediction (about 6 months ahead) of the indexes F10.7 ; Ap ; Kp ; and “F.A.K”

  • Ionosfera will now join the under-going study SkyWave radioamateur satellite programme with its main payload RATS (Radio Amateur Topside Sounder), proposed for launch in 2012. It can be foreseen to extend Ionosfera to include RATS data possible improved models based on these data


For further information please contact :

  • Florio DALLA VEDOVA, Iw2nmb (email : or,

  • Paolo PITACCO, Iw3qbn (email :