The Pilot Project Ionosfera, proposed by AMSAT-Italia and selected by ESA, aims at supporting the Radio-amateurs and the Scientists in their activities relating to the Ionosphere.
The Ionosphere indeed is a direct product of the Sun-Earth interactions (hence a Space Weather topic), used by Radio-amateurs to achieve long-range radio-communication links.
However, Radio-amateurs in their daily (and nightly) activities face the major problem of link success unpredictability: because its dynamic behaviour is still not thoroughly understood, radio-propagation through Ionosphere refraction is still not reliable nor secure enough for practical use in applications such as for example, emergency communications in case of disasters.
Ionosfera in the frame of ESA's Space Weather Pilot Projects, will then provide two kinds of (free-of-charge) services:
- The provision of operational data on Radio-amateur communications and on Space Weather RF effects. Such information could be used later on by Scientists to consider the Ionosphere from another point of view and to improve, by integrating it with other available data, their Scientific models.
- A radio-communication prediction service based on several tools (number and complexity will be decided during the project development) allowing to predict/understand (maybe in real-time) long-range radio-communication links.
In addition to the above, Ionosfera proposes itself to increase public awareness on Space Weather thematics and on the other Pilot Projects.
Ionosfera will obviously be focussed on Radio-amateurs needs and expectations but will also attempt to create an European (hopefully Worldwide) network of motivated persons participating to and taking benefit from the Project (you are warmly invited to contact us, if this is your case !).