Radio Waves: Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio
Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers. To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dan Srebnick, the Southgate ARC and Geneva Witherspoon for the following tips:
A hundred years ago this week, France’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, was first used as an antenna for radio programmes. Looming high above the city’s uniform skyline, the tower was an obvious choice to pioneer public radio in France, proving the country’s prowess in broadcast technology.
On 22 December 1921, just three years after the end of WWI, “Radio Tour Eiffel” broadcast its first ever show, a live performance featuring legendary singers.
The trial was the beginning of a long series of broadcasts that continues today, with 45 television stations and 32 FM stations – including RFI – broadcasting from the Eiffel Tower.
According to the Lille-based publication Le Réveil du Nord of 24 December 2021, “a concert by wireless telephony took place at the Lille Theatre”.
Famous artists of that era, the legendary Sacha Guitry, the soprano Jeanne Hatto, the tenor Maurice Dutreix and others sang in a microphone in a room in the Eiffel Tower, from where it was broadcast to a “wireless phone set” in the hall of the Lille theatre.
“A large audience attended this session,” according to the dispatch. [Continue reading…]
The Raspberry Pi makes an excellent gift on its own, but getting one in a custom Time Machine Radio is remarkably fulfilling. This holiday, a maker known as Byte-rider created a custom Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W-powered radio for his father.
This custom radio has a professional design and clean finish that we think looks fantastic. There is a dial on one side that can tune into different decades. The Pi reads this input to play only music from the selected decade.
As the pandemic picks up speed once again and people are advised to limit their in-person social interactions, a small group of people are reaching out across the airwaves from Barrie to connect with others in a much different way
The newspaper Barrie Today reports:
The Barrie Amateur Radio Club has been one of the few activities that has thrived during the now two-year COVID crisis.
Formed in the 1960s, its current band of roughly 60 like-minded members are armed with dependable radio technology that has been in use for over a hundred years. And they use the equipment not just for the social aspect, but also to fulfil a need if called upon in our city when disaster strikes.
Part of the club’s mission statement is to “maintain radio systems suitable for providing communications for the benefit of the community and, when requested, to assist civil authorities.”
An example of this assistance would be to provide emergency services in the city as a way to communicate in an event where existing critical communications and infrastructure fails.
Prior to the pandemic, the club held monthly meetings with police and fire services to discuss training scenarios and what the club’s role could be in helping during an emergency.
But for most days, the main activity of the group is to just have fun.
Ed Murray VA3EDB, the club’s public information officer, enjoyed listening to shortwave radio as a kid and waited until he retired in 2019 to learn how to become an amateur radio operator.
When asked about what his favourite part of being a member is, he says, “helping the community and the camaraderie with the 60 different members that have a wide range of talents and experiences to share.”
Technical milestones are thrilling as well.
“I also managed to bounce a signal off the International Space Station and receive their repeater message. It calls out the frequency, its call letters, and gives out the time in Universal Time,” Murray tells BarrieToday.[…]
An audio track collected during Jupiter mission’s Ganymede flyby offers a dramatic ride-along. It is one of the highlights mission scientists shared in a briefing at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
Sounds from a Ganymede flyby, magnetic fields, and remarkable comparisons between Jupiter and Earth’s oceans and atmospheres were discussed during a briefing today on NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans.
Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio has debuted a 50-second audio track generated from data collected during the mission’s close flyby of the Jovian moon Ganymede on June 7, 2021. Juno’s Waves instrument, which tunes in to electric and magnetic radio waves produced in Jupiter’s magnetosphere, collected the data on those emissions. Their frequency was then shifted into the audio range to make the audio track.
“This soundtrack is just wild enough to make you feel as if you were riding along as Juno sails past Ganymede for the first time in more than two decades,” said Bolton. “If you listen closely, you can hear the abrupt change to higher frequencies around the midpoint of the recording, which represents entry into a different region in Ganymede’s magnetosphere.”
Detailed analysis and modeling of the Waves data are ongoing. “It is possible the change in the frequency shortly after closest approach is due to passing from the nightside to the dayside of Ganymede,” said William Kurth of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, lead co-investigator for the Waves investigation.
At the time of Juno’s closest approach to Ganymede – during the mission’s 34th trip around Jupiter – the spacecraft was within 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) of the moon’s surface and traveling at a relative velocity of 41,600 mph (67,000 kph).
Jack Connerney from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is the lead investigator with Juno’s magnetometer and is the mission’s deputy principal investigator. His team has produced the most detailed map ever obtained of Jupiter’s magnetic field.
Compiled from data collected from 32 orbits during Juno’s prime mission, the map provides new insights into the gas giant’s mysterious Great Blue Spot, a magnetic anomaly at the planet’s equator. Juno data indicates that a change in the gas giant’s magnetic field has occurred during the spacecraft’s five years in orbit, and that the Great Blue Spot is drifting eastward at a speed of about 2 inches (4 centimeters) per second relative to the rest of Jupiter’s interior, lapping the planet in about 350 years.
In contrast, the Great Red Spot – the long-lived atmospheric anticyclone just south of Jupiter’s equator – is drifting westward at a relatively rapid clip, circling the planet in about four-and-a-half years.
In addition, the new map shows that Jupiter’s zonal winds (jet streams that run east to west and west to east, giving Jupiter’s its distinctive banded appearance) are pulling the Great Blue Spot apart. This means that the zonal winds measured on the surface of the planet reach deep into the planet’s interior.
The new magnetic field map also allows Juno scientists to make comparisons with Earth’s magnetic field. The data suggests to the team that dynamo action – the mechanism by which a celestial body generates a magnetic field – in Jupiter’s interior occurs in metallic hydrogen, beneath a layer expressing “helium rain.”
Data Juno collects during its extended mission may further unravel the mysteries of the dynamo effect not only at Jupiter but those of other planets, including Earth.
Lia Siegelman, a physical oceanographer and postdoctoral fellow at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, decided to study the dynamics of Jupiter’s atmosphere after noticing that the cyclones at Jupiter’s pole appear to share similarities with ocean vortices she studied during her time as a doctoral student.
“When I saw the richness of the turbulence around the Jovian cyclones, with all the filaments and smaller eddies, it reminded me of the turbulence you see in the ocean around eddies,” said Siegelman. “These are especially evident in high-resolution satellite images of vortices in Earth’s oceans that are revealed by plankton blooms that act as tracers of the flow.”
The simplified model of Jupiter’s pole shows that geometric patterns of vortices, like those observed on Jupiter, spontaneously emerge, and survive forever. This means that the basic geometrical configuration of the planet allows these intriguing structures to form.
Although Jupiter’s energy system is on a scale much larger than Earth’s, understanding the dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere could help us understand the physical mechanisms at play on our own planet.
The Juno team has also released its latest image of Jupiter’s faint dust ring, taken from inside the ring looking out by the spacecraft’s Stellar Reference Unit navigation camera. The brightest of the thin bands and neighboring dark regions scene in the image are linked to dust generated by two of Jupiter’s small moons, Metis and Adrastea. The image also captures the arm of the constellation Perseus.
“It is breathtaking that we can gaze at these familiar constellations from a spacecraft a half-billion miles away,” said Heidi Becker, lead co-investigator of Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit instrument at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. “But everything looks pretty much the same as when we appreciate them from our backyards here on Earth. It’s an awe-inspiring reminder of how small we are and how much there is left to explore.”
More About the Mission
JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott J. Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built and operates the spacecraft.
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