For Release: June 20, 1996
Release No. 96-47
Note To Editors/News Directors
Amateur Radio Clubs Test Emergency Preparedness in National
As part of Amateur Radio Week, the NASA Langley Amateur Radio
Club will be participating in a national exercise to test its
ability to work under emergency conditions. To simulate actual
emergency conditions, such as a hurricane strike in the Hampton
Roads area, emergency power supplies will be used, including
gas-powered generators and solar panels.
From 2 p.m. June 22 to 2 p.m. June 23, the NASA Langley club, in
conjunction with the Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Klub (SPARK),
will attempt to contact other amateur radio operators worldwide. To
test space communications equipment, attempts will be made to
contact the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Russian space station
Mir in orbit around the Earth. Members of SPARK also will use
amateur radio satellites orbiting the Earth to contact amateur
radio operators across the world.
The 1994 national exercise included more than 2,100 amateur
radio clubs across the United States and Canada. This year's
exercise is expected to include 50,000 amateur radio operators in
North America. According to the 170,000-member American Radio Relay
League (ARRL), the hobby is more popular than ever. There are
currently more than 650,000 amateur radio operators in the country,
an increase of 30 percent over 1990 levels.
Both clubs will begin setting up their equipment (tents, towers,
radios and emergency generators) at 9 a.m. Saturday in the softball
field behind the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center. The
clubs will work out of tents during the entire 24 hours of the
exercise to simulate actual emergency conditions. Interviews and
photo opportunities are available.
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