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For Release: June 26, 1998

Catherine E. Watson
(757) 864-6122

RELEASE NO. 98-030

Note To Editors/News Directors
AMATEUR RADIO CLUBS TEST EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

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. Saturday, June 27 to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 28, the NASA Langley club, in conjunction with the Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Klub (SPARK), will attempt to contact other amateur radio operators around the world. This year's exercise is expected to involve more than 200,000 amateur radio operators worldwide.

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 U.S. alone.

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 in Hampton. 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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