Friday, December 30, 2011
Rescue Radio: Changing Times - ARMY MARS PHASING OUT WINLINK
According to the December 21st ARRL ARES E-Letter, the military chain of command that governs Army MARS feels that the Internet portion of WINLKINK leaves the system significantly open to the possibility of intrusion. To deal with this it plans to replace WINLINK with a newer military e-mail system that has extensive protection against any form of hacking or any other form of incursion.
To accomplish this, Army MARS will be expanding on the concept of a national network that is voice, RTTY and PACTOR capable under MIL-STD 110A. It says that PACTOR will become even more important as the new areas of focus will be peer to peer and keyboard to keyboard PACTOR based communications.
Amateur modes such as MT-63, OLIVIA, and WINMOR, which cannot be used by the military, will be eventually phased out as well.
The ultimate goal of this change will be to help Army MARS return to what it is really supposed to be. That of a radio-only system to relay long haul traffic as it has done very successfully in the past.
While these changes will affect Army MARS nationally, it is not abandoning state and local served agencies. Army MARS says that it is moving away from providing them a winlink.org e-mail address. (ARRL ARES E-Letter)
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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