The UBC Amateur Radio Society encourages radio for the joy of radio. This can take many forms from the classical communication with Morse Code to more modern signal processing using software defined radios. Amateur Radio Society members are encouraged to explore radio communication in what ever form they find interesting.
Some examples of applications from the amateur radio community for licences and un-licences operators are highlighted below;
Long range (DX) communication
Bouncing radio waves off of the ionosphere, radio transmissions can reach around the world allowing for international communication and the challenge of reaching stations in remote corners of the world.
Software defined radio
Software defined radio involves the use of a generic radio front end feeding digital data about the radio spectrum back to a computer interface. The computer can then use digital signal processing to extract useful information from the radio spectrum and change the function of the radio with the flip of a bit.
A WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet, allowing many listeners to listen and tune it simultaneously from around the world. The radio hosted by the University of Twente, Enschede, NL is an excellent example but is only one of many radios around the world.
Amateur radio can be used to observe several astronomical phenomenon including radio transmissions from Jupiter and the reflection of radio waves off of the surface of the moon for communication or mapping its surface.
Using amateur radio frequencies, it is possible to communicate to multiple satellites launched by the amateur community and use them to communicate around the world as either repeaters or in a ‘store and forward’ manner. The International Space Station (ISS) also hosts an amateur radio station and periodically provides the opportunity to communicate with amateur radio hobbyists up in space.
When all else fails, amateur radio stations can be brought online to supply essential communications services during natural disasters.
Low power (QRP) communication
Long range communication is not reliant on large 1500W transmitters, many operators communicate just fine using less than 10 Watts, with some taking it to the extreme down below 1W.
Packet radio allows for computer networking over long distances without the use of conventional communications infrastructure.