A Canada 150 Signature project, Canada C3 is a 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. It will inspire a deeper understanding of our land, our peoples and our country.
The Canada C3 organizers have kindly permitted a group of enthusiasts under the leadership of Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, to install a WSPR (pronounced “whisper”) beacon on the Canada C3 vessel. This provides a unique opportunity to track the vessel on its 150-day sailing voyage around the Canadian coast – the longest coastline in the world.
Stopping at a different location every day, Canada C3 will visit 50 coastal communities, 36 Indigenous communities, 13 National Parks and 20 Migratory Bird sanctuaries. Canadians are encouraged to join the adventure as a virtual expeditioner, tracking the voyage online via website updates and museum hubs.
The WSPR project will be part of science experiments and research to be carried out on the voyage. The location and frequencies for the WSPR, CG3EXP, may be viewed at: http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map
Many of the locations to be visited by Canada C3 lie in areas where radio communication is difficult. Phenomena such as “arctic flutter” and disturbances from the aurora have traditionally been a problem in the north. Very few, if any, of these locations will have a WSPR beacon and are thus, until now, outside the worldwide WSPR network. The gathering of information on radio propagation simultaneously by several receiving stations will be of scientific interest – and it will also be fun. The WSPR network of stations meets this need comprising, as it does, a series of receiving sites and stations capable of reporting, in real time, the reception of, and location, of the beacons.
The community of people tracking the Canada C3 WSPR beacon are expected to come up with new and innovative ideas for its use. Some ideas already suggested are:
- An “awards” program offering certificates for people copying the beacon at Canada C3’s various stopping points along the way.
- Special maps to complement the maps of WSPR activity being generated continuously on http://wsprnet.org. At the conclusion of the voyage it might be possible to produce a map showing the course of the voyage with a summary at each stop of the numbers and locations of listeners who logged the Canada C3 beacon.
- A software defined radio building project relating specifically to the Canada C3 WSPR.
- Publications, articles and reports such as an article on the propagation of WSPR signals during the voyage.
While this project is associated with the Canada C3 Expedition, results might provide “proof of concept” more generally for remote telemetry applications from Arctic regions. With the impending increase in non-commercial adventurers traversing the Northwest Passage, this low-cost technology might fill a need. Researchers following the Canada C3 “whisper” might wish to compare the experience to other ship-borne uses of WSPR as reported on several Internet sites.