In February, NIST proposed drastic cuts to its FY2019 budget, including shutdown of time-and-frequency stations WWV, WWVB and WWVH.
This has raised concerns on social media, echoed by the ARRL.
However, the U.S. Congress, which appropriates all funds for the Federal budget, has so far turned a deaf ear to the proposal. Though it is early in the annual budget process, both the House and Senate seem inclined to increase NIST's funding for cybersecurity, limit NIST's big construction budget to one year, and otherwise make only minor changes in the agency's funding.
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The ARRL Board of Directors’ Ethics and Elections Committee has declared as eligible the candidates for the 2018 Board election cycle. Incumbent Directors in four ARRL Divisions face challengers, as does one Vice Director. Both chairs are open in the Northwestern Division.
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The ARRL Contest Branch has announced a new ARRL Contests Portal, which ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, calls “a one-stop shop for all of your ARRL contest interests, offering access to everything from the starting bell of a contest to your post-event hard-fought certificate of accomplishment.”
Use the navigation tabs on the left to locate information about specific contests. Use the tabs at the top to submit logs, manage club eligibility lists, download certificates, and view other information for all contests. Jahnke said the new portal is still under construction, and information on specific contests and other contest-related content is being added every week.
Portal link: http://contests.arrl.org/
A petition has been set up, however it needs 96,344 signatures by September 15, 2018 to get a response from the White House.
"NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] station WWV and sister stations are among the oldest radio stations in the United States, having been in continuous operation since May 1920. The station has transmitted the official US Time for nearly 100 years, and is an instrumental part in the telecommunications field, ranging from broadcasting to scientific research and education.
Additionally, these stations transmit marine storm warnings from the National Weather Service, GPS satellite health reports, and specific information concerning current solar activity, and radio propagation conditions. These broadcasts are an essential resource to the worldwide communications industry.
This petition requests continued funding of these stations be maintained into the 21st century and beyond to ensure future operations."
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The sun's pockmarked surface is always shifting. Sunspots and solar flares rise and fall every 11 years, a cycle associated with regular reversal of the star's magnetic field. Huge quantities of plasma—known as coronal mass ejections—fly into space, which can disrupt satellites and other electronic signals if they reach Earth. More solar activity during the cycle also amplifies auroras and warms Earth's temperatures slightly. Yet careful study has shown that longer periodicities exist, too. The Gleissberg cycle, first identified in 1862, strengthens and weakens the 11-year cycle over the course of a century (shown in yellow). One paper posits that the Gleissberg pattern is caused by a slow swaying of the sun's magnetic pole. The Suess-DeVries cycle (green) lasts about 200 years, whereas the Hallstatt cycle (blue) runs on the order of 2,400 years. Still, the sun can also be erratic, making it tricky for physicists to predict future sunspots, says Alexei Pevtsov, an astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Boulder, Colo.: “There's an element of randomness.”
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