Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation

The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) is a platform for amateur radio operators and enthusiasts to use their skills to advance scientific research and understanding of our ionosphere.

Amateur (ham) radio operators purposefully bounce radio signals off the Earth’s ionosphere - a region of charged particles high up in the atmosphere - to communicate with people beyond the horizon. The strength of the bounce provides many clues about the ionosphere, such as its height, density and dynamics. HamSCI volunteers have helped use these clues for research on space weather, solar flares, eclipses, and more.

Go to Project Website


18 and up







What you'll do

  • Join one (or more!) of several ongoing projects, including investigations of data collected by the Reverse Beacon Network, WSPRNet, and PSKReporter.
  • Use your own Ham radio to send signals that projects will pick up, yielding information about the Earth’s ionosphere. 
  • Advanced users launch their own projects and recruit other HamSCI volunteers to collaborate. 


  • Time: hours
  • Equipment: A smartphone or computer with internet connection. Having access to a Ham radio opens up many more ways to participate.
  • License (optional): While transmitting radio signals is not required to participate in HamSCI, if you choose to do so you must hold a valid amateur radio operator license.
  • Knowledge: Online materials and virtual meetings welcome people at all levels of Ham radio experience.

Get started!

  1. Visit the project website.
  2. Click the “Get Involved” link to learn about the various projects you can join and how to join the community.
  3. Join one or more ongoing projects listed on this page.

Learn More

Consider attending the annual HamSCI Workshop - in person or online. You will hear scientists and amateur radio operators presenting on their research and experience in our community. It’s a great way to meet people and experience the excitement of radio science research. Past Workshop proceedings are available on the HamSCI website.

Map showing that the biggest cluster of volunteers are in North America, followed by Western Europe, then South America. There is a sprinkling of participation from Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Map of the world showing the locations of HamSCI volunteers. The colors refer to different experiments that people have contributed to in the past. Follow this link to learn more.
Credit: HamSCI Project
Text reading "HamSci" with dots and lines under ham and dots and lines over sci.
A man in a purple shirt sits at a black-topped table covered in stacked metal boxes covered in knobs and switches. Behind him stand two young women. All three are smiling.
From left to right, Dr. Nathaniel Frissell (seated), Veronica Romanek, and Simal Sami in the ham radio station on the University of Scranton campus.
Photo by Byron Maldonado courtesy of The University of Scranton.
Seven people in their late teens/ early twenties wearing casual clothes stand in a well-lit, industrial space and look at the camera, smiling. A robot poses with them, also looking at the camera. One of the people is mostly blocked by a robot’s two round blue “eyes” that are affixed on either side of a grey box (the “head). The robot’s head and eyes are attached by a thin metal rod to a body that looks like the side-on view of an extra tall mailbox. The mailbox body tapers down to a smaller waist. The robot’s “arms” are visible, the right one down at it’s side and the left one raised so it’s “hand” - a metal ring, is visible in front of its body.
Students attending the HamSCI Workshop 2022: The Weather Connection, pose with a robot at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The humans pictured here are, left-to-right: Simal Sami, Alex Calderon, Cuong Nguyen, Francis Tholley, Diego Sanchez, Shaaf Sarwar, Veronica Romanek. All students attend the University of Scranton except Diego, who attends the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Photo by Byron Maldonado courtesy of The University of Scranton.

Get to know the people of HamSCI!

Portrait photo of a man in a red shirt

Nathaniel Frissell

Principal Investigator, University of Scranton

Group photo of 17 people standing together and those in front holding a banner that reads "HamSci"

HamSCI team Members

Learn about the history of Glenn Research Center.