Official Relay Station Reports
(Station Activity Report)
(Public Service Honor Roll)
|Station||SAR total||PSHR total||Originated||Sent||Received||Delivered||1||2||3||4||5||6|
Traffic Net Reports
October’s here, and while I sent monthly details to ARRL HQ for August, I did not issue a report. Let’s catch up on things, including September’s projects.
Normally I’d have the YouTube video up at the moment to go with this report – I need more time to put it together. I’ll update this post once it is available.
Traffic volumes at Field Day levels due to system testing
When looking at the chart above, you may notice that September’s traffic volume is very close to June’s volume. In fact, September saw 549 pieces of traffic move in traffic nets, which is just shy of June’s 570.
Why the higher volume? Starting at the tail end of August and continuing through September, I sent test traffic to all Section Traffic Managers in the ARRL. For Sections without an active STM, the traffic went to the Section Manager. I asked for delivery confirmations so I can measure transit times from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to other Sections, and I am tracking responses so that I can prepare statistics. I plan to have more information to share as part of the October STM report next month.
MARS exercise includes NTS traffic
Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) volunteers are conducting a Department of Defense (DOD) communications exercise that started on October 3 and will wrap up on October 26. Part of this exercise includes introducing traffic into the National Traffic System to test interoperability. To help with converting ICS 213 general messages to the radiogram format, I provided documentation and a presentation with details and examples. You can find these on the ARRL NTS website at the moment – http://www.arrl.org/nts.
This was also an opportunity to work with Radio Relay International which operates the Digital Traffic Network (DTN), and I am glad to have this opportunity to start building relationships here. I’m hopeful this collaboration will continue.
More details about the exercise is available at the ARRL website.
Hurricane Laura report
August brought an unprecedented weather event: two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico affecting the same state within 48 hours of each other. This event was the first time we exercised what we have developed as the Traffic System Incident Response Lifecycle. This 4-phase cycle provides a framework towards traffic system response during an incident.
- Phase 1 – Continuous practice. Daily traffic nets and routine traffic continuously build skills and prepare traffic handlers for incident-related traffic.
- Phase 2 – Incident preparation. Discussions and coordination take place ahead of a potential need for incident communications.
- Phase 3 – Incident response actions. Traffic handlers are monitoring for and relaying any emergency, priority, and welfare traffic related to the incident.
- Phase 4 – Post-incident activities. Traffic system operations are normalized, and attention focuses on lessons learned.
To help detail the actions we took during Laura, including identifying a need for and developing the NTS Status Dashboard, and more details on the incident response lifecycle, check out the report available now.
Hurricane Laura Traffic System Response
Learn about how the National Traffic System in North Texas and the 7290 Traffic Net, an independent traffic net working hand-in-hand with the NTS, prepared for and responded to the potential for emergency traffic when Hurricane Laura approached the Louisiana coast right after Hurricane Marco.
New ARRL North Texas website includes additional NTS, PSHR information
Last month we released our new section website which you can reach at the same web address: https://www.arrlntx.org. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check it out!
The new site includes:
- The NTS Status Dashboard which used to be on my website
- The NTS Traffic Statistics page which I’ve replicated from what’s on my website
- Information about the Public Service Honor Roll, including
- Recognition of stations qualifying for Public Service Honor Roll
- How PSHR scores are calculated
- A monthly reporting form for stations to submit a monthly PSHR report should they not participate in traffic handling – you do not need to be a traffic handler to qualify for PSHR!
Public Service Honor Roll for September 2020
Congratulations to these amateur radio operators that qualify for Public Service Honor Roll!
Steven Phillips (K6JT)
Aaron Hulett (K8AMH)
Jo Ann Keith (KA5AZK)
Roger Elkinton (KE5YTA)
John Hazelton (KF5IOU)
Justin Lentz (KF5IVJ)
Ron Ford (KF5OMH)
Korky Kathman (KG5NNA)
Melissa Tanner (KI5GRH)
Jo Ann KA5AZK qualifies for PSHR Certificate from HQ!
For those that know Jo Ann KA5AZK, you know she has been an instrumental part of the traffic system. I have collaborated with her several times during my time as STM, and I am very thankful for her willingness to help and her wisdom. What I did not know was that she has not yet received a PSHR recognition certificate, which I asked about when the data I’m collecting called out that she qualifies.
Jo Ann, after all of your contributions, I am happy to submit my request to HQ for you to receive your certificate once they are back open.
Aaron K8AMH also qualifies
While I have not made anywhere near the amount of significate contributions to the traffic system as Jo Ann has, I also qualify for a certificate, so I am including my details here as well for HQ to send me a certificate.
DFW Metroplex NTS Functional Exercise on Saturday November 7
The DFW Metroplex Traffic Net managers and I collaborated on an exercise to test the system during a simulated cell network outage. During this simulation, government officials are asking for situation reports to understand the outage’s scope and learn which areas had their cell service restored. Reports will be based on real information as we do not want to confuse anyone, even when we will regularly indicate this is an exercise. There will also be an online portal tracking reports in real time.
All stations are invited to participate in the exercise – knowledge on traffic handling is a must, however, as we will not be able to provide real-time training during the exercise. There is one training opportunity coming up, which is discussed next.
Next NTS training Session Saturday October 17 at 2 pm Central time
This will be the only generally available training session between now and the Functional Exercise. If you would like to participate in the exercise, I encourage you to sign up for the upcoming training to learn about traffic handling. As always, there is no cost for this training.
Thank you everyone for helping keep the traffic moving through the system, and a special thanks to those that stepped up for Hurricane Laura. While I was hoping that would be the last hurricane we would step up for this year, Hurricane Delta unfortunately came to be, which I will talk about next month.
Aaron | K8AMH