ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, is Hamvention’s Amateur of the Year


Dayton Hamvention® has announced its 2017 award winners for Amateur of the Year, Club of the Year, and Special Achievement. Each year, Hamvention honors radio amateurs who have made major contributions to the art and science of Amateur Radio.

Amateur of the Year

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, is Hamvention’s 2017 Amateur of the Year. Bauer has been a driving force behind the program since its inception. He also serves as AMSAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight.

In the mid-1990s, Bauer proposed an experiment to have the high-Earth orbit (HEO) AMSAT Phase 3D satellite (AO-40) measure the signal strength of the GPS satellite constellation. The AO-40 experiment subsequently has been cited often in aerospace literature, as it remained the most comprehensive above-the-constellation data source for nearly a decade and led to changes in the system’s specifications and applications. The results of the AO-40 experiment jump started a game-changing transformation in navigation at HEO/GEO altitudes, enabling new and exciting missions in these orbits.

A radio amateur since 1974, Bauer holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University. His career in aerospace spans 4 decades at NASA and within private industry.

In 1983, in preparation for the space mission of Owen Garriott, W5LFL, Bauer was responsible for setting up and operating the worldwide retransmission of space shuttle air-to-ground communications via Goddard Amateur Radio Club station WA3NAN. This initiative provided a critical conduit of information to hams attempting to contact ham-astronauts in the pre-Internet era.

Club of the Year

The Clark County Amateur Radio Club (CCARC) is the Hamvention Club of the Year for 2017. Established in 1930, the club was serves Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. CCARC has been an ARRL-affiliated club since 1932 and is an ARRL Special Service Club.

The club is active in community service. Under the club’s W7AIA call sign, CCARC members participated in eight public service activities last year, running up more than 1500 hours of volunteer service.

The club has an active and growing youth program; it supports the Boy Scouts of America and sponsored a Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) station in 2016. The club also is working to establish a Communications Explorer Post in Vancouver, Washington, as well as to license students within a local trade school.

In 2016, the CCARC licensed 95 new hams. It periodically holds “Ham Basics” classes for new licensees and offers a dynamic Elmer program. It also holds monthly interest meetings such as the “Digital Group,” an open forum to discover and explore the many types of digital modes. This meeting typically draws hams from other areas.

The CCARC created the pioneering EYEWARN® program to provide visual situation reports to emergency managers. This program encourages all hams in the county to “report what they see, where they are” in a disaster.

Special Achievement Award

S. Ram Mohan, VU2MYH, will receive Hamvention’s 2017 Special Achievement Award. Mohan is the Executive Vice Chairman and Director of the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) in Hyderabad, India. Licensed since 1988, he has conducted a number of experiments on HF and VHF communication equipment and carried out propagation tests, organized training programs, DXpeditions, workshops, and general Amateur Radio activities, including public service communication.

As chief investigator for the Department of Information Technology, Government of India-funded Pilot Projects, he has successfully implemented programs on digital connectivity to urban/rural/remote areas through Amateur Radio — “Study on Propagation Conditions in Coastal Areas and Advanced Digital Amateur Radio Communication Network.”

Mohan has led many emergency communication operations, including the Nepal earthquake in 2015, Cyclone Hud in 2014, the Uttarakhand Floods in 2013, the 2009 Cyclone Ayla disaster in West Bengal, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, and the Orissa Super Cyclone 1999.

Technical Achievement Award

Rob Brownstein, K6RB, is the recipient of the Hamvention 2017 Technical Achievement Award. Licensed in 1958 at age 11, Brownstein could hardly wait to upgrade to General and get on ’phone, but he soon discovered that he enjoyed operating CW much more. So, he put his microphone aside and never looked back. In January 2010, Brownstein was among about a dozen hams on several continents who founded the CW Operators Club (CWops). In 2012, he was elected president of CWops and served two consecutive terms. During his tenure as president, Brownstein encouraged and participated in all aspects of the club, from ragchewing and contesting to and mentoring, through CW Academy, begun in earnest in 2012. Since then, it has mentored more than 800 radio amateurs through its beginner, intermediate, and advanced CW courses.

Official award presentations will take place at Hamvention, May 19-21, at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.