Radio hams will be at BBC Solar Eclipse event

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Two radio amateurs, Dave Akerman M0RPI and Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA, will be at the BBC Stargazing Live solar eclipse event at Leicester on March 20.

Dave Akerman M0RPI is well known for many High Altitude Balloon flights. These have carried the Rapsberry Pi computer board as part of the payload and produced spectacular pictures some of which were transmitted in the 434 MHz band using the amateur radio Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) mode.

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA was on the October 2007 Shuttle STS-120 mission to the International Space Station. In 2010/11 he was flight engineer for ISS Expeditions 26 and 27 and installed amateur radio equipment in the Columbus module of the space station.

The Leicester Mercury newspaper reports the BBC is staging a spectacular show at the racecourse in Leicester to coincide with the solar eclipse on March 20.

It says Leicester was chosen by the BBC because it is home to the National Space Centre and Leicester University which are at the forefront of space exploration and were involved in the Beagle 2 mission to Mars in 2003.

Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA said: “I’ve never been to Leicester and I’m really looking forward to visiting.”
“It will be great to interact with the kids and share my enthusiasm of space, science, maths and technology”.

The free event will be open from 9am until 3pm and from 6pm until 9pm on March 20.

Read the Leicester Mercury story at

BBC Stargazing Live event details

Information on the Solar Eclipse from Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society member Peter Meadows M0ZBU

Essex Partial Solar Eclipse Friday March 20, 2015