On 26th February 2022, 22 stations representing 14 countries around IARU Region 1 took part in a short notice exercise using the facilities of the geostationary satellite QO-100.
This was the first of a number of smaller exercises, tests and meetings to be held by IARU Region 1 throughout the year, building on the earlier Global Simulated Emergency Tests to cover as many aspects of emergency communications as possible.
The intention is to bring emergency communicators together more frequently to demonstrate how the Amateur Radio Service can work together as a global community and develop a common understanding of each others’ capabilities.
The exercise on QO-100 was felt to be a success with a number of formal messages being passed between stations along with some learning from the inevitable challenges of equipment failures, language barriers and co-ordination of an exercise whose coverage area covered from South Africa to the United Kingdom. Once all the exercise feedback is received, the next test on that system is planned to take place in October this year.
QO-100 brings another asset to the emergency communications toolbox in Region 1 and its presence is much appreciated.