Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, 2017 Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT VP: 2017 Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year

The following report is courtesy of AMSAT North America and ARISS:

The Dayton Hamvention has announced the winners of the 2017 Hamvention Awards. Each year, the Dayton Hamvention honours Radio Amateurs who have made major contributions to the art and science of Amateur Radio. AMSAT Vice-President for Human Spaceflight Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, was named 2017 Amateur of the Year.

The award citation reads:

“Frank serves as the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) international chairman. In the mid-1990s, Bauer proposed a GPS reception experiment on the AMSAT Phase 3D satellite (AO-40). The experiment was to measure the signal strength of the GPS satellite constellation while Phase 3D was in high-Earth orbit (HEO). 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.

Bauer holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University. His career in aerospace spans 4 decades within NASA and in private industry

Bauer has been licensed since 1974. In 1983, in preparation for the space mission of Owen Garriott, W5LFL, he was responsible for setting up and operating the worldwide retransmission of Space Shuttle air-to-ground communications from Goddard Amateur Radio Club station WA3NAN. This initiative provided a critical conduit of information to hams attempting to contact astronaut-hams in the pre-Internet era.”

The 2017 Dayton Hamvention Award winners are listed at

David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations provided the following information in a media release dated March 8, 2017:

The Dayton Hamvention has selected ARISS International Chair, Frank Bauer, KA3HD0, for its top award, Amateur of the Year for 2017. Each year, Hamvention recognizes Radio Amateurs known for making major contributions to the art and science of Amateur Radio, and it’s no surprise why Bauer was chosen. A few things from his lengthy list of achievements follow.

In 1995, Bauer proposed an experiment for the AMSAT Phase 30 satellite (A0-40) to measure the strength of the signal from the GPS satellite constellation. For years after, the aerospace industry cited this experiment because the results helped engineers improve the GPS system, led to new applications for GPS, and changed navigation at High-Earth Orbit (HEO) and Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) altitudes, allowing new missions to operate in these orbits.

Prior to NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, WSLFL, flying in space and taking along ham radio in 1983, Bauer came up with a plan for, and helped set up and operate, the worldwide retransmission of space shuttle air-to-ground communications by the Goddard Amateur Radio Club station, WA3NAN (now K6DUE). Tens of thousands of hams enjoyed listening to most every shuttle mission’s astronaut communications, and amateurs used these to help them make ham contacts with crewmembers who had their amateur licenses. Bauer’s work with this system also let to his becoming part of the SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment) team.

Bauer attended Purdue University where he earned its prestigious bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics. This led to a long and full career with NASA followed by a move to the private aerospace industry. He earned his amateur radio license in 197 4, and has been the AM SAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight for many years.

What Bauer has spent, and now spends, the most time and energy on is the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARIS$) program. He helped set up the very first meeting of worldwide volunteers at NASA’s behest in 1996, working as AMSAT’s representative, alongside Rosalie White, K1STO as ARRL’s representative. People from the world’s AMSAT societies and IARU organizations answered their calls to attend the meeting at NASA Johnson Space center in Houston, and the rest is history – 20 years of growing ARISS into how it is today … still growing!

White wrote, “Frank didn’t just think about where Amateur Radio in space should be; he always thought about where it was headed – he still does. His multi-faceted background and experience in aerospace, NASA, and Amateur Radio is the ideal combination resulting in effectively spearheading the ARISS team in offering to hams, students, and the general public, ARISS success after ARISS success.”

Very hearty congratulations from the ARISS team to Frank Bauer, KA3HD0, on his new title, Dayton Hamvention 2017 Amateur of the Year!

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