Amateur radio received excellent exposure during the IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Spread July 7-12 in Atlanta, Georgia. Some 1,400 delegates from 23 countries attended, and many visited the ARRL exhibit to learn more about amateur radio. Three active amateur radio stations were available via remote internet connections.
“I wanted the booth to be inviting and grab people’s attention,” said Wes Lamboley, W3WL, of the North Fulton Amateur Radio League, who led the booth’s volunteer team. “The main goal was to engage people and find out what their interests were, and then educate them about aspects of amateur radio that might be of interest to them.” This included amateur radio in space activities, including amateur radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) amateur radio programs and satellites.
“We had a very favorable position in the trade hall and managed to secure an additional stand for our team,” said Lamboley. “We really needed space!” He estimated that up to 400 attendees visited the ARRL exhibit, and all received an “Ask Me About Amateur Radio” pin designed by Ward Silver, N0AX.
“As this symposium was about antennas, propagation and radio science, the biggest interest from non-amateurs seemed to be the frequency allocations we have,” Lamboley observed. “It seemed that more than 50% of the participants were working in the 10-100 GHz range and were doing a lot of experimental/research projects in that range. This is driven by 5G. There was also a lot of interest in Arduinos.
Several participants took the amateur radio exams offered at the conference. One grateful person was Artem Roev, RN6HBZ, who now also holds a US Amateur Extra class ticket and call sign AJ6KM. Another was Eric Eveleigh, KN4VRW – a conference attendee and graduate student from Canada who passed the Technician and General exams and plans to get his Canadian license when he returns home.