Canada's Best Top General Steps Down

Gen. Rick Hillier says his decision to step down as Canada's chief of defence staff this summer has nothing to do with perceived tensions with the PMO -- it's simply the right time to go.

CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife broke the news on Tuesday that Hillier had met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and told him he was stepping down.

On Wednesday, Hillier told Canada AM his relationship with Harper has been "great" during his three years in office and there is no truth to the perception that the prime minister has forced him out of the job.

Hillier, who has earned a reputation among the Canadian Forces rank-and-file as a soldier's soldier who stood up for the military, said he has accomplished the goals he set for himself.

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Minister of Defense Visits NORAD

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Canada's Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, visited North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command headquarters here April 11 and acknowledged the critical role NORAD plays in preserving the relationship between the U.S. and Canadian militaries.

“The relationship between Canada and the United States is one that can not be replicated," said MacKay. "It can not be imitated anywhere in the world. All the men and women in uniform from both the Canadian and American Forces demonstrate the very best of our citizenry. This unique organization really provides North Americans with the ability to sleep at night, knowing that you have them covered."

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Uniden BCD-396T and BCD-996T Firmware Update

On April 10th, Uniden has release version 2.0.0.7 firmware update.

The biggest enhancements were to the scanner's performance on all types of P25 systems, but especially "multipacket" systems like the Virginia STARS system, all manner of mixed digital/analog systems, and EDACS systems and their pesky beeps. The release notes for each update provide more complete details of what was fixed.

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ARISS event - Central Middle School West Parsippany

An International Space Station Expedition 16 ARISS school contact has been planned with participants at the Central Middle School West Parsippany, New Jersey USA on 14 April. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 17:03 UTC.

The contact will be a direct between stations NA1SS and N2XJ. The contact should be audible over most of the Eastern USA. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.

The Parsippany Troy-Hills Township School District is the largest school district in Morris County, New Jersey totaling over 7000 students.

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Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule

There have been rumors in the past indicating that the ISS was having direct contacts on the 40 meter band. There is no HF radio equipment on board and available yet. The HF antenna is mounted. Sometimes WA3NAN will retransmit shuttle audio.

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2008-04-11 18:00 UTC

Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:

Han Gwang Boys & Girls High School, Pyeong Taek City, Gyeong Gi Province,
Republic of Korea, direct via HL0HQSC
Contact is a go for: Sun 2008-04-13 10:57 UTC 79 deg
Scheduled for Yi So-yeon who will use HL0ARISS

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ARLP016 Propagation de K7RA

No sunspots for seven days, as of Thursday, April 10. We may see sunspots return around April 21-28. This is based on recent activity rotating out of view around the Sun and (we hope) reappearing later this month.

If you look at, http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/forecasts/45DF/041045DF.txt, which was Thursday's forecast, you see predicted solar flux remaining at 70 until April 20, when it reaches 75, then 80 on April 21. The predicted higher solar flux should correlate with the return of sunspots. This prediction is updated daily after 2100z. After 2100z April 11 you can see the new prediction by changing 041045DF.txt at the end of the URL to 041145DF.txt. You can also go to, http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpmenu/forecasts/45DF.html to select a daily forecast from the list, but frequently there is a delay before the latest forecast is listed, and you can see it much sooner by changing the date in the URL as shown above.

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ARISS Status - April 3, 2008

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report

1. Upcoming School Contacts

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has been scheduled with Osnovna skola Pazin in Pazin, Croatia on Monday, April 7 at 14:52 UTC. Eight hundred students are enrolled at the school which has offered technical classes in robotics, electronics and computer science for the past ten years. Students from Pazin’s two high schools are also expected to attend this event. The schools hope to pique the students’ interest in space and electronics through this educational activity.

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AO-51 Update

AO-51 is running less power than last week.

Gould, WA4SXM, AO-51 Command station reported that the transmitter power levels on AO-51 have been reduced.

1) The SQRX receiver is on for L band uplink for the bulletin board
2) We are starting to enter a new eclipse cycle this week.

TX B (analog) is 700 mW (was 820 mW)
TX A (digital) is 550 mW (was 550 mW)

We will reduce power slowly until mid June (eclipse length maximum), then slowly increase it until early Sept when we will again enter a no eclipse period for a number of months.

[ANS thanks Gould, WA4SXM for the above information]

DelfiC3 Update

DelfiC3 Provisional launch date April 21st

Greetings from the clean room at Sriharikota!

The Delfi-C3 checkout team has safely arrived at the launch site in India, and we are currently performing all checks on the spacecraft.

So far, everything goes as planned and we have found no problems. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed on the base so you'll have to use your imagination for now. Meanwhile, we will try to keep you updated by posting text-only blog entries.

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Explosion Kills Canadian Soldier

A soldier from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry became the 82nd Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan on Friday.

Private Terry John Street, of the Patricias' second battalion, which is based at Shilo, Manitoba, was killed at dusk Friday when his armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device to the southwest of Kandahar City, according to Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche, commanding general of Task Force Afghanistan.

Pte. Street, 24, was from Gatineau, Que. and was an infantryman. He had been in Afghanistan for a little over a month of what was to have been a six month deployment. He was killed while his unit was redeploying for the evening after a day operating "outside the wire," or off the base.

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Additional information