Amateur radio call signs of Antarctica
Amateur radio or ham radio call signs are unique identifiers for licensed operators in Antarctica. Call signs are regulated internationally by the ITU as well as nationally by governing bodies within each country who may have nationals operating in Antarctica. Call signs may also be issued by a local Antarctic authority (i.e. base commander) who chooses from a block reserved by their national body for that purpose. The Antarctic Treaty signed on December 1, 1959 (and entered into force on June 23, 1961), established the legal framework for the management of Antarctica, including allocation of amateur call signs.
Call sign assignments for amateur radio
The International Telecommunications Union does not assign call letter blocks to Antarctica since there is no single government there which can send delegates to ITU conferences. However, some individual countries reserve Antarctic prefixes or call letters from within their own call letter blocks as per this table: In some cases the assignment of call letters is made locally at an Antarctic base and the relevant national body is notified.
|ATA, ATN, ATØ||India||unofficial allocation, as part of special event designation, see VU, below|
|CE9||Chile||ITU 67, 69-74; CQ 12, 13, 29, 30, 32, 38, 39|
|DPØ||Germany||expeditionary calls, only for outside of Germany in international territories or in space, other DP numbers used in home country|
|ED||Spain||also used in home country|
|EM||Ukraine||also used for special events|
|HFØ||Poland||HFØPOL - Polish Base, South Shetland - King George Island|
|IAØ||Italy||Mario Zucchelli station, Terra Nova Bay|
|KC4AAx, KC4USA-KC4USZ||United States||KC4AAA-AAF for Byrd, McMurdo, Palmer ITU CQ zones 12-13, 30; KC4USA-KC4USZ for US Naval bases|
|LU#Z||Argentina||'#' is any numeral|
|LZØ||Bulgaria||also for special event stations|
|OAØ||Peru||also for special event and club stations|
|OJ1||Finland||ABOA suffix. OJ9 rarely used. OJ1 also used for World Radiosport Team Championship|
|OR4||Belgium||Other OR4 calls have been used in home country|
|RI1A||Russia||usually three letter suffix in the form of Axx. In the past Russian bases used callsigns in the R1A series.|
|VKØ||Australia||also Heard Island and Macquarie Island|
|VP8||United Kingdom||VP8 also used in Falkland Islands and its dependencies|
|VU||India||not distinctive to Antarctica, see AT above|
|ZL5, ZL9||New Zealand||ZL9 is for sub-Antarctic territories, operators must have permission to land before call is issued|
|ZVØ, ZXØ||Brazil||for ZXØ, suffixes not starting with F, S, or T|
|3Y||Norway||also Bouvet Island and Peter I Island|
|8J1||Japan||RL suffix from Syowa Station, also used for special events|
Although Antarctica is considered international by treaty, amateur radio operators in Antarctica are often subject to the reciprocal licensing requirements pertaining to the country under which the camp is flagged.
The Worldwide Antarctic Program keeps a list of special event call signs issued from various countries at various times. TM4IPY was issued in 2007 by France to celebrate the International Polar Year as was IAØIPY, IA8IPY, IA7IPY & IP7IPY by Italy, GB4IPY by The United Kingdom, VYØICE/VE2 in Canada, LZØ7IPY in Argentina, EV5IPY in Belarus, CQ4IPY in Portugal, SNØIPY in Poland, YE2IPY in Indonesia, S5ØIPY in Slovenia, 5DØIPY in Morocco, and others. These callsigns were used by amateurs in their home countries.
History of call sign allocation
- Australia - VKØ callsigns were used c. 1955 based on Antarctic treaties at the time. Before that Macquarie Island and Antarctic area call signs were known as VK1.
- United States - prior to 1959 the FCC assigned KC4USx, McMurdo still uses KC4USV. Since 1959, the FCC reserves call letters in the block KC4AAA to KC4AAF for the National Science Foundation's use at the South Pole . South Pole uses KC4AAA and Palmer uses KC4AAC.
- India - ATØA was used in 1983 for an expedition to Antarctica, as was AT3D and AT3ANT for a similar purpose from 1994 to 1996.
- USSR - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics assigned '4K1' as its Antarctic prefix. Upon the USSR's dissolution in 1991, this call fell within the Azerbaijani Republic's ITU allocation. It is unclear if the Azerbaijani Republic still considers it as reserved for use by Antarctic stations.
Islands on the Air
The Radio Society of Great Britain assigns islands into seven world districts, including Antarctica. It assigns IOTA Groups and Reference Numbers corresponding to these areas - Antarctic Islands are AN-xxx. Some of these IOTA groups have call signs assigned by a sovereign power, others have call signs assigned according to the Antarctic Treaty. Not all of these islands fall within the Antarctic Treaty area.
|AN-001||Various Callsigns||Graham Land West (Adelaide Island) group|
|AN-004||3Y||Peter 1 Island|
|AN-006||Various Callsigns||Graham Land West (Biscoe Islands) group|
|AN-007||VP8||South Georgia Island|
|AN-008||Various Callsigns||South Orkney Islands|
|AN-009||VP8||South Sandwich Islands|
|AN-010||Various Callsigns||South Shetland Islands|
|AN-011||Various Callsigns||Ross Island group|
|AN-012||Various Callsigns||Graham Land West (Palmer Archipelago) grp|
|AN-013||Various Callsigns||Trinity Peninsula group|
|AN-014||Various Callsigns||Berkner Island|
|AN-015||Various Callsigns||Queen Maud Land (Prince Harald etc.) group|
|AN-016||Various Callsigns||Antarctica (Main Island Only)|
|AN-017||Various Callsigns||Adelie Land group|
|AN-018||Various Callsigns||Palmer Land West (Alexander Island) group|
- Call Sign
- ITU prefix - amateur and experimental stations
- Amateur radio license
- Telecommunications in Antarctica