Grant: First Mile Emergency E-mail Server Prototype

Date: June 2023
Amount: $10,517

The Anchorage Amateur Radio Club (AARC), established in 1947, is an inclusive community of emergency communication volunteers that aim to lead, support, and promote amateur radio activities. They play a crucial role in distributing emergency information within their community during disasters, leveraging Winlink to keep the public well-informed. To improve the rate and efficiency of distributing the ‘first mile pickup’ of emergency information, a couple of AARC members have developed a Winlink Pi-Gate Emergency Email Gateway and a PiGate Emergency Gateway. These platforms enable hams to electronically submit emergency-related information through a message form, streamlining the communication process, as opposed to using manual methods. Though the software is functional, it lacks significant features that would be valuable to its end users.

This grant will provide funding for AARC to enhance their current software and build four prototypes for testing. These enhancements include introducing a ‘non-emergency’ mode; providing capability to directly connect to a ‘Winlink RMS Relay’ station through an ARDEN mesh network connection; testing the performance of a software terminal node controller (TNC); adding the ability to include information in outgoing messages; improving the system’s user interface (UI); and making the software free to the public via the GNU General Public License. These additional capabilities and features will reduce time spent manually handling amateur radio traffic and will thus expand their impact into South Central Alaska and beyond.

Learn more at