Friday, November 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

By
From page A7 | July 30, 2014 |

Radio3w

Tribhuvan University students install a high-frequency radio station antenna in Kathmandu, Nepal. A UC Davis graduate is working with the students to ensure that Nepal residents can communicate in the event of a devastating earthquake. Courtesy photo

In 2003, UC Davis graduate Suresh Ojha quit a well-paying job as a communications engineer to spend a year in his native Nepal. Working pro-bono to develop a curriculum at Tribhuvan National University in radio engineering, Ojha lived in the middle of a cramped, time-worn neighborhood in Kathmandu where generations of his family had been raised.

Upon his return to the United States — after installing a new teaching laboratory and assuring the success of his radio frequency curriculum — even back in his own bed, Ojha still had trouble falling asleep.

It has been 80 years since the last major earthquake struck Kathmandu and killed more than 8,000 Nepalis. Experts estimate an 8.0 magnitude earthquake should hit the region, which is nestled between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, every 75 years. In a city of more than 2 million residents, a similar earthquake today would claim close to 40,000 casualties, according to estimates by Nepal’s National Society of Earthquake Technology.

Though researchers can’t predict another impending disaster, Ojha believes the next big earthquake is long overdue, and it’s why he started the Radio Mala project last October.

“We’re trying to save lives by establishing this system of amateur radio systems beforehand,” Ojha said. “There wasn’t adequate information infrastructure in Haiti at the time of that devastating earthquake; cellular phone networks were overwhelmed. If we can develop this network now, maybe we can save lives that would otherwise be lost.”

With academics at Tribhuvan University, engineer friends he met in his master’s program at UCD and experts from across Silicon Valley, Ojha made plans to create a network of amateur radio stations that would stretch across most of Kathmandu.

Ojha says Radio Mala can be deployed in three steps. The team already has installed a long-range radio station on the top of Tribhuvan University. Engineers are in the middle of phase two — the purchase and establishment of a radio repeater. The team already has bought most of the equipment for phase two and are in the process of shipping the instruments to Kathmandu. The last step calls for the installation of a second repeater, which would connect with the first.

Now, the team is busy raising funds for a second repeater. To date, volunteers have done everything from selling T-shirts to hosting telethons, but have still only raised a quarter of what they need to finish their project. The volunteers still hope to complete Radio Mala by the end of 2014.

“We’re not trying to do anything new here,” Ojha said. “We’re simply replicating what’s already been carried out in Silicon Valley. We have the plan and the tools and the expertise, we just need greater support and more donations.”

Ojha, who serves as the chairman of disaster preparedness for the Computer Association of Nepal in the United States, will be in Nepal in the coming weeks to participate in a United States Pacific Command exercise. Representatives from 21 nations will gather in Kathmandu to decide how best to deploy their communication technologies to respond to a natural disaster.

While in Kathmandu, Ojha says he plans to meet with Nepali officials to spread the word about Radio Mala.

For more information about Radio Mala, visit www.can-usa.org/radio-mala or email hamradiomala@gmail.com.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
UC regents approve 5% tuition increases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
A new home for the holidays?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

California unemployment steady at 7.3 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Yolobus will reroute Saturday morning for Turkey Trot

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Help feed the hungry at Saturday’s food drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Explorit: Lecture illuminates state water bond

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

 
Apply now to take Master Gardener training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Volunteers sought to advocate for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Village Homes gets crafty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Nowhere to go, nothing to do

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Council misses an opportunity

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Together we can do so much

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Have you read this book?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
We DO have a water shortage

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Davis voices concerns over new oil-by-rail proposal

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Cheers and Jeers: Katehi front and center

By Our View | From Page: A10

.

Sports

LBSU takes down UCD in matchup of Big West’s best

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD men get to 2-0

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Silveria has been there through thick and thin

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Whose seniors will go out in style at Causeway Classic No. 61?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wire sports briefs: Kings cruise past Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Raiders beat K.C. to snap a 16-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Aggie women start 4-game homestand Saturday at 11 a.m.

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

The Purple Ones to play tribute to Prince

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′ fails to catch fire

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Wealth of Nations show is Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Davis Feminist Film Festival accepting submissions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
 
Founding pastor of UCC’s now-famous painting on display

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, November 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

RE/Max Gold

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

Kim Eichorn

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

Joe Kaplan

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

Melrina A Maggiora

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

Marcelo Campos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

Lennar Homes

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

Tracy Harris

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

Yolo FCU

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

Team Traverso

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

Travis Credit Union

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

Ciana Wallace

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

Diane Lardelli

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

Jamie Madison

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

Malek Baroody

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

Julie Partain

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

Coldwell Banker

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

Cynthia Gerber

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

Karen Waggoner

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

Jamie Madison & Associates

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

Chris Snow

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20