Shortwave propagation studies

World Map with RX-Stations

There are a large number of scientific studies on the ionosphere and the solar-terrestrial environment. Derived from this, propagation models had been developed and are freely available. General behaviour of the ionosphere and its influence on radio wave propagation is extensively published. Worldwide distributed ionosonds provide daily information about critical frequency of the ionosphere.

So why carry out propagation studies when everything is within reach? Consistently mapping the propagation probability of radio waves from your own local transmitter to a variety of locations around the world, for example, provides a much more emphatic understanding of the relationships between frequency, time of day, time of year, sunspot cycle and geographic location of transmitter and receiver.

The study I conducted resulted in a basic site-specific seasonal propagation probability plan for the period of one year. It was carried out during the period of high solar activity and shall be repeated at the minimum of of the solar cycle. Figuring out meaningful  clustering and analysis methods for the big amount of received radio data took some time. You may read about the results here.

Knowing the general behavior of site-specific radio wave propagation can be the starting point for in-depth monitoring and analysis of the hourly changing interaction of space weather conditions and ionospheric conditions.