Amateur Radio and HF Propagation Studies

“Radiation Belt Remediation” Plan Could Affect HF Propagation, Study Suggests.

NEWINGTON, CT, Aug 15, 2006 -- A New Zealand university research group believes a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) “Radiation Belt Remediation” (RBR) plan could cause major worldwide disruptions to HF radio communication and GPS navigation. DARPA reportedly envisions the (RBR) system as a way to protect low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites from damage caused by severe solar storms or even from high-altitude nuclear detonations. The New Zealand-based research group suggests, however, that policymakers need to carefully consider the implications of the project. Headed by Otago Physics Department researcher Craig Rodger, the research group says RBR could significantly affect radio propagation from several days to a week or longer.

“We’ve calculated that Earth’s upper atmosphere would be dramatically affected by such a system, causing unusually intense HF blackouts around most of the world,” Rodger said in an Otego University news release. “Airplane pilots and ships would lose radio contact, and some Pacific Island nations could be isolated for as long as six to seven days, depending on the system’s design and how it was operated.” GPS would likely also be disrupted on a large scale, he added.

HF Propagation for Radio Hams


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