Meteor Burst Communications and the Perseid Meteor Shower

Meteor Scatter at N8XELooking at the forecast, I knew this evening would not be a night to enjoy the annual Perseid Meteor Shower visually.  Plus, a nearly full moon would wash out all but the brightest meteors.  So what does one do in this situation?  Try their hand at Meteor Burst Communications!

Many may not realize that you can bounce radio waves off of the ionization left over from meteors that burn through our atmosphere.  When you see these visually, it is the green “afterglow” that is left behind.  The brightest of meteors leave a very distinctive trail.  There are many more that are not seen visually, but the short burst can still be used to effectively communicate.  With computers with soundcards, and the appropriate software, signals can be transmitted and received on a semi regular basis. The government has been using it for a while now in remote locations in Alaska and amateur radio operators use it to communicate long distances via VHF frequencies.

So to make lemonade out of lemons, I was able to enjoy the Perseid Meteor Shower even when it was cloudy.  I was able to contact a station in Massachusetts and Minnesota.



~ by jhissong on 2014/08/13.

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