Articles | Volume 20, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 20, 1023–1030, 2002

Special issue: SPACE WEATHER

Ann. Geophys., 20, 1023–1030, 2002

  31 Jul 2002

31 Jul 2002

Determining characteristics of HF communications links using SuperDARN

J. M. Hughes1, W. A. Bristow1, R. A. Greenwald2, and R. J. Barnes2 J. M. Hughes et al.
  • 1Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA
  • 2Applied Physics Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland, USA
  • Correspondence to: J. M. Hughes (

Abstract. Space weather effects can strongly influence high-frequency (HF) communications by changing the ionospheric environment through which the radio waves propagate. Since many systems utilize HF communications, the ability to make real-time assessments of propagation conditions is an important part of space weather monitoring systems. In this paper, we present new techniques for measuring high-latitude HF communications link parameters using data from SuperDARN radars. These techniques use ground-scatter returns to define the variation in skip distance with frequency. From these data, the maximum usable frequency (MUF) as a function of range is determined and ionospheric critical frequencies are estimated. These calculations are made in near-real-time and the results are made available on the World Wide Web. F-region critical frequencies calculated using this method show good agreement with ionosonde data.

Key words. Ionosphere (active experiments; instruments and techniques) – Radio science (ionospheric propagation)

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