Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Radio meteor scatter

Radio meteor scatter is an ideal technique for observing meteors continuously. Meteor trails can reflect radio waves from distant transmitters back to Earth, so when a meteor appears one can sometimes receive small portions of broadcasts from radio stations up to 2000 km away from the observing site.

The general principle of meteor observation by forward scattering of radio waves off their trails is easy to understand. 

A lower VHF radio receiver (30-100 MHz) is located at a large distance (about 500-2000 km) from a transmitter at the same frequency. Direct radio contact is impossible due to the curvature of the Earth. When a meteor enters the atmosphere, its trail may reflect the radio waves from the transmitter to the receiver. At the receiver, where the signal of the transmitter is normally not received, the transmission can then be received for a moment, as long as the meteor trail is present. Such reflections can last from a tenth of a second to a few minutes. The received signal characteristics are related to physical parameters of the meteoric event.

I would like to test the possibility to use the VOR stations for meteor scattering, or the markes transmitters of the ILS.
In a next post I'll explain how work the VORs and ILS.

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