Amateur Radio Propagation Studies


Science, research, engineering, operating


About this web site

Compared to other types of radio services, ham radio often benefits from a 'statistical advantage' in observing unusual radio propagation phenomena. This advantage results from the high geographical density of amateur radio stations (in Germany, for example, the average density is one station per 10 square-kilometers), i.e. the observation network of radio amateurs covers large geographical areas more or less permanently and, in consequence, radio amateurs can hardly fail to notice effects in the Earth's atmosphere affecting terrestrial radiowave propagation - at least in the European and in the North American sector.

The radio world above 50 MHz

With this web site, we will primarily address phenomena in the radio world above 50 MHz including long-distance forward scattering by sporadic E layers in the ionosphere, backscatter of radiowaves aligned to the Earth magnetic field (radio Aurora and its mid-latitude companion, i.e. FAI), tropospheric beyond-the-horizon radio propagation, meteor scatter communication, intercontinental VHF/UHF/SHF communication by using the scattering properties of the lunar surface, transequatorial VHF propagation and many other fascinating aspects of radiowave propagation on very high frequencies.

Amateur radio observations

Radio amateurs operate various alerting systems which distribute actual dx information in the internet, on mobile phones, pagers and other devices. Radio contacts, web sites, email reflectors, chat rooms and print media guarantee exchange of latest information. This web site indeed benefits from all this opportunities when accessing observation material.

Interpretations and analyses

To interpret the findings, we access scientific resources in literature, in the internet and elsewhere. Many scientists have supported various projects and papers available on this web site. I am in particular delighted about the feedback I have received from scientific institutions considering this web appearance a contribution for promoting geosciences and radio engineering in public. Surprisingly, material published on this web site has been acknowledged even by scientific articles and papers.

This is no scientific web site

However, this web site is no scientific webpage but a ham radio site. Ham radio stations are designed for communication purposes rather than scientific measurements, i.e. the observation data generally represent neither calibrated nor reproducable material. Thus, we generally refer to qualitative rather than quantitative information. Another limiting factor results from the lack of a permanent scientific infrastructure, i.e. scientific material cannot be acknowledged properly in many cases because original resources cannot be accessed or, even worse, remain unknown to us. Finally, papers and documents are not being refereed by experts which certainly limits the scientific excellence in many cases. It is also worth to mention, that ham radio terminology may also be considered an obstacle to non-radio amateurs and, unfortuantely, it must be considered misleading or even incorrect in many cases.

Nevertheless, we are highly interested to understand the impact of solar-terrestrial, geophysical and atmospheric effects on wireless communication and wish to cooperate with scientific experts whenever possible.

Enjoy this web side and please do not hesiate to contact the editor should you have any comments, thoughts and ideas.

Volker (DF5AI)

This web site's highlights

Click here to find the summary of important results and findings communicated on this web site.

Chronological list of articles

Click here to find the complete list of papers and articles communicated on this web site.


Submit your articles

Do you wish to publish your latest observations in the practice of ham radio operations? Do you wish to communicate your analysis of radio propagation phenomena? Did you review literature relating to the world of radiowave propagation?

Your contribution is very much appreciated. Please contact the editor by referring to the contact section of this web site.


See also the BeamFinder web site presenting the editor's radio propagation analysis software.


Unless otherwise stated, all material is copyright of Volker Grassmann. All rights reserved. The material, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the author.

Legal notes (Impressum)