Amateur Radio Propagation Studies


Science, research, engineering, operating


The Space Weather CD ROM

Radio amateurs interested in the background of the complex and ever changing processes between the Sun, interplanetary space and the Earth will love this multimedia CD ROM developed and distributed by the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald, Institute for Physics, Germany. Learn about hidden sides of space weather, e.g. satellite failures, interruptions in mobile phone communication, radiation risks for airline passengers and even power outages here on Earth. The CD ROM supports two operation modes, i.e. the interactive version and the "museum version" which both consider a huge amount of information and impressive animations.

The Space Weather Multimedia CD ROM
Discover the nature of solar-terrestrial phenomena
August 2003
SpecialTopics1b2 (English, HTML, 204 KB)

Sample screen of the Space Weather CD ROM
Top-down: AURORA (DF5AI), SE-PROP (K9SE), BeamFinder (DF5AI), Auroreflex (DJ5HG).


Aurora and FAI analysis software

[February 2005]. The very first software solutions analysing amateur radio oberservations in field-aligned backscatter were apparently given by Lange-Hesse and Czechowsky at the Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy, Germany. This two scientists (both hold an amateur radio callsign) analysed the geophysical nature of Auroral backscatter in those days, i.e. in the 1960s. The first software directly applied in ham radio operations was created by Geoff (G3NAQ) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, i.e. by another scientist closely connected to amateur radio. However, personal computers were not available to radio amateurs at that time, i.e. all this software solutions were restricted to scientific mainframe computers. ...

The first software which radio amateurs have operated with their personal computers was, as far as I can see, the AURORA realtime analysis software which I have distributed in the late 1980s. That software is based on Lange-Hesse's and Czechoswsky's work (I was student at the Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy in those days), it supports screen maps and is capable to support dx operation by analysing Aurora and FAI band openings in realtime with high accuracy. In the 1990s, Jim (K9SE) has released his FAI assessment software SE-PROP which still is a standard tool in planning FAI dx QSOs (FAI is the mid-latiude companion of Aurora backscatter, see the Articles section of this web side for more details). The BeamFinder software came in 2001 and is based on the AURORA program extended by various additional features and analysis methods though. Distributing that software in the internet has actually motivated the creation of the and the web site, respectively (in the chronological overview of articles, you may identify all papers referring to BeamFinder). Klaus (DJ5HG) has contributed the Auroreflex software to the ham radio community which also analyses Aurora and FAI dx propagation. You certainly know his recent publications based on Auroreflex analyses but the core software routines were already designed many years ago. Many thanks to Geoff (G3NAQ), Jim (K9SE) and Klaus (DJ5HG) for providing inside information on their software developments and for providing the screenshots. Interested readers may click the maps to retrieve further information on all software solutions.


Operating your web site in the internet, you will sooner or later receive tons of unwanted email messages, i.e. spam mail. By introducing a very simple authorization identifier, all spam mail may be now perfectly rejected by using standard email software. The following method cannot prevent spam mail being downloaded by your email client but it can identify those messages quite accurately, i.e. spam mail shows up in your mailbox never again. You may use that method on your computer without contacting your internet/email provider and it is very easy to implement. See how it works...

Spam Protected Email Addresses (SPEA)
December 2003
SpecialTopics1b2a (English, HTML, 110 KB)
SPEA infobox

Digital Dimension, VHF Propagation Software
Horzepa, S., WA1LOU
QST, December, 2002
Abstract: Discussion of the BeamFinder software.
SpecialTopics1 (English,PDF, 56 KB, courtesy by the QST magazine)
Surfin' : Visit the Home of New VHF Propagation Software
Horzepa, S., WA1LOU
ARRL News, October, 2002
Abstract: "Ride a wave to a Web site dedicated to software that studies radio waves above 50 MHz".
SpecialTopics1a (English, HTML, at ARRL webpage)
QTH-LOC: Funkstrecken am Computer
Dubus, 1, p. 37-39, 1990
Abstract: Review of the QTH_LOC computer program. QTH_LOC's features are now available with the BeamFinder software.
SpecialTopics1a1 (German, PDF, 260 KB)
Amadeus - Satelliten-Bahnverfolgung de Luxe
Beam, 5, p. 32-34, 1988
Abstract: This article reviews the AMADEUS satellite tracking program.
SpecialTopics1a1a (German, PDF, 604 KB)
OLGA - Optimierung linearer Gruppenantennen
Dubus, 3, p. 212-217, 1988
Abstract: This publication is equivalent to the user manual shipped with the OLGA software. The program optimises the antenna gain and the radiation pattern of linear arrays.
SpecialTopics1a1a1 (German, PDF, 536 KB)
Aurora - A computer program to analyse Auroral- and FAI-scattering
Dubus, 2, p. 125-126, 1988
Abstract: English version of "Ein Computerprogramm zur Analyse von Aurora- und FAI Rückstreuungen" (see below). Please refer to the original document to view the corresponding graphics and diagrams.
SpecialTopics1a1a1a (English, PDF, 196 KB)
Aurora - Ein Computerprogramm zur Analyse von Aurora- und FAI Rückstreuungen
Dubus, 1, p. 18-21, 1988
Abstract: The Aurora computer program provides real time analyses of Aurora and FAI backscattering. The equivalent functions are now available with the BeamFinder software.
SpecialTopics1a1a1a1 (German, PDF, 456 KB)
Entfernungsberechnung mit Grafik
Dubus, 3, p. 221-222, 1987
Abstract: Announcement of a new type of amateur radio software.
Note: The only thing special with this article is its "historical" meaning; it is the roots of the modern BeamFinder software.
SpecialTopics1a1a1a1a (German, PDF, 176 KB)

Running Atari ST software on an Apple Macintosh

The software QTH-LOC, Amadeus, OLGA and Aurora were all designed and operated on the good old Atari ST computer. Apple Macintosh users may still run Atari ST software by using the NoSTalgia emulator which is available at

To run NoSTalgia you also need to have an image file of the Atari ST operating system (TOS). Due to copyright regulations, this web site cannot provide the TOS file, unfortunately, but the NoSTalgia web site provides information how to retrieve it from your Atari ST computer.

Another image file is required representing DF5AI's Atari ST software. Please contact the author who will send it to you by email.


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)