↑ Why is HF used for long range communication?

By Doron Tal, 4X4XM

HF, or high frequency, is used for long-range communication for several reasons:

  1. Propagation: HF signals can travel long distances by reflecting off the ionosphere. This is known as skywave propagation. The ionosphere is a layer of charged particles in the upper atmosphere that can reflect radio waves back down to Earth. The strength of the signal can vary depending on the time of day, season, and solar activity.
  2. Penetration: HF signals can penetrate through obstacles such as buildings and trees. This makes it useful for communication in remote areas or in situations where line-of-sight communication is not possible.
  3. Availability: HF frequencies are allocated globally and can be used for long-range communication without the need for infrastructure such as satellites or cables.
  4. Efficiency: HF transmitters can transmit at relatively low power levels and still achieve long-range communication. This makes it a cost-effective option for long-range communication.

Overall, HF communication is a cost-effective way to communicate over very long distances, especially in remote areas or in situations where other forms of communication are not available. However due to erratic changes in ionospheric conditions and geomagnetic storms it is not reliable.

For additional information visit: HF Radio Propagation. See also an index for HF Radio Propagarion.


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The Understanding HF Propagation Project provides radio amateurs with a detailed overview and tutorials on several aspects of HF propagation.

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