May 22, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Meteor over ham radio antenna

Meteor Scatter Communication: Unpredictable But Potentially Important

Ionized meteor trails can reflect radio waves, a phenomenon known as meteor scatter. This has been exploited by amateur radio enthusiasts to communicate over long distances, and has even been used by military forces. Meteor scatter communication is often unpredictable and unreliable, but it can be used to establish contact in situations where other forms of communication are unavailable. In recent years, there have been reports of NATO forces using meteor scatter to communicate with aircraft and ground forces in combat zones. This usage is controversial, as it can be difficult to distinguish between enemy and friendly signals. Whether or not NATO forces are actively using meteor scatter to communicate, the fact that it is possible highlights the potential importance of this phenomenon in the future of military communications.

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