Propagation: Aurora

   
 
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23 February 2017, 12:31 UTC 


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Propagation:
  Sporadic E skip (Es)
  Backscatter
  Tropo
  Meteor Scatter (MS)
  F2 Skip
  Aurora
  Trans-equatorial scatter (TE)
  Lightning scatter (LS)

Propagation
by Glenn Hauser 
News

Aurora

Aurora can also cause DX. Southern DX'ers may never experience it, but it becomes more and more frequent at more northerly latitudes. Bureau of Standards Radio Station WWV advises of magnetic disturbances and auroral activity periodically; you can also spot auroral conditions from blackouts in reception from northerly stations on mediumwave and shortwave.

Of all ionospheric propagations, aurora is probably the one most observed on the high VHF band (but not UHF) as well as the low. But it's quite difficult to identify television video via aurora, because of very heavy distortion and interference (as you can imagine from viewing an aurora, it's hardly a perfect reflector). You may have a chance on the audio side, however. FM and VHF radio DX'ers are much more successful at auroral DX'ing, with distances typically in the 400-800 mile range, but with no specific lower or upper limit. You may find that the signal is not coming from the direction you would expect. It is bouncing off the auroral curtain, which may be as much as 45 or 90 degrees away from the direction of the station, but not necessarily at due north. Auroral activity is most likely around the equinoxes, but may happen at any time when the proper solar disturbances occur. Heavy auroral activity can also induce regular Es during the following day or two and at 27-day intervals coinciding with the rotation of the sun.
 


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