Meteor Scatter

As described by Wikipedia, meteor burst communications (MBC), also referred to as meteor scatter communications, is a radio propagation mode that exploits the ionized trails of meteors during atmospheric entry to establish brief communications paths between radio stations up to 2,250 kilometres (1,400 mi) apart. There can be forward-scatter or back-scatter of the radio waves.

Most meteor-scatter communication is conducted between radio stations that are engaged in a precise schedule of transmission and reception periods. Because the presence of a meteor trail at a suitable location between two stations cannot be predicted, stations attempting meteor-scatter communications must transmit the same information repeatedly until an acknowledgement of reception from the other station is received. Established protocols are employed to regulate the progress of information flow between stations. While a single meteor may create an ion trail that supports several steps of the communication protocol, often a complete exchange of information requires several meteors and a long period of time to complete.

With the height of the 2023 Perseids Meteor shower eagerly anticipated, the evening of Tuesday the 1st August 2023 Carsten G0SYP deliver a presentation to the society “Fiery Tears – Meteor Scatter and the Perseids” aimed at encouraging members to “have a go” at some meteor scatter communication. The informative presentation was videoed and can be viewed through our YouTube channel.

For those without the equipment or who would just like to listen to those “fiery tears”, Evan M0TJU has produced a guide which can be viewed and downloaded here.