Check out the ACE-HF propagation software - the latest is version 2.05. ACE-HF is propagation forecasting and modeling for Amateur Radio as well as for Shortwave radio Listening and general HF operation. This software is even used by the military and other clients around the world. This software is developed and maintained by the same engineers that keep VOACAP up-to-date. As a result, this software is the most accurate user interface integrated with VOACAP. CHECK IT OUT, TODAY. This software is the most accurate modeling software available, and is endorsed by NW7US. Read the details to find out why.
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Map, Above: Conditions in the D region of the ionosphere have a dramatic effect on high frequency (HF) communications and low frequency (LF) navigation systems. The global D Region Absorption Predictions (D-RAP) depicts the D region at high latitudes where it is driven by particles as well as low latitudes, where photons cause the prompt changes.
Note: At times, images may appear broken or missing, when SDO is working on the AIA/HMI instruments.
Planetary A-index (Ap): 6
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 2
Solar Wind: 395 km/s at 6.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -1.0 nT
(Nov 18, 2017 at 1330 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [B6.2][0021Z 11/17] 24h hi [B6.2][0021Z 11/17]
Background X-ray Level, Last Six Days
Nov 17 2017 :: A6.3
Nov 16 2017 :: A5.9
Nov 15 2017 :: A6.5
Nov 14 2017 :: A6.7
Nov 13 2017 :: A6.9
Nov 12 2017 :: A5.4
What is the difference between the CB and Amateur Radio Services, in the USA? Here are some thoughts on the portrayal of the Amateur Radio Service by the Hit TV Series, NCIS, and a clarification of the difference between CB radio and ham radio.
(Skip to timecode 1:33 to bypass the introductory chat and talk about the headset microphone.)
Here is a video introduction to shortwave / HF amateur radio -- what is it that we amateur radio oprators listen to? If you have not yet been introduced to this world, this is a very basic introduction.
If you are using software utilities such as Ace-HF, that require a "smoothed" sunspot number
(Referred to as the SSN), or, the smoothed 10.7-cm Radio Flux Index,
use the following predicted values in this following table:
Predicted SMOOTHED Sunspot Number And Radio Flux Values
With Expected Ranges
At 0805 UTC, on 9 August 2011, a strong magnitude X6.9 X-ray flare -- the strongest yet in this current solar cycle (Cycle 24) -- erupted on the northwestern solar limb. Here is a HD Movie of the event:
Videos of Interest - Space Weather, Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO, and more... from the NW7US YouTube Channel. (Click on the small image to launch the video...)
Video: Voyager Finds Magnetic Foam at Solar Systems Edge
Video: Zoom View of Prominence Eruption and X-Ray Flare - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011
Video: X-Ray Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection, Proton Storm - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011 (Close-up of the video, above)
Video: Stunning Close-up View of M3 X-Ray Flare 24 February 2011
Video: On How NCIS TV Show Maligned Amateur Radio Service (Full UHD Version)
What's the difference between CB and amateur (ham) radio?
Video: June 2011 20-meter (14-Mhz) JT65A Coverage Map of NW7US Radio Signal
The NW7US Current Sunspot and Geophysical Activity Report
The observations, prognastications, and comments by NW7US
NW7US is Tomas David Hood, Propagation and Space Weather Columnist
for CQ Communications
More about Background X-rays
The hard X-ray energy present from the wavelengths of 1 to 8 Angstroms provide the most effective ionizing energy throughout all of the ionospheric layers in our atmosphere. The GEOS satellites measure these wavelengths and the resulting measurements are reported as the "background X-ray level" throughout the day. A daily average is reported, as well.
Just like X-ray flares, the background hard X-ray level is measured in watts per square meter (W/m2), reported using the categories, A, B, C, M, and X. These letters are multipliers; each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.
If one records the daily background X-ray levels for the course of a sunspot cycle, one would discover that the background X-ray levels remained at the A class level during the sunspot cycle minumum. During the rise and fall of a solar cycle, the background X-ray energy levels remained mostly in the B range. During peak solar cycle periods, the background energy reached the C and sometimes even M levels.
Armed with this information, can we discover any clues as to the current status of Sunspot Cycle 24? Below is a graph plotting the background hard X-ray energy reported by the GEOS satellites since the end of Sunspot Cycle 22. Clearly, we see a noticeable rise in Cycle 24 activity. We're seeing the energy mostly in the B level more often, supporting the view that Cycle 24 is alive and moving along toward an eventual sunspot cycle peak in several years.
Overall, the monthly average background 'hard' X-ray level is rising (as seen by the following plot), showing a change from deep solar cycle minimum. We are certainly in the rising phase of Sunspot Cycle 24. While it has been a slow up-tick over the last eighteen months, I expect to see a more rapid rise during mid to late 2011.
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
Covering the period: 06 - 12 November 2017
Solar activity was very low throughout the period under a spotless disk. The only activity was an eruptive filament observed in the NE quadrant beginning at 10/0630 UTC in SDO/AIA 304 imagery. An associated CME was observed off the eastern limb in SOHO/LASCO C2 imagery beginning at 10/0824 UTC, however subsequent analysis showed no Earth-directed component. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels on 06-07 Nov and reached high levels on 08-12 Nov. The largest flux of the period was 25,349 pfu observed at 11/1435 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to G2 (Moderate) storm levels over the period. The period began with solar wind speeds between 285-355 km/s and total field around 4 nT. At approximately 07/0300 UTC, phi angle switched from a negative solar sector to positive. Additionally, an increase in solar wind speed and total field was observed due to the arrival of a co-rotating interaction region preceding a positive polarity, polar connected, coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Total field reached a maximum of 23 nT at 07/1545 UTC while the Bz component reached a maximum southward deflection of -15 nT at 07/1508 UTC. Solar wind speed reached double peaks of 699 km/s at 08/0004 UTC and 719 km/s at 10/1257 UTC before slowly receding to end of period values near 430 km/s. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet levels on 06 Nov, reached G1-G2 (Minor-Moderate) levels on 07-08 Nov, reached unsettled to active levels on 09-10 Nov, and calmed to mostly quiet conditions on 11-12 Nov.
Monthly and smoothed sunspot number - The monthly mean sunspot number (blue) and 13-month smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last five cycles. You can see that this current cycle, Cycle 24, is a weak cycle, compared to the last few.
(Click to see actual size)
Daily and monthly sunspot number (last 13 years)
Daily sunspot number (yellow), monthly mean sunspot number (blue), smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last 13 years and 12-month ahead predictions of the monthly smoothed sunspot number:
SC (red dots) : prediction method based on an interpolation of Waldmeier's standard curves; It is only based on the sunspot number series.
CM (red dashes) : method (from K. Denkmayr and P. Cugnon) combining a regression technique applied to the sunspot number series with the aa geomagnetic index used as a precursor (improved predictions during the minimum phase between solar cycles).
(Click to see actual size)
What is 'Space Weather'? Click on these two information slides to view them in full size:
Active sunspot regions, and plages, identified by SIDC
Latest GOES 15 Image of the Sun
What is coming
Real Time Solor Wind and Aurora:
On Z: Bz: nT
Bx: nT | By: nT | Total: nT
Most recent satellite polar pass:
Centered on // : UTC Aurora Activity Level was at UTC
visit noaa for latest.
This is a video of the simulation from May 27-28, 2011, showing
the Geomagnetic disturbance caused by the solar wind
Outlook: (valid from 1230UT, 17 Nov 2017 until 19 Nov 2017)
17 Nov 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 075 / Ap: 012
18 Nov 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 076 / Ap: 010
19 Nov 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 076 / Ap: 012
Solar Flares: Quiet conditions (<50% probability of C-class flares) Geo-Disturbance: Active conditions expected (A>=20 or K=4) Solar Proton Event: Quiet
Comment from the SIDC (RWC Belgium): Solar flaring activity is low, with only few low B-class flares reported. All reported flares originated from the Catania sunspot group 63 (NOAA AR 2687) which maintains the beta configuration of its photospheric magnetic field. We do not expect significant change of flaring activity in the coming hours. During last 24 hours there were no Earth directed CMEs reported, and the solar protons remained at background level. The solar wind speed presently amounts about 430 km/s (its maximum value within the last 24 hours was about 510 km/s). The interplanetary magnetic field magnitude is stable having the value of about 4 nT. The fast solar wind associated with the equatorial coronal hole which reached central meridian in the early morning of November 16 is expected to arrive at the Earth on November 19. The fast flow associated with the low latitude extension of the southern polar coronal hole (reached central meridian in the late evening of November 13) is expected to arrive at the Earth this evening. The geomagnetic conditions are presently quiet to unsettled, we expect unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions later today due to the arrival of the fast solar wind.
Three Day Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
(as of 2200Z on 07 Dec 2014)
Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flares on days one, two, and three (08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec).
The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet to minor storm levels on day one (08 Dec), quiet to active levels on day two (09 Dec) and quiet levels on day three (10 Dec).
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
13 November - 09 December 2017
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 13-14 Nov, 16-24 Nov, and 05-09 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS influence.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 14-23 Nov, 29-30 Nov, and 04-08 Dec with G1 (Minor) levels likely on 20-22 Nov, 04-07 Dec and G2 (Moderate) levels likely on 04-05 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS effects.
Be sure to check the Date shown in each photo - is it today's date?
(click to enlarge)
Check out these books on Radio Propagation:
+ The New Shortwave Propagation Handbook (Paperback) - by George Jacobs, Theodore J. Cohen, R. B. Rose. The NEW Shortwave Progagation Handbook may well be the only book you'll need on the subject of ionospheric propagation! It is a "must read" for Radio Amateurs, Shortwave Listeners, and radio communicators of any type who need to make the most productive use of the radio spectrum, regardless of the time of day, the season of the year, or the state of the sunspot cycle. It will become your ever-present companion a the operating table as you master the art of shortwave radio progagation.
+ How Radio Signals Work (Paperback) - by Jim Sinclair. This book provides a basic understanding of the way radio signals work-without becoming bogged down with the technicalities. It covers all kinds of radio signal types--including mobile communications, short-wave, satellite, and microwave. No detailed knowledge of electronics or mathematics is required. A-Z coverage of radio signals including satellites, mobile communications, and short-wave radio. No math or electronics background necessary.
+ Introduction to RF Propagation (Hardcover) - by John S. Seybold. This book provides readers with a solid understanding of the concepts involved in the propagation of electromagnetic waves and of the commonly used modeling techniques. While many books cover RF propagation, most are geared to cellular telephone systems and, therefore, are limited in scope. This title is comprehensive-it treats the growing number of wireless applications that range well beyond the mobile telecommunications industry, including radar and satellite communications.
Data and images courtesy of IPS Australia, NOAA, NASA, SWPC, SIDC
Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is Copyright, 2017, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.