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): 4
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 1
Solar Wind: 359 km/s at 7.0 protons/cm3, Bz is 2.0 nT
(Dec 15, 2017 at 0425 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [B1.1][2144Z 12/14] 24h hi [B1.1][2144Z 12/14]
Background X-ray Level, Last Six Days
Dec 14 2017 :: A4.1
Dec 13 2017 :: A4.0
Dec 12 2017 :: A4.1
Dec 11 2017 :: A4.3
Dec 10 2017 :: A4.5
Dec 09 2017 :: A3.7
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: 04 - 10 December 2017
Solar activity was at very low levels. Regions 2690 (N07, L=332, class/area Bxo/010 on 06 Dec) and 2691 (S03, L=221, class/area Axx/010 on 10 dec) were both relatively quiet and stable throughout the period. 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 moderate levels on 04-05 Dec and increased to high levels on 06-10 Dec following CH HSS influence.
Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to active levels on 04-06 Dec with G1 (Minor) storm conditions observed on 05 Dec due to influence from a positive polarity CH HSS. Quiet to unsettled conditions were observed on 07 Dec as CH HSS effects waned. Quiet conditions prevailed for the remainder of the period.
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, 14 Dec 2017 until 16 Dec 2017)
14 Dec 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 072 / Ap: 009
15 Dec 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 072 / Ap: 013
16 Dec 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 072 / Ap: 027
Solar Flares: Quiet conditions (<50% probability of C-class flares) Geo-Disturbance: Minor storm expected (A>=30 or K=5) Solar Proton Event: Quiet
Comment from the SIDC (RWC Belgium): The Sun only produced three low B flares in the past 24 hours. The chance for a C flare in the next 24 hours is estimated at 5%. No Earth- directed Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) were observed in available coronagraphic imagery. The greater than 10 MeV proton flux was at nominal levels. In the past 24 hours, solar wind speed measured by DSCOVR gradually decreased from about 480 to about 420 km/s. The Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) was directed away from the Sun and its magnitude ranged between about 2 and 6 nT. Bz was never below -5 nT. A high speed stream from a recurrent positive equatorial coronal hole is expected to arrive in the second half of December 15 or early on December 16. Quiet to unsettled geomagnetic conditions (K Dourbes between 1 and 3; NOAA Kp between 1 and 3) were registered in the past 24 hours. Quiet to unsettled geomagnetic levels (K Dourbes < 4) are expected on December 14 and the first half of December 15. Active to minor storm conditions (K Dourbes 4 or 5) are possible in the second half of December 15 and on December 16, with a slight chance for moderate geomagnetic storm intervals (K Dourbes = 6), due to the expected arrival of a high speed stream from a recurrent positive equatorial coronal hole. TODAY'S ESTIMATED ISN : 000, BASED ON 15 STATIONS.
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
11 December - 06 January 2018
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels throughout the period.
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 11 Dec, 13-17 Dec, 19-21 Dec and 02-06 Jan following recurrent CH HSS events. Normal to moderate levels are expected at all other times during the period.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to active levels on 11-13 Dec, decreasing to quiet to unsettled levels on 14 Dec due to positive polarity CH HSS effects. Quiet conditions are expected on 15-16 Dec. Unsettled to active conditions are expected on 17-21 Dec, with G1 (Minor) storm levels on 18 Dec due to recurrent positive polarity CH HSS influence. Quiet conditions are anticipated from 22-26 Dec, followed by unsettled to active levels on 27-28 Dec due to negative polarity CH HSS effects. A return to quiet conditions is expected on 29-30 Dec. Predominately unsettled to active conditions are expected on 31 Dec-03 Jan, with G1 (Minor) levels likely on 01 Jan, due to effects from a recurrent positive polarity CH HSS. Quiet conditions are expected for the remainder of the period.
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.