Atmospheric broadcasting

Charles Bacon cfb at DUE.COM
Thu Jul 27 19:39:37 EDT 2006

I came across the following announcement today from the New Scientist.
Wonder what this would do to ham radio?

Atmospheric broadcasting

The layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere, at an altitude of 50
kilometres, is already used as a radio reflector, bouncing low frequency
radio signals from one side of the world to the other.

Researchers at Samsung in Korea are now working on a way to turn the
ionosphere into an antenna. A patent application filed by the company
reveals plans to direct higher frequencies radio signals, at about 1
gigahertz, at the ionosphere, to alter its behaviour.

It describes using an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio signal, of a few
hundred megahertz, and a carrier signal of around 1 gigahertz. The mix would
be amplified and focused by a dish into a spot beam that hits the underside
of the ionosphere. 

The idea is for the GHz carrier signal to be absorbed by the atmosphere and
for the UHF one to alter the temperature of electrons flowing through the
ionosphere. This should create an alternating current within the ionosphere
that can be modulated at a particular frequency. The target spot should then
work as an antenna, radiating the UHF tens of kilometres back down to Earth.

Samsung sees the system as a cheap way to broadcast signals, or communicate
over long distances, without needing to launch expensive satellites.

Here is the link to the patent app on the USPTO system:

Charles Bacon

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