NIST is participating in a new project to study the ionosphere and its effects on high frequency (HF) radio propagation. As part of the WWV/WWVH Scientific Modulation Working Group, radio stations WWV and WWVH will each broadcast test signals once per hour that will allow operators using a type of software defined receiver (SDR) to record the signal data at their location and upload it to a central server for analysis.
The test signals will initially consist of several seconds each of Gaussian white noise, chirps varying up and down in frequency, and tones varying in amplitude, frequency and length. This initial test will help characterize transmitting and receiver equipment and configurations, and may be useful in determining time of flight measurements of the transmitted signal. The signals will be sent at 8 minutes past each hour on WWV, and 48 minutes past each hour on WWVH.
The project is coordinated by HamSCI, the Ham Radio Citizen Science Investigation and includes representatives from the University of Scranton, Case Western Reserve University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Haystack Observatory, University of Alabama, New Jersey Institute of Technology, TAPR, the WWV Amateur Radio Club, interested amateur radio operators and others interested in citizen science.