Aircraft scatter propagation and the Air Scout software by DL2ALF

This morning as I was putting the Practical Wireless column together and in particular, some microwave reports, I remembered that sometime ago I had heard about the Air Scout software by DL2ALF. This software uses data from and plots it on a map. Not only that, but you can enter in your locator, the target station’s locator and the software will give you an idea of when there are aircraft in the right place to reflect the signals and enable a brief contact.

The first path I tried was quite a simple one, from here to the GB3VHF beacon on 144MHz. Although I can hear it all the time, even on the collinear, it is very quickly apparent when there are aircraft on the path, by the Doppler shift. It didn’t take long for me to see that the software was working and aircraft reflections were being heard at ‘the right time’.

A more challenging path was the 432MHz one from here to PI7CIS in JO22. At the moment, with the 10el yagi, I am not hearing the beacon all the time, so I left the FT847 running with the beam pointing towards Holland and after a few minutes, I heard a weak signal from the beacon. Sure enough, referring back to the AirScout software, there was an aircraft along the path.

Very interesting! I must look at this software a little more and see if I can learn a little more about how I might use it to make some aircraft scatter contacts.

You can download a copy of AirScout here

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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