HF Aeronautical Communications
From The RadioReference Wiki
Description and Links
Aircraft utilize HF communications when VHF (Line of Sight) communications is not sufficient. The primary usage of HF is for Trans-oceanic flights. Trans-oceanic flights communicate with ground stations via HF for position reports and other purposes.
- CCIR (selcall)
- MWARA frequencies - Aircraft use these stations to communicate over water when out of VHF radio range.
- VOLMET Aeronautical stations broadcasting weather worldwide
Digital and Other Modes
HFDL, otherwise known as High Frequency Data Link, or HF ACARS, is now used extensively by many commercial airlines. There is a whole sub-culture of people that use various software packages to copy this mode and track flights which can be found on the Utility DXers Forum group. This is also the place to be for logs of stations calling MWARA stations. Also see the ACARS VDL2 reflector on groups.io, which covers HFDL as a sub-group
- Aeronautical Enroute and Aeronautical Fixed Stations regulations
- When a hurricane (cyclone in the Pacific) is spotted, the Tropical Cyclone Plan of the Day will give you an idea of when the flights to track these storms will take place
- UDXF Links page See the Aero section
- UDXF Files page See the Aero / Maritime section
- For a list of all Aero services (including VOLMETs and RDARAs), see the International HF Aero Frequency List
- Transcribed Weather Broadcasts (from William Hepburn DX Information Center)
Where to Find Activity?
The spectrum for HF Aero communications is very wide. Unlike VHF/UHF scanning, it's challenging to automatically scan a segment of the band because HF noise will always be present. While some aero stations are on a fixed schedule (like VOLMETs), others (such as HFDL) are much more difficult to detect due to their transient nature; thus, listening for Aero comms can be a game of patience. The more time passes, the harder it is to hear again. Mailing lists are one of the best ways to keep ahead of what is being heard, as traffic can be passed relatively quickly. See the Utility Related Clubs, Mailing lists and Publications of the Utility_Monitoring article for some suggested resources
- Return to Utility Monitoring