Coastal HF RADAR Program

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KA0KA, Feb 21, 2019.

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  1. KA0KA

    KA0KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    In coordination with the QRZ support team, this post reveals dual short video sample complements demonstrate the 25kHz & 100kHz HF RADAR sweeps use FMCW or ILFM (Interpulse Linear Frequency Modulation) modulation and are part of the CODAR (Coastal Ocean Dynamics Applications Radar) project by Don Barrick of the CODAR Ocean Sensor Company. They are used to obtain ocean wave and surface current monitoring using Bragg scatter. The SeaSonde sensors seen here are long range / mid range sensors (100 to 220kM / 20 to 60kM) operating from 4.3 to 5.4MHz / 11.5 to 14MHz and operate under 80w PEP per license. The Coastal Observing Research and Development Center has mapping and data related to these sensors if you are interested in seeing the coastal sensor data off the coasts.

    I was able to edit in one of the site CW ID’s, I bring this up only because it is a most impressive square wave 25kHz CW site IDer, you can use that or the site mentioned above to ID what you maybe hearing if you choose. I found the company to be very willing to help out, I had several email exchanged with Dr. Don Barrick prior to making these videos.

    Signatures will be posted in normal intervals as not to upset the variety balance of postings on the QRZ home page, most videos are posted on my youtube channel prior to QRZ for the above mentioned reason. Received using Apache Labs Anan 8000DLE Software Defined Radio nearly 1000 miles away! I also want to thank my friends in amateur radio K3DCW & N1SZ for their signature ID assistance as well; it has lead to a much better/complete presentation on nearly 10 videos!

    Enjoy, Tyler KA0KA

    KC1OCA, W0PV, AC7DD and 6 others like this.
  2. KA0KA

    KA0KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Post Edit note on the 100kC sweep video. In two segments you see a second signature approach, thanks to K3DCW and N1SZ for explaining that those are a different RADAR called the Navy AN/TPS-71. Most people believed those to be some form of CODAR they are not. That info was not known when the film was made therefore I wanted to give credit to both Dave and Jim for their help on that.
    KQ6XA, KX0DW and W4KJG like this.
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice videos Tyler. And congrats on making contact with the CODAR folks.

    I would encourage you to study up on radar terminology. You are jumbling and misusing terms which is confusing me and I'm experienced with radar.

    Signature and signal are not interchangeable. A signal is what you see on your waterfall. Signature are the characteristics that define the signal, e.g Freq, Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) or Pulse Repetition Rate (PRR), Pulse Width (PW), Bandwith, Modulation type, Modulation frequency, etc. These are terms you should become familiar width.

    Keep up the listening! SWL'ing remains a fascinating experience. bill
    KQ6XA, WA1ZMS and KA0KA like this.
  4. KA0KA

    KA0KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much Bill, again one more thing I learn by posting these kind of topics, without doing so you are left to your own devices and most likely will encounter errors. You know more about these topics then I do, I have no background in this. I do try to do as much research as reasonably possible once I am told what a signal is, I think narrating that into the video makes a better presentation for sure.
    My videos get better moving on from these, as my technique improves and having Dave and Jim or even your self willing to help cross check my work makes all the difference! So I am greatfull to all 'your' expertise that will service our hobby better!!!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  5. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The days of every country having its own shortwave broadcast stations are ending. DSP (digital signal processing) techniques have enabled technologies which make use of that valuable HF spectrum, not for communication... but for Radar.

    1.8 MHz to 30 MHz is now dominated by the powerful pulsating wide bandwidth signals of HF Radar. These high frequency radars consist primarily of military OTH (over the horizon) anti-stealth radar, ocean-vessel-sensing radar, and some oceanographic coastal sea wave radar.

    The number of countries and entities using HF radar continues to grow. Much of the spectrum that has been internationally allocated to Fixed, Land Mobile, Maritime, or Broadcast is now time-shared by HF radars (shared, as in taking it when they want it).

    The coast ocean wave (CODAR) radars are relatively low power, generally less than 100 Watts, with bandwidths of 30 kHz or less, and low-gain antennas.

    Some of the OTH radars are quite polite, they send very short somewhat-narrowband transmissions, and they hop around delicately to different frequencies where they sense gaps in between broadcasters or communication signals.

    But, some OTH radars are megawatts utilizing very strong pulse, frequency hopping, spread, or sweep emissions with 6 to 120 kHz bandwidths or more. These behemoths render whole swathes of spectrum unusable over a large area of the planet.

    We also see the military HF radars starting to appear more regularly in the international Amateur Radio Service bands, especially in the Shared, Secondary, or Co-Primary allocations: 1.9 MHz, 3.9 MHz, 7 MHz, 5.3 MHz, 10.1 MHz, 14.3 MHz, etc.

    Radars are making the HF spectrum increasingly hostile to analog communications modes. When a radar appears on a frequency, stations old technologies are rendered useless. Some of the more robust digital communication techniques can still work through HF Radar interference, but to a limited extent.

    A new age of HF is upon us.

    Here is a composite spectrum waterfall image from a few days ago, consisting of snips from 3 simultaneous online kiwiSDR receivers: Germany, California, Japan.
    It shows HF Radar covering the entire 60 metre band worldwide during evening and night hours.

    The vertical waterfall speed is 1 pixel per second (total 5 minutes)
    The "haystacks" in the spectrum, and the sawtooth and horizontal line artifacts in the waterfall, are HF Radar signals.
    The continuous or interrupted vertical traces are mostly digital and SSB communications.
    In the Germany waterfall, you can see the FT8 botnet conglomerate signal at 5357~5360kHz, in the middle of the yellow ham 60 metre ITU band.
    The California waterfall has yellow markings for the USA/Canada 5 MHz channels (5330.5/5346.5/5371.5/5403.5kHz) and the ham 60 metre ITU band (5351.5~5366.5kHz).

    It should be noted that the Amateur Radio Service is a Secondary allocation in 60 metres, and "must accept any interference" from Primary allocated services.

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  6. K7FD

    K7FD Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks like the junk I'm getting slammed with here on the coast

    Attached Files:

  7. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    11 CODAR signals in the 4 MHz frequency range, shown in this spectrum image, received a few minutes ago here in California.

    The CODAR signals show as sawtooth diagonal lines on this waterfall display.


    Current HF coastal wave radar frequency list on the Coastal Observing Research and Development Center website

    "HFRadar Network (HFRNet) is being developed to manage and distribute in near-realtime ocean surface currents measured by a distributed network of shore-based HF radar systems. HFRNet provides reliable data telemetry, archiving, and integrated processing for a growing list of near real-time products in a scaleable manner for a growing user community supported by the Integrated Ocean Observing System."

    Participating Organizations: 29 Number of Physical Sites: 181
    Integrated Ocean Observing System
    In cooperation with Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

    HF ocean wave radars:

    Screen capture of the CODAR website showing an HF oceanic wave radar site in California:

    A screen capture of the coastal wave radar map: CALIFORNIA-OREGON.

    Medium Range MHz:
    8.225 - ERE
    8.275 - BSQ
    8.375 - CSW
    8.375 - GTN
    8.392 - CAT
    8.395 - JEK
    11.100 - SAU
    12.145 - GCYN
    12.147 - WSH1
    12.150 - FBK1
    12.157 - BML1
    12.157 - SLID
    12.157 - STV2
    12.190 - MONT
    12.190 - COMM
    12.200 - RFG1
    12.233 - WLD2
    12.247 - SEA1
    12.639 - VEN
    12.653 - FDS
    12.700 - VIR
    12.700 - STF
    13.428 - SDUT
    13.439 - SCI1
    13.440 - COP1
    13.440 - SNI1
    13.440 - NIC1
    13.443 - YHS2
    13.450 - MGS1
    13.450 - HAUL
    13.450 - HILL
    13.450 - BRAD
    13.450 - BRNT
    13.450 - BRMR
    13.450 - RATH
    13.450 - WOOD
    13.450 - PTC1
    13.450 - FURA
    13.450 - SPRK
    13.450 - CDDO
    13.450 - SEAB
    13.450 - PREY
    13.467 - PPNS
    13.500 - ARG1
    13.500 - DCSR
    13.500 - LUIS
    13.500 - ESTR
    13.500 - KAP
    13.500 - SCRZ
    13.500 - PTWN
    13.500 - SSD1
    13.500 - LPWR
    13.525 - FORT
    13.533 - GCVE
    13.555 - PTM1
    16.046 - KAL
    16.050 - NKL
    16.050 - CDN
    16.200 - KOK
    16.200 - KKH
    16.275 - KNA
    Short Range MHz:
    24.100 - PBON
    24.400 - SDCI
    24.400 - VRID
    24.400 - VCOL
    24.400 - OLDB
    24.500 - NPGS
    24.500 - VIL
    24.700 - SCDH
    24.799 - SDPL
    24.800 - SILD
    24.800 - CMPT
    25.100 - SCNB
    25.100 - SCCI
    25.250 - HLPN
    25.300 - GCAP
    25.400 - SCPF
    25.400 - SCDB
    25.400 - VGPT
    25.400 - VIEW
    25.400 - PORT
    25.400 - MLML
    25.400 - VION
    25.400 - SISL
    25.400 - SDDP
    25.400 - SDWW
    25.400 - SQUB
    25.400 - VDIG
    25.450 - NWTP
    25.600 - MNTK
    25.600 - BISL
    25.600 - SDSE
    25.600 - PCYC
    25.600 - MISQ
    25.600 - SUNS
    25.600 - METS
    25.800 - SDBP
    25.800 - SDCP
    25.800 - CAPE
    25.900 - SCTB
    26.190 - STLI
    26.310 - VATK
    26.310 - PPK
    26.330 - CON
    27.270 - QTA
    27.300 - KAK
    V. Short Range MHz:
    40.750 - RTC1
    40.750 - SAUS
    40.750 - CRIS
    40.750 - ANGL
    43.685 - EXPL
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  8. KI6PMD

    KI6PMD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bonnie always great to read what you post here & this posting is very interesting ! I still take time out from working Satellites & DXing to tune the SW bands & it is always a surprise when I hear something new & strange ! you never no whats out there until you tune around ! thanks for the CW IDs . As always please keep up the great work you do 73 to you Bonnie keep the INFO coming ! Phil KI6PMD..
    KQ6XA likes this.
  9. KA0KA

    KA0KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just think, at the time that these samples are being recorded we are in a Solar Minimum, I do not see anything above 18MHz at the moment from OTHR. I can not wait to see what happens in say, 5 years when things start to open up. I think making an effort to talk about these signals/videos publicly will aid in knowing just what it is we all maybe hearing, or seeing! It has been really educational for me personally.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  10. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    And here I thought it was Chinese consumer electronics that were gonna put me off the HF bands.
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  11. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    I notice that they stay clear of the HF Aeronautical bands as well.
    Tom WA4ILH
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  12. KJ7WT

    KJ7WT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is quite amazing. I have seen signals like these quite frequently, and assumed they were some kind of local interference (switching supply, or something similar). Finding out that they are actually HF radar signals is really concerning, as past history (like the Russian "woodpecker") shows that governments have no problem running roughshod over amateur radio operation. Also, I expect that there is really nothing we can do about it.
    KQ6XA likes this.
  13. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for starting this thread. I've seen these signals just above 75 meters since I got my first RTL-SDR dongle, and wondered what they were.

    KQ6XA likes this.
  14. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a good example of an HF Radar that was transmitting on several frequencies in the 20 meter ham band today at about 2330 UTC.
    It transmitted at about 50 second intervals, with a few seconds duration of signal.
    10 kHz bandwidth.
    14282 kHz
    14305 kHz
    14201 kHz
    And other frequencies.
    It transmitted several times on each frequency, then moved to the next.

    It is probably not a scientific CODAR or Seasonde oceanic research radar :rolleyes:

    The appearance on the waterfall is affected by the scan rate and total bandwidth of the waterfall receiver.
    It usually appears sawtooth-like when viewed at the widest span of the spectrum.




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  15. KA0KA

    KA0KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bonnie: It sounds like you are very interested like I am on these signals, I think below may describe your findings, both are very frequency agile, the JORN 'sample' is mono-stable but typically bounces around just like the AN/TPS-71 does. In the videos, there are specific notes on what you can look for to ID each. Mainly, AN/TPS-71 ops in 8 and 16kHz 'most' of the time, but I have seen it at 50/100kHz with short bursts. JORN at times has about a 10kHz FMCW sweep. There are several other programs as well, with the help of N1SZ and K3DCW I was able to put and ID to and will be posting to youtube, I could re-post these on QRZ in a few weeks as well as only a few people scroll though the comment sections and may have questions like you and me. Enjoy-

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