1 thought on “Bouncing HAM radio off aircraft?”

  1. Until about 3 years ago, the old NAVSPASUR (Navy Space Fence radar, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Space_Surveillance_System) was a terrific generator of extremely high power RF radiation over a very narrow field of view. It was right around 217 MHz, and created a fan beam of RF power on a great circle line that stretched from off the coast of Georgia to off the coast of California. Here in Phoenix, an auxiliary transmitter just north of Maricopa (AZ) generated a whopping loud signal that was directed straight up. At my house, about 50 mi NNE, I had a 217 MHz homebrew turnstile antenna that coupled to an ICOM PCR1000 receiver. I could listen on sideband and hear a/c on approach to Sky Harbor as well as overflights. You’d hear the Doppler shift as the fuselage passed by and reflected the signal.
    Sadly, at least for us hobbyists, they shut down NAVSPASUR in 2013 and are going to a S-band system to be rolled out in the next few years.

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