Every so often a bit of Aircraft Scatter pops up on the QRSS Grabbers and causes a flush of comments. While HF reflections look interesting and make pretty squiggles I can’t remember seeing anything being done with them
The latest spotted were on 10MHz on the G6HNU Grabber in JO01ou and thanks go to Keith for the Grab I am using here and some confirmation tests we did with us both watching Aircraft Traffic on the Web and he emailing me the Grabs.
The reflections were, as I expected, from Aircraft passing the path near him at Cruising Speed and Altitude. Depending on Altitude the reflections were calculated as being initially reflected by Planes between 10Km and 22Km away from the path, the whole event taking about 30 to 40Km. Having done that the fun stopped…………Almost.
Next day I checked the Grabber to see what was happening and noticed another reflection on the signal from another station.
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Here we see at 10.139955 G0MBA the original station that the reflections were spotted on. Above that at 10.139970 G0PKT the Martelo Tower TX which also showed some reflections, then, at the bottom at 10.139905 G3LZR. Not forgetting the RX’er G6NHU we have four stations quite close together all uniquely placed with a Heathrow to EU corridor passing overhead.
Seeing 3 stations displaying data Triangulation came into mind, Whilst 6 Char. QRA’s are not very accurate I had the Loc. of HNU, PKT is easy to spot on Google Earth I could find no information for MBA but a search for LZR revealed a Post Code, better than a 6 Char.QRA.
So I set myself a challenge find MBA 100Km away from me by use of the Aircraft reflections. I brought up a map of the area. Again it’s a big picture.
I had to use the middle of HNU’s square, error will enter here but who cares when needs must. I drew a line Yellow to show the HNU-PKT path and a Red line for the HNU-LRZ path. I calculated the distance traveled by the Plane between the 2 paths using an average speed of 600Km h error alert again but we were not looking at the Aircraft information at 6.00AM.
There is only one Aircraft path that will fit that distance, the Orange line.
Now its simple to draw the Blue line which must intersect the Aircraft path at the point where the calculated distance from PKT-MBA and MBA-LZR is measured, error alert these figures didn’t exactly add up to the total but it was near enough. MBA must therefore lay somewhere on the Light Blue extension of the line. I posted my conclusions and HNU came back with his actual (South of my middle of square guess) location and that of MBA. From the new location of HNU (the one with no Callsign near it) I drew new paths in the same colours and the new Aircraft path that fits in Green , the Blue line I could end in the centre of the pale Mauve circle because now I knew his location.
I was amazed at the accuracy of my original estimate, within 2Km of the target despite the known errors. Tony G0MBA thought this was cool being DF’d by Aircraft reflections, I told him that we can now dispatch a Squadron of Lancasters on a mission to deny his soldering capability.