SHIP-TO-SHORE.This application of the hf band is more difficult than point-to-point since the
ship is moving and constantly changing its position. In ship-to-shore the path length and direction are
variable. Aboard ship, limited space and other restrictions prohibit installation of large, efficient hf
antennas. Because of the mobility of ships, shipboard antennas are designed to be as nearly
omnidirectional as possible.
Our problems are not as severe at the shore terminal where we have sufficient space for efficient
omnidirectional antennas or arrays designed for coverage of large areas of the earth. At shore stations,
rotatable, high-gain antennas or fixed, point-to-point antennas are used. For example, a rhombic antenna
ashore may work well for long-haul, ship-to-shore communications when the ship is within range of the
Several frequencies are usually assigned for each circuit. Therefore, a frequency can be selected that
best matches the propagation path conditions between the shore terminal and the ship.
GROUND-TO-AIR.The use of hf radio for ground-to-air communications is similar to ship-to-
shore. The only exception is an aircraft moves more rapidly than a ship. All major circuit improvements
must be made at the ground station. For example, higher powered transmitters, lower noise receivers, and
more efficient antennas must be used on the ground.
FLEET BROADCASTS.As the name implies, this service involves broadcast area coverage from
shore-based transmitters to ships at sea. Messages to be sent to ships are delivered by various means to
the proper broadcast station. They are then broadcast for shipboard reception. To overcome propagation
problems, naval communicators send the messages on several frequencies at once. This is known as
frequency-diversity transmission. This type of transmission allows the ship to choose the best frequency
for reception. Space-diversity with physically separated receive antennas also helps to overcome this
Very-High-Frequency and Above Communications
Frequencies above 30 megahertz are not normally refracted by the atmosphere and ground-wave
range is minimal. This normally limits our use of this frequency spectrum to line of sight. The exception
to this is increased range through the use of tropospheric scatter techniques. Some communications using
vhf and above frequencies use a technique called forward propagation by tropospheric scatter (fpts). This
method will be discussed in more detail in chapter 5.
Certain atmospheric and ionospheric conditions can also cause the normal line-of-sight range to be
extended. Frequencies at the lower end of this band are capable of overcoming the shielding effects of
hills and structures to some degree; but as the frequency is increased, the problem becomes more
pronounced. Reception is notably free from atmospheric and man-made static. (The VERY-HIGH-
FREQUENCY (vhf) and ULTRAHIGH-FREQUENCY (uhf) bands are known as line-of-sight
transmission bands.) Because this is line-of-sight communications, the transmitting antenna is in a direct
line with the receiving antenna and not over the horizon. The line-of-sight characteristic makes the vhf
band ideal for amphibious operations (beach landing from sea craft) and the uhf well suited for tactical
voice transmissions (maneuvering of ships traveling together). The SUPERHIGH-FREQUENCY (shf)
band is used for radar and satellite communications, whereas the EXTREMELY HIGH-FREQUENCY
(ehf) band is used only in the experimental stage.
Q9. he majority of vlf transmitters are used for what purpose?
Q10. Today the Navy uses lf communications as a segment of what operational system?
Q11. Why does the Navy only use the upper and lower ends of the mf band?
That A-Ha Moment
Larry Desjardin asks the readers about their moments of sudden...