There are around 4 Million WSPRnet global links between amateur radio transmitters and receivers every day. Approximately 60,000 of these are propagations over distances greater than 15,000 km. The question arises exactly how far can HF radio waves propagate? Obviously from any particular terrestrial transmitter to any particular receiver there are two propagation paths around the globe, the short path (SP) and the long path (LP). Generally the SP transmission is first considered and propagation paths up to a maximum of half way around the globe are expected.
In the linked white paper we explore long path WSPR propagation and show WSPR signal propagation over large distances are possible via both the SP and the LP. HF radio waves can travel further than half way around the world and still be detectable by a WSPR receiver. The white paper can be downloaded here
WSPR propagation distances greater than 23,850 km and well in excess of half way around the world (20,015 km) are possible. The flight of MH370 was during the hours of darkness and mostly over the ocean, both of which favour long distance WSPR propagation.
I am imagining software tool may added to the WSPRnet browser that will show the most likely path for a given link.
Very good work. There really is no reason to presume the short path, especially for the longest links. You suggested at some point that the mechanics of the LP may be different than the SP. Why would there be any difference?
It would also be great if the Proplab Pro V3.1 software was enhanced to allow LP ray tracing.
SP and LP are fundamentally the same propagation, but most people seem to assume the SP was used. What we do not know from the WSPRnet database is which antenna was used for the transmission and reception. Each antenna has its azimuth and elevation radiation pattern. Fortunately some amateur radio enthusiasts publish the details of their antennas.
Excellent work !
Great to see your website open to comments again and that you are persisting in spite of all you’ve been through.
SEARCH ON !!!
A new article by Geoffrey Thomas of AirlineRatings.com on the WSPR tracking technology:
Bruce Ward on my website 30APR2022 at 08:32 am:
“I do not know of a single person involved in the development of HF radar systems that considers the MH370 predictions to have any technical credibility.”
Mike Exner in the Vice Studios MH370 documentary episode 3 “Murder at 30,000 feet” at 38:20:
“I don’t know of any experts with experience in RF radio propagation work or over the horizon radar endorsing this idea.”
Dr. Hannes Coetzee and Dr. Robert Westphal have worked on HF radio propagation and HF radar systems and endorse the idea of using WSPR to detect and track aircraft over the horizon and consider MH370 predictions to have technical credibility.
The Malaysian govt is corrupt, from all I’ve read, they do not want the pilot murder/suicide theory being pursued, which is the prevailing theory from expert aviation field. They feel like they have idea of spot, on the 7 arc, 39.1S, 88.18E but don’t know what’s happening as far as Ocean Infinity looking there yet. One expert says Doppler shows plane”s final descent as five times faster than normal and he says the plane would have become confetti as it hit the water, so how can they find anything? Mesmerized by this story
Welcome to the blog!
You ask: “how can they find anything?”
The zero fuel weight of MH370 was 174,369 kg. The average weight of the 36 items of floating debris found is 4.8 kg. If the aircraft broke up on impact into items with the same average weight, then there would be around 36,000 items of debris.
Most of these items will have sunk to the ocean floor and will be most likely spread over an area similar to the debris field of AF447 depicted in the following link:
Larger items like engine cores and landing gear will still be relatively intact and possible to detect. Here is a photo of the AF447 landing gear which was found at a depth of 3,900 m:
For media contacts I have an offline media update list. Just send me a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the list. Unfortunately the online media update facility was frequently abused by people signing in to get me to update porn sites, hackers and detractors.
You can help by:
1. Publishing links to my website posts.
2. Publishing links to download the key papers.
3. Publishing articles about our work.
The online contact form was designed for the scientific community to submit relevant papers for publication on my website. It is likewise constantly abused by people signing me up to porn and dating sites.
In the last month there have been up to 250 brute force attacks per day on my website resulting in 50 IP addresses being banned. Fortunately my security system is very sophisticated and none of these attacks were successful. The brute force attackers are normally automated systems that try and login as admin using a series of different passwords. The hacker tries multiple usernames and passwords, often using a computer to test a wide range of combinations, until they find the correct login information. The admin username is not “admin”, the password is long and cryptic and double authentication is used.
I will continue to not allow comments from anonymous or fake email addresses. My apologies to Mickey Mouse, Albert Einstein and dk48gjfdeufn455@ffhd39nh94zfvjnad!
I don’t know anything about thus stuff but as a person with a morbid fascination about plane crashes, seems credible.
What I’d like to know is if there were any eye witness accounts that match this proposed crash site? I know there were a few people who said they saw things.
Welcome to the blog!
To my knowledge, there are no eye witness accounts that match my proposed crash site. The location is in a remote part of the Indian Ocean and not on any of the usual shipping lanes. The area was visited by fishing vessels, but no reports of any crash sighting have been made.
Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett gave a presentation to the Malaysian Minister of Transport on Monday 20th June 2022 in Kuala Lumpur together with representatives of the MH370 next of kin.
The Minister wants more details. Currently the WSPR based evidence as well as Ocean Infinity’s private assessments by 3 universities together with the original Inmarsat data analysis are being compiled to justify the choice of the proposed search area. The Minister also plans to consult with Australia and China.
In my view, I do not see why Ocean Infinity have to justify their choice of a proposed search area, as their proposal is on a no find no fee basis. When Ocean Infinity are funding the underwater search, they are taking the financial risk for the planned operation.
Whereas it is diplomatic of Malaysia to consult with Australia and China in view of the expired tripartite agreement, it is the legal, financial, aviation safety and moral responsibility of the Malaysian Government to find MH370.
Here is a link to a press release issued by the Malaysian Minister of Transport:
I realize that I am stating the obvious, and I understand why you need to stay diplomatic with the powers that be. But it seems like we are overdue for certain folks to be called out for the obvious cover up. It seems clear that information has been withheld. I am concerned about the cause for the stalling… that there might be search/recovery underway that will leave nothing to be found. I hope that someone is keeping eye on the search area somehow. The whole story, at least the little that I know of it, smells rather bad. I hope and pray that the truth comes to light eventually. Seems like the world is becoming one of conspiracy theories come true. It’s getting old fast.
Keep at it. You done good.
A new article by Geoffrey Thomas of airlineratings.com titled “Malaysia not interested in finding MH370”.
The issue that I see with OI starting a new search without having Malaysia on board is that they need to get paid when they find something. If they do it without any contract at all, they risk years in court *trying* to get paid, relying on international law and politics for their leverage. Even with the no-cure-no-pay deal, it’s gotta be in writing. I am no lawyer… only guessing.
The previous Ocean Infinity search was on the basis of a written contract and I expect the same for any future search.
The contract also covers what items Malaysia wants recovered from the wreckage. There was quite a list last time.
It appears the Malysian government do not want MH370 found and for it to remain a mystery. This is literally incredible.
The only explanation if true would therefore follow: that they do not wish to be forever tainted with the fact it was a Malasian aircraft and flight, involved in such a heinous event if proven deliberate.
To normal thinking people this too would appear incredible.
I agree Ocean Infinity should press ahead without Malaysian endorsement. They will be doing the world community a great service in finding MH370.
Richard Godfrey is to be highly praised for such a painstaking and amazingly detailed report.
Welcome to the blog!
Many thanks for the kind words. I hope that the Malaysian Government agree terms with Ocean Infinity. They managed to agree a contract in 2018. It must be possible to agree a contract in 2022.
Both the Malaysian Minister of Transport and the Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett spoke at the previous MH370 Remembrance Event on 6th March 2022 committing to a further search, so I hope that nothing has changed on the Malaysian side in the last 3 months. It certainly has not changed on Ocean Infinity’s side.
An interview with Prof. Charitha Pattiaratchi on the next underwater search for MH370 by Ocean Infinity.
I have seen your criticism of our paper around the internet in various websites.
In Table 4 the candidate anomaly at 14:26 UTC between AC0JX at EN38io and VK6WR at OF77wx is a borderline SNR one standard deviation anomaly at -19 dB.
Also in Table 4 in our latest paper the candidate anomaly at 14:26 UTC between KF9KV at EN52et and KB3EDF at FM18mm is specifically stated as “Anomaly = None” and is discarded following analysis.
That is why you will not find either in the results table in section 9 “Discussion of Results” on page 34, repeated here for your convenience:
I fail to understand why have you chosen to criticise these two candidates that were discarded in our analysis and not included in our results table? There are 17 position indicators that were included in the results table.
You also criticise that the actual location of KB3EDF was not used but rather the Maidenhead Grid locator of FM18. You omit to say that the FM18mm is the midpoint of the Maidenhead Grid cell as we have explained in our paper. If we had modified the WSPRnet source data to use the actual value FM18rh, you would probably have accused us of manipulating the data or reverse engineering.
You also omit to state that the difference in the azimuth between transmitter and receiver is 0.1525° for the initial bearing and 0.4088° for the final bearing. Both values are within the 0.75° tolerance in the analysis. Over those distances the difference between being in the middle of the locator or more on the outskirts are going to make very little difference to the final results, especially as multiple detections are considered.
We have recently been given a pointer by Douglas Denny (call sign G3ZQE) to some earlier work by Peter Martinez (call sign G3PLX) on his ionospheric research and on ‘Dopplergrams’. He produced the Dopplergrams with his own designed software and DSP Tx/Rx working with very narrow bandwidths achievable with his own designed GPS-locked local oscillator of the DSP Tx/Rx.
His work was presented in papers submitted to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) some years go. He used both his own transmitter and fixed ground stations (eg. Inskip) and with his ‘dopplergrams’ could observe and produce ionospheric reflection vs height layer changes as “waterfall” graphs over time. The Defence High Frequency Communications Service (DHFCS) is a British military beyond line-of-sight communication system operated by the Ministry of Defence at Inskip, Lancashire, England.
Included in his Dopplergrams always were the flight paths of aircraft from Manchester and other flight paths from airports in the UK. He was also able to track flights of other aircraft at much greater ranges. He said it was quite possible to send a pulse and observe the return pulses from one or two total global paths with only a matter of milliwatts of transmission power.
In summary: the very narrow bandwidth techniques gave a massive S/N increase by reducing noise with such small bandwidth that only small wattage transmitted power was necessary. Large power levels and/or highly directional antennae were not required.
Hannes reports that Peter Martinez did some amazing work and was fascinated by everything he did. It will be interesting to see the parallels between that work and what WSPR processing is doing.
This says it all please read
I fully support the position taken by the MH370 next of kin, understand and feel with them.
My hope and prayers are that Malaysia will support a further search and stop quibbling about new credible evidence and diplomatic tripartite agreements.
Let the experts like Ocean Infinity do their business without interference or hindrance. They are willing to put their money, where their mouth is. Malaysia should reciprocate.
The groundbreaking, narrowband techniques developed by Peter Martinez, G3PLX and those collaborating/inspired by him (e.g. Murray Greenman, ZL1BPU; Joel Gonzalez, W4GON; Andrew Senior,G0TJZ and others) in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s were primarily aimed at ionospheric radio propagation research. As a non-taxable, fringe benefit they also discovered that they could easily detect aircraft in flight, the International Space Station, meteorites burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere etc using low power HF transmissions. These reflections are detected the with aid of the Doppler shift caused by the targets (aircraft) as displayed as intensity (signal strength) on a “Dopplergram” as mentioned by Douglas Denny in a previous post. These techniques were however never further developed to determine the directions to or the positions of the objects causing the reflections and the Doppler shifts.
Fast forward to the 2010’s with the development of WSPR and the similarities to the work of G3PLX are striking. WSPR also makes use of very narrowband techniques, but now very special modulation is added to the transmit signal. On the receive side very advanced digital signal processing techniques were implemented by Prof Joe Taylor to further enhance the ability to detect the signal way under the noise floor. Once again WSPR was developed for propagation research but the additional features opened the door for some out-of-the-box and some possibilities never envisaged by the designers of WSPR. Received WSPR signals are now captured in a huge database incorporating an indication of the received SNR, Doppler shift, transmitted power, locations of the transmitter and the receiver, etc.
With the aid of further pre-knowledge such as the departure time, type of aircraft and the GTDAAA software developed by Richard it is now possible to correlate the expected position of the aircraft with Doppler and signal strength anomalies as captured by WSPRnet enabling the position of the disturbance or anomaly to be determined.
It is now nearly a full circle starting with the work of Sir Robert Watson-Watt using the BBC HF (Short Wave) radio transmissions to detect aircraft in the early 1930’s to the current WSPRnet developments that aim to determine the position of aircraft from HF amateur radio transmissions over vast distances where there are not other suitable means available. And so that that was old will become new again:)
A 10 minute interview on TalkTV in the UK on the Howard Hughes show “The Unexplained” about MH370:
The interview start at about 10 minutes into the replay. Depending on your country, you may need a VPN in order to watch the replay.
Could WSPR and Ocean Infinity help in the recovery of the recently failed UK satellite launch?
Success in this are might help to recover some very valuable equipment, and might also help the various stakeholders to improve their launch and satellite deployment capabilities.
At the same time, this might help to raise public awareness of the continuing search for MH370 while providing Ocean Infinity with an opportunity to test and prove their new underwater search drones.
Below is a link to a BBC article about the launch from the UK spaceport in Cornwall