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The aim in this chapter is to review briefly the physical principles involved in radio-direction finding in the HF band. We shall consider only direction finding from fixed land-based stations, on signals propagated via the ionosphere. The abbreviation DF will be used here, as in most published literature, for both direction finder and direction finding; the correct choice should always be obvious from the context. The ideal direction finder would be capable of working over a wide frequency band, 360° of azimuth and 90° of elevation, of dealing with all forms of modulation, and of giving accurate and reliable bearings, even on comparatively brief transmissions. A signal such as a distress call from a ship may be brief and signal parameters such as frequency may not be optimum at all receiving points. The transmissions on which bearings are to be taken in normal applications of civil and military DF must therefore be regarded as noncooperative.

Inspec keywords: direction-of-arrival estimation; radio direction-finding; HF radio propagation

Other keywords: land based stations; signal propagation; HF band; radiodirection finding

Subjects: Signal processing and detection

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