Chirp transmitter

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A chirp transmitter is a shortwave radio transmitter that sweeps the HF radio spectrum on a regular schedule. If one is monitoring a specific frequency, then a chirp is heard (in CW or SSB mode) when the signal passes through. These transmitters are mainly used for over-the-horizon radar systems [1] and for probing ionospheric properties.[2]

An analysis of current transmitters has been done using SDR technology.[3]

For better identification of chirp transmitters the following notation is used: <repetition rate (s)>:<chirp offset (s)>, where the repetition rate is the time between two sweeps in seconds and the chirp offset is the time of the first sweep from 0 MHz after a full hour in seconds. If the initial frequency is greater than 0 MHz, the offset time can be linearly extrapolated to 0 MHz.[2]

List of chirp transmitters[edit]


  1. ^ Radar Handbook (M. Skolnik)
  2. ^ a b Peter Martinez, G3PLX: Chirps and HF Propagation
  3. ^ Pieter-Tjerk de Boer, PA3FWM: Chirp Signals analyzed using SDR