NVIS Communications During the Solar Minimum
Source: New Mexico State University
A popular technique for providing non line-of-sight coverage in mountainous or urban terrain is High Frequency (HF) radio Near-Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) mode. In NVIS operation, HF energy is directed vertically, and is refracted from the ionosphere to return nearly vertically to the area surrounding the transmitter; this nicely avoids nearly all obstacles. Direction finding versus a NVIS transmitter is also made difficult to the extent that the energy is directed vertically and groundwave is suppressed. However, NVIS operation requires the presence of substantial ionization in the ionosphere directly overhead the transmitter, so some concern is warranted about the effectiveness of NVIS operation during a solar minimum.