As I mentioned in my previous post I would return with more aeronautical listening tips, so here it is! 🙂
This time It´s time to listen to the weather report! Not any report but the reports transmitted by VOLMET stations.
So, what is a VOLMET station? VOLMET is a abbreviation for “Meteorological Information for Aircraft in Flight” or “Volume Meteorological” wich means just that, meteorological information for aircraft in flight. The information that is transmitted is weather reports for different airports in the destination area containing for example the present wind speed, runway visability, temperature, cloud base (hight of the clouds) and forecasts. The weather data is collected locally at the different airports why it can give a accurate report.
So, what is the use of this information for the HAM radio operator? Other than it’s fun to know the present temperature on different airports the information transmitted is not the thing that is usefull. It’s actually the transmition itself that is interesting!
The VOLMET stations is geographically located at different places depending on it’s use. Also, they are transmitting on a number of frequencies spreading from 3MHz to 17MHz. The given locations and the fact that it has a known output power makes the stations an indicator of propagation conditions and also gives a good chance to learn about the carachteristics of the ionosphere.
In the weastern parts of Europe we can find Shannon VOLMET, located at Ballygirreen in Ireland. The VOLMET is managed by th Irish Aviation Athourity (IAA) wich also handles the oceanic control in the Shanwick control area in the north atlantic. The station transmit weather information for a number of European airports wich also includes Stockholm Arlanda and Gothenburg Landvetter airports in Sweden. The transmissions are aimed for the aircrafts coming from North America.
Below is a link to a youtube video with a transmission of the Shannon VOLMET on 5MHz.
For flights travelling the other way, Nav Canada has the Gander VOLMET (Gander radio). The station is located close to Gander airport, New Foundland in Canada. Gander also shares the frequencies with New York radio switching transmitter at even intervals. New York radio has it’s transmitters located on Long island.
Below there is a link to a you tube video with a transmission of Gander VOLMET on 10MHz.
So, where do you find the VOLMET:s? The site Dxinfocentre has a complete frequency list covering most of the HF VOLMET stations there is.
73 de SM7VRZ