The US Air Force has granted contracts to three research teams, with hopes that CubeSats could carry massive amounts of ionized gas to the ionosphere to create radio-reflecting plasma. An artist's impression of a CubeSat is pictured above
Geek: US Air Force wants to plasma bomb the skies to improve radio reception
The US Air Force is working on a plan to plasma bomb the sky. No, they have not been co-opted by a super villain bent on world domination. This plan has legitimate, perhaps even noble goals. If the USAF can pull it off. Radio signals will be able to travel farther through the atmosphere.
Radio operators have long known that radio signals travel better at night. They can travel hundreds of miles further to be picked up by equipment that would never hear a peep during the day. Now we understand the mechanism that makes this possible. It’s all down to charged particles (i.e. plasma) in the ionosphere, a layer of the atmosphere that starts about 30 miles up. You’re probably most familiar with the ionosphere from auroras like the northern lights.
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Update: The US Air Force reveals radical plan to 'bomb the sky' to improve radio reception (Daily Mail)
WNU Editor: I am a radio person .... but I am dubious on the merits of this tech.