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Massive Solar Flare Knocks Out Some Radio Signals

While escalating global tensions increase the potential threat from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, there’s another all-too-real interference threat that is little discussed. Until now!

On the cusp of the official start of the “Dog Days of Summer” (July 5th), a massive solar flare on Sunday, July 2nd, reportedly knocked out high-frequency radio signals over large swaths of the western U.S. and the Pacific Ocean. The flair was rated by the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as an R3 event (on a scale of RI, minor, to R5, extreme).

The flair reportedly lasted for about 30 minutes, peaking at about 7:14 pm (EDT). According to NOAA, the solar flair resulted in a “temporary degradation or complete loss of high-frequency radio signals.”

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VSWR and its Effects on Power Amplifiers

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio results from an impedance mismatch between a source (an amplifier) and a load (test application). This mismatch can influence the performance of the source.

While such incidents are rare, some researchers have suggested that the current cycle of solar flare-ups (Cycle 25) could produce more sunspots and spew more solar wind, flares, and eruptions, potentially leading to further radio signal interruptions.

Additional details about the solar flare and its consequences are available on the website site of the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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