Woodside, California – January 21st 2015:
K6TU.NET adds support for generating Terrain Profiles for use with ARRL HF Terrain Analysis tool
Stu K6TU’s propagation-as-a-service website at http://k6tu.net now provides you with the ability to generate a terrain profile for use with the ARRL HF Terrain Analysis (HFTA) tool.
Written by Dean Straw, N6BV, HFTA models the performance of horizontal antennas over the actual terrain surrounding the antenna and graphically displays the results. HF antennas are impacted by terrain due to reflection and diffraction effects in the near field which can significantly enhance or degrade antenna performance. Modeling these effects allows optimum antenna placement and selection of height above ground.
To support this modeling, the user must first obtain a terrain profile which describes the height of terrain around the antenna location.
Before Stu’s addition to K6TU.NET, the user had to obtain digital elevation data for their location and then use a GIS tool like MicroDEM to generate the profile. This process is cumbersome and time consuming as the source of the data must be located, downloaded and then processed with MicroDEM before HFTA could be used.
With K6TU.NET you simply login to the site and fill in a Terrain Profile Request describing the location of the antenna in latitude and longitude. Clicking on the “Generate Profile” button causes the request to be processed by the site in the background usually within 2 to 3 minutes. The site sends you an email when the Terrain Profile Request is completed.
“The addition of this feature to K6TU.NET is superb!” says Trent Sampson VK4TS, going on to say “The process of getting terrain data was the bane of using HFTA and Stu has that nailed. In a word, FANTASTIC”.
In addition to generating Terrain Profiles, Stu also has a utility he calls HFTASWEEP which uses HFTA to generate a detailed model of the antenna for use with K6TU.NET propagation predictions. The combination of modeled antenna performance together with use of the effective-SSN (SSNe) enables “near cast” predictions to be made for contest and DX strategy planning.
Terrain Profile Requests are available to any user with a registered account on K6TU.NET at no charge. A subscription to K6TU.NET is NOT necessary to obtain a Terrain Profile. Stu’s site has copies of both the USGS National Elevation Dataset (for the United States) and the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission dataset (Outside US with data for the world between latitude 60 South and 60 North) enabling fast turnaround of requests.
For more information visit Stu’s site at http://k6tu.net/TerrainProfiles
Stu Phillips – K6TU