Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What is "Skip Zone"?

Under the action of solar radiation and the hail of meteorites, an ionized layer is formed in the upper part of the Earth's atmosphere. In this layer, the neutral air molecules are decomposed into ions and electrons and the whole layer presents a chaos of charged particles.Short wave radio signals are reflected from this layer just as light rays are reflected from the surface of a mirror, or sound from a barrier.Likewise, this layer can be compared with the edge of billiard table: if the ball does not go straight into the pocket, it can be sent on rebound. In a situation, a radio receiver set located at a distance of 200 kilometres (say) away from the wireless transmitting station can not receive signals from the transmitting station. This is because the ground waves are stopped by the Earth's curvature and the sky wave will not reach the receiver, because it bounces again more than 200 kilometres way. So some 'blind zones' are formed and if the receiver is located in that blind zone it will receive no signal or very weak signal. In such a situation, another station can relay the message to the target station. The distance of the intended receiver from the transmitter is then termed as 'skip distance'. So it is not always necessary that a receiving station located nearer (than a station located further away from the transmitting station) to the transmitting station will be able to receive its signal.