From “The Leslie Report”
The building season is short in Alaska so Digital Aurora Radio Technologies was happy to get started recently on construction of the antenna field for its Digital Radio Mondiale shortwave tests.
The Federal Communications Commission recently approved the project we told you about a while back; consultant for the project Don Messer tells me the actual testing will be done next spring.
DART has a two-year experimental authorization for coverage of Alaska with DRM signals in three of the lower shortwave bands around 5, 7 and 9 MHz. How much power it will take to accomplish that is unknown and something DART and the DRM Consortium hope to learn during testing.
“We’ve done simulations to try to find the right frequency bands to use. My guess is this will work well and the power levels won’t be high,” although the group does have authorization to go as high as 100 kW, Messer said.
He said people have asked him how much interference the DRM signal may encounter. “We should be able to find 10 kHz frequency slots within these bands with no problem,” he tells me.
The three antennas DART is constructing are large; the largest one is about 100 feet wide. They will be connected to the existing transmitter with rigid coax, built to withstand the –40°C or below in the Delta Junction testing area some 130 miles southeast of Fairbanks.
If the tests show excellent results for digital broadcasts to cover the entire state, the next step would be to obtain approval to use the DRM system and the transmission station for a regular broadcasting service, says the consortium.