Additional VHF Antenna Enhances Communication to Improve Forecasts

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Image of an external antenna on an aircraft
Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Crystal Register

June 11, 2024 | Originally published by U.S. Air Force Reserve Command on May 21, 2024

Hurricane season starts June 1, and the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s role in collecting weather data is key for forecasts.

To enhance their communication capabilities, the United States Air Force Reserve completed the successful temporary installation and test of a third Very High Frequency, or VHF, antenna in a WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft on May 1.

Once testing and evaluation is completed over the summer, installation of the antenna on the 10 WC-130Js is projected to begin this fall.

“Normally, we have two VHF radio channels on board our aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Mason Henry, 403rd Maintenance Squadron meteorological equipment technician. “The VHF channels are used by the pilots for emergency communications and notifications.”

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