Since its establishment in 1936 the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica (the Italian national institute for geophysics) has been engaging in ionospheric physics studies. Over the years, the Institute has evolved expanding its fields of study within the Earth physics, becoming Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), nevertheless ionospheric physics has been continuing in playing a fundamental role among the Institute goals.
Exploiting this long-standing experience today we are able to carry out feasibility studies of long range links in the HF band. To this aim, recently the project SWING (http://swing.rm.ingv.it/) investigated the feasibility of data links based upon ionospheric propagation, to be activated quickly in case of crisis in the normal working of the infrastructures assigned.
In case radio HF stations are available in the Mediterranean area, and a radio link is wanted between them, we can forecast the best conditions for the link, using models and data acquired from vertical and oblique soundings performed by the INGV ionospheric observatories. The a priori knowledge on the local ionosphere are exploited, completing them with the observational data in order to determine the most suitable frequencies and the minimum power required to realize the link.