call sign

(redirected from Callsigns)
Also found in: Dictionary.

call sign

[′kȯl ‚sīn]

Call Sign


a set of characters (code symbols, letters, or numbers) or an audible signal (word, musical phrase, bird call) that serves as the distinctive sign of a radio station—usually for the purpose of identification of the station during reception. As a rule, it is transmitted at the beginning of each period of the station’s operation.

The set of symbols in a call sign identifies the station’s national affiliation. The initial characters are established by the International Radio Regulations. The USSR, for example, uses in this position the letters U and R and such combinations as 4J, 4K, and 4L. The complete structure of a call sign depends on the class (purpose) of a station and differs for broadcasting, official, and amateur radio stations. Call signs for amateur radio stations have a complicated makeup and contain the most information. They often indicate through a code the station’s operating wave band (shortwave or ultrashortwave), the station’s group (a collective or individual station) and site (in the USSR—the Union republic, oblast, and amateur-radio region), and the individual letter symbol or registration number of the station.


call sign

Any combination of characters or pronounceable words used primarily for establishing and maintaining communications. It identifies a communication facility, a command, an authority, an activity, or a unit. A call sign should have at least two syllables (e.g., Red 1, Pan Am 550).
References in periodicals archive ?
Bypassing the area with the trailer of food and water, they continued to walk around the outside of the perimeter wire until challenged by callsign 69.
Information obtained during the course of the operation included Japanese W/T procedures, secret callsigns and technical details of W/T stations.
On 30 December 1941, the Russians provided the British with complete details of the Japanese naval communications network, as at October 1941, and informed them that all warship callsigns had been changed.
Intelligence estimates and order of battle information could be used to set target activity search priorities, along with providing possible times of operation, frequencies and callsigns of high-priority targets and other essential elements of information (EEI).
We'll start by changing everyone's callsigns to important safety tips .
Use standard phraseology ("I hate pilots who use cute variations on callsigns, like 'Sugar' instead of 'Sierra,'" said one controller).