call sign

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call sign

[′kȯl ‚sīn]
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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).
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
'Earlier, police officers responsible did not take the matter professionally and seriously so the CTF worked without a call sign and a control room for the wireless communication,' the officer said, adding there was a shortage of space and tools to establish a control room and equipped the CTF officials with wireless sets.
* "Heavy" at the end of a call sign should alarm pilots to be concerned about wake turbulence.
The Iranian embassy in Berlin issued a statement saying that three official German planes were flying to India (not two as reported last week) and had been given call signs to radio to air traffic controllers when they approached Iranian airspace from Turkey.
The Iranian diplomatic mission said that Merkel's pilot did not send the proper call sign and thus was not able to cross Iranian airspace.
"The 'M' in my call sign was given in international recognition of Marconi who came to Tywyn to set up one of the first ever radio stations 100 years ago."
On July 12, the crew of an Apache with the same call sign mistakenly killed 22-year-old Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his camera assistant, 40-year-old Saeed Chmagh.
Unique transmission events like Barmoor which are given a special call sign issued by Ofcom are very exclusive and a bit of a holy grail to broadcasters.
Fields, a Navy officer and A-7A Corsair II pilot with the call sign Streetcar 304 from Attack Squadron 82, launched from the aircraft carrier USS America on his first combat mission.
The Indian Air Force ordered the plane to land on Sunday morning at the Mumbai Airport after it found a discrepancy in the aircraft's call sign. After a seven-hour drama, it was given the go-ahead to proceed.
The ageing Nimrod MR2 reconnaissance aircraft, call sign XV230, crashed in Afghanistan on September 2 last year while carrying out an intelligence-gathering mission.