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An ionosonde is a kind of high-frequency skywave radar developed for ionospheric research and HF channel management. A novel low-power multifunctional ionospheric sounding system, i.e., the Wuhan Ionospheric Comprehensive Sounding System (WICSS), is presented in this paper. Software-defined-radio-based power and low transmitting power are the two most significant features of the system. The system can achieve vertical-incidence, oblique backscatter, and oblique-incidence sounding within low transmitting power. The application of pulse compression and coherent integration allows WICSS to measure ionospheric parameters with high resolution and very low power. The background of ionospheric sounding is introduced. Conventional and modern ionospheric sounding theories are described. The radar waveforms, system structure, and major system parameters are depicted in detail. Typical experimental results are shown at the end of this paper.