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Coetzee MSc Thesis

Coetzee MSc Thesis

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Published by Dinesh Pandey

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Dinesh Pandey on Oct 04, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/07/2012

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A FEASIBILITY STUDY INTO THE POSSIBILITY OFIONOSPHERIC PROPAGATION OF LOW VHF (30 ~35 MHZ) SIGNALS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA ANDCENTRAL AFRICA
A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of 
MASTER of SCIENCE
of Rhodes UniversitybyPetrus Johannes CoetzeeNovember 2009
 
 
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Abstract
The role of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has changed considerably in the lastdecade. The emphasis has moved from protecting the country's borders to peacekeeping duties inCentral Africa and even further North. Communications between the peacekeeping missions and themilitary bases back in South Africa is vital to ensure the success of these missions.Currently use is made of satellite as well as High Frequency (HF) communications. There aredrawbacks associated with these technologies (high cost and low data rates/interference respectively).Successful long distance ionospheric propagation in the low Very High Frequency (VHF) range willcomplement the existing infrastructure and enhance the success rate of these missions.This thesis presents a feasibility study to determine under what ionospheric conditions such low VHFcommunications will be possible. The International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) was used to generateionospheric data for the reflection point(s) of the signal. The peak height of the ionospheric F2 layer (
) was used to calculate the required antenna elevation angle. Once the elevation angle is knownit is possible to calculate the required F2 layer critical frequency (
). The required
 
value wascalculated by assuming a Maximum Useable Frequency (MUF) of 20% higher than the plannedoperational frequency.It was determined that single hop propagation is possible during the daytime if the smoothed sunspotnumber (SSN) exceeds 15. The most challenging requirement for successful single hop propagation isthe need of an antenna height of 23 m. For rapid deployment and semi-mobile operations within a jungle environment it may prove to be a formidable obstacle.
 
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Acknowledgement
I wish to extend my sincere gratitude and high appreciation to my supervisor Dr. Lee-Anne McKinnellfor her guidance towards the success of this study.Thanks to my wife, Gillian, and sons Jean-Pierre and Jayden for their continuous support.And most important of all: to the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, and the ionosphere, how greatThou are!

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