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# TOPIC 8: Propagation Mechanisms

## EE 542 Fall 2008

O. Kilic EE 542

References
Saunders, S. R. Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communication Systems, Wiley Internet, Google search under Fresnel, Knife Edge, Propagation

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Introduction
We will discuss how the basic parameters of antennas can be used together with an understanding of propagation mechanisms. The objective is to calculate the range of a wireless communication system. We will introduce approximate models which are of idealized nature for simplicity.
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Path Loss
The path loss between a pair of antennas is the ratio of the transmitted power to the received power, usually expressed in dB. It includes all of the possible elements of loss associated with interactions between the propagating wave and any objects between the Tx and Rx antennas. In order to define the path properly, the losses and gains in the system must be considered.

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## Elements of a Wireless Communication System

PT DT DR PT GT GR PR = = LT LLR L

## ** Note that the book definition is wrong!!

All gains G and losses L are expressed as power ratios, and powers expressed as watts.
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## Effective Isotropic Transmitted Power (EIRP)

EIRP = PT DT = PT GT PTI LT PT GT GR PR = L PR ; PRI GR

The advantage of expressing powers in terms of EIRP is that the path loss, L can be expressed independently of system parameters by defining it as the ratio of transmitted and received EIRP.

## PTI PT GT GR = L= PRI PR PTI LdB = 10log L = 10log P RI PRdB = ( EIRP + GR L ) dBW

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A Note on Decibels
Unit dBW dBm dB dBi Reference Power 1W 1 mW any Power radiated by an isotropic reference antenna Power radiated by a half-wave dipole Application Absolute power Absolute power
P [dBW] = P [dBm] - 30

## Gain or loss of a network Gain of an antenna

dBd

Gain of an antenna
0 dBd = 2.15 dBi

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Example 1
A base station transmits a power of 1 W with a gain of 12 dBd in the direction of a mobile receiver, which has a gain of 0 dBd. The mobile receiver has a sensitivity of -104 dBm.
a) Determine the effective isotropic radiated power b) Determine the maximum acceptable path loss
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Solution
EIRP = PT + GT = 0 + 14.15 = 14.15 dBW

Quantity

## Value in consistent units 0 dBW 14.15 dBi 2.15 dBi

a)
EIRP = 101.415 = 26 W

PT GT GR PR

b)

## L = PT + GT + GR PR = 0 + 14.15 + 2.15 (134) = 148.3 dB

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Propagation Modeling
The main goal of propagation modeling is to predict the path loss L as accurately as possible, so that The range of a radio system can be determined accurately before installation.

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## Why consider propagation?

1.Could my system operate correctly? Wanted signal intensity/ range/ coverage? Accounting for Required quality Required distance/ area/ volume Required geographic/ climatic region Required time period 2. Could my system suffer unacceptable interference from other systems? 3. Could my system produce such interference to other systems? Strength of unwanted interfering signals? Received by the system at hand Radiated by the system at hand Physical area of interference? Time period of interference? Degradation in quality of wanted signals?
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## Simplest Case: LOS: Free space propagation

Simplest possible case Single unobstructed path Valid approximation for satellite communications The transmitter uses power PT. At distance d, what is the (average) received power PR? Friis free space equation (H.T. Friis, 1946):

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Friis Equation
PR = PT GT GR 4 R
In Friis equation: = Wavelength ( = c/f) f = Frequency c = Speed of light GT =Transmitter antenna gain GR = Receiver antenna gain d = Distance Recall that antenna gain measures the ability of the antenna to focus in a particular direction.
* The dependence on arises from the effective aperture of an isotropic antenna.
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## Free Space Path Loss

PR = PT GT GR 4 R
2

## PT GT GR 4 R 4 Rf LF = = = PR c 4 R LF ( dB ) = 20log LF ( dB ) = 32.4 + 20log Rkm + 20log f MHz

2 2

The free space path loss increases by 6 dB for each doubling either in frequency or distance. For most practical applications the total path loss will be in excess of the free space loss.
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## Friis Equation Limitations

The Friis equation breaks down for small d. It is valid only in the far field region. Far field threshold is df = 2D2/ Define a reference point d0 >> df and measure (or predict) PR(d0). Then:

d PR (d ) = PR (d 0 ) d0

where n is the path loss exponent and for free space equals to 2. But for other medium it is usually larger.
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Example 2
The communication system described in Example 1 is operated under free space propagation conditions at 900 MHz. Determine its maximum range.

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Solution
LF ( dB ) = 32.4 + 20log Rkm + 20log f MHz log R = LF ( dB ) 32.4 20log f MHz 20 148.3 32.4 20log900 = 2.84 20 R 693 km

This is impractically large. In practice, other factors will reduce the range substantially, so more reasonable loss factors need to be considered. Free space path loss serves as a first cut minimum loss for a given range.
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Example 3
A satellite at a distance of 40,000 km from a point on the earths surface radiates a power of 2 W from an antenna with a gain of 17 dB in the direction of the observer. Find the radiated power density at the receiving point, and the power received by an antenna with an effective area of 10 m2.

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Solution
PT GT 2 50 -15 2 S = =4.97 10 W/m = 2 4 R2 4 ( 4 107 ) where GT = 10
GT ,dB 10

= 101.7 = 50

## S dB = 143 dBW/m2 PR = Ae S = 4.97 10-14 W PR

dB

= 133 dBW

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Example 4
Consider the satellite in Example 3 and assume it operates at a frequency of 11 GHz. The receive antenna has a gain of 52.3 dB. Find the received power.

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Solution
PR = EIRP + GR LF (dBW) EIRP = PT + GT = 10log2 + 17 = 20 dBW GR = 52.3 dB 4 R L F = 20log = 205.3 dB PR = 20 + 52.3 205.3 = 133 dBW
Same as in Example 3
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Observation
Remember the relation between effective area and gain of a receive antenna:

GR =
In Example 2, Ae = 10 m2. 4 10
GR =
2

4 Ae

GR(dB )

8

40
2

= 168862.2

## Therefore the receive antennas in both examples are equivalent.

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Propagation Modes

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Effects on Propagation
Atmospheric
Absorption Refraction Ducting Rain Scattering

Terrain
Reflection Diffraction Terrain Scattering

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Propagation Mechanisms
Usually there is no line-of-sight path. Need to consider other mechanisms:
Reflection Diffraction Scattering

## Reflection is fairly easy to model, diffraction and scattering are harder.

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Reflection/Refraction Phenomena

Electromagnetic waves travel at different speeds in different media. Velocity of light waves is more in media of lower refractive index. This causes the waves to bend from normal to surface, when it travels from medium of higher refractive index to lower.
Thin air

Dense air

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Reflection
Occurs when the wave encounters an object with large dimensions. The wave is partially reflected and partially transmitted (refracted). Proportions and angles depend on the materials and the surface Incident and reflected angles are equal: i = r. Refracted wave follows Snell's law: n1 sin 1 = n2 sin 2 where n is the refractive index, n =

r r

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## Definitions: Planes of Incidence and the Interface and the polarizations

Perpendicular (horizontal) polarization sticks out of or into the plane of incidence.
Plane of incidence (here the xy plane) is the plane that contains the incident and reflected kvectors.

Incident medium

ki
Ei Er

kr
i r t
ni

## Interface Plane of the interface (here the

yz plane) (perpendicular to page)

## Parallel (vertical) polarization lies parallel to the plane of incidence.

Et

kt

nt

Transmitting medium
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## Reflection - Terrain Effect

Radio waves are reflected by ground, bulidings water sheet over lakes, rivers, and sea etc. During Reflection , the waves suffer a loss, defined by reflection coefficient. At receiver, energy arrives from direct and reflected path ( causing multipath). If the two waves are in phase, there is an enhancement of the signal. If the two waves are out of phase , a cancellation occurs ( disrupting transmission).

Direct beam

Reflected beam
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-1(

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f = 100 MHz

Brewster angle
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f = 100 MHz

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## Some Properties of Reflection

Notice that the reflection coefficient for the vertically polarized (parallel) wave, v decreases and goes to zero at one angle Brewster angle. For highly conducting medium, v never quite goes to zero but is minimal pseudo Brewster angle. Notice that at grazing incidence; i.e. = 90o, the reflection coefficient for both polarizations have unit amplitude. (h = v = -1)

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## Reflection from a Flat Ground

direct hT reflected i hR

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DR

## Modification of Friis Equation for Planar Earth

For distances less than tens of km, the earths curvature can be neglected and earths surface can be assumed flat. Typically, D >> hT, hR. Then is very small: 0, i = 90o 90o
This is known as grazing incidence, and || = 1

hT hR PR = PT GT GR 2 D

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## Planar Earth Approximation Derivation

Edir = Eou 2 ; = Eref = Eo e j u L

L = Lref Ldir
2 2 + + ( ) Lref = D h h T R
1 2

Ldir = D + (hT hR )
2 2

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## Planar Earth Approximation Derivation

Assume grazing angle : h = v = 1 4 h h j Eref = Eo e D u
T R

T R

2

Friis eqn
2

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## Plane Earth Loss

hT hR PR = PT GT GR 2 D
2

## PR L(dB) = 10log PT LP (dB) = 10log(GT ) + 10log(GR ) + 20log ( hT ) + 20log ( hR ) 40log( D)

Differs from free space loss: No frequency dependence (as a result of the assumption hT, hR << D) Inverse 4th power law as a function of distance (rather than the square law)
Rarely an accurate model. Sometimes used as a reference case.
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## Earths Curvature Effects

When the separation between the Transmit and Receive antennas are large, one needs to account for the Earths curvature. Question: What is the maximum range that Tx and Rx antennas can see each other over a smooth Earth?

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## Earths Curvature Effects

dT dR hR hT

Maximum range is at the horizon; i.e. the radio ray is tangent to the Earth.

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## Max. Range for Spherical Earth

a = Earths radius = 6370 km >> hT, hR

dT =

hT 2 2 + = + 2 1 a h a ah ( 2ahT T ) T 2a

hT + 1 4a

hT + hR

)
hT

dT

dR hR a

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## Modification for Plane Earth

Earths curvature affects the total received field calculations in the flat earth model. The effective height of the antennas over the curved earth need to be modified to use the plane earth model.

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## Modification for Plane Earth

dR hT hT hT a dT hR hR hR

## effective height of antennas

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Ground Roughness
So far a smooth reflecting surface was assumed. This results in specular reflection at the point where the transmitted wave hits the Earths surface. When the surface is rough, the specular reflection assumption is no longer valid. This results in diffuse reflection. Furthermore, random nature of the surface results in unpredictable situations.

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Ground Roughness
Encounters with a rough surface is more appropriately described as a scattering mechanism rather than reflection. This implies that waves reflect back in multiple directions. Only a small fraction of the incident energy will be scattered in the direction of the receiver. Therefore, the reflected term form the ground may make a negligible contribution to the received signal.

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What is rough?
A surface that might be considered rough at certain frequencies and incidence angles may be smooth at others. Rayleigh criterion is a measure for roughness. Calculate the range of path differences from the scattered waves from the surface.

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What is rough?
= 2 l = 2h cos( i )

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Rayleigh Criterion
Smooth Surface:

## If 0, (i.e. h ) the surface appears smooth.

Extreme Roughness:

## If = , reflected rays cancel each other

Practical Definition:

## rough surface 8cos ( i )

Function of wavelength and incidence angle. At grazing incidence surfaces seem smoother.
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## Practical Definition of rough

For typical mobile applications, the incident angle is almost 90o; i.e. the station height << separation between the station and the mobile
h In practice the Earths surface is random, and 8 the height is represented by s, the standard deviation of the surface irregularities relative to the mean height.

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Random Roughness
The Rayleigh criterion for a randomly rough surface is expressed by the standard deviation:
C= 4 s cos( i )

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## Equivalent Reflection Coefficient

Roughness factor, f(s)

f ( s ) = e

=e

1 4 cos( ) 2 s i 2

Req = s f ( s )

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Roughness Factor

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## Irregular Terrain, Diffraction

Mobile radio systems have a variety of applications over a variety of coverage areas. Obstacles rather than interfaces may be present in the line of sight. Propagation behind edges or beyond the horizon is of interest. Diffraction

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Not real

diffraction

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Fresnel Zone
ellipsoid circle
a a

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## Fresnel ellipsoids and Fresnel zones

In studying radiowave propagation between two points A and B, the intervening space can be subdivided by a family of ellipsoids, known as Fresnel ellipsoids, all having their focal points at A and B such that any point M on one ellipsoid satisfies the relation: AM + MB = AB + n 2 where n is a whole number characterizing the ellipsoid and n = 1 corresponds to the first Fresnel ellipsoid, etc., and is the wavelength. As a practical rule, propagation is assumed to occur in line-of-sight, i.e. with negligible diffraction phenomena if there is no obstacle within the first Fresnel ellipsoid. The radius of an ellipsoid at a point between the transmitter and the receiver is given by the following formula:
n d1 d 2 Rn = d1 + d 2
1/ 2

(1)

(2)

## or, in practical units:

n d1 d 2 Rn = 550 ( ) d + d f 1 2 where f is the frequency (MHz) and d1 and d2 are the distances (km) between transmitter and receiver at the point where the ellipsoid radius (m) is calculated.
1/ 2

(3)

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Fresnel Ellipsoids
An obstruction is generally considered to be significant when it impinges into the first Fresnel zone

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Fresnel Circles
TX R TX L2 L1 o R2 R1 ro r RX R1 diffracted waves

L1 is constant as long as the tip of the vector traces the circle with radius R1. L2 is constant as long as the tip of the vector traces the circle with radius R2. Visualize that it is a cone.
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Fresnel Ellipses
L0 = 0 + r0 L=+r
Fresnel ellipse n TX o ro Rn rn RX

l = L L0 n

Definition of ellipse: loci of points with a constant distance between two fixed points. The fixed points are called focal points.
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What it means
The Fresnel circles are defined such that between two adjacent circles the path difference between Tx and Rx is half a wavelength (n+rn)-(oro)=n/2 This defines the radius of each Fresnel circle:
Rn = n r0 0 r0 0 ; R1 = ; Rn = R1 n r0 + 0 r0 + 0

Between each adjacent ring is a 180o phase difference; i.e. each adjacent ring is out of phase. As the rays follow rings further outside, their power is less due to increased path length. So the overall contribution oscillates as one moves along each ring: Power levels can be visualized as a function of Fresnel circles: + P1 > - P2 > + P3 > - P4 > . R1 < R2 < R3 < R4 < .
ct

ct

su btr a

su btr a

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## Knife Edge Diffraction Loss

z L.O.S TX Obstruction above LOS Obstruction Below LOS RX h = -R1

z L.O.S
h 2

TX
R1

h=0

RX

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## Some Observations on KE Diffraction Loss

At v=0 grazing incidence, Loss = 6dB At v = -0.8 h/R1 = 0.56 56% of the first Fresnel zone is clear. 6dB loss is avoided.
Tx Rx Tx R1 Rx

V = 0, grazing angle

V = -0.8

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## How do we use these circles and ellipses?

Given a terrain profile between Tx and Rx, Fresnel ellipsoids enable the designer to visualize the degree of obstructions along the path.

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## Significance of Fresnel Zones

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Non-LOS propagation
When the 1st Fresnel zone is obstructed, non LOS propagation occurs. An obstruction may lie to the side, above, or below the path. Examples: buildings, trees, bridges, cliffs, etc. Obstructions that do not enter in the 1st Fresnel zone can be ignored. Often one ignores obstructions up to of the zone.

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## Ideal Knife Edge Diffraction; i.e Sharp Obstruction

h Tx d1 d2 Rx

Note that h is the height of the obstruction; i.e. h>0 obstruction above LOS h<0 obstruction below LOS
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## Knife Edge Diffraction - Example

Find the radius of the first Fresnel zone for a wireless system operating at 900 MHz when an obstacle is 5 km away from the transmitter along the LOS path, which is 6km long. What is the acceptable height for the obstruction if the system would allow for 6dB loss.

5 km
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1 km

Solution
a) 0 = 5 km r0 = 6 5 = 1km
c 1 f = 900 MHz = = m f 3 5 106 0 r0 n = 1 R1 = = = 16.67 m 3 106 0 + r0

b)

## From the KE loss graph

Loss = 20 dB v 2 R h = v 1 = R1 2 = R2 = 23.6m 2

R1

R2

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## Ground Reflections and KE Diffraction

Image tower

dT

dR

The reflections can be represented equivalently by image theory. Four possible scenarios need to be added:
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Image tower

Contribution 2

dT

dR

Contribution 3

dR

dT

dR

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Image tower

Image tower

## Diffraction Around Real Objects

Most real-world obstructions are large in comparison to the wavelength - i.e. not knife edges. It is possible to solve the equations for idealized cases. Solutions for many objects and including reflection effects, loss from trees etc. rapidly become impractical. Therefore path loss prediction models are used. There are several models in general. These involve adding additional loss to the knife edge loss. Where there are multiple knife edges further models are available, the one currently used by the ITU-R for terrestrial links is a modified version of the Deygout model.
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Atmospheric Effects
The lower part of the atmosphere (troposphere) is a region in which temperature decreases with height. Tropopause separates troposphere from stratosphere, in which the air temperature seems to be constant with height.

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Atmospheric Effects
At frequencies > 30 MHz, three effects dominate the propagation of waves:
localized refractive index fluctuations any abrupt changes in refractive index with height ducting due to change in rate of decrease in refractive index with height

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## Refraction How it Affects Wireless Communication

Radio beam propagated in free space follows a straight line Radio beam propagated through earth's atmosphere becomes curved Refraction causes loss of line of sight for the receiver Refraction will also give some insight into fading phenomenon

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Refraction
K-factor
k - factor is the scaling factor that helps to quantify the curvature of the radio beam

## K = effective earth radius true earth radius

True earth radius ( a ) = 6370 km Effective earth radius for a given atmospheric condition is the radius of the fictitious earth which allows the microwave beam, to be drawn as a straight line .

true earth

effective earth

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Ducting

Atmospheric refraction under certain conditions causes the microwave beam to be trapped in an atmospheric duct Ducting occurs by low-altitude, high density atmospheric layers Ducting can also result into Multipath.

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Atmospheric attenuation
Starts becoming relevant above about 5 GHz Depends primarily, but not exclusively on water vapour content of the atmosphere Varies according to location, altitude, path elevation angle etc. Can add to system noise as well as attenuating desired signal Precipatation has a significant effect
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Rain Scattering

Scattering of Microwaves by rain is very important above 10 Ghz. The rain droplets size becomes appreciable in comparison to wavelength. These droplets cause scattering of microwave energy . The main effect of scattering is heavy attenuation in the path. The loss of horizontally polarized wave is higher than that for vertically polarized. Rain drops can also cause depolarization of microwave beam. Scattering and depolarization occur simultaneously, so effect is not additive.

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Ionospheric propagation
Most relevant up to about 30 MHz Many modes of propagation: a complicated topic. Sporadic E can be important up to about 70 MHz. (ITU-R P.534) Highly variable

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H2 O

10

10 1

## Total Dry air 10 2

5

Dry air

10 3
2 5

H 2O
2 5

10 Frequency, f (GHz) Pressure: 1 013 hPa Temperature: O. Kilic 15 EEC542 Water vapour: 7.5 g/m3

102

0676-0