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A Panoramic View of Ionospheric Reflection and Transmission Under Ambient and Disturbed Conditions

Author(s): Booker, H. G., C. M. Crain and E. C. Field
Corporate Author: RAND Corporation
Corporate Report Number: R-559-PR
Date of Publication: 1970-11
Pages: 40
Contract: F44620-67-C-0045
Project: Project RAND
AD Number: ADA596073

This report is part of Rand's continuing study of the effects of abnormally ionized atmospheres, such as those produced by nuclear bursts, on the propagation of radio waves and on military radio communication systems, present and future. As a tool useful for providing answers to many problems arising in such studies, we have developed a general computer program which could be applied over a wide range of frequencies (typically 10(-3) to 10(10) Hz) for any specified vertical ionization structure of the atmosphere. Both electrons and positive and negative ions are included in the program. For specified frequencies, angle of wave incidence on the ionosphere, and ionization profiles the program provides the real and imaginary components of the complex refractive index at all heights, the local wavelength of the signal, the differential absorption at all heights, and the reflection and transmission parameters for the nonpenetrating and penetrating signal components, respectively. The program provides results for either quasi-longitudinal or quasi-transverse conditions of transmission. The program is developed from a ray theory approach and as such has certain restrictions and accuracy limitations, in particular at the lower frequencies used. Despite such limitations the program is a very versatile tool for obtaining results which can be applied to practical assessment of many problems in radio transmission, both for earth-to-earth and earth-to-space radio links, and for ambient or arbitrarily disturbed ionospheres.

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