Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 – Radio Phenomena"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter 3 – Radio Phenomena Propagation: How Signals TravelPropagation On The HF BandsGround-wave PropagationSky-wave PropagationHF Scatter PropagationVHF/UHF Propagation CharacteristicsLine-of-sight PropagationTropospheric Bending and DuctingVHF/UHF Signals Through The Ionosphere
2 Radio Wave Propagation Radio waves travel to their destination in four ways:Line of SightDirectly from one point to another.Ground-WaveAlong the ground, bending slightly to follow the Earth’s curvature.Tropospheric Bending and DuctingIn the lower layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.Sky-WaveRefracted or bent back to the Earth’s surface by ionized layers in the ionosphere.
3 Atmospheric Regions Region Height Notes Troposphere 7 miles Region where all weather occursStratosphere6 to 30 milesRegion where atmospheric gases “spread out” horizontally. The high speed jet stream travels in the stratosphere.Ionosphere30 to 400 milesRegion where solar radiation from the sun creates ions. Major influence on HF radio wave propagation.
6 Ground-Wave Propagation Results from a radio wave diffraction along the Earth’s surface.Primarily affects longer wavelength radio waves that have vertical polarization (electric field is oriented vertically).Most noticeable on AM broadcast band and the 160 meter and 80 meter amateur bands.Communication distances often extend to 120 miles or more.Most useful during the day at 1.8 MHz and 3.5 MHz when the D-Region absorption makes sky-wave propagation impossible.
7 Ground-Wave Propagation The curved surface of the Earth horizon can diffract long-wavelength(low frequency) radio waves. The waves can follow the curvature of theEarth for as much as several hundred miles.
8 Sky-wave PropagationIonization levels in the Earth’s ionosphere can refract (bend) radio waves to return to the surface.Ions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere are formed when ultraviolet (UV) radiation and other radiation from the sun knocks electrons from gas atoms.The ionization regions in the Earth’s ionosphere is affected the sunspots on the sun’s surface. The sunspots vary in number and size over a 11 year cycle.Sky-wave propagation is determined by radio wave frequency and level of ionization in the ionosphere.
9 Sky-wave Propagation (Cont’d) Communication distances of 2500 miles are possible with one skip off the ionosphere.Skip propagation has both minimum and maximum ranges.The area between the maximum ground wave distance and the minimum skip distance is called the skip zone.World-wide communications is possible using several skips (or multi-hops)The highest frequency that a radio wave transmitted straight up is reflected back to Earth is called the critical frequency.
10 Sky-wave Propagation (Cont’d) The maximum usable frequency (MUF) is the highest frequency at which the ionosphere bends radio waves back to a desired location on earth.MUF is dependant on level of solar radiation strength and time of day.The maximum usable frequency (MUF) tends to be higher during periods of high sunspots.
12 Regions In The Ionosphere The Earth’s ionosphere contains several regions of charged particles which affect radio signal propagation.The ionization regions change from day to night periods.RegionHeight Above SurfaceD Region30-60 milesE Region60-70 milesF Regionmiles
13 Regions In The Ionosphere D RegionHeight about 35 to 60 miles above Earth.Maximum ionization at or near noon.Ionization disappears by sunset.Absorbs energy from radio waves. Absorption on lower frequencies is greater than higher frequencies.Radio wave absorption is most pronounced at mid-day.Responsible for short daytime communication ranges on lower-frequency HF bands (160, 80 and 40 meters).
14 Regions In The Ionosphere (Cont’d) E RegionHeight about 50 to 70 miles above Earth.Ionization useful for bending radio waves when in sunlight.Reaches maximum ionization level around mid-day.Ionization reaches a minimum level just prior to sunrise.Radio wave propagation up to about 1250 miles in a single skip hop.
15 Regions In The Ionosphere (Cont’d) F RegionHeight ranges from 100 to 310 miles above Earth.Ionization reaches a maximum about noon and tapers off gradually toward sunset. Minimum ionization is reached just prior to sunrise.F region splits into two parts (F1 and F2) during the day and recombine at night.F1 region forms about 140 miles above EarthF2 region forms about 200 miles above EarthF2 region is responsible for long distance HF band communication with distances of about 2500 miles.
16 HF Scatter ModesAll electromagnetic wave propagation is subject to scattering influences from the Earth’s atmosphere, ionospheric regions and objects in radio path.Scattered signals may be received in sky-wave propagation skip zone.Scatter signals are generally weak and subject to echoes and distortion.Most common when operating near the MUF.Under ideal conditions, scatter propagation is possible over 3000 miles or more.
18 VHF/UHF Propagation Line Of Sight (LOS) Tropospheric Bending Tropospheric DuctingVHF/UHF Signals Through The IonosphereSporadic “E”
19 Line-Of-Sight Propagation Radio signals travel in a straight line from a transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.Provides VHF/UHF communications within a 100 miles or so.Signals can be reflected by buildings, hills, airplanes, etc.Reflections vary the propagation path causing signal cancellation and reinforcement. This results in a rapid fluttering sound called picket fencing.
21 Tropospheric BendingSlight bending of radio waves occur in the troposphere close to the Earth’s surface.There is always a radio signal loss as radio waves travel through the troposphereRadio signal loss increases as the frequency increasesThe radio path horizon is generally 15 percent farther away than the visible horizon (typically 8 to 9 miles).Communication distances can be increased by increasing the antenna height above the terrainTropospheric bending propagation is most useful at 144 Mhz and higher frequencies
22 Radio Path HorizonThe farthest point to which radio waves will travel directly.The structure of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface causes the radio waves to bend in a curved path.The radio horizon exceeds the geometric horizon by approximately 15%.
23 Radio Path HorizonThe distance D to the radio horizon is greater from a higherantenna. The maximum distance over which two stations maycommunicate by space wave is equal to the sum of theirdistances to the horizon.
24 Radio Path HorizonChart shows theoretical communication distance (in miles) to the radio horizon for various transmitter antenna heights above terrain (in feet).
25 Tropospheric DuctingRadio signals can also be trapped in the troposphere, traveling a long distance before returning to the Earth’s surface.Results when a “duct” is formed by a temperature inversion level (warm air over cold air) over land or water.Adjacent tropospheric regions having different densities will bend radio waves passing through the regionsMost useful at VHF/UHF frequencies.Most frequent during spring, summer and fall.Can provide contacts of 950 miles or more over land and up to 2500 miles over ocean
26 Tropospheric DuctingWhen a cool air mass is overrun by a mass of warmer air, a “duct” may be formed, allowing VHF and UHF radio signals to travel great distances with little attenuation or signal loss.
27 VHF/UHF Signals Through Ionosphere Sporadic EA type of sky-wave propagation that allows long distance communication on the VHF bands (6 meters, 2 meters and 220 Mhz) through the E region of the atmosphere.Occurs only sporadically during certain times of the year.Most common type of VHF atmospheric propagation.The 6 meter band is most likely experience sporadic-E propagation during the summer months ... even during periods of low sunspot activity.