Atmospheric effects on radio frequency (RF) wave propagation in a humid, near-surface environment
Mason, Samuel P.
Guest, Peter S.
Goroch, Andreas K.
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Currently, the meteorological and physical phenomena associated with the various dynamic processes in the very near surface environment (for example, within the surface layer), are poorly understood. By properly characterizing what is happening in the real world, there is potential for obtaining an empirical formula that correlates well with real world data, and thus can be used as a means of quantifying these physical processes. This, in turn, can be used to more accurately model the effects of the atmosphere on RF waves. This thesis is an analysis of the propagation loss measurements taken from the Near Earth Propagation-6 (NEP-6), Panama City, FL, experiment in Aug 2009, where propagation loss was measured at 1768 MHz within a few wavelengths approximately (0.5 meters) of the surface. The results support and extend the near-surface, short range RF propagation conclusions drawn by Merrill et al. (2004). In particular, we focus on a novel technique that takes advantage of tidal sea level variation to continuously vary antenna height above the surface. Results confirm a strong dependence of propagation loss on antenna height similar to Merrill et al. (2004) observations.
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