CHAPTER THIRTEENIonospheric Radio Propagation

The effects of the ionosphere on radio propagation are very important in radio communication between the terrestrial antennas and air vehicles (stationary or moving) or satellites. The problem of wave propagation and scattering in the ionosphere has become increasingly important in recent years: the ionosphere, atmosphere, and the Earth's background environment all play a significant role in determining the service level and quality of the land-satellite or satellite-satellite communication channel.

In recent decades, the increasing demand is observed in mobile-satellite networks designed to provide global radio coverage using constellations of low and medium Earth orbit satellites, which are now in operation. Such systems form regions, called megacells (see definitions in References 1–3), consisting of a group of co-channel cells, and clusters of spot beams from each satellite, which move rapidly across the Earth's surface. Signals are typically received by a moving or stationary vehicle at very high elevation angles. Only the local environmental features, ionospheric, atmospheric, and terrestrial, which are very close to a specific radio path, contribute significantly to the propagation process. Therefore, the performance of predicting models of fading phenomena, slow and fast, for ionospheric communication links has the same importance as for terrestrial links (described in Chapter 5) and tropospheric links (described in Chapter ...

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