Standard Article

Millimeter Wave Propagation

  1. Edward E. Altshuler

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0471219282.eot283

Encyclopedia of Telecommunications

Encyclopedia of Telecommunications

How to Cite

Altshuler, E. E. 2003. Millimeter Wave Propagation. Encyclopedia of Telecommunications. .

Author Information

  1. Electromagnetics Technology Division, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


The propagation characteristics in the millimeter-region of the electromagnetic spectrum are of particular interest because the waves have a strong interaction with atmospheric gases and particulates, which in turn limits the system performance. However, the availability of large bandwidths make these wavelengths attractive for high data rate communications. Furthermore, high gain, high resolution antennas of moderate size and lightweight, compact system components are indeed applicable for space vehicle instrumentation. The limitations imposed by the atmosphere on millimeter-wave systems are reviewed. In general, atmospheric effects become more severe as the wavelength becomes shorter.


  • millimeter-wave propagation;
  • millimeter-wave communications;
  • atmospheric attenuation