Radio Science

A meteor scatter prediction model and its application to adaptive beam steering


  • Ammad Akram,

  • Paul S. Cannon


A computer model to predict the underdense meteor arrival rate over a forward meteor scatter communications link is presented. The model incorporates important effects such as major shower streams, a nonuniform radiant distribution, and antenna polarization coupling. A particularly useful aspect of the model is its capacity to predict the passage of sporadic and shower hotspot regions across the sky and thereby provide directional information to drive an adaptive beam steering system. Directional data from a phased array reception system in the United Kingdom has been used to determine the diurnal arrival distribution of sporadic meteors. This diurnal variation is broadly reproduced by the model and suggests that just two daily changes in the direction of a high-gain beam would offer considerable advantage over a fixed beam system. This paper shows that further improvements in system performance can be achieved with accurate predictions of the time of appearance and location of shower streams. A comparative study between monthly predictions and experimental data from a high-latitude link in Greenland over a year shows reasonable agreement but highlights the need for higher-resolution radiant data.