Radio Science

Measurements of Doppler and multipath spread on oblique high-latitude HF paths and their use in characterizing data modem performance


  • Matthew J. Angling,

  • Paul S. Cannon,

  • Nigel C. Davies,

  • Tricia J. Willink,

  • Vivianne Jodalen,

  • Bengt Lundborg


Measurements of Doppler spread, multipath spread, and signal-to-noise ratio have been made on four high-latitude high-frequency (HF) communications paths. The measurement system and analysis techniques are outlined, and an analysis of the data pertinent to the design of robust HF data modems is presented. A summary of the spreads that are exceeded for 5% of time is presented for each path. Doppler spreads range from 2 to 55 Hz, while multipath spreads range from 1 to 11 ms. Physical interpretations of the data are made, and the data are related to the measured performance characteristics of an HF data modem to estimate the modem availability on the paths considered. When there is mode support, availabilities range from 64% to 100% for a signal-to-noise ratio of 0 dB, although the data indicate that the availabilities can generally be increased by optimizing frequency selection.