Operational Comparison of Meteorological Measurements and Missile-Tracking Radio Interferometer Noise
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1971 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 6, Issue 12, pages 1021–1026, December 1971
How to Cite
1971), Operational Comparison of Meteorological Measurements and Missile-Tracking Radio Interferometer Noise, Radio Sci., 6(12), 1021–1026, doi:10.1029/RS006i012p01021., and (
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 12 APR 1971
Undesirable noise in the radio-interferometer tracking system (General Electric Mod III) at Cape Kennedy during the Mercury-Atlas and Ranger-Atlas orbit series is alleged to have resulted from stochastic refractive ray bending and associated multipath conditions. Surface-to-16,000-foot meteorological data for eight to nineteen shots were examined, using various functions of water vapor-related parameters and temperature as noise predictors. Spearman rank correlations, significant at the 1% level, were found between all the water vapor-related measurements tried and a measure of tracking noise. A threshold level of 370 N-units surface value was found (corresponding to about 19 gm-m−3 of water vapor), beyond which tracking problems are likely to develop. Results of earlier investigators are confirmed, and the present investigation strongly implies that the source of the noise problem indeed lies in the lowest layers of the atmosphere. Limited attempts to correlate noise with atmospheric inhomogeneities were unsuccessful.