Effects of the troposphere on the propagation time of microwave signals


  • M. C. Thompson


Technological developments in the microwave spectrum have made possible highly accurate radio systems for position determination. Most of these systems depend upon measurements of the signal transit time or of the differential transit time for different portions of the received wavefront. In practice, the performance of such systems when operating in the Earth's atmosphere is usually limited by the random signal velocity. This effect is a consequence of the variable density and water vapor distribution throughout the normal troposphere. Theoretical and experimental work has provided a useful degree of understanding of these tropospheric effects and some progress has been made in reducing them in certain applications.