Radio Science

Coherence properties of wideband satellite signals caused by ionospheric scintillation


  • Clifford L. Rufenach


Radio scintillation on satellite signals caused by small-scale irregularities in F-region ionospheric electron density can be an important limitation on earth-satellite communication and navigation systems. Scintillation imposes distortion in both amplitude and phase on wideband signals. In the present work, the shallow-modulated phase screen theory is developed in terms of coherence bandwidth including a model based on a turbulent-like power-law description of the irregularities. The model results usually show a greater coherence bandwidth in the signal phase than in the signal amplitude. Therefore, systems that require phase coherence over a large bandwidth should be less affected than those requiring amplitude coherence.