The effects of ionospheric dispersion on the operation of satellite phase links


  • W. H. Cannon


The use of communication satellites to synchronize the phase of remotely sited oscillators has been recently demonstrated. This technique, which may find extensive applications in various areas of scientific research and engineering, will be corrupted and limited in its ultimate precision by the corrupting effects of the ionosphere. In this paper explicit formulae expressing the corrupting effects of the ionosphere on a variety of satellite phase link configurations are derived. For each type of phase link implementation studied, conditions on the frequency arrangements of the link are derived which, if satisfied exactly, will cancel the corrupting effects of ionospheric dispersion. In cases where preexisting link parameters do not permit these conditions to be satisfied exactly, they are useful as a design guide for minimization of the effects of ionospheric dispersion on the performance of the link.