increases as the height of the scatter volume is increased; (2) the amount of turbulence decreases with
height. As the distance between the transmitting and receiving antennas is increased, the height of the
scatter volume must also be increased. The received signal level, therefore, decreases as circuit distance is
The tropospheric region that contributes most strongly to tropospheric scatter propagation lies near
the midpoint between the transmitting and receiving antennas and just above the radio horizon of the
Since tropospheric scatter depends on turbulence in the atmosphere, changes in atmospheric
conditions have an effect on the strength of the received signal. Both daily and seasonal variations in
signal strength occur as a result of changes in the atmosphere. These variations are called long-term
In addition to long-term fading, the tropospheric scatter signal often is characterized by very rapid
fading because of multipath propagation. Since the turbulent condition is constantly changing, the path
lengths and individual signal levels are also changing, resulting in a rapidly changing signal. Although the
signal level of the received signal is constantly changing, the average signal level is stable; therefore, no
complete fade out occurs.
Another characteristic of a tropospheric scatter signal is its relatively low power level. Since very
little of the scattered energy is reradiated toward the receiver, the efficiency is very low and the signal
level at the final receiver point is low. Initial input power must be high to compensate for the low
efficiency in the scatter volume. This is accomplished by using high-power transmitters and high-gain
antennas, which concentrate the transmitted power into a beam, thus increasing the intensity of energy of
each turbulence in the volume. The receiver must also be very sensitive to detect the low-level signals.
APPLICATION OF TROPOSPHERIC SCATTERING
Tropospheric scatter propagation is used for point-to-point communications. A correctly designed
tropospheric scatter circuit will provide highly reliable service for distances ranging from 50 miles to 500
miles. Tropospheric scatter systems may be particularly useful for communications to locations in rugged
terrain that are difficult to reach with other methods of propagation. One reason for this is that the
tropospheric scatter circuit is not affected by ionospheric and auroral disturbances.
Q46. In what layer of the atmosphere does virtually all weather phenomena occur?
Q47. Which radio frequency bands use the tropospheric scattering principle for propagation of radio
Q48. Where is the tropospheric region that contributes most strongly to tropospheric scatter
Now that you have completed this chapter, let's review some of the new terms, concepts, and ideas
that you have learned. You should have a thorough understanding of these principles before moving on to
The INDUCTION FIELD contains an E field and an H field and is localized near the antenna. The
E and H fields of the induction field are 90 degrees out of phase with each other.