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Relationship between atmospheric electricity and microwave radio propagation

Naturevolume 266pages703704 (1977) | Download Citation



ABRUPT changes in received polarisation coincident with lightning strokes have been seen on a 20 GHz satellite-to-earth radio link. These effects, and the surprisingly high levels of atmospheric cross polarisation observed on satellite links, have been tentatively attributed to high altitude ice crystals and their possible alignment by electric fields1,2. In this paper we shall add to the existing data by presenting a precise measurement of the time scale of the abrupt polarisation changes and an event showing a striking correlation between the electric potential gradient at the ground and the cross-polarisation of signals received from the satellite. This is believed to be the first time that direct measurements of atmospheric electric fields have been related to microwave propagation measurements.

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  1. Postgraduate School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

    • D. P. HAWORTH
    • , N. J. McEWAN
    •  & P. A. WATSON


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