EARTH-TO-SPACE COMMUNICATIONS AT MILLIMETER WAVELENGTHS.
Physical sciences research papers,
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
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It is expected that with the exploration of outer space, a requirement for high data rate earth-to-space communication channels will arise. A program to investigate the feasibility of using the millimeter-wave region of the spectrum for this application is presented. The theory of atmospheric attenuation resulting from losses due to absorption, scattering and refraction processes is reviewed and used to estimate propagation losses produced by atmospheric gases, clouds and precipitation. Curves of total atmospheric attenuation and noise level as a function of meteorological parameters and antenna elevation angle are also presented. A series of experiments designed to obtain as much information as possible on the limitations imposed by the atmosphere on millimeter-wave propagation is considered. Although experiments using natural celestial bodies such as the sun, moon, planets and galaxies as radio sources are emphasized, those which would utilize aircraft, rockets and satellites are also mentioned. Finally, the characteristics of a recently installed precision 29-ft antenna designed to operate at 35 Gc wavelength 8.6 mm with a traveling-wave maser as a preamplifier for the radiometer are outlined along with the specific experiments for which this antenna system will be used. Author