Effects of Atmospheric Refraction on U.S. Ground Warfare.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis investigates the effects of atmospheric refraction on military ground-force tactical systems which utilize EM energy propagating through the troposphere. Anomalous propagation, mirages, and atmospheric turbulence are the three major atmospheric refractive conditions discussed. EM energy from visible light to VHF radio is considered. The refractive characteristics of the atmosphere and the conditions that lead to significant refractive effects are reviewed. The means of predicting atmospheric refraction and the usefulness of such predictions, along with the probability of occurrence of atmospheric refraction is also discussed. Specific examples of atmospheric refractive effects are provided in two forms computer simulations and qualitative studies. A scenario is simulated showing the wide range of atmospheric refractive effects a typical ground force might anticipate in a desert environment. Finally, the thesis provided conclusions and recommendations for further studies.
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