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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

VOL.

I n addition to the device reliability considerations, an


environmental study was made to verify that the system
could withstand shipping, storage, and operating conditions on the customer's premises. Laboratory tests which
included temperature shock, high relative humidity,
and
vibrationwereused
to stimulate the expectedenvironmental extremes to which the equipment would be subjected in actual use. As a result of these tests minor design
modifications were incorporatedprior to initial production.
The majorityof equipment malfunctions a,re expected to
be repairable by merelyinterchangingprintedwiring
boards. Trouble shooting of common circuitry consists of
the analysis of symptoms to narrow the troubledown to a

COM-14,

NO.

DECEMBER

1966

small number of possible circuit packs, and then the replacement of theseone at atimeuntilthe
defective
board is located. Troubles on traffic circuits, such as registers and centraloffice trunks, can be isolated by a feature
which enables a repairman
to route test calls to specific
circuits. To facilitate testing, t,he built-in test equipment,
fuses, and alarms are located at the front of the cabinet,
a t eye level.
CONCLUSION
The 800A PBX was introduced into commercial service
in August 1966. Operational experience with the system
has been very good.

300 kHz-30 MHz MF/HF

appropriate that it stillbe presented for the edification of


those people desiring to understand this area of activity
and for the sake of completeness.
I n order to do justice to the broad spectrum
covered by
this paper, it will be necessary to break apart the 0.3-30
nilHz frequency slot into four categories and then discuss
three of these categories (the medium frequencies) in a
limited way while reserving the bulk of the discussion to
the 4th category 3.0-30 MHz (the high frequencies).
The so-called mediumfrequency (MF) spectrum extending from 0.3 toMHz,
3 for the purpose of this presentation,asjuststated,
will bedivided intothreedistinct
HE PURPOSE of this paper will be to serve as a regions approximated by region A
300-550, kHz, region B,
broad tutorial coverage of the elements and factors
550-1650 kHz and region C, 1650 to 3000 kHz. Region A,
employed for characterizingthevarious
channels, as
employing CW transmission almost exclusively, generally
segmented assignments, inthe frequency spectrum extend- is utilized for navigational purposes, for mobile, aeroing from 300 kHz to 30 MHz. In this connection, some of
nautical and ship communications, for emergency survival
the propertiesof significance such as the temporal behavior
communications, and for time and frequency synchronizain termsof signal levels and noise, channel transfer proper- tion. Region B is employed for standard broadcast service
ties, interference, fine grain behavior, and system performand region C is and may be utilized for fixed and mobile,
ance as exemplified by both theory and experimental data, land, maritime and aeronautical navigation, and commuwill be covered.
nication purposes.
Liberal usewill be made of material already in the open In these three regions most of the useful distant field
literature, material available to USAEL through their varenergy is propagatedbytheground
or surfacewave.
ious contracts with industry and
universities, and data and The sky wavegenerally presents a sourceof trouble, howinformationgeneratedasa
result of USAEL'sown in- ever, it is occasionally utilized as the primarymode, espehouseprograms.
cially for region C.
Although a good portion of the material to be covered
As far as the surface wave support is concerned, which
will not be new to workers in this field, it is considered can be viewed as due toan earth-atmosphere wave guide,
the signal strength is reasonably well behaved. Generallyit
Manuscript received March 28, 1966; revised August I, 1966.
Paper 19CP65-482 presented at the 1965 IEEE Communications follows an inverse distance law with the value of signal
Convention, Boulder, Colo.
strength being a function of the polarization, operating
The
anthor
is with
the
Communications/ADP Laboratory,
frequency,andthegroundconductivityand
dielectric
U.S. Army Electronics Command, Fort R'lonmouth, N. J.

Abstract-A tutorial presentation is made in broadand general


terms regarding the properties of the MF and HF portions of the
radio spectrum as they pertain to andaffect communication systems.
The fine grain behavior in terms of amplitude and phase variations
are presented in conjunction with the effects of fading periods, time
and frequency spread, and atmospheric noise. A discussion of both
theoretical and experimental bounds in error rate levels of digital
systemsas a function of the basic attributes of the ionospheric
channel is undertaken in connection with the adaptive approach to
communication system design. Two adaptive systems are described
briefly in terms of their ability to cope with the time variant dispersive ionospheric channel.

767

765

I E E EDECEMBER
TRANSACTIONS
TECHNOLOGY
ON COMMUNICA'IlON

constant along the pathof propagation. I n this regard, sea made noise background rather than variationsin the signal
water (conductivity 4 X lo-" EMU,dielectric constant 80 support mechanism.
Designs of communication systems in this region of the
ESU),provides the pathwith the least attenuation. Apoor
earth,that is, earthwitha low conductivi.ty
EMU) spectrum are basically easily established in terms of reaand low dielectric constant (3-5 ESU) yields a path with sonably well behaved and understood factors.The additive
relativelyhighattenuation.There
is littlediurnal
or disturbances, characteristicsof applicable antenna systems,
transmission path loss, etc. are comfortably takeninto
annual variation in the ground wave characteristic.
I n region A, under good conditions, ground wave propa- account.
I n general, Region A tends to berelatively free fromthe
gation can reach1000 miles with only40 dB more loss than
which would
that due to the inverse distance loss. Theoretical work of effects of suddenionosphericdisturbances
affect the signal support mechanism and is considered a
significance in this area has been performed by Sommerfeld,
relatively reliable portion of the radio spectrum in this
Morton,vanderPolandBrenner,Watson,andWait.
Sky wave propagation for this group
of frequencies exhibits regard. Boththephaseandamplitude
of groundwave
properties which are dependent uponthe stateof the iono- signals tend to be of high stability. In thepresence of sky
sphere with signals experiencing
of 1-2 Hz representingthe dirunal
2, change in level by a fac- wave thereis a phase lag
tor of from 2 to 5 as a function of sun spot activity. The variations of ionosphere layer heights.
Region B, the broadcast band, is known to all of us in
existence of the sky wave gives rise to fading and interference effectsa t locations where110th the groundwave and terms of the local range of coverage of the various broadcast stations. For the entertainment purpose it is intended
sky wave are received. This interference effect tends to
take place with maximum severity at distances of a few to satisfy, there is relatively little one can complain about
hundred miles from the transmitterwhere both theground (excluding program material) except during thunderstorm
wave and the skywave are of equal strength.
activity or nighttime. This portionof the spectrum can be
I n general, sky wave signals experience diurnaland sea- considered as well disciplined and static with itsuse detersonal variations superimposed upon the variations due to mined by very rigid control. I n this portion of the band,
the sun spot cycle. Fortunately, during the daylight hours exceptforanomalouspropagationbehavior
and local
there is high absorption in the :D region, hence, the sky lightning activity, reception conditions are quite adequate.
wave tends to beproblem
a
only during nighttime when
the The mode of modulation universally employed, using voice
D layer disappears.The impacto:i ionospheric propagation or music signals, is double sideband amplitude modulation.
on medium frequencies and high frequencies (HF) will be Some activity is underway to try to employ compatible
becovered in the detailed discussion of the frequency region single sidebandfor this service. Generally, noisy signals
come a problem only near the service range fringes where
from 3-30 MHz.
Some pertinent properties of sky wave transmission at although intelligibility may still behigh, esthetic appreciaMF, however, are best cited at this time. The envelope of tion factors are quitelow. This portion of the band has its
the received signalin the majority.
of cases tends tofollow a problems at nighttime whenthe high absorption properties
of the D layer are no longer available to reduce the unRician distribution which could be viewed as the combination of a Rayleigh distribution and a specular component. desired sky wave support. It has been common experience,
especially while traveling
in anautomobile, to hear stations
The fade rate is roughly 0.01 per second implying long
fades. Equally rough estimates of the correlation distance from distant points, 1000 miles or more, with clarity and
exceed the local station one had
been
forspaced antennasindicates that about 20 km is re- strength that at times
tuned to.
quired for decorrelation to a value 1 / ~ .
I n this portion of the spectrum, information bandwidths
As alreadystated
for the lvIF region, theground
of
5 kHz are generally employed with some stations rewaveisgenerally
the mostilnportant
primarily beceiving
authority for 10 kHzinformationbandwidths.
cause the energy is reasonably constant (nonfading) and
Most
assignments
in this frequency band are on aregional
appears compacted as a specular ray. It is interesting to
basis
with
joint
sharing
of frequency coupled with reliance
note thatbecause of this specular nonfading characteristic,
on
geographical
separation
for noninterference.It is necesdiversity reception would not enhance system reliability
sary
at
nighttime
for
some
stations
toreduce their radiated
unless it could operate on the
presence of uncorrelated noise
power
or
even
go
off
the
air
in
order
to minimize the possior interfence. In thelower frequelncy portions of this specbility
of
their
creating
interference
to a distant station
trum limitationsdevelopinterms
of antenna efficiency
when
undesired
sky
wave
support
would
be prevalent.
with values of 10 percent being considered good and with
The last region in the medium frequency range, region
a communication bandwidth capa,bilityin therange 100 to
500 cycles being typical. Unfortunately, for this portionof C, basically employs ground or surface wave for its
propathe radio spectrum (region A) atmospheric noise is quite gation support butis more seriously troubled by the preshigh being roughly about two ord!ers of magnitude greater ence, in most instances,of undesired sky wave propagation.
than the levelin the highfrequency 3-30 MHzband.
This portion of the spectrum is highly crowded as is the
I n general, communications reliability in this region tends entire range 0.3-30 MHz. Although the atmospheric noise
to be limited by this noise factor which is further aggralevel is lower in region C than at the region A portion of
vated by the ever present and generally increasing man- mediumfrequencyrange, the groundwavedistance
at

1966

769

GOLDBERG: MF/HF COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

acceptable attenuation levels is much shorter.


Generally, this region is used forcommunication distances of up to 100 to 175 miles. This frequency region
however is subjected to the effects of ionospheric disturbances. Basically, thisportion of the spectrum is quite
stable in the daytime when the D layer is available to
attenuate thehigh angle radiation. At nighttime, however,
the level of interference due to sky wave support from
distant stations makes the situation in this portionof the
band something less than desirable. Largedirective antenna arrays areemployed by marine operators in
order to
enhance reliability for communication. A large percentage
of the traffic carried in this region is amplitude modulated
3 kHz voice signals with possibly the inherent redundancy
in unprocessed speech making this segment of the spectrum useful a t night. Thisreasonably stable segmentof the
MF band is also employed for Loran purposes; however,
diurnalvariationsinphaseandamplitude
of received
signals are evident.

IONOSPHERIC
REFLECTION
Throughout thispreceding material it has been indicated
that skywavesupportrepresents
an undesirable phenomenon. In thematerial tofollow, which in essence represents the bulk of this paper, the mechanism of sky wave
support, which is essential for communication in the H F
range, will be explained and, more importantly,the impact
of the resulting effects on communication systems from
such support will be covered in detail.
The ionospheric mechanism provides forwardsupport in
the range 3-30 MHz bymeans of specular reflection, refraction, or byscatterwithinthe
ionized medium.About
60 years ago, the idea of an ionized layeraboveand
concentric with the Earthwas conceived of independently
by Iiennelly and Heaviside as a means of explaining the
phenomenon of long-distancecommunicationorders
of
magnitude beyond line of sight distances.
The upper regions of the Earths atmosphere
become less
dense as one proceeds away from the earth. In theregion
from approximately 50 km to 450 km, one can find molecules of oxygen, nitrogen, nitric oxide, and rarer gasses in
dispersion. It is generally believed that ultraviolet radiations and corpuscular bombardment from the sun are the
main agents in causing the gasses to ionize in the upper
atmosphere. The level of this ionizationis not uniform
throughout the region from 50 to 450 km, in fact, the ionization is distributed in layers having peak intensities a t
particular heights.
The ability of the ionosphere to provide propagation
support is related simply
to thecondition that itsrefractive
index at radio frequencies is different rom that at free
space. A wave incident to the ionospheric layer a t angle 4
will be bent toward the horizontal and then
back to Earth
with a rate that is dependent upon the
electron density
and theangle of incidence. This phenomenon canbe related
to the refractive index as follows:

(1)
where
refractive index of ionospheric medium
electron density in electrons per cc
e , v a = charge and mass of electron
Eo = permittivity of freespace
w = radianfrequency.

u
N

The electromagnetic wave will reach a maximum height


prior to returning to Earth at the point where N is large
enough to reduce the value of u so that
u = sin 4

(2)

where 4, as defined previously, is the angle of incidence of


the electromagnetic wave withthe ionized layer.
An important application of the above relations is in
their use in obtaining what is known as the critical frequency for the case where the electromagneticwaveis
verticallyincident,hence 4 = 0, sin 4 = 0, and u =O.
Such a wavewill reach a height determinedby N and then
be returned to Earth.
The relationship is as follows:

when the proper constants are substituted.I n this case f is


the frequency of the wave in MHz.
This critical frequencyfo obtainedby rearranging (3)

N
fo = 4 1 . 2 4

104

10-3dR

is the highest frequency which can be reflected as a result


of vertical incidence. It is obviously only dependent upon
N , the electron density.
Soundings by pulse transmission probing with vertical
incidence provides a means for determining
this critical
frequency. I t s useisfundamentalin
engineering communications circuits and estimating proper operating frequencies b y means of the relationship

f(MUF)

fo sec 4

(5)

where f(MUF) is designated as the maximum useable frequency foroblique transmission, fo is the critical frequency
from vertical sounding, and 4 is the oblique path angle of
incidence. This relationship is based upon ray theory and
neglects the Earths magnetic field. I t s use for prediction
purposes is quite adequate, in view of other assumptions
made in theprediction process.
Figure 1 depicts the phenomenon of refraction resulting
from the effect on the velocity of wave front propagation
in a mediumof changing refractive index.
The ionospheremedium has classically beendivided
into a number of regions. That portion below 90 km is
known as the D region; its existence is predominantly a
daytime phenomenon. The level of ionization is approxi-

770

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATlON TECHNOLOGY

DECEMBER

/
Fig. 1. Refraction of wave.

Fig. 2. Electron density vs. height.

mately lo2 electrons/cc a t 70 k:m, lo3 electrons/cc a t 80


km, and lo4 electrons/cc a t 90 lcm. Of necessity, electromagnetic wavesused for long distanceE and F layer propagation pass through this region twice. The D region, because of its relatively higher concentration of neutral
particles and heavy ions, extracts energy from a passing
wave as a result of collisions with electrons excited by the
wave. As far asH F propagation js concerned, this region is
viewed asanattenuationband.
However, at nighttime
when this attenuation is not present,we find phenomenal
propagation support for distant transmitters
which generally cause a large increasein b,zckground interference.
The E region is considered as existing from 90 km to
approximately 160 km with a maximum region ionization
at about 110 km. The electron density at this height is
in the order of lo4 to lo5 electrons per cc during daylight
hours. At nighttime there is stillsome ionization, but it is
much weaker. The critical frequtmcy drops about an order
of magnitude from its daytime value. I n addition to the
normal E layerionization,
thereappears
occasionally
patches of denser ionization a t E: layer heights that seem
totravelas
ionization clouds. Thisunpredictable phenomenon is called Sporadic E and has been responsible
for creating interference, because of its superior support
for radiated energy, into areas not normally engineered to
allow for these signals. The E region is useful for propagation supportfor distances up to2000 km, using frequencies
as high as 20 MHz.
The region above 160 km is hewn as theF region. This
region classically has been dividlxl into 2 layers known as
the F1 and Fz layers. The F1 layer generally exists during
daytime at about a height of 200 km, while the Fz layer
exists in theregion 250 to 4.50 knl. The F1 layer is notgenerally considered as providing th'e basis for
well-engineered
long-distance communication. The F1 layer merges with
the F2 layer a t nighttime to a height of about 300 km.
The electron densityin thisregion is inthe order of lo6electrons per cc. The 300-km layer height, called the F layer, is
usually considered as the basis for circuit engineering. The
use of single hop transmission, becauseof the much greater
height of the F layer, can provide support t o a distance of
4000 km or more. Frequencies as high
as 50 MHz (when the

ionization level is high) canbe utilized forthis mode.


Figure 2 shows a profile of the three regions and depicts
the electron density.
For various reasons, including its high absorption and
low electron density, the D region has not been fully examined because of instrumentation difficulties. However,
it is known that the D layer electron density varies with
the 11-year solar sun spot cycle and with the sun's zenith
distance. The electron density in thisregion is a maximum
a t noon and during the
summer.
The E layer is generally well behaved except for the
unpredictableappearance of Sporadic E. The electron
density just before dawn rises from a low value a t night to
a maximuma t noon then begins to fall againto a low value
after sunset. The E layer ionization does not change much
as a function of sun spot activity, nor does it vary much
with changes in season. The critical frequency of the E
layer hasempirically been determinedto be

F,

0.9 [(lSO

+ 1.44 R )

COS y]lI4

(6)

where R is the sun spot number and y is the solar zenith


angle. A plot of the E layer critical frequency as a function
of the solar angle is shown in Fig. 3.
The spread due to seasonal changes and time of day is
seen to be small. Generally, a lower critical frequency prevails during the winter and summer. The variation, as a
function of solar activity, is depictedin Fig. 4. The change
is even less pronounced.
When the short term behavior of the E region is examined, there appearchanges in theorder of 10 percent in the
critical frequency which can be correlated with variation
in solar output. Magnetic storms do not materially affect
the E region. Short-haul circuit requirements for daytime
operation, based upon E layer reflection, can consequently
be easily satisfied.
The F1 layer, as shown in Fig. 2, is not always sharply
defined. Its existence is most prominent during those times
when the critical F2 frequency islow, as for example, during
the minimum of the sun spotcycle. It is evident duringthe
summerand also duringionosphericstorms.
There are
small changes in the F1 critical frequency as a function of
day to daychanges in solar activity. The magnitude of the

1966

771

GOLDBERG: MF/HF COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

.I

"

I
0./

.O.3

0.1

COS

o.+

OS

o i c.7 a8 a9 I o

SOLAR ZENIT# ANGLE

Fig. 3. Critical E layer, frequency vs. solar angle.

I L
O

50

loo

~McWTUIZD&lNSPOr

Fig. 4.

IS0

tar

Fig. 5 . F layer critical frequency vs. time of day.

I
250

NUMBER

Critical E layer, frequency vs. sunspot number.

change is approximately the same as that experienced in


the E layer. This layer, as adefined entity, exists only in the
daytime.
The FZlayer isthe layer with the
highest ionizationlevel
and plays a dominant role in long-distance communication. This layer is quite complex in its behavior. The Fz
layer critical frequency is not directly related to the solar
zenith angle. This layer exhibits what is known as anomalous behavior. That is, it acts at times contrary to those
theories useful in explaining D, E, and F, layer behavior.
This erratic behavior occurs during the daytime in the
winter and has been labeled the winter anomaly.
Figure 5 depicts idealized typical Fz layer critical frequency behavior as a function of time of day andyear.
Figure 6 shows the dependence of the Fz layer critical
frequency on the sun spot number. The Fz layer shows a
direct dependence onthe level of solar activity. During sun
spot maximum, the seasonal differences are enhanced. The
idealized MUF for various distances using Fz layer single
hop propagation as a function of time of day, season, and
sun spotmaximum and minimum are shown in Figs. 7 and
8. The winter anomaly is quite evident.
The effects of changes in latitude and longitude on the
determination of critical frequencies relate essentially t o
the change in solar zenith angle at the geographical point
under consideration.
It is fairlyevident that onelimitationto
the useful
transfer of information from one point to another can be
expressed in terms of a signal-to-noise ratio. It is for this

Fig. 6. F layer critical frequency vs. sunspot number.

LOCAL

NODW

TIME Ar

I8

PATH CENTER

Fig. 7. MUF vs. time of day for winter.

NO"*

LOCALf i M E A T

PATH

18

cNTR

Fig. 8. M U F vs. time of day for summer

Lt

772

IEEE TRANShClIONS ON COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

DECEMBER

Fig. 10. Signal propagation by E and F layer sllpport.

0.I

/O

/oo

Mcs

take off angles. The particular layer involved in propagation support is utilized in defining the mode of propagation. For example, a single reflection from the F layer would
reason that noise, as a primary factor in communication be known as the 1 F mode, a double reflection from the E
link design, is important in its
own right. The following dis- layer would be known as 2 E mode.
cussion will be limited to what is known as external radio
The transmission distance limit for single hop reflection
noise and specifically, relates to atmospheric,
extrausing ionospheric layers, based upon geometrical
consideraterrestrial and man-made noise. Figure 9 shows the rela- tions, is dependent upon the height of the particular layer
being employed. For E layer propagation, this limit is in
tive levels of these three noises.
Atmospheric noise generally consists of short pulses of the order of 2000 km; for F layer transmission, the distance
high amplitude with random occurrence superimposed on limit for one hop support is about 4000 km.
a lower level of random noise. The average value over a
It is possible, and in practice happens often
enough, that
period of a few minutes is used to develop an averagefor a more than one path is available for the propagation supgiven hour. These values
are generally constant for the port of the transmitted signal. It is obvious that the time
hour except during local thunderstorm activity or iono- taken by each path is different, hence the signals arriving
sphericsunrise or sunset. The diurnalvariationin
the at the receiver a t a particular instant will represent differhourly median is related to the changing propagation con- ent instantaneous transmission epochs. This phenomenon
ditions and the thunderstorm activity. Generally, akmos- is known as nlultipath propagation andgives rise to one of
pheric noise is greatest a t low frequencies, becoming rela- the major sources of trouble in long-distance communicationby highfrequencyradio.
The technique of transtively unimportant above 30 RII3z.
mission
circuit
design,
based
upon
the concepts of maxiThe extra-terrestrial noise may come from the sun, stars,
mum
useable
frequency
and
frequency
of optimum traffic
and interstellar space. Solar flares, when they occur, can
D
cause considerableincreases in thenoise level. This galactic is predicted uponminimizing the multipath support and
noise becomes greater than the atmospheric noise in the layer absorption. The spread in arrival time of the transmitted signal for circuits of 3000 to 5000 miles could be in
frequency region above 10 MHz.
overlapping
signals
In the HI? band, man-made noise can be a most signifi- the order of 3 to 5 ms. These
cant factor in the total noise contribution. This fact pin- generate destructive interference to the composite signal
points the need for proper siting when setting up a re- applied to the receiver. This, of course, will decrease the
ceiving location. This noise is generated by any and all intelligibility of voice transmission and will create errors
electrical equipment. Generally, man-made noise is propa- in digital transmission. Both theoretical and experimental
gated by power lines and byground wave, consequently,it work has shown that multipath is a maximum a t transis notaffected by ionospheric conditions. The level of man- mission path distances of about 2000 km.
Since the dlfferential path delay that could be tolerated
made noise is highly correlated wi,ththe population density
of the surrounding area. Man-nmde noise may be random, is dependent upon the natureof the communication signal
periodic, or a combination of both, depending on the noise and the rate of its transmission, it is important that opsources. It is interesting to observethat for HF radio com- erating frequencies be chosen in order not to exceed the
munication, the front endreceiver noise (internal noise) is acceptable delay. Figure 11 shows the multipathreduction
not the limiting factor inperformance. The simple process factor as a function of path distance with the time delay
of connecting an antenna toa HF radio receiver introduces as a parameter. This factor is to be applied to the maxithe path under
noise a t a level considerably higher than that developed mum useablefrequencydeterminedfor
consideration.
by thereceiver.
When considering those factors affecting transmission
Based upon ray tracing concepts, it is possible to define
the mechanism of electromagnetil: energy transfer between reliability, in a sense, the phenomenon of multipath propathe transmitter and receiver by simply extending direc- gation could in itself be viewed as a factor in creating turtional lines to thereflecting ionospheric layer with anangle bulence in thetransmission channel. However,the broader
off the horizon equal to the propagation take
off angle. meaning of turbulence is related to solar flares, magnetic
Figure 10 shows this technique for a number of different storms, and suddenionospheric disturbances (SID).
Fig. 9. Noise level as a function of frequency.

1966

S Y S T ECMOSM M
GOLDBERG:
U N I C A T I O NM F / H F

773

a single, normal, sharply defined vertically sounded return


frequency vs. layerheight,manyheightsappear,hence
there is multiple support for each frequency.The effect on
signals propagated via Spread F is generally to introduce
upon the signal rapid fluctuations characteristic of scatter
communications.
For the third disturbance within thegeneral framework
10'
IO '
IO '
O
I '
of turbulence, it is appropriate to discuss fading. There are
DISTANCE, K W
various types of amplitudefading.Theseare
generally
relatedtothe
period betweenminimums. The shortest
Fig. 11. H F multipath reductionfactors.
interval generally relates to polarization fading between
the ordinary and extraordinary waves andis known as interference fading. Periods ranging from about 0.1 seconds
The solar flare usually lasts less than one hour andgen- to a few minutes are responsible for both selective and flat
fading. Selective fades relate to specific frequencies within
erally occurs most frequently during sun spot maximum.
while flat fades relateto the
During the flare, large amounts of ultraviolet and X-rays a transmissionband fading out
entire
band
fading
out.
When
the fade
periods are approxiare emitted which, in turn, cause large increases in the D
mately
five
minutes
or
more,
the
fades
are generally
layer electron density. This has theeffect of increasing the
attributable
to
absorption
changes
in
the
D
layer.
absorption of electromagnetic energy passing through the
The distribution of the amplitude of the signal envelope
region and of significantly decreasing signal strength. The
for
the common type of fading (both selective and flat)
immediate effect on theE and F layers appears to be
small.
which
is generally due to multimode support of propagaHowever, since the energy for earth-bound stations must
tion,
is
bestdescribed by the resultantof a composite wave
pass throughthe D region a t least twice, the effect on commade
up
of a Rayleigh distributed amplitude and a steady
munication is already felt. The SID or short wave fadecomponent.
This type of distribution is known as a Rice
outs (SWF) last a relatively short time from minutes to
distribution.
This distribution has the attribute that
when
hours and are
experienced in the sunlit
regions of the Earth.
the
specular
component
is
small,
the
distribution
is
essenThe magnetic disturbances are usually experienced about
when the specular component is
20 to 40 hours after the
onset of a flare. This is attributable tially a Rayleigh type and
large,
the
distribution
is
essentially
Gaussian.
to the lower energy corpuscular radiation from the flare.
It
is
interesting
to
note
that
most
of the information
The magnetic effects last from two to five days. It is this
relating
to
the
critical
frequencies
for
each
layer, the level
delayed effect that is the most troublesome. The magnetic
of
electron
density,
the
existence
of
Sporadic
E and Spread
and ionospheric stormsare
a worldwide phenomenon
which, in severe cases, affect practically all high-frequency F, and the general state of the ionosphere is obtained by
means of electromagnetic probing using a device known as
transmission employing the ionosphere. During the sun
spot maximumthe turbulence is more
severe, but of shorter an ionospheric sounder. In thelast few years, however, this
duration (two days), while during sun spot minimum, al- has been supplemented by rocket and satellite sounding
from both sides of the ionosphere.
though the flare occurrence is rarer, its effects last for a
Up to themost recent time, the technique was to launch
longer time-five days.
The most significant effect of an ionospheric storm is the a vertically directed wave (pulse) and monitor its return
reduction of the Fz layer critical frequency.I n addition, the on an oscilloscope. By measuring the time delay forthe return over a bandof frequencies, it is possible to develop an
F layer acts more like a diffuse-scattering surface rather
than a surfacethat provides reasonably specularreflection. electron densityprofile using the mathematical relationship
The effects of F layer electron density reductionare greater between the criticalfrequency and the electrondensity
at higher geomagnetic latitudes. It ishas been noted noted in (4). More importantly, for communication, it is
that during sun spot minimum there appears to be a 27- possible to observe the critical frequency for each layer
day cycle tothe ionospheric disturbance.This period directly. Considerable skill is required in order to interpret the results and much manual processing is needed.
corresponds to the solar period of rotation.
I n addition to the disturbancescorrelatedwith
solar Figure 12 shows an idealized return from a vertical ionoflares, a t least three other phenomena are common causes spheric sounder. An ionogram such as this is quite rare,
of transmission turbulence. The first of these is known as most of the time there isconsiderable interference present
Sporadic E. These ionization clouds located in theE layer and each return is made upof two lines due to theeffect of
region support the propagation of electromagnetic energy the Earth's magnetic field splitting the electromagnetic
a t frequencies considerablyabove the normal E layer wave into two differently polarized waves, because each is
RIIUF. The ionization clouds travel, and in numerous in- reflected by a different electron density. These two waves
stances have provided E layer height propagation support are known asthe ordinary and extraordinary rays.
Ionospheric sounders are located in field sites all around
a t night, when the normal E layer is absent.
A second disturbance known as Spread F is manifested the world. The job of these stations isto collect data using
as a continuum of F layer height in that rather than having15-minute intervals regarding the critical frequencies for

774

COMMUNICATION
DECEMBER
TECHNOLOGY
ON
TRANSACTIONS
IEEE

1) Estimatethegreat
circle distancebetweentransmitter and receiver site and locate its midpoint, in terms
of its geographic coordinates.
2) Determine midpoint local time.
3) Determine MUF from predictioncharts for particular
zone of interest as a function of time of day and midpoint
geographical location.
4) Plot these pointsfor a full24 hours.
5) The optimum working frequency is then taken as 85
percent of these values.

1000

900

aoo 700
600
500
c

400-

300
200 -

E LAVER
100'

Another curve must be developed in order to define a


lower limit to the choice of frequencies available a t a parFREPUENCY mc/s
ticular time. This known
is
asthe LUFor lowest useful freFig. 12. Vertical sounder ionogram.
quency. Thislimiting frequencyis determined by the
signal
strength required at thereceiving location. This, in turn,is
related to the local noise level which sets the threshold
the various ionospheric layers. The information from the against which the desired signal-to-noise ratio is established
various stations are collated at the Bureau of Standards for the required performance criterion. The received signal
and from this data, world charts are developed showing strength is, of course, related to the transmitter power
involved, the transmission
the critical frequency as a function of time of day and available, antennasystems
distance
involved,
and
the
absorption
losses experienced by
geographical locations. This information is then used to
the
electromagnetic
wave.
The
signal
strength determined
form predictions about the R4UF' and FOT thatshould be
in
this
manner
is
highly
dependent
upon
the frequency a t
used for particular communication paths.
which
it
has
been
calculated.
It
is
necessary
to determine
A recent development in the ionospheric sounding art
the
lowest
frequency
a
t
which
the
required
signal
strength
is the oblique sounder.This device permits ionogramsto be
will
be
achieved.
A
plot
of
these
values
for
diff
erent
times
madeusing the actual communication path that would
of
day
will
then
be
the
locus
of
the
lower
limit
of
useful
frenormally be employed for traffic. The technique is to use a
quencies
for
the
path
under
consideration
in
terms
of
the
stepped frequency transmitter for sendingthe probing sigthatthe
signal
nal, while at the distant
receiving site the receiving system type of service required. It isnoted
strength requiredis significantly related to the type
of
islocked instepwiththetransmitter.Thistechniqueactually permits the measurement of communication sup- modulation employed and the reliability required.
Figure 13 shows the result of a determination of the
port to be determined a t will. &lore importantly, i t frees
the communicator from reliance on predictions which are FOT and LUF for different length circuits. The idea for
not always reliable. The potential for optimizedcommuni- circuit operation is to choose operating frequencies which
cations frequency determination on a real-time basis is a t fall within the bounds of FOT and LUF. I n general, the
hand through the use of oblique sounders. This technique complexities of propagation coupled with theneed for relying on predictions that are theresult of many approximais just beginning to develop.
tions makes the choice of an optimum operatingfrequency
Utilization of most of the preceding informationin
terms of establishing the interplay between the various dificult. However, some broad guidelines are possible. A
factors considered for engineering long-haul ionospheric useful and obvious criteria is to adjust things so that an
transmission networks can best be established by employ- adequate signal-to-noise ratio is achieved. The step to be
ing prediction charts issued by the Bureau of Standards. taken in thisdirection is to use the highest frequency that
Although the procedure is well laid out, theresult achieved will propagate to the distant receiver. This pays off, since
makes the employment of this approach an art rather thanradio noise decreases as the frequency is raised while
absorption is likewise decreased. The use of frequencies
a science.
The usualprocedureis
to employ prediction charts near the MUF, in addition,results in less likelihood of
issued by theBureau of Standard.s everymonth which pre- multipathprogagation.
The art of engineering high-frequency communication
dicts critical frequencies three months in advance for all
parts of the world. These predictions are updated by means circuits is well documented by myriad publications from
the National Bureauof Standards and the Radio
Propag*
of a monthly, weekly, daily, and evenhourlyadvisory
issued by NBS. An important factor used in developing tion Agency of the U. S. Army.
We now reach the point where we can discuss what we
such charts is the solar activity index. An incorrect estimateinthisfactor
would came troublesomeerrors in have learned about theHF ionospheric mode of communication. Equipments utilizing this modeemploy
voice,
estimating MUFs for particular circuits.
The techniqueinabbreviatedform
is essentially as music, TTY, facsimile, data, andeven noise as modulation
sources. With proper conditions, these equipments can be
follows:
0

1966

GOLDBERG: MF/HF COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

775

Fig. 13. FOT-LUF prediction.

used for essentially around the world communications with space and the already dense packing of users in this pordistances being established by choice of operating fre- tion of the radio frequency spectrum, assignments are not
made that broad.
quency, radiated power, and antennatake-off angle.
I n general, 12 kHz of RF spectrum spaceis about as large
Ionospheric propagation, as has been indicated, is gengenerally
erallycharacterizedbymultiplehop
ionospheric layer- a slice that can beassigned. In themilitary this is
ground reflection withboth specularandrandom
com- utilized to carry four 3 kHz channels of information conponents of energy arriving atthe
receiving antenna. sisting of either voice, TTY, facsimile, or data.
The most critical and fundamentalsignal function that
This energy, because of the time variant dispersive propercould be used to characterize the various forms of modulaties of the ionospheric medium, occupies a fading bandwidthfrom 0.05 to 15 Hz dependingupon the level of tion is considered to be a digital signal. Ultimately, i t is
turbulence. Nonauroral path propagation generally has an expected that all information will be handled on a digital
upper limit of about 2 Hz. The envelope of the composite basis. With this thought in mind, the USAEL undertook
received signal exhibits Rician statistics withthe Rayleigh a program to measure the properties of the ionospheric
statistic subset predominating as indicated earlier. Limited channel in terms of its fine grain behavior in both phase
of the actual transmission
data relating to measurement of the correlation bandwidth and amplitude and in terms
of the work, both FSIi
indicate that it varies from about 100 to 3000 cycles de- of digital signals. For the latter part
pending upon the channel turbulence. The time spread of and PSI< were employed.
arriving energy varies from
less than 100 ms to about4 ms.
A series of examples of the phase stability of the ionoWith good pathsand properoperating frequencies the spheric medium for various averaging times canbe seen in
multipath spreads areless than 1ms. I n this connection, it Figs. 14-16, where we can see the effects on measuring
is noted that ionospheric propagation via an auroral path phase (such as a PSI< system must do) of a decreasing
is generally much more turbulent than nonauroral trans- signal-to-noise level. A bottoming effect on error rate is
mission. It is quite possible that the fade rate may be as apparent. It is also clear that in thepresence of high signalhigh as 25 Hz while the correlation bandwidth may be to-noise ratios higher reliabilities appear possible in PSK
as narrow as50 Hz or less over an auroral path. I n general, systems if the bit length is decreased (shorter averaging
the ionospheric channel is limited in performance by both time).
I n Figs. 17-19 we see, for a particular averaging timea t
additive disturbances such as atomspheric noise, friendly
interference, and basic propagation loss factorsandby
approximately the same signal-to-noise ratio, the effects of
multiplicative effects such as faderate and the Doppler and
increases in channel turbulence.
time spread of the received energy.
I n order to account for the measured phase behavior
By applying effective techniquessuch as space, fre- shown in Fig. 14, Fig. 20, representing the theoretical
quency, or time diversity reception and the proper choice curves for Rayleigh fading
at an infinite signal-to-noise
of operating frequency, it is possible to have better thana ratio, with the product of fading bandwidth and averaging
time as parameter, is presented.
The similarity isobvious.
90 percent reliability factor forthis typeof channel.
The fading bandwidth of a received CW signal can be
Although R F bandwidths of up to 20 kHz (under good
conditions) can be adequately supported by this medium, expressed in terms of the envelope (for a Rayleigh fading
it is noted that because of the hiah demand forassignment,

pIC.4

Fig. 14. Phasestability

vs. weraging time,


high

Fig. 15. Phase stability vs. averaging


time,
medium

SNR..

SNR.

Fig. 16. Phasestability

vs.
averaging
time,

Fig. 17. Phase


stability,

low SNR.

low fading
rate.

20

Fig. 18. Phase stability, medium fading rate.

60

LO

80

Fig. 20. Theoretical


phase

FB2
where R

loo

120

a0

stability for Rayleigh fading.

.--R 2

27r2 R2

envelope of signal.

Using the theoretical curves in Fig.20, it hasbeen possible to extract from measured phase curves such as shown
inFigs. 14-19, estimates of the fadingbandwidth. The
distributions for two classes of runs are shown in Fig. 21.
It shouldbenoted
thatthefading
bandwidth is not
the bandwidth of the power densityspectrum.For instance, with a rectangularly shaped power density spectrum of width B, sayone cycle, the fadingbandwidth
would only be:

FB

Fig. 19. Phase stxbility, high fading rate.

B
FS

0.288.

(8)

The short-termamplitudecharacteristicsare
also of
significance. Figures 22 and 23 show the distributions for
fine grainsignalamplitudemeasurementsfor
mild and
sever'e conditions with superimposed Rayleigh theoretical
curves. From a relatively large collection of data such as
this and the phase data cited earlier, it seems justified to
employ the statistics of narrow-band Gaussian noise as the
model of the time variant dispersive effect on ionospheric
transmission of signals.
The distribution of fading periods for mild' and severe
conditions can be observed in Figs. 24 and 2.5. It is apparent that as the level of turbulence is increased, the fadingperiod is decreased.

778

IEEE TRANSACTIONS
COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY
ON

DECEMBER

J
FADING PERIOD SECONDS

54-

2.0

3 1 1 -

I 1

o
0

45

LI,

I1
.I

*I5

,i

.LC

.3

FADING
PERIOD

Fig. 24.

30

4.0
SECONDS

5.0

Distribution of the signal fading period (mild conditions)

. 3 FB
2
I

35

(b)
Fig. 21. Distributions of fading brmdwidths. (a) Low-frequency
group 8 to 11 MHz, total number of 22 min runs: 25. (b) Highfrequency group 17 to 21 MHz, total number of 22 min runs: 33.

iAOlNC PERIOD SECONOS

Fig. 25.

ulcRovotTs INPUT sII;nAt

Fig. 22.

Distribution of average input signal amplitude (mild conditions).

MICROVOLTS INPUl
SIGNAL

Fig. 23. Distribution of average input signal amplitude (severe


conditions).

Distribution of the signal fading period (severe conditions).

Figure 26 showsa distribution of fadedurationsfor


variousthreshold
crossings below a6-secondaverage.
We can see, for example, that if we were concerned about
fades of 20 dB below the 6-second average (which could
have somewherebetween 35 and 50 dB signal-to-noise
ratio), there will be a probabilityof approximately 10 percent that the fadewill last a t least 300 ps. It would appear
that about 22 bits at a 75 bits per second signaling rate
would be clobbered during this time. However, it must be
noted that this mould not be the case, since, during this
fade interval, in general, only the central bitswould have
been exposed to instantaneous signal-to-noise ratios low
enough to cause the bit error rate to reach 0.5. The other
bits in the interval
would have probabilitiesof error related
totheirinstantaneousbit
signal-to-noise ratio. As an
estimate of what would have happened during this interval, it is judged that it mould be unlikely for more than 3
bits out of the 22 to be in error.
Thesemeasurementsweremadeover
the Hawaii to
Deal, N. J., path, which isbasic,allyone of our better paths.

1966

779

GOLDBERG: MF/HF COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

10 aeo

Fig. 26.
Tape 68
Track 3
Recorded February
23, 1963
Time 1600 EST

Distributions of the time duration of a fade.


Carrier frequency 20425 kHz
Average SNR 49 dB
60 signal
Average
pV
Average fading rate
0.126 Hz

Information such as this is basic to the ultimate design


of effective coding for H F ionospheric channel.
Over the years, it has been convenient for USAEL to
categorize the state of ionospheric turbulence during tests
of communication equipment. Figure 27 shows this classification. Generally, conditionson a circuitare such that the
principal diagonal (left top to right bottom) receive the
greatest number of data samples. As a qualitative classification the left column can beconsidered as representative
of mild, the middle column medium, and the rightcolumn
severe propagation conditions.
Figure 28 shows examples of performance of an FSKsystem and a DPSK system under mild and severe propagation conditions. These tests were conducted using space
diversity reception with the FSK (AN/FGC-29) system
operating a t 1200 b/s and the
DPSK system (AN/FGC-54)
operating a t 3000 b/s. Bothsystems were operated a t
equal power per system each using approximately a 3 kHz
portion of the RF spectrum.

Fade thresholds3 dB 0 l O d B 0
6 dB
20 d B - 0
Threshold lncreasmg
right to left

1-2

0-2

1-3

B-3

02

03

Fig. 27. Propagationcategories.

The significant points to be made are that we see the


existence of bracketing regions of performance. The existence of asymptotes to performance of FSK and PSI< systemshas beenmeasured for some time now with the
implication that finiteincreases in power would be in-

780

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

DECEMBER

10

lo'

10-

\',

rn

lo-'

c,

10

Fig. 28. Comparison ofFSK and PSK system performance.

effective in overcoming the loss in digital data reliability width factor without considering the impact of multipath
duetothetimevariant
dispersiveproperties
of the propagation and its additional large contribution to the
medium. I n this connection, Voelcker, i\/lasonson, and Bello irreducibleerror rate resultingfrom the generation of
havemade significant contributionstothetheory
sup- interchannel crosstalk andloss of signal set orthogonality.
porting these observations.
I n Figs. 31 and 32, we see examples of a lower bound of
During the last
few years the underlying analytic mecha- performance due principally to atmospheric noise. Here we
nism capable of accounting for the measured performance see excellent agreementbetween the measuredresults,
of FSK and PSI< systems have
evolved with theresult that under mild and reasonably nonperturbed conditions where
useful and reliable predictions can now be made with re- atmospheric noise would be expected to limitperformance,
gard to system performance under dispersive channel con- and the theoretical predictions for an FSK and a DPSK
ditions.
digital data system under atmosphericnoise conditions.
Examples of such theoretical results for dispersive media We now feel that withourpresentunderstanding
of
are seen in Figs. 29 and 30 where the bottoming effect is ionospheric transmission that system performance can be
quite evident. It should be noted that theseresults are for predicted quite closely once certain basic information
nondiversity operation. An appropriate
shift in scale would relating to the turbulence of the ionospheric channelis
be required to utilize these curves for diversity reception; known.
the shape of the curves would not change. It must be
It appears that digital errors under high average SNR
pointed out that these
results are based upon consideration are bounded a t their lower error rate bound byatmospheric
of turbulencein the channelthrough the fadingband(non-Gaussian) noise under nonperturbed conditions and

1966

781

SYSTEMS
COMMUNICATION
GOLDBERG: HF/MF

/\\

DPSK error-rate =

1
1
2r2/FB2/BR2
2 1 + M + m

in slow fading:

21+M'
~

FB=O'

1
1
-2
2

M = (BR2/20FB2)
1
M'
in fading limited region: 10 FB2/BR2,M =
F B = fading bandwidth, RR = bit rate = 1 / T
&I = mean signal power-to-noise power.
at cross-over:

FSE; error-rate =

Fig. 29. Theoretical PSK bit error rate vs. SNR and fading
band-width.

a t their higher error rate bound, by an irreducible error


rate dependent upon the time and Doppler spread (fading
bandwidth).
I n order to obtain a data base relating to ionospheric
channels that mould permit more precise estimates to be
made of system performance, USAEL has undertaken a
field test program with contractual help
to measure and
then generate the following information in terms of the
diurnal variations on the measured values and the choice
of operatingfrequency
and ionospheric support mode:

1) autocorrelation of phase angle


2) cross correlation between frequency spaced received
signals
3) probability density of received signal
4) autocorrelation of received signal
5 ) probabilitydensity of signal envelope
6) autocorrelation of signal envelope
7) probability density of phase angle between different
tones
8) cross correlation between envelopes of diff erent tones
9) cross correlation between phases of different tones
10) cross correlationbetween envelope and phase of
same tone
11) fading bandwidth

1
1
1
in slow fading: 2 -2 { ( l + & ) ( l + & ~ ) , F B = 0

i n .fading limited region:

( F B / D ) 2 ,approx ( M

= m)

Fig. 30. Theoretical FSK bit error rate vs. SNR and fading
band-width.

12)
13)
14)
15)

coherent factor
time spread
frequencyspread
bit error rate.

We expect that this information willgo a long way


toward removing the need for speculation about the basic
behavior of the medium and permit substitution for this
speculation the quantitative values obtained from measurement.
The fundamentalpurpose of all this effort and that
described earlier is related to specific needs of the military.
One use would be to permit the measurement of certain
critical parameters in real time so that predictions of system performance in real time canbe made without the
need
to actually examine the received digital data.
A second and more significant use would be to employ
the results to guide the development of optimum data

782

TRANSACTIONS
IEEE

ON COMMUNICATIONDECEMBER
TECHNOLOGY

SYSTEMSNR
SYSTEM

SNR(GENERALDYNAMICS

I GENERAL DYNAMICS TEST1

TEST 1-

Fig. 31. Comparison of theoretical and measured FSK performance


in atmospheric noise.

Fig. 32. Comparison of theoretical and measured PSK performance


in atmospheric noise.

completely
terminals for the dispersive ionospheric medium. I n this using shortbauds.Theentireoperationis
channelprobe
signals occurringoften
connection, the USAEL has alreadydeveloped, through its automaticwith
enough to follow the time variantbehavior of the channel.
supportingcontractors,twos,ystems
designed to match
The adaptive approach opens up a new concept in HF
the changing data rate support
of the perturbed ionospheric
communications in that data under the proper conditions
channel.
These systems fallinto thecategory of what we call self- may possibly be sent over a 3 kHz channel at the rate of
automated adaptive comnmnication terminals responsive 4800 to 9600 b/s whereas before, serious problems developed when we a.ttempted tosend 2400 b/s at anacceptto the data rate support
of the :medium.
One system already field tested, is known as the AN/ able error rate level.
The use of short bauds intransmission over a dispersive
GSC-10. It employs RAKE principles and reference tracking in addition to sophisticated processing known to be HF ionospheric medium represents a majordeparture from
effective when designed specifically for time variant dis- the heretofore accepted practice. In fact,full exploitation
persivetransmissionchannels.
A much simplified block of this concept requires basic data about the transmission
medium in terms of short baud transmission which is, a t
diagram of the system is shownin Fig. 33.
The second approach to adaptive communication now this time, very scarce. We expect to be adding to the data
being fabricated, called ADAPTICOM, employs the means base in this areaalso in the near future.
The full ramfications of the adaptive approach tocomfor measuring the transfer function of the perturbed medium. Thisinformation is utilized at thereceiving terminal munications have many usefulside effects. For example, in
existence of multiple
to create a matched filter tothe medium and then operate theADAPTICOMapproachthe
on the outputof the matched filter to reduce the side lobe paths of propagation is actually employed as sources of
diversity input .which are processed so as to provide coresponse of its essentially sinx/z output. This system in
herent gain in the equipment. I n this way, it appears that
simplified form is shown in Fig.
34.
a more optimum approach to a choice of operating freBasically, the communication concept istointerlace
probe signals with the data to be sent. The probe signal quency is away from the RIUF toward the ordinarily undesired, henceunused by other communicators, part of
sets up the receiving networlts so as to make the total
the spectrum. Two advantagescould accrue from this fact,
transfer function fromthe transmitter antenna through the
receiver terminal appear identical to that of a lossy linear one is that the available spectrum for communications is
broadened and, two, there would be less mutualinterphase, constant time delay, nondispersive network. Once
the receiving networks are set data is transmitted serially ference.

1966

GOLDBERG: M F / H F C O M M U N I C A T I O N

783

SYSTEMS

(b )
~

Fig. 33. Simplified block diagram AN/GSC-10 system. (a) Transmit terminal. (b) Receive terminal.

r-

------

- - - ---.
t -

--,

a-

Fig. 34. Simplified block diagram ANFYC-5 system. (a) ADAPTICOMtransmit


receive terminal.

terminal. (b) ADAPTICOM

VOL. C O M - ~ ~NO.
,

IEEE TItANShClTONS ON COMMUNICP.TION TECHNOLOGY

DECEMBER

1966

[3] Ionospheric radio propagation, Natl Bur. Std. Circular 462,


1943.
theZonosphere. Cambridge,
[4] K. G. Budden, RadioWavesin
England: Cambridge University Press, 1941.
[5] S. K. Mitra, TheUpperAtmosphere. Calcutta,India: Asiatic
Society.
[6] :Basic radio propagation predictions, Natl Bur. Sld., CRPL
Series D.
[7] Reference data for radio engineers, ITT, 1956.
[8] Natl Bur. Std. RadioPropagation Course Notes, 1961-1962.
[9] B. Goldberg, HF radio data transmission, I R E Trans. on
Communications Systems, vol. CS-9, pp. 21-28, March 1961.
[lo] Evaluation of a new high frequencyradiocommunication
equipment, General Dynamics Corp., Final ltept.2 for task 1,
Rept. AS 272 565, 1961.
[11] Wtudy of fine grain fading and phase stability of multiple CW
signals, General Dynamics Corp., Rept. 3 for task 3, Rept.
AD 406 213, 1962,
[12] Study of fine gram fading and phase stability of multiple CW
signals, General Dynamics Corp., Rept. 4 for task 3, Contract
DA 36-039 SC-88943, 1963.
[13] J. Korte and C. Jackson, Evaluation of high frequency communicationsequipment using frequency stabilized receiver,
UASELRDL, Test Rept. 1544 June 1963.
[14] J. F. Korte and J. S,. Koch, Measurement of the phase perturbations of a CW slgnal over a long haul H. F. circuit and its
comparison withanalytical
resultsfor
a Rayleighfading
signal, (Addendum to 1111 and 1121) USAEL Rept., April 1,
1964.
[15] Ionospheric transmission models, task 5 correlation between
transmission parameters of dispersive circuits andsystem
performance for
application
to
adaptive
communications
systems, RCA Defense Electronic Products,ContractDA
36-039 SC-87240.
[IS] B. Goldberg, L. B. Shucavage, and J. Korte, Fine grain ionospheric behavior, Globecom VZ Symposium Digest, Philadelphia, Pa., June 2-4, 1964.
[17] Characterization of radio channels, Adcom Inc., Interim
Rept. Contract AD 28-043 AMC-00038 (E), 1964..
[18] "Analytical and experimental study of correlatlon function
Communications
Systems
Inc.,
Final
over HF circuits,
Rept., Contract DA 2S-043-AMC-O0145(E), 1965.

CONCLUSION
At the present time we ha1.e a good handle on the control of the dispersive properties of t h e H F medium. The
possibility exists that the use of adaptivesystems will
permiterrorratestoberesponsive
toandimprovable
upon by increases in received signal-to-noise ratio without
having to cope with a high ir.reducible error rate. It is expected thak the remaining PI-oblem of atmospheric noise
will be overcome by means of effective coding. We feel
that in the near future
HI? ionospherictransmission of
digital data will attain a level of reliability a few orders of
magnitude beyond present capabilities reaching a state of
performance thought impossible just a few years ago.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author would like to a,cknowledgethe fine support
given to the USAEL general program in HF communication research by GeneralDynamics,Inc.(StrombergCarlson Division), RCA Inc.,
.Defense Electronic Products,
Adcom Inc., and Communicstions Systems Inc.
He also
acknowledges thecontributionsand
assistance of L. B.
Shucavage and J. Korte, both of USAEL, in the conduct
of the many programs that
gave rise to the datapresented.
REFER.ENCES
[I] Radio propagation, Department of the Army, Rept. TRI 11499, 1950.
[2] F. E. Termon, Radio
Engineering
Handbook.
New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1943.

Optimum 13inary FSK for Transmitted Reference


Systems Over Rayleigh Fading Channels
Absfracf-It is well known that in communicating over randomly
time-varying channels, a receiverwhich performs a channelmeasurement can make a better decision than one that does not. Furthermore, if the channel characteristics vary relatively slowly in comparison to a large number of adjacent message intervals, a small
portion of the transmittter energy can be devoted to channel measurement, and, in spiteof the loss of energy in the information bearing portion of the signal, the resulting system performs better than
one with no measurement. This p,aper shows that improved system
performance from a channel measuring system occurs, even when
the channel characteristics are fixed only during the presentmessage
interval.
The randomly time-varying cha.nne1studied is that of a Rayleigh
fading medium with independently fading mark and space channels
whose fading is fixed over one haud interval but is independent
Manuscript received June 4,19fi5.
The author is with the University of California, Imine, Calif. He
was formerly with the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories,
Bedford, Mass.

from baudto baud. The transmission systemis a modified frequency shift keying (FSK)system such that during a portion of a
baudinterval, the mark and space frequencies are always transmitted so a s to act as reference signals. For this system, the following has been established:
1) optimum receiver configuration
2 ) optimum ratio

01 of information energy
to total signal energy
as a function of total available SNR for a single fading channel.
3) asymptotic optimum 01 for an M-diversity channel
4 ) error probabilities for item 2 and asymptotic error probabilities
for item 3 for ooptas a function of total SNR. The asymptotic results
show that by using reference techniques the order of diversity is
effectively doubled.

INTRODUCTION

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NFORMATIONtransmissionoverrandondytimevarying channels has been studied by many authors


[1]-[3]. Kailath has studied the Gaussian, randomly
time-