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  1. The maximum angle at which a radio wave may be emitted from an antenna, in respect to the plane of the earth, and still be returned to the earth by refraction or reflection by an ionospheric layer. 2. The angle at which radiation, about to pass from a medium of greater density into one of lesser density, is refracted along the surface of the denser medium.

Related Terms


A radio wave traveling between points on or near the surface of the earth by one or more paths lying wholly within the troposphere. The propagation of this wave is determined primarily by the distribution of the refractive index in the troposphere.


A system of coordinates by which a point on the surface of a sphere is located in space by (1) its distance from a fixed point at the center, called the POLE; (2) the COLATITUDE or angle between the POLAR AXIS (a reference line through the pole) and the RADIUS VECTOR (a straight line connecting the pole and the point); and (3) the LONGITUDE or angle between a reference plane through the polar axis and a plane through the radius vector and polar axis.


In a given direction, at a point on the surface of a source or receptor, or at a point on the path of a beam, the quotient of the luminous flux leaving, arriving at, or passing through an element of surface at this point and propagated in directions defined by an elementary cone containing the given directions, by the product of the solid angle of the cone and the area of the orthogonal projection of the element of surface on a plane perpendicular to the given direction. The derived unit of luminance in the International System of Units is the CANDELA PER SQUARE METER.


The higher of the two layers into which the F-layer divides during daylight hours. It reaches its maximum density at noon and, over the continental U.S., varies in height from about 185 miles in winter to 250 miles in the summer. The F2-layer normally has a greater influence on radio wave propagation than the F1-layer.


The acute angle between the tangent to the trajectory at the point of impact of a projectile and the plane tangent to the surface of the ground or target at the point of impact.


The separation of two bonded materials, one or both of which are flexible, by stripping or pulling the flexible material from the mating surface at a 90 or 180 angle to the plane in which it is adhered.


A systematic drawing of lines on a plane surface to rep- resent the parallels of latitude and the meridians of longitude of the earth or a section of the earth. A map projection may be established by analytical computation or may be constructed geometrically.


An optical phenomenon in which objects appear distorted, displaced (raised or lowered), magnified, multiplied, or inverted due to varying atmospheric refraction when a layer of air near the earth’s surface differs greatly in density from surrounding air.


From the standpoint of its effect upon radio wave propagation, the lowest useful layer of the Kennelly-Heaviside radiation region. Its average height is about 70 miles, and its density is greatest about local apparent noon. For practical purposes, the layer disappears during the hours of darkness.


The propagation of radio waves over a smooth spherical earth of uniform electrical characteristics, under conditions of standard refraction in the atmosphere.

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