Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Andrew J. Terzuoli, PhD.


In a natural atmospheric environment the troposphere will be the primary source of loss with the ionosphere loss being negligible. If the ionosphere was disturbed from a high altitude nuclear explosion (HANE) more than three times the amount of electrons would be present in the ionosphere and could represent a source of significant loss. In order to determine the amount of electrons distributed from a HANE, GSCENARIO, developed by Defense Threat Reduction Agency was used. The two sources of loss that were examined was signal absorption and amplitude scintillation. Signal loss was determined using GSCENARIO and amplitude scintillation loss was determined by using the multiple phase screen method. Nuclear detonation yields of 100 kt, 500 kt, 1 Mt, 2 Mt, and 5 Mt at explosion heights of 150 km and 200 km were investigated. The results show that signal absorption drops off quickly (within 30 sec), while amplitude scintillation loss can linger for up to 6 min after a HANE. Thus, the signal loss in the V and W bands from a HANE will only disrupt transmissions for the first 6 min after a HANE.

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