Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Steven T. Fiorino, PhD.


The need to model millimeter wave (MMW) radar propagation is imperative to proper design of aeronautical, civil, and military systems. Traditional radar propagation modeling is done using a path transmittance with little to no input for weather and atmospheric conditions. As radar advances into the MMW regime, atmospheric effects, such as attenuation and refraction, become more pronounced than at traditional radar wavelengths. The DoD High Energy Laser Joint Technology Offices High Energy Laser End-to-End Operational Simulation (HELEEOS), in combination with the Laser Environmental Effects Definition and Reference (LEEDR) code, is a powerful tool for simulating laser propagation and effects tied to atmospheric phenomena such as turbulence and extinction. Although LEEDR is already developed to characterize radiative transfer effects, this research attempts to extend HELEEOS to characterize the far field radar pattern in three dimensions as a signal propagates from an antenna through realistic atmospheres and weather conditions. The latter are derived from NOAA numerical weather prediction models or the Extreme and Percentile Environmental Reference Tables (ExPERT) climatological database. The results from these simulations are compared to those from traditional radar propagation software packages. In summary, this research explored adapting a laser propagation model to extend understanding of MMW propagation through various atmospheric and weather conditions.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number