Space Wave Propagation

What is radio wave propagation?

Sky wave propagation is one of the radio wave propagation. It is defined as the behavior of radio waves as they propagate from one point to another or into various parts of the atmosphere.

Radio waves propagation can be classified as follows:

  • Ground waves propagation
  • Skywave propagation
  • Free space propagation

What is space wave propagation?

Space wave propagation is defined for the radio waves that occur within the 20km of the atmosphere ie; troposphere, comprising of a direct and reflected waves. These waves are also known as tropospheric propagation as they can travel directly from the earth’s surface to the troposphere surface of the earth. It is also known as a line of sight propagation as the signals are sent in a straight line from the transmitter to the receiver.

In order to prevent attenuation and loss of signal strength, the height of the antennas and distance between them can be given as:

Dm = (2RHt)+ (2RHr)


Dm: distance between the two antennas

R: radius of the earth

Ht: height of transmission antenna

Hr: height of receiver antenna

Applications of space wave propagation

It is used in various communication systems like

  • A line of sight communication and satellite communication
  • Radar communication
  • Microwave linking

Space wave propagation limitations

  • These waves are affected by the curvature of the earth.
  • The propagation of these waves happens along the line of sight distance which is defined as the distance between the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna which is also known as the range of communication.

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