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tropospheric scatter[¦trōp·ə¦sfir·ik ′skad·ər]
Scatter propagation of radio waves caused by irregularities in the refractive index of air in the troposphere; used for long-distance communications, with the aid of relay facilities, 180-300 miles (300-500 kilometers) apart. Also known as troposcatter.
The propagation of electromagnetic waves by scattering as a result of irregularities or discontinuities in the physical properties of the troposphere. At the frequencies above 150 MHz, the atmosphere has a scattering effect on electromagnetic fields. The scattering allows over-the-horizon communications at very high, ultrahigh, and microwave frequencies. This mode of communication is called tropospheric scatter, or troposcatter. Scattering can take place at low altitudes, but mostly it is at about 10 miles. To realize communication via troposcatter, overlong distances, high-gain antennae, high-power transmitters, and sensitive receivers are a must as path loss is high.