Abstract

The propagation of electromagnetic pulses in naturally occurring dielectric surface layers has been examined. Pulse duration used in field experiments reported here has been on the order of nanoseconds with pulse bandwidths in the high VHF to low UHF band. The layers were sheets of fresh water ice and granite at thicknesses ranging between .4 and 4 m. Both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) modes were attempted but only the TE propagation could be interpreted. Analog recordings of wide-angle reflection and refraction (WARR) profiles were taken and recorded in a continuous graphic display. The displays allowed easy identification of phase fronts thereby facilitating study of of the dispersion of the pulses. The phase and group velocities of the wave-group packets agree well with the velocities predicted from dispersion curves derived from the modal waveguide equation. In one case the Airy phase of wave-packet propagation occurred. The best measure of the dielectric constant of the layer was the frequency of the air wave.

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