Effect of Wildfire-induced Thermal Bubble on Radio Communication

Mphale, K., Heron, M., and Verma, T. (2007) Effect of Wildfire-induced Thermal Bubble on Radio Communication. Progress in Electromagnetics Research (PIER), 68. pp. 197-228.

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Abstract

Horizontal roll vortex pairs are dynamical structures that transfer energy and emissions from wildfires into the atmosphere. The vortices form at the edges of an intense line wildfire and emulate two cylinders, which form two curvatures of a biconcave thermal lens. Wildfire plume provides a dielectric material for the dielectric lens, whose permittivity is influenced by the nature, quantity of constituents (e.g., potassium and graphitic carbon) and variation of temperature with height in the plume. The environment created by the plume is radio sub-refractive with an effect of spreading radio wave beams. A numerical experiment was carried out to quantify loss of Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio signal intensity when high intensity wildfireinduced horizontal roll vortices intercept UHF propagation path. In the numerical experiment, a collimated radio wave beam was caused to propagate along fuel-fire interface of a very high intensity wildfire in which up to two roll vortex pairs are formed. Maximum temperature of the simulated wildfire was 1200 K. Flame potassium content was varied from 0.5–3.0%. At 3.0% potassium content, a vortex pair imposed a maximum radio ray divergence of 2.1 arcmins while two vortex pairs imposed a maximum divergence of 4.3 arcmins at the fuel-fire interface. The ray divergences caused maximum signal strength loss (in decibels (dB)) per unit path length of 0.154dBm−1 and 1.65dBm−1 respectively.

Item ID: 2461
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: wildfire plume; radio refractive index
ISSN: 1559-8985
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2009 02:05
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100505 Microwave and Millimetrewave Theory and Technology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 87 CONSTRUCTION > 8799 Other Construction > 879999 Construction not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 3
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