What is Fading and How does it affect HF communication more?

In simple words Fading is a phenomenon which happens in wireless communication when signals transmitted from one station reach the receiver from different path having phase difference. Fading should not be confused with only loss of signals. Sometimes the signal may travel different path and still reach in phase at the receiver, in such a case the signal strength increases.

In HF Communication this phenomenon is more apparent as this transmission has both surface waves and sky waves, so a signal can reach the receiver as a surface wave and as a sky wave too.

In wireless communications, fading is deviation of the attenuation affecting a signal over certain propagation media. The fading may vary with time, geographical position or radio frequency, and is often modeled as a random process. A fading channel is a communication channel that experiences fading. In wireless systems, fading may either be due to multipath propagation, referred to as multipath induced fading, or due to shadowing from obstacles affecting the wave propagation, sometimes referred to as shadow fading.

The presence of reflectors in the environment surrounding a transmitter and receiver create multiple paths that a transmitted signal can traverse. As a result, the receiver sees the superposition of multiple copies of the transmitted signal, each traversing a different path. Each signal copy will experience differences in attenuation, delay and phase shift while travelling from the source to the receiver. This can result in either constructive or destructive interference, amplifying or attenuating the signal power seen at the receiver. Strong destructive interference is frequently referred to as a deep fade and may result in temporary failure of communication due to a severe drop in the channel signal to noise ratio.

A common example of deep fade is the experience of stopping at a traffic light and hearing an FM broadcast degenerate into static, while the signal is re-acquired if the vehicle moves only a fraction of a meter. The loss of the broadcast is caused by the vehicle stopping at a point where the signal experienced severe destructive interference. Cellular phones can also exhibit similar momentary fades.


HF Propagation

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