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Effect of Wildfire-Induced Thermal Bubble on Radio Communication

By Kgakgamatso Mphale, Mal Heron, and Tej Verma
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 68, 197-228, 2007


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 wildfire- induced 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


Kgakgamatso Mphale, Mal Heron, and Tej Verma, "Effect of Wildfire-Induced Thermal Bubble on Radio Communication," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 68, 197-228, 2007.


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