Millimeter-Wave Propagation Measurement Through a Dust Tunnel

Report No. ARL-TR-4399
Authors: David Wikner
Date/Pages: March 2008; 24 pages
Abstract: A one-week experiment was conducted to determine the millimeter-wave transmission loss due to dust. Transmission data was collected at 35, 94, and 217 GHz through a recirculating dust tunnel. Dust clouds of various densities were measured during the experiment. The millimeter-wave measurements were performed using transmitting sources on one side of the dust tunnel and antenna/detectors on the other. The hardware was designed to minimize noise and post-detection voltage drift. Even so, it was found that the transmission loss across the 1-m dust tunnel at high dust densities was lower than what could be measured accurately with the equipment. Therefore, the results given are limited to system noise and represent maximum transmission losses at the various frequencies. The results show losses less than 0.02 and 0.08 dB for 94 and 217 GHz respectively across one meter of dust with density 3000 mg/m3. The actual losses are lower but more sensitive instrumentation is required to determine the loss values precisely. Despite the limitations of the experiment, the data show that millimeter-wave imager performance will not be significantly impacted by even a very dense dust cloud.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2008