Radio Wave Propagation Experiment in Sugarcane Fire Environments
Mphale, Kgakgamatso M.
Heron, Malcolm L.
PublisherScientific Research Publishing Inc., http://www.scirp.org
MetadataShow full item record
Large fires have an effect of suppressing Very or Ultra High Frequency (VHF/UHF) radio wave signals strength which consequently impact negatively on the efficiency of radio communications at the frequency ranges. Mobile hand-held radio operating at the frequency ranges is a major communication tool during fire suppression; therefore inefficient radio communication systems put lives of fire fighters at risk. One of the causes of signal attenuation in fire environment is plume ionization. Plume species which include graphitic carbon, alkalis and thermally excited radicals such as methyl are responsible for ionization. As atmospheric pressure ionized medium (combustion plasma), sugarcane fire has momentum transfer electron-neutral collision frequency much higher than plasma frequency, hence propagation of VHF/UHF radio waves through such a medium is predicted to suffer a significant attenuation and phase shift. Radiowave propagation measurements were carried out in a moderate intensity prescribed sugarcane fire at 151 MHz frequency over a 590 m path using a radiowave interferometer. The radio wave interferometer measured signal attenuation of 0.43 dB through the fire with maximum temperature and flame depth of 1154 K and 8.7 m, respectively.