Radio Propagation

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What Does Radio Propagation Mean?

Radio propagation is the way radio signals are transmitted from one point to another inside the earth’s atmosphere or free space. Since these are electromagnetic waves, they exhibit properties such as reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, polarization and scattering. Like light waves, radio waves can be reflected, refracted, diffracted, absorbed and polarized and scattered.

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Techopedia Explains Radio Propagation

Radio propagation is never 100% predictable and that is why strong probabilistic concepts come into play while transmitting. Many different protocols have been proposed and devised over the century for the propagation of radio waves, and the mode adapted depends strongly on the distance between the transmitter and the receiver. Radio signals are strongly influenced by objects in their path and by the medium through which they propagate. This means that radio signal transmission is significant to designing or operating a radio system. The property of the path by which the radio signal propagates is the governing factor for the level and quality of the received signal.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.