Space Weather & Telecommunication Systems

Course Length:



This three-day course is designed for telecommunication system architects, managers, and operational personnel engaged in terrestrial and earth-space communication, navigation, surveillance, and signal intelligence functions. The course provides the attendee with a basic understanding of space-weather and it impact on existing and planned military and civilian systems. Most importantly, the attendee will obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the most important space-weather phenomena, and methods for mitigation of system impairments. Topics are presented in a logical fashion using actual system parameters in real-world illustrations of space-weather cause and effect relationships, impairment magnitudes and duration, problem avoidance techniques and corrective measures. Propagation effects are a central component of the course, and the systems examined include terrestrial long-haul communication and surveillance systems (e.g., radar and passive systems), satellite communication systems, navigation systems (i.e., GPS), and hybrid systems. Students will receive the instructor’s textbook, Space Weather & Telecommunication, as well as a complete set of course notes, application software and URL reference material.

Course Outline:

  1. An Introduction to Space Weather. Overview. Relevance to technological systems.
  2. Origins of Space Weather. Analogies with everyday weather and climate. Discussion of relevant features of the sun, the interplanetary medium, and the magnetosphere. The solar wind and coronal holes, coronal mass ejections, energetic particle events, flares, and impulsive phenomena that introduce media effects such as Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances (SIDs) and magnetic storms. Media effects and telecommunication system responses. All of this information is conveyed in a scholarly but intertaining manner with many graphical illustrations.
  3. Properties of the Atmospheric Medium as part of the Radio Propagation Channel. Generalized refractive index and radiowave interactions. Refraction, absorption, attenuation, scattering, and ducting. Order of magnitude of effects given in examples.
  4. The Magneto-ionic Medium and its Importance in Radio propagation. The Appleton-Hartree equation which governs radio propagation in the ionosphere. Effects such as irregular refraction, absorption, time delay, phase distortion, scintillation, birefringence, Faraday rotation, Doppler shift and spread, radiowave scintillation, time delay distortion and multipath spread of signals. Order of magnitude of effects and consequences for system performance.
  5. The Ionosphere. Its properties and significance. Layer formation and climatology. Anomalous behavior and relationships with solar flares and magnetic storms. Role of the ionosphere in the early development of communication and radar technologies. Models and applications of models. Forecasting technologies such as persistence, neural networks, and dynamic mapping of ionospheric features.
  6. Telecommunications Systems Hierarchy. Characterization of Telecommunication Systems by Frequency Regime or Mission Area.
  7. Diversity as the primary Method for improvement of system performance in the face of deleterious effects arising from Space Weather. Description of various methodologies.
  8. Examination of specified HF Communication and Radar Systems. HF long-haul communication, Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) systems, maritime systems, Over-the-horizon radar, and HF data link communication systems. Outline of major HF system performance models such as VOACAP, ICEPAC, and REC533. Lessons in use of software are a part of this course element.
  9. Examination of specified Satellite Communication and Surveillance Systems. Military and civilian systems. Link performance calculations. A global model for scintillation and its application at ground stations located in polar, auroral, midlatitude, and equatorial regions. DoD methods of scintillation forecasting based upon real-time assessment (i.e. , C/NOFS). Engineering solutions for scintillation mitigation.
  10. Examination of specified Satellite Navigation Systems. Legacy systems and satellite systems (GPS), Aviation and Precision Landing systems (WAAS). Error budgets and the impact of major geomagnetic storms. Real world examples.
  11. Propagation Tactics in military and civilian systems. How knowledge of the medium and precise forecasts of potential impairments can be used to advantage.
  12. Prediction Services and System Resources. NOAA, NASA, DoD, Industry, and international services. Satellite sensors used for ionospheric and solar observation. Terrestrial sounding systems and media surveillance technologies.
  13. Research Activities and Programs. Space-Weather RDT&E in USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
  14. The future of Space-Weather. On development of a scorecard for telecommunication systems vis-à-vis space weather impairments.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • John Goodman received his BS from N.C. State University and his PhD in Physics from Catholic University. He has 44 years of government and industry experience in the RDT&E associated with radio and radar systems with emphasis on those categories that are influenced by the ionosphere. Specialties have included SATCOM and HF system impairment studies and the development of realtime- channel evaluation subsystems. He is currently Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Radio Propagation Services, Inc. (RPSI). Dr. Goodman has numerous publications, and he has been the Guest Editor for Special Issues of Radio Science. He is also author of the text:

    HF Communications: Science & Technology [1992], and “Meteor Burst Communications” in the Encyclopedia of Telecommunications [1995]. He has been a guest author of ”

    Characteristics of the Ionosphere ” [2002]. Dr. Goodman has been actively involved in national and international bodies responsible for consideration of industry and government standards for radio communications. He has been a member of Working Groups within URSI, and he is a member of the AGU. Dr Goodman has taken an active role in various bodies responsible for coordinating, developing, and evaluation of aeronautical communications standards and systems. In recent years Dr. Goodman has lectured on Space Weather at the George Mason University, and has written a book entitled Space Weather and Telecommunications, published by Springer [2005].

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