Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


To be accepted as a viable competitor for long distance communication, it remains to be demonstrated that meteor burst systems possess the potential to support reasonable throughput at agreeable costs. Using measurements from an existing meteor burst link between London and Ottawa, estimates of the path loss, flight-time, waiting time and burst duration were obtained. These results demonstrated that by employing modest equipment, communication could be maintained with an average waiting time of 3.5 minutes and an average transmission time or burst duration 0.5 seconds. By using these parameters and assuming a transmission rate of 4800 bps, the average throughput for this link was estimated to be 11.4 bps. While this throughput may be adequate for applications having low data volumes such as remote monitoring and vehicle tracking, improvements are achievable through increases in transmitter power, antenna gains and data transmission rate. To date, however, little research has been undertaken to assess the effect of potential bandwidth limitations (if any) which may restrict the signaling rate that can be supported by the link. An investigation of these impairments was carried out using an instrument that was specifically designed to probe the multipath nature of the meteor burst channel. These measurements revealed that in the majority of instances only a single path exists between the transmitter and receiver and consequently, serious impairments arising from multipath interference appear to be relatively infrequent. In some rare instances, however, as many as four such paths have been observed. Delay spread measurements were found to confirm the presence of multipath interference for which the statistics reveal that in 90% of all observations the delay spread is below 100 ns. Based on these statistics and observations to date, it is likely that data rates ranging from several hundred kbps to perhaps 1 Mbps can be supported by the meteor burst channel.



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