Homogeneous Atmosphere

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Homogeneous Atmosphere

1. A hypothetical atmosphere in which the density is constant with height. </dd>
The lapse rate of temperature in such an atmosphere is known as the autoconvective lapse rate and is equal to g/R (or approximately 3.4 degrees C per 100 meters) where g is the acceleration of gravity and R is the gas constant for air. A homogeneous atmosphere has a finite total thickness which is given by RdTv/g, where Rd is the gas constant for dry air and Tv is the virtual temperature (degrees K) at the surface. For a surface temperature of 273 degrees K, the vertical extent of the homogeneous atmosphere on the earth is approximately 8000 meters. At the top of such an atmosphere both the pressure and absolute temperature vanish. </dd>
2. With respect to radio propagation, an atmosphere which has a constant index of refraction, or one in which radio waves travel in straight lines at constant speed. Free space is the ideal homogeneous atmosphere in this sense. </dd>
3. Same as adiabatic atmosphere. See barotrophy. </dd>


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use