Homogeneous Atmosphere
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Homogeneous Atmosphere
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1. A hypothetical atmosphere
in which the density is constant with height.
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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.
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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.
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3. Same as adiabatic atmosphere. See barotrophy.
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References
This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use