Diffraction of Radio Waves

Diffraction of radio waves occur due to the bending of Radio Waves when they encounter obstacles in their transmission path. In our earlier post, we had learnt about Atmospheric, Reflection and Static Attenuation.

Diffraction refers to the property of radio waves which enables them to bend or spread around obstacles. In the context of radio navigation it refers to bending of Radio Waves around the surface of earth. Higher diffraction is seen in lower frequencies like VLF, LF and HF bands.

These radio waves bend around the earth’s surface and could travel longer distances. Long ranges of surface communication is possible in these bands. This is one of the main reasons for usage of lower frequencies for submarine communications.

Diffraction is quite different from the concept of Refraction. Having understood the term Diffraction, let us understand the concept of Refraction in Radio Waves in our next lesson.