Effects of Earth's curvature in full-wave modeling of VLF propagation
Linhai Qiu, Nikolai G. Lehtinen, Umran S. Inan
Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

We show how to include curvature in the full-wave finite element approach to calculate ELF/VLF wave propagation in horizontally stratified earth-ionosphere waveguide. A general curvilinear stratified system is considered, and the numerical solutions of full-wave method in curvilinear system are compared with the analytic solutions in the cylindrical and spherical waveguides filled with an isotropic medium. We calculate the attenuation and height gain for modes in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide, taking into account the anisotropicity of ionospheric plasma, for different assumptions about the Earth's curvature, and quantify the corrections due to the curvature. The results are compared with the results of previous models, such as LWPC, as well as with ground and satellite observations, and show improved accuracy compared with full-wave method without including the curvature effect.