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Old July 18th 03, 02:06 AM
J. McLaughlin
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Default On the fate of IONCAP, and relations

Dear Mr. Lane:
I have been using these efforts for about 45 years starting with
graphical techniques. That includes punching cards from the source
program listing in ITS-78 and then getting some of it to run on an IBM
computer. It also includes purchasing the tape (when it was available)
of the latter program and spending over a year to get it to run on the
available computer (CDC 60 bit Fortran does not equal 32 bit IBM
Most of your complaints either require a bit of effort for the user
to accomplish or are available in commercial front-end programs. I will
comment on those that are interesting:
#1 One should not use any computer program if one does not understand
its limitations. The source code is available. Study is good.
Handholding front-end programs exist.
#6 It would be interesting to very few users to predict, at HF, the
small areas where groundwave and sky-wave significantly mix. Perhaps
you will craft an algorithm to do this.
#7 Many well studied paths are longer than 7.5 Mm. That is not heavy
See comment under #1. Improvement appears to have been made to dealing
with this inherently complex issue (of real long paths) to reduce the
uncertainties of the model out to about 15 Mm. If one needs predictions
on a rarely encountered 19 Mm path, one will gain useful information
from examining a set of paths to points about 3 or 4 Mm in front of, and
to the side of, the site.
#8 Do a search for references.

Spending government money should be done with the same care used to
spend one's own money. I submit that the maintenance of a web site
where the program may be downloaded, the maintenance of an archive of
changes, the continual inclusion of small corrections/improvements, and
occasional re-compiling is appropriate. One who wishes more should pay
for it.
Sincerely, J. McLaughlin, P.E.

J. Mc Laughlin - Michigan USA

On the fate of IONCAP

By George Lane / Lane Consultant

There are a number of areas where IONCAP technology needs to be

into the 21st century. I am listing some that come to mind.

1. Boundary conditions should be put on the input variables so that

user is warned when values outside of the normal range are being used

a explanation should be available as a help function in determining an
appropriate value. Further, warning flags should be placed in the

when prediction values are suspect or if the user has input an unusual
input parameter. Each input and output parameter in IONCAP should be
defined in easy to understand terms and these definitions should be
included in the Help function.

2. Required signal-to-noise ratios need to be developed for use in the
program. Existing values were established in 1969 for equipment that

now obsolete. The same applies to Signal-to-Interference ratios.

3. Guidelines need to be developed for using the predictions when

for Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) systems or systems with
sophisticated ARQ capabilities. This may require changing the existing
code to include the consideration of multipath conditions in more
appropriate manner than the existing multipath probability prediction.

4. Capability of using Numerical Electromagnetic Code (NEC) generated
antenna patterns or other radiation pattern sources should be


5. An altitude dependent model of RF noise should be developed for use
when airborne platforms are being modeled.

6. An approved and recognized groundwave model should be available in
IONCAP. This model should include the capability of predicting

sky wave propagation modes, the probability of groundwave/sky wave
interference and associated skip zones.

7. The long path prediction model for paths in excess of 7500 km is
suspect and should be reviewed for possible improvement.

8. A theory manual should be written for the new IONCAP.

The above opinions are mine but they are in the public domain and may

borrowed or used by anyone who thinks he or she can salvage something

this effort over the past 56 years.

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