Rereading my answer here and in particular, rereading the article Optical and Radio Refraction on Venus (Stratton, 1968) it is my understanding that there is significant refraction of radio waves, as with visible light - leading to critical refraction (explained in the linked answer).

The question is then, how would this radio wave refraction be corrected to be useful for potential future communications?


1 Answer 1


One could use "very low frequency"$^1$ communications from surface to satellite like the Venera 9 lander used to communicate with the orbiter, then have the Venusian satellite relay information back to Earth. Venera 9 lander used 122.8 and 138.6 MHz. I'm not a communications expert, but it is my understanding that lower frequencies experience less refraction. According to my source, it appears that Venera 9 had to use these very low frequencies; I would assume for this very reason.


$^1$My source refers to the communications as very low frequency but says that the numbers cited in Russian papers are 122.8 and 138.6 MHz which are in the range typically referred to as Very High Frequency (VHF).

  • $\begingroup$ speaking of refraction How large does refraction become in radioastronomy? needs an answer. In that case though it's the ionosphere (there's that word again), not the neutral atmosphere that's doing the refracting. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 3:26

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