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The paper describes a simple and accurate method for computing ionospheric and tropospheric bending. The only assumptions made are that the refractive gradient is radial and that the refractive index profile can be approximated by a finite number of linear segments whose thickness is small compared with the earth's radius. These assumptions are readily justifiable in all practical cases. Since there are no limitations on the angle of elevation and the shape of the refractive index profile, the method has a wide application and it is extended to cover other refractive effects such as retardation, Doppler error and Faraday Rotation.