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Electromagnetic signals which propagate through strongly disturbed regions of the ionosphere can experience angular scattering, causing appreciable amplitude and phase scintillation and angle-of-arrival fluctuations. The performance of a space based radar (SBR) subject to degradation due to signal propagation through a highly disturbed ionospheric channel is considered here. Pertinent characteristics of the disturbed channel and the received radar signal are described. The effects of the propagation path are investigated and the differences between monostatic and bistatic operation are presented. Results are presented which show the effect of severe scintillation on the coherent target detection performance of an SBR. It is shown that coherent detection performance can be seriously degraded in a scintillation environment if scintillation effects are not considered in the radar design.