Well the concept is similar to a radio telescope, but with a twist.
Assuming I have a directional antenna, and I point it to a weak transmitter, and the two are separated by great distance. Is there a limit to the distance that a communication from a weak receiver, can be achieved that is only dependent to the weaker transmitter, as influenced by the conditions on earth?
Thinking about this on my own, I can identify that the noise caused by the atmosphere would have some self-imposed distance limit. And this is why radio telescopes are usually build in high altitude and where the atmosphere is thin. I am just not able to identify any formulas. To make things easier, picture a radio telescope and a wifi signal coming from within earth.
Is there a formula that takes into account both the antenna gain of the receiver and transmitter and determines the maximum distance based on atmospheric pressure and such weather conditions?