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ANTENNA SYSTEM DESIGN

SIGMA WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES LTD


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EMAIL: info@sigma.ie

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Contents
1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................................4

2 FUNDAMENTALS OF ANTENNA DESIGN.............................................................................................5


2.1 GAIN.........................................................................................................................................................6
2.1.1 Polar Plots.........................................................................................................................................6
2.2 MAST POSITION.....................................................................................................................................7
2.2.1 Omnidirectional.................................................................................................................................7
2.2.2 Offset Omnidirectional:.....................................................................................................................7
2.2.3 Sectoral Arrays..................................................................................................................................8
2.2.4 Directional Arrays...........................................................................................................................11
2.3 RF DOWNTILT......................................................................................................................................12
2.4 DIVERSITY............................................................................................................................................13
2.4.1 Diversity Gain Explained................................................................................................................14
2.4.2 Experimental Results.......................................................................................................................15
2.4.3 Different Diversity Schemes Described...........................................................................................15
2.4.4 How does Space Diversity work?....................................................................................................16
2.4.5 How Does Polarisation Diversity Work?........................................................................................17
3 ANTENNA CHARACTERISTICS FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE.............................................18
3.1 HIGH TRAFFIC DENSITY...............................................................................................................................19
3.2 MEDIUM / LOW TRAFFIC DENSITY.................................................................................................................20
4 GOOD TETRA ANTENNA SYSTEM DESIGN PRACTICE.................................................................20
4.1 RECEIVER ISOLATION FROM TRANSMITTERS.....................................................................................................20
4.2 OMNIDIRECTIONAL DIVERSITY APPLICATIONS..................................................................................................21
4.2.1 Introduction.....................................................................................................................................21
4.2.2 Sample Power Balance Calculation................................................................................................21
4.2.3 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Two Offsets ............................................................................................22
4.2.4 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Three Panels ..........................................................................................23
4.2.5 Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ Diversity Array...............................................................................26
4.2.6 Two Sector Hybrid Sector System...................................................................................................27
5 MOUNTING CRITERIA FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE.............................................................28
5.1 ELECTRICAL................................................................................................................................................28
5.1.1 Background.....................................................................................................................................28
5.1.2 Dolphin Measurement.....................................................................................................................29
5.1.3 Practical measurement....................................................................................................................29
5.1.4 Summary of results..........................................................................................................................30
5.1.5 Analysis of results............................................................................................................................31
5.1.6 Test limitations................................................................................................................................32
5.1.7 Conclusions.....................................................................................................................................32
5.2 PHYSICAL MOUNTING CRITERIA.....................................................................................................................33
5.2.1 Sectored Panel array.......................................................................................................................33
6 ANTENNA / SYSTEM INTEGRATION...................................................................................................34
6.1 LOW DENSITY SYSTEM.................................................................................................................................34
6.2 MEDIUM DENSITY.......................................................................................................................................35
6.3 HIGH DENSITY............................................................................................................................................36

Sigma Wireless Technologies 2 November 2000.


Charts

CHART 1 EFFECT OF GAIN.........................................................................................................................6

CHART 2 OMNI ANTENNA ON ONE METRE MAST AT VARIOUS SPACINGS...............................7

CHART 3 OFFSET ANTENNA ON ONE METRE MAST AT VARIOUS SPACINGS..........................8

CHART 4 BUILD UP OF SECTORED SITE COVERAGE........................................................................9

CHART 5 ILLUSTRATION OF INTERFERENCE IN RE-USING FREQUENCIES...........................10

CHART 6 - AN ELECTRICALLY DOWN-TILTED PANEL ANTENNA MECHANICALLY UP-


TILTED............................................................................................................................................................11

CHART 7 ILLUSTRATION OF THE USE OF A DIRECTIONAL ARRAY..........................................12

CHART 8 ILLUSTRATION OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL


DOWN-TILT....................................................................................................................................................13

CHART 9 VARIABILITY OF THE SIGNAL STRENGTH COMING FROM A MOBILE


TRANSMITTER OVER TIME.....................................................................................................................13

CHART 10 ILLUSTRATION OF DUAL POLARISATION DIVERSITY..............................................16

CHART 11 PROCESS FOR SELECTING OPTIMUM ANTENNA SYSTEM.......................................19

CHART 12 'TOP OF MAST' OMNI PLUS TWO OFFSETS....................................................................23

CHART 13 'TOP OF MAST' OMNI PLUS THREE PANELS..................................................................25

CHART 14 EXTENSION POLE FOR OMNI PLUS 3 PANELS...............................................................25

CHART 15 SIDE MOUNT ‘OMNIDIRECTIONAL’ DIVERSITY ARRAY...........................................26

CHART 16 - SIDE MOUNT ‘OMNIDIRECTIONAL’ DIVERSITY ARRAY GAIN.............................26

CHART 17 TWO-SECTOR HYBRID SECTOR SYSTEM.......................................................................27

CHART 18 - TWO SECTOR HYBRID SECTOR SYSTEM GAIN..........................................................28

CHART 19 - MEASUREMENT CONFIGURATION FOR HORIZONTAL SEPARATION...............29

CHART 20- MEASUREMENT CONFIGURATION FOR VERTICAL SEPARATION.......................30

Sigma Wireless Technologies 3 November 2000.


1 Introduction

The design criteria used in the traditional PMR environment differ significantly from those required
by Digital PMR. The difference between the two platforms demand that a higher priority be given
to the shape and control of the antenna’s radiation pattern.

In the past, system designers attempted to maximise coverage from each site while balancing the
return path for the expected type of mobile terminal. Frequency re-use was less of an issue and
overlap between sites was managed by the ‘capture effect’ of standard FM receivers. Management
of calls was less sophisticated as dropped calls were more acceptable in a dispatcher oriented PMR
system.

However, because of the influences of Cellular technology expectations from users have been
raised and TETRA must adopt new RF planning principles. Coverage from new systems needs to
be balanced for in-door portable use and call management needs to be managed by the
infrastructure software.

The following summarises the changes to antenna and network design:

1. The traditional PMR antenna range has been expanded to include new panel antennas products
to allow sectorisation. Techniques enabling polarisation diversity to improve receiver gain in
multi-path environments must also be considered.

2. TETRA antennas need to have optimum electrical performance in cellular dimensions. The
influence of cellular network planning is strong, imposing electrical and dimensional
expectations on all new products developed for this application.

3. Call handling system software is used to manage channel changeover in overlap areas.

4. Receiver diversity is used to enlarge cells as much as possible, while maintaining the balance
between fixed and mobile devices.

Underpinning all of these changes from standard PMR antenna designs is the need to precisely
control the radiation pattern, in terms of envelope shape and electrical tilt.

Antenna systems, when properly designed, will yield reduced costs to the network operator and
clear communication to network users. The following document is divided into five sections aimed
at describing the fundamentals of antenna design at TETRA frequencies, highlighting the key

Sigma Wireless Technologies 4 November 2000.


trade-off’s when designing a TETRA antenna system and finally to pass over some tips on good
antenna system design. This document will not focus on hand portables or mobile transceivers.

2 Fundamentals of Antenna design

The main challenges of antenna design are concerned with defining and controlling the shape of the
radiation pattern. The ability to do this well ensures that RF signals are directed into the right area
and at the appropriate strength level. It also ensures the minimisation of unwanted signals in key
areas. The TETRA standard requires that a 17dB differential be maintained between carrier and
the interference level. In a frequency re-use scenario, it is important to be able to plan the network
using realistic antenna patterns, which may be used to:

• Amplify signals for range or building penetration purposes.

• Direct radiation in a controlled manner, omni, sectored, directional.

• Reduce/enlarge coverage using gain and diversity.

• Optimise performance in a range of mast fixing arrangements.

The key factors affecting the shape of the RF envelope are as follows:

Omnidirectional: Gain, mast position and down-tilt.

Sectoral: Gain, beamwidth, front-to-back ratio and down-tilt.

Directional: Gain, beamwidth.

The antenna patterns used to characterise an antenna are the E-Plane and H-Plane. The E-plane is a
cross-section of the antenna pattern and is a ‘side on’ view. The main information given is the
depth of the main beam plus any side lobes produced. These side lobes may be a source of
interference to other sites and need to be controlled. Panel antennas invariably have unwanted
lobes at the rear of the panel. These need to be minimised and controlled. Failure to control this
may result in interference to some other site. The H-Plane is the top down view of the radiation
pattern and defines the direction of the pattern in relation to the antenna. Omnidirectional antennas
have a circular pattern, while panel and directional antennas tend to focus the RF energy in a
particular manner. The focussing of this energy results in gain.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 5 November 2000.


2.1 GAIN

An Omnidirectional antenna is used in circumstances where frequency re-use is not an essential


issue due to medium to low traffic density requirements. This type of antenna is constructed using
a spiral dipole array or a collinear design and generates a circular pattern when viewed from above.

The following diagram is an E-Plane view of an omnidirectional antenna and shows the effect of
gain on the shape of the main lobes. When the gain level is increased from 3dB gain, using two
dipoles, to 6dB, using four dipoles, the distance covered is increased and the lobes become thinner.
The Chart 1 shows the effect of gain at the TETRA frequency band.

-15
-20
-30
dB 90
2700 -3 -6 -10

180

Chart 1 Effect of Gain

2.1.1 Polar Plots

Sigma uses log-dB polar plots to display their antenna patterns. The ARRL (the American Radio
Relay League, the US national organisation of Amateur Radio operators) log-dB scale is widely
used in amateur publications. It provides a convenient scale to compare the patterns of antennas
with those of existing designs. It also yields patterns with familiar shapes.

The ARRL log-dB scale dedicates approximately half of the area of the plot to the first 10dB. This
emphasises the detail of the pattern near the full-gain point and causes the lower level side-lobes to
be compressed toward the centre of the pattern without hiding them completely. The log-dB plot is
normalised so that the outer 0dB circle represents the maximum gain of the antenna in that plane.
The centre of the plot is minus infinity dB, but there isn't much area below -40 dB.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 6 November 2000.


2.2 MAST POSITION

2.2.1 Omnidirectional

Mast positioning can affect the radiation pattern and care needs to be taken to ensure that the
appropriate antenna type is selected for specific masts and position on that mast. The main impact
is on the H-Plane pattern (also known as the Azimuth Pattern).

Chart 2 shows the ideal H-plane pattern represented by the circle in black. This scenario is realised
when the antenna is placed at the top of a mast, free from close obstructions. The radiation pattern
is allowed to develop its true radiation envelope. The other patterns are the result of placing the
same antenna at varying electrical distances from a one-metre mast. As you can see from the
radiation patterns, described by the coloured lines, when an omnidirectional antenna is placed at the
front of a triangular mast the pattern is distorted as the signal is reflected from the tower in an
irregular manner. As the distance increases, this effect is reduced.

The main problem is that a rigger will often place the antenna in the most convenient position
available and not necessarily the best position for optimum electrical performance.

O m n i S t a c k e d D ip o le A r r a y
0

-1 5
-2 0
-3 0
dB 90
2700 -3 -6 -1 0

180

Chart 2 Omni Antenna on One Metre Mast at various Spacings

2.2.2 Offset Omnidirectional:

On the other hand, a different result is achieved for an ‘Offset antenna’ placed at the front of a
triangular mast. When the antenna is placed in front of the apex of the mast with the dipoles
arranged in the offset configuration the H-plane radiation pattern is less susceptible to the effects of
positioning at different distances from the mast. The H-plane is reasonably circular, but is offset

Sigma Wireless Technologies 7 November 2000.


towards the front of the antenna. The chart shows how the pattern remains relatively consistent
even when mounted on the side of a mast, at varying electrical distances. As the distance increases,
this effect is reduced. The consistency of RF patterns makes network planning more reliable. A
positive side effect of the offset pattern is higher gain in one direction. This offset shape can easily
be incorporated into overall network planning by choosing sites with this in mind and directing the
main lobe in an appropriate direction to form a suitable total coverage pattern.

A separate paper is available during the third quarter of 2000 which looks at the effect of towers on
antenna radiation patterns and the use of multiple antennas to achieve omni pattern off a tower.

O f f s e t S t a c k e d D i p o le A r r a y . N o D o w n t i l t .
0

-1 5
-2 0
-3 0
dB 90
2700 -3 -6 -1 0

180

Chart 3 Offset Antenna on One Metre Mast at various Spacings

2.2.3 Sectoral Arrays

Drawing from the cellular experience, capacity is increased by having sectored sites with three
panel antennas per site, each panel radiating on different RF channels.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 8 November 2000.


-3 d B
-3 d B

-1 0 d B
-1 0 d B

Chart 4 Build up Of Sectored Site Coverage

Chart 4 shows how a sectored site is built up to optimise channel capacity. These sites are typically
used in urban environments where traffic density is higher than in rural areas. As vehicles or
people move from coverage of one antenna to another, the system takes care of the hand-over to the
appropriate available channel. The interleaving of site patterns ensures hand-over between sites
without causing interference between them.

2.2.3.1 Frequency Re-Use

As the number of sectors increases an antenna’s front-to-back ratio becomes important. The
spillage from the back of the antenna can interfere with cells some distance away, particularly if the
back lobes are directed at the horizon. Good design ensures that the back lobes are small and tilted
down. In Chart 5, if you imagine the two cells being separated by the cell reuse distance, you can
see that the energy radiated off the back of the bottom right blue cell could interfere with a mobile
in the coverage area of the top left blue cell. This is how front-to-back ratio affects the frequency
re-use of a system.

The TETRA standard sets limits on the maximum distance a mobile can access a site from (See
reference i, which states "This distance may be used to prevent MS from grossly exceeding the
planned cell boundaries"). However, this does not affect the levels of interference created by back
lobes, which still must be taken into consideration.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 9 November 2000.


-3 d B

-1 0 d B

-3 d B

-1 0 d B

Chart 5 Illustration of Interference in Re-Using Frequencies

The frequency re-use policy dictates whether this is a major design concern or not. Networks that
have low frequency re-use, for example those which have a large separation between sites, will be
less concerned about RF spillage from the back of the panel antenna.

A method for controlling the back lobe is to use electrical down-tilt (See RF DOWNTILT on Page
12) with mechanical up-tilt (See Chart 6 on page 11 to see the effects of this arrangement on the
back lobe at the horizon).

One possible option for an antenna user is to purchase all sectored antennas with the maximum
amount of down tilt (15o). If another down-tilt value is required at a particular site, then all that
needs be done is to reverse the mounting brackets (bottom clamp at the top and vice versa) and the
antenna is tilted UP. So that for a 10o down tilt, we would tilt a 15o antenna up by 5o. Thus the
antennas to be delivered to all sites would be the same and the down tilt is decided at the
installation time and can easily be changed subsequently.

The benefits for this type of arrangement is that the purchaser will have all the logistical advantages
of having only one sectored antenna type with maximum front-to-back ratio.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 10 November 2000.


Chart 6 - An Electrically Down-Tilted Panel Antenna Mechanically Up-Tilted

2.2.3.2 Combining Radiation Patterns from Multiple Antennas

It is not normally practical to combine the radiation patterns of multiple antennas to give an omni
pattern from, for example, three panel antennas. This is because there is a single source of signal
(the transmitter) and the relative phases of the radiated signals from each antenna will determine
the final radiation pattern of the antenna system. Both the relative lengths of the feeder cables and
the distance between the antenna centres (i.e. where each antenna is mounted) control these phases.
This is in contrast to diversity (See DIVERSITY on Page 13) which is used for the receive path
only and uses up to three separate receivers to achieve the gain. In this case, the phases of the RF
signals do not matter, as they are processed in the receivers before the gain is achieved by
aggregating the demodulated outputs using an additive or selective process.

A separate paper is available during the third quarter of 2000 which looks at the effect of towers on
antenna radiation patterns and the use of multiple antennas to achieve omni pattern off a tower.

2.2.4 Directional Arrays

Directional antenna patterns are used to establish point to point communication or up/down traffic
corridors. The beamwidth is much narrower than panel antennas and consequently yield a higher
gain. Yagi antennas or two sectored panel arrays are used for this purpose.

The pattern shown below in Chart 7 shows the resulting pattern using two Yagis (one pointing
“East” and the other pointing “West”). As the front to back ratio on these antenna types is high,
there is little interference between the back of one pattern and the front of the other.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 11 November 2000.


The second illustration is a possible mounting arrangement for these types of antennas. Note that it
shows vertical separation for diversity, this will require 10 meters (See section 2.4).

-1 5
-2 0
-3 0
dB 90
2 700 -3 -6 -1 0

180

Chart 7 Illustration of the Use of a Directional Array.

2.3 RF DOWNTILT

The effect of down-tilt applies to both Sectored and Non-Sectored antenna arrays. Omnidirectional
and sectoral antennas use pattern tilting to regulate the size of cells and control the signal strength
in overlap areas. The tilt may be provided using either mechanical or electrical tilt and in some
cases a combination of both. Chart 8 shows the difference between mechanical and electrical down-
tilt. The blue pattern is a cross section of the radiation pattern for our SPA Series panel antenna,
with no electrical down-tilt, but which has been mechanically tilted down. The red pattern shows
the same antenna type but with 15 degrees of electrical down-tilt. As you can see the electrically
down-tilted pattern has two larger secondary lobes, but more importantly, the back lobe is also
down-tilted. This provides a powerful and positive means of preventing unwanted spillover into
cells some distance away. (See also 2.2.3.1 Frequency Re-Use above and Chart 6 - An Electrically
Down-Tilted Panel Antenna Mechanically Up-Tilted above)

Sigma Wireless Technologies 12 November 2000.


Chart 8 Illustration Of difference between Electrical and Mechanical Down-Tilt

2.4 DIVERSITY

Chart 9 illustrates the variability of the strength of a received signal coming from a mobile
transmitter over time, in to both polarisations of a dual slant polarised antenna. Signals usually
arrive at the receiver via multiple paths (see below). This receiver diversity can be used to enhance
systems performance. This is particularly useful when the system requires talkback from low
powered handheld devices. This technique ensures that the network receives the same signal at
least twice (dual receiver mode) which is then manipulated either by an additive or a selective
process to ensure a better net received signal to noise ratio.

Signal Strength In Dual Polar Antenna with Distance Travelled

-20

-40
Signal Strength

Left Polar
-60
Right Polar

-80

-100

-120
Time Travelling

Chart 9 Variability of the Signal Strength coming from a mobile transmitter over time

Sigma Wireless Technologies 13 November 2000.


Quoting from reference ii may help to understand the complexities of propagation in the mobile
radio environment: - "Radio wave propagation in the mobile radio environment is described by
dispersive multi-path caused by reflection, diffraction and scattering. Different paths may exist
between a BS and a MS due to large distant reflectors and/or scatterers and due to scattering in the
vicinity of the mobile, giving rise to a number of partial waves arriving with different amplitudes
and delays. Since the mobile will be moving, a Doppler shift is associated with each partial wave,
depending on the mobile's velocity and the angle of incidence. The delayed and Doppler shifted
partial waves interfere at the receiver causing frequency and time selective fading on the
transmitted signal."

The available antenna diversity options are: - Space -Vertical.

Space - Horizontal

Polarisation (Usually dual polarisation)

The principle is the same for each, in that the receiving base station has a choice of two signals on
the incoming path. The process on average yields a ‘gain’ on the receive path.

A separate paper which looks at diversity gain versus antenna spacing is available during the
second quarter of 2000.

2.4.1 Diversity Gain Explained

Diversity gain only operates on the up-link (Mobile Station to Base Station). It is required because
portables usually have one watt transmit power towards the base, but bases can be up to 40-Watts
back to the mobile. The measurement test involves a mobile and a base station with special test
software in it.

A typical test route is driven; the mean bit-error rate is measured at the base, using a vertically
polarised antenna of equivalent gain to the antenna under test. The route is then driven again, using
either two vertically polarised antennas spaced apart, or the two halves of a cross polarised antenna
(as two separate tests) each being fed into separate receivers. The mobile transmit power is
reduced in steps until the same bit error rate is achieved at the base as was measured in the
reference drive. The amount by which the power is reduced is the equivalent Diversity Gain of the
base antenna configuration chosen for the test.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 14 November 2000.


2.4.2 Experimental Results

During Sigma’s initial TETRA antenna development work, tests were performed to determine if
diversity gain existed in the 400MHz band. From these experimental results, we know that the
diversity gain of a cross-polarised antenna in a suburban environment is about 4dB. The diversity
gain of two vertically polarised antennas horizontally spaced at 5.5 metres is about 4.5dB. We
also know that in a high-density urban environment the gains are increased by a further 1dB. In
open countryside, there is some small gain improvement (over a single antenna) for both
configurations. For three antenna diversity, it is possible to assume that there is at least a 1.5dB
improvement over two antenna diversity. Thus, the diversity gain of a particular antenna
configuration will also depend on the type of environment in which it is being used.

Most cellular operators have, over the years, done experiments to assess the gain obtained with
different diversity schemes, and some have published the results. The findings are generally
similar, but never identical. One set of results is given here iii.

Area Type Estimated Diversity Estimated Diversity


Gain with 45 Gain with Space
Slanted Antenna Diversity
Urban, Indoor 3.7 dB 5.0 dB
Urban, Outdoor 4.7 dB 3.3 dB
Suburban, Indoor 4.0 dB 3.7 dB
Suburban, Outdoor 5.7 dB 4.7 dB
Rural 2.7 dB 5.3 dB

Table 1 - Diversity Gain as a Function of Operating Environment

2.4.3 Different Diversity Schemes Described

• Horizontal space diversity requires that approximately 5.5 meters should horizontally
separate two antennas. Reducing this space reduces the gain and the final gain obtained
depends on the antenna height above surrounding terrain as well as the spacing between the
antennas. This is the optimum situation electrically, but in reality access to the required space
is limited. The greater the antenna separation, the less likely that fades will occur in both
antennas simultaneously. If optimum diversity techniques are used in the base station, expect a
minimum of 3dB diversity gain for two antennas and 4.7dB gain from three antennas.

• Vertical space diversity can be easier to implement, but again the requirement is for
approximately 10 metres vertical separation between two antennas to give the best

Sigma Wireless Technologies 15 November 2000.


improvement over a single antenna (similar to that given by horizontal spacing). Most of the
diversity advantage is lost at 4 metres. One reason for this failure is that the coverage area of
the two antenna systems is very different at this spacing. This will cause many problems trying
to balance the signal quality received at the base with that received at the mobile / portable.
Another disadvantage of this type of diversity is that the two received signal are not the same
strength at the antenna, causing a reduction in diversity gain.

• Dual-polar diversity is achieved using a single antenna structure with two sets of dipoles
positioned at +/- 45 degrees to each other. The dipoles positioned in this way produce of
typically of 3 to 4.5dB better than a single vertically polarised antenna of similar dimensions.
The gain of these antennas is usually specified as Co-Polar gain i.e. the gain measured at +/-45
Degrees. The 2 to 4dB gain improvement is relative to this gain. If, however, you measure the
antenna gain vertically polarised, it will be 3dB less than that measured at +/-45o. The vertical
space occupied by a dual polarised antenna of a given Co-Polar gain is the same as for a
vertically polarised antenna of the same gain.

Red Blue
Feed Feed

Chart 10 Illustration of Dual Polarisation Diversity

2.4.4 How does Space Diversity work?

To achieve diversity at least two receivers are required. These will receive signals from diverse
sources - two antennas. These antennas will provide a separate signal to each receiver, this signal
comes from the same original source - the portable / mobile (called a mobile in the following
discussion) but via different paths. These antennas will need to be positioned on a mast in a
suitable position to allow them to appear as two separate diverse sources of the same signal. The

Sigma Wireless Technologies 16 November 2000.


greater the distance between the antennas horizontally, the less likely that a signal fade (received
from a moving mobile) from one antenna will occur at the same time as a signal fade from the other
antenna. Thus, the diversity gain (reducing the effect of these fades) increases as the separation
increases and relies on the concept that the strength of the two signals should be nearly equal on
average. On average, if the two signal strengths are not equal, then the full diversity gain cannot be
achieved.

At 900 MHz, antennas are generally regarded as being at optimum separation at 2.75 metres. At
400 MHz, this optimum is generally regarded as occurring at five and a half Metres, which is often
difficult to achieve in practical situations. The required separation is in fact a function of effective
antenna height. A separate paper which looks at diversity gain versus antenna spacing is available
during the second quarter of 2000.

The correlation coefficient between the amplitude envelope of the received signals depends on the
antenna spacing. To give an adequately low coefficient (0.7), the antennas should be at the same
height and spaced at least 5.5 metres apart. In other words, the long-term correlation between the
amplitude of the received signals should be high, but the instantaneous value of the correlation
should be very low. (The lowest short term correlation coefficient achievable with two antennas is
approximately 0.5, which is adequate to achieve expected diversity gain. The lower the short-term
correlation coefficient, the better the diversity gain). If these criteria are met by the antenna
system, (and the receivers receive equal amplitude signals on average in the long term), the gain
achieved by two receivers over one can be up to 5dB and by three receivers is up to 7dB, dpending
on the surrounding propagation environment.

2.4.5 How Does Polarisation Diversity Work?

As a RF signal travels from a moving mobile towards the base antenna, it will follow multiple
paths. The obvious one is directly from the mobile antenna to the base antenna. However this path
is often obstructed, a more indirect path may give a better signal. There will be many paths and
each will be due to reflections. These reflections will change the polarisation of the signal. The
amount by which the signal's polarisation is changed depends on the angle of incidence at the
reflection point. In most instances the signal will be partly reflected and partly refracted at the
surface of the 'reflecting' material. There will be multiple signals propagating from the mobile to
the base and, as it moves, the points at which the signals are reflected will be constantly changing.
Thus, the polarisation and strength of the incident signals at a single base antenna will be constantly
changing in a similar manner.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 17 November 2000.


If two receiving base antennas occupy the same space, but receive signals at different polarisations
(+/- 45o), the RF signals coming from these antennas will be diverse or different (see Chart 9 on
page 13) as the signals incident on the two base antennas from the mobile are of different
polarisations. One antenna characteristic of importance in this regard is Cross-Polar
Discrimination, which quantifies the ability of the antenna to discriminate between the polarisations
of the signals impinging on them. If this is at 15dB or better the correlation coefficient is at 0.58
and it falls rapidly below this value. Thus an antenna with the ability to discriminate between
opposite polarisations at better than 15dB across the field-of-view of the antenna, will have an
adequately low correlation coefficient to achieve the 3 to 5dB diversity gain improvement.

3 Antenna Characteristics for Optimum Performance

The role of an antenna system is driven by the need to balance the conflicting requirements of
electrical performance (gain, pattern, tilt), physical dimensions (restricted space available on masts)
and product costs.

• Having wide coverage from sites reduces network costs, but also reduces capacity. Traffic
density will steer you either to Omni, Offset Omni or sectored panels.

• Reduced Physical dimensions make it easy to get lower cost mast space, but reduces electrical
performance. Gain, Front to Back ratio and bandwidth are affected by the dimensions

• Sector planning will influence the choice of tilt. The cell size and frequency re-use plan will
dictate the level and type of tilt required (mechanical or electrical). In addition, the ‘pattern’
control ensures predictable coverage in a range of environments.

Chart 11 below shows the process for selecting the optimum antenna system depending on the
application:

Sigma Wireless Technologies 18 November 2000.


Traffic Density

Coverage

Sectored Omni Yagi

• Gain • Gain
Low power
• Receiver Diversity • Diversity arrays
devices
• Front to Back Ratio • Bandwidth
• Bandwidth

Mast space/costs

Chart 11 Process for Selecting Optimum Antenna System

3.1 High Traffic Density

Dense traffic systems typically will be required in urban environments where simultaneous
communication is the important issue. The use of multi-frequency sector arrays ensures more
capacity in the area covered by the antenna array.

Taking the sectored approach will require an array of antennas at each site and as mast space is at a
premium, care needs to be taken to ensure that the panel antennas have the smallest dimensions
possible while delivering good electrical performance. Key parameters at risk as you try to reduce
the overall dimensions include, gain (length), front to back ratio (width), bandwidth (depth) and
horizontal beamwidth.

On the inbound side, receiver diversity is used to balance the system. Cell sizes can be maximised
using dual polarised antennas or arrays of space diversity antennas. Space diversity may be used
with Omni as well as panel antenna arrays and offers the maximum electrical performance possible.
However, from a practical point of view the current practice is to use dual polar panel antennas in
high traffic density sites and use arrays where space is more readily available.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 19 November 2000.


3.2 Medium / Low Traffic Density

Omnidirectional antennas can be set up to work in an omni or an offset mode. The choice depends
on the type of mast on which it is placed. If a ‘top of mast’ position is available, the result is
optimum. The main issue is the gain of the antenna and where the inbound signals are low then
either the outbound power needs to be restricted (small cells) or receiver arrays need to be used in
conjunction with a separate Tx antenna.

4 Good Tetra Antenna System Design Practice

Good design practice ensures that the antenna system is compatible with the infrastructure and
offers additional benefits through delivery of: -

1. Lower Costs

2. Higher redundancy

3. Optimum channel usage (capacity)

These benefits can be derived using a combination of good mounting practices and infrastructure
enhancement. The following outlines some possible antenna configurations, along with possible
explanations for choice of configuration. These are only examples and the final choices taken will
be determined by the system designer. The diversity gain shown in the examples is 3.5 for
illustration purposes only. It is up to the system designer to avail of the currently available
information on diversity and the radio environment to decide on the value to apply in a particular
circumstance. The examples are given primarily to stimulate thought and not to be final solutions.

4.1 Receiver Isolation from Transmitters

In section 6.5.1 of Reference i, the level of blocking for a base station is -25dBm. With a
transmitter level of +47 dBm, the isolation between two antennas with transmitter into one antenna
and receiver into the other will need to exceed 72dB. This does not take into account any additional
filtering, or the fact that some manufacturer's equipment will exceed minimum TETRA
requirements. In fact many system designers use a band-pass duplexer on the transmit / receive
antenna and use a separate band-pass filter for each receiver. (Some even use half of the duplexer
for this purpose, as this reduces the number of different filter types on and individual site). In all
antenna configurations given below this requirement for isolation must be taken into account as
must any additional insertion losses in the receiver and transmitter paths.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 20 November 2000.


4.2 Omnidirectional Diversity Applications

4.2.1 Introduction

GSM networks give priority to site capacity. Thus, the use of GSM sectored sites using panel
antennas is widespread and has led to the use of polarisation diversity, in preference to space
diversity.

In contrast to GSM, TETRA networks will place a lower emphasis on capacity and will seek to
maximise cell size (and minimise the use of frequencies) using omnidirectional antenna arrays.
Most of the work in the area of diversity was originally done for GSM frequencies, where the
horizontal diversity spacing is only 3m.

The examples given below are presented to show that there are many different ways to achieve
omni coverage from towers. They will give the designer some idea of how to go about coming up
with the design that is optimum for his own network.

A separate paper which looks at diversity gain versus antenna spacing is available during the
second quarter of 2000.

4.2.2 Sample Power Balance Calculation

Table 2 below shows an example non diversity power balance calculation for a system with a
single antenna of 5dB gain connected to a base station with a duplexer of 1dB insertion loss and a
combiner and filtering with a loss of 4dB. There is no diversity gain. The figures are only
representative and should only be used as a guide. It assumes a 3-Watt portable. The base station
transmit power is adjusted to balance the outbound path with the inbound path. This adjustment of
the base station power applies in all examples in this section.

In the table below BS is the Base Station and MS is the Mobile Station.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 21 November 2000.


Tx Rx

BS ->MS MS->BS
TxPower 42 dBm 35 dBm
Combiner /
Combiner/Filter Losses -5 dB -1 dB Filter
Mobile Antenna Gain 1 dBi 1 dBi
Base Antenna Gain 5 dB 5 dB
BaseCable Losses -2 dB -2 dB Duplexer
Diversity Gain 0 dB 0 dB
RxSensitivity -112 dBm -115 dBm
Resultant System Gain 153 dB 153 dB

Main Antenna

Table 2- System Gain in Reference Example

4.2.3 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Two Offsets

This method uses a single omni at the top of the mast and two offset four stack arrays positioned so
that their tops are positioned below the omni and are mounted about three metres off each side of
the mast. Table 2 shows the resultant increase in system gain. Setting the Transmitter Power in the
Base Station (BS) four and a half dB higher than in the reference example (section 4.1)
counterbalances this extra gain and the reduced loss.

This configuration will suit triangular masts of up to around three metres. Above this size, the
pattern of the offset antennas will become increasingly distorted. The exact amount of distortion
depends on how far away from the tower the antennas are mounted and the exact nature of the
tower's construction. (See MAST POSITION on Page 7).

BS -> MS MS->BS Tx Rx1 Rx2


Tx Power 45.5 dBm 35 dBm
Combiner/Filter Losses -4 dB 0 dB
Mobile Antenna Gain 1 dBi 1 dBi
Base Antenna Gain 5 dB 5 dB
Base Cable Losses -2 dB -2 dB
Diversity Gain 0 dB 3.5 dB
Rx Sensitivity -112 dBm -115 dBm Other Two Antennas
Main Antenna
Resultant System Gain 157.5 dB 157.5 dB

Table 3 - System Gain for Two Offsets plus an omni.

4.2.3.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration

The pattern of the omni antenna at the top of the mast is shown in black in the drawing below. This
is 3.5dB less gain than peak gain of the offset antennas. At the 90 and the 270-degree areas, of the

Sigma Wireless Technologies 22 November 2000.


pattern shown below, the gain is 3.5 dB higher than that of the Transmit antenna. As we sweep
around towards the 0o and the 180o positions, we see two antennas with nearly equal gains.

The offset antennas are spaced at 5.5 metres from each other and would give a diversity gain of
3.5dB, in the direction where their gains are equal (at the 0o and the 180o positions). As we rotate
away from this the gains of the two antennas become markedly different, so the diversity gain will
be reduced in these directions but the gain of individual antennas becomes closer to 8.5dB. Thus,
overall we will get an apparent improvement of about 3.5dB over a single 5dB antenna mounted on
the top of the mast.

In such a configuration, consideration should be given to providing sufficient isolation between the
transmit antenna at the top of the tower and the receive antennas on the side of the tower. (See 4.1
Receiver Isolation from Transmitters on page 20)

-1 5
-2 0

dB 90
2 7 00 -3 -6 -1 0

1 80

Chart 12 'Top of Mast' Omni Plus Two Offsets.

4.2.4 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Three Panels

This method uses a single omni at the top of the mast and three panel antennas set at 1200 to each
other around the mast. The transmitter feeds the omni at the top and the three receivers operate
from the three panel antennas around the mast. Setting the Transmitter Power in the Base Station
(BS) 3.1dB higher than in the reference example above counterbalances this extra gain. This

Sigma Wireless Technologies 23 November 2000.


arrangement best suits triangular masts over two to three metres per side. It can be used on any
size tower, as the system works better as the distance between the panels increases above 5.5
metres.

Tx Rx1 Rx2 Rx3

BS -> MS MS->BS
Tx Power 45 dBm 35 dBm Combiner /
Combiner/Filter Losses -4 dB 0 dB Filter
Antenna Gain 5 dB 5 dB
Diversity Gain 0 dB 3 dB
Rx Sensitivity -112 dBm -115 dBm
Resultant System Gain 158 dB 158 dB
Three Panel Antennas
Transmit Antenna

Table 4- System Gain for Omni plus Three Panels.

4.2.4.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration

The pattern of the omni antenna at the top of the mast is shown in black in the drawing below. At
the zero point, the first panel antenna (red pattern) has a gain that is 3.1dB higher than the omni.
As we sweep clockwise around towards the 60-degree point, the gain of this antenna drops by
about 7 dB. If the panels are spaced at centres of 5.5 metres or more, the resultant diversity gain is
about 3 to 4dB (counting both the red and the blue pattern). This leaves the net resultant gain in
this direction about 3 to 4dB down on the peak of the red pattern (-7dB + 3 and -7dB + 4). In a
similar manner, the net gain will also be reduced at 1800 and 3000 for the other coloured patterns.
Thus, overall we will get an apparent improvement of about 3.1dB over a single 5dB antenna
mounted on the top of the mast, with a reduction of approximately 3dB in net gain at the overlap of
the patterns.

In such a configuration, consideration should be given to providing sufficient isolation between the
transmit antenna at the top of the tower and the receive antennas on the side of the tower. (See 4.1
Receiver Isolation from Transmitters on page 20).

Sigma Wireless Technologies 24 November 2000.


0

-15
-20

d 9
27 0 -3 -6 -10 B 0
0

18
0

Chart 13 'Top of Mast' Omni plus Three Panels

If we assume that the panels are mounted at the end of an extension pole on each side of a
triangular mast, Table 5 below gives an indication
of the length of the extension poles required to give
a total of 6 metres between the centres of the
panels. Note that this is end to end of the extension
poles and takes into account the fact that the
electrical centres of these antennas are about
100mm forward of the backplane and the brackets
mount the antenna about 200mm further away from
the vertical mounting pole. Thus, the extension
poles net length could be reduced by up to 400mm,
without affecting the spacing too adversely.
Chart 14 Extension Pole for Omni Plus 3
Panels

Sigma Wireless Technologies 25 November 2000.


Tower Side Size Pole Extension
(Metres) length (Metres)
1 3
2 2.4
3 1.9
4 1.3
5 0.65
6 0
Table 5 - Extension Pole Length Vs Tower Size

4.2.5 Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ Diversity Array

This antenna array comprises a pair of four stack antennas, one of which is used for Tx while both
are used for receiving to achieve space diversity gain. The antenna system functions identically to
and has the advantages of the ‘Offset omni’ (See page 7).

The antenna configuration has the radiation pattern described below. Network planners would
direct the pattern peak in the appropriate direction.

First Antenna Second Antenna

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner Rx Multicoupler A Rx Multicoupler B

1 2 n 1A 2A nA 1B 2B nB

N by 4 Voice Channels
N by RF Channels
Two Diverse antennas shown

Chart 15 Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ Diversity


-1 5
Array -2 0

4.2.5.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration 2 7 00 -3 -6 -1 0


dB 90

The radiation pattern is shown in Magenta as both the


Tx and Rx patterns overlap completely. The dipole
arrays of both antennas need to be pointed in the same
180

Sigma Wireless Technologies 26 Chart 16 - Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’


November 2000.
Diversity Array Gain
direction (note that they are shown in the centre of the radiation pattern and it is worth noting their
directions). The diversity gain of the antennas will yield a 3dB improvement in all directions
around the mast compared with a single offset antenna and the magenta represents the combination
of the red and blue radiation patterns.

In such a configuration, consideration should be given to providing sufficient isolation between the
transmit antenna and the receive antennas on the other side of the tower, especially receiver 'B'.
(See 4.1 Receiver Isolation from Transmitters on page 20).

4.2.6 Two Sector Hybrid Sector System

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to install a hybrid sector array which operates as two
discretely separate sectors. The first part of the sector uses a cross-polarised panel antenna in one
direction and the second part of the sector uses two separate stacked dipole arrays using space
diversity. The pair of stacked dipoles is used in the classic way, one antenna Tx/Rx with a
duplexer and the other antenna providing the second Rx path. The stacked dipole in its offset
configuration is Omnidirectional but skewed in one direction. This should be pointed in the
opposite direction to the panel antenna. The resulting coverage is egg shaped and slightly offset in
the direction of the panel. It has been used where a high traffic density is required and where this
shape of coverage is not a disadvantage (Such as at Motorway Junctions, with the heavier traffic in
the direction of the Panel).

First Sector - Panel Second Sector – Two Offset

Half of First Antenna


Second Half not Illustrated
for Clarity
Second Antenna Third Antenna

Duplex Filter Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner A Rx Multicoupler A Tx Combiner B Rx Multicoupler B

1 2 3 4 1A 2A 4A
1B 2B 3B 4B 1B 2B 4B

Rx Multicoupler C
Example shows two sector cell – One Offset and
one panel system

1C 2C 4C

Chart 17 Two-Sector Hybrid Sector System

Sigma Wireless Technologies 27 November 2000.


4.2.6.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration

The radiation pattern for the stacked array is shown in Magenta as both the Tx and Rx patterns
overlap completely, as in the ‘two offset’ mode.
0
The dipole arrays of these two antennas need to
be pointed in the same direction (note that they
are shown in the centre of the radiation pattern
-1 5
and it is worth noting their directions). The -2 0

diversity gain of the antennas will yield a 3dB


dB 90
2700 -3 -6 -1 0
improvement in all directions, for this antenna
pair over a single antenna of the same type. The
magenta represents the combination of the red
and blue radiation patterns. On the opposite
side of the mast a single cross-polarised panel 180

antenna is mounted on a different set of


channels. This also has a diversity gain of 3dB
Chart 18 - Two Sector Hybrid Sector System
relative to the nominal gain of the antenna. This
Gain
antennas radiation pattern is shown in green.

5 Mounting Criteria for Optimum Performance

5.1 Electrical

5.1.1 Background

The following testing was carried out by Dolphin Telecommunications. Where several services
share a radio site there will inevitably be some potential for interference between the various
signals present. This section examines the possibility of signals radiated from a TETRA 80º panel
being received by a 900 MHz base station through coupling between the two panels. The TETRA
band is not harmonically related to either of the TACS or GSM frequency bands and so
interference caused by the direct impact of harmonics of the TETRA carrier has been discounted.
It is therefore assumed that the primary mechanism for concern would be blocking of the 900 MHz
receiver by the TETRA transmitter.

GSM interference level recommendation 05.05 requires that a GSM base station is able to operate
normally in the presence of an interfering out of band signal at a power level of 0 dBm at the GSM

Sigma Wireless Technologies 28 November 2000.


receiver antenna terminals. It is therefore desirable to keep any TETRA signal presented to the
receiver terminals of the GSM receiver below this level. The TETRA EIRP is limited by licensing
requirements to less than +47 dBm. A minimum acceptable loss in the coupling between the two
panels is therefore 47 dB.

5.1.2 Dolphin Measurement

While the antenna characteristic data can be obtained for each antenna, the published data refers to
the performance within the intended band of operation. Since coupling between the 400 MHz and
900 MHz systems includes reception of the potential interference outside the intended band of
operation of the antenna, it is difficult to predict the resulting coupling theoretically.

5.1.3 Practical measurement

In the absence of a theoretical calculation the coupling between two example systems was
measured to indicate the levels involved. Two GSM panel antennas, both cross-polar units with
different H-plane beamwidths, were examined in close proximity to a TETRA 80º panel antenna to
simulate the situation on a shared mast. The measurements were made using a tracking
generator/analyser combination to establish the isolation between the two antennas. The
measurement sweep encompassed all anticipated TETRA frequencies in using the range 380 - 430
MHz. To identify the worst-case coupling between the two panels, each measurement was
repeated using the second polarisation on the antenna so that the cases corresponding to a co-polar
and cross-polar coupling were both taken into account.

1 .0 - 1 .5 5 m e tre s

4 2 to 6 2 d B lo s s

at TETRA
fr e q u e n c ie s
TETRA GSM
panel panel
80 85
d e g re e s deg.
HBW HBW

4 7 to 6 8 d B lo s s

at GSM
fr e q u e n c ie s

Chart 19 - Measurement configuration for horizontal separation

Sigma Wireless Technologies 29 November 2000.


For comparison purposes, a measurement of the coupling between the two panels in the GSM
frequency range 870 – 960 MHz, with the test generator connected to the GSM panel, was also
taken.

Tests were carried out with the panels on a common azimuth in each case. Two horizontal
separations (1m and 1.55m) were tested to examine the effect of increasing the separation between
the two panels. To investigate the possibility of mast sharing where the TETRA panel is installed
below a GSM installation, a separate measurement was made of the coupling when the two panels
are positioned end-to-end. The measurement was made with a single vertical separation of 1m

GSM
panel

frequencies
47 to 68 dB loss

85
1.0 metres

at TETRA

deg.
HBW

TETRA
panel
80
degrees
HBW

Chart 20- Measurement configuration for vertical separation

5.1.4 Summary of results

TETRA to GSM, 1m horizontal separation

Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum Maximum


isolation isolation

TETRA 80º +45º TETRA GSM 60º +45º 42 dB 50 dB

TETRA 80º +45º TETRA GSM 60º -45º 48 dB 51 dB

TETRA 80º +45º TETRA GSM 85º -45º 45 dB 51 dB

TETRA 80º -45º TETRA GSM 85º -45º 43 dB 49 dB

Sigma Wireless Technologies 30 November 2000.


TETRA to GSM, 1.55m horizontal separation

Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum Maximum


isolation isolation

TETRA 80º -45º TETRA GSM 85º -45º 48 dB 62 dB

TETRA to GSM, 1m vertical separation, TETRA below

Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum Maximum


isolation isolation

TETRA 80º -45º TETRA GSM 85º -45º 51 dB 67 dB

TETRA 80º -45º TETRA GSM 85º +45º 54 dB 76 dB

GSM to TETRA, 1m horizontal separation

Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum Maximum


isolation isolation

GSM 60º -45º GSM TETRA 80º -45º 51 dB 61 dB

GSM 60º -45º GSM TETRA 80º +45º 47 dB 68 dB

5.1.5 Analysis of results

The coupling between the two panels is affected by the polarisation relationship, despite the fact
that the receiving panel is not tuned for the receiving frequency and that the ‘side-on’ orientation
does not obviously suggest any correlation. The results show that the isolation is reduced when the
two elements in use are on the same polarisation.

The isolation between the two panels is noticeably increasing with separation – in the test carried
out the minimum isolation improved by 5 dB as the distance was increased from 1m to 1.55m
without changing any other parameters. The results suggest that the required TETRA to GSM
isolation is achieved with an inter-panel horizontal separation of as little as 1.55 metres.

For vertical separation, the test results suggested that the required isolation was achieved with a
separation of 1m in all polarisation combinations.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 31 November 2000.


5.1.6 Test limitations

1. The test antennas shared a common azimuth in all configurations. While the data sheet polar
pattern will probably not be applicable in such close proximity to the antenna, it would be
reasonable to assume that the isolation would be reduced if the TETRA panel were turned
towards the GSM panel.

2. The tests were carried out with the two panels mounted horizontally on a non-conductive
support. While the forward beam patterns should have been into free space, it is possible that
building reflections may be responsible for some of the minor frequency-dependant
perturbations observed. Further work to establish the limitations of the test set-up would be
appropriate, however it would seem likely that the isolation figure indicated would be increased
if reflective paths between the two panels are reduced or eliminated.

3. The tests were carried out with two GSM panel antenna types. For more general applicability,
it would be appropriate to repeat the exercise with other products.

4. The figures indicated assumed that there is no additional bandpass frequency filtering in front
of the GSM receiver, providing additional attenuation at the TETRA frequencies.

5.1.7 Conclusions

From the data collected so far, it would be appropriate to use an inter-panel spacing guideline
requiring horizontal separation of at least 2m between TETRA and GSM, if the sector orientations
are on a similar azimuth. It is suggested that the vertical separation should be at least 1m.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 32 November 2000.


5.2 Physical Mounting Criteria

The antenna system most appropriate for a given application is governed by:

• Mast type and position.

• Traffic Density

• Radio system configuration

5.2.1 Sectored Panel array

1. Pole mount

This approach involves the three antennas mounted at the same height, each arranged at 120
degrees to each other. Either the antennas may be vertically polarised or dual polarised where
diversity gain is required.

2. Mast mount

The panel may be mounted on each leg of a triangular tower, again at the same level as before.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 33 November 2000.


3. Building mount

The panel antennas may be mounted at the edge of a building giving sufficient clearance from the
rooftop and held in position by a steel structure. The positioning of the panels should be as with a
mast, in terms of level and orientation. Free space in front of the antenna should be provided for at
least 20M extending down at an angle of 30 degrees. Avoid roof edge obstructions.

6 Antenna / System Integration

6.1 Low Density System.

This type of system uses a simple approach to radio coverage and shows how a single antenna may
be used to allow two-way communication with four RF channels. The duplex filter allows
simultaneous Tx/Rx operation and is only restricted by the RF power requirements dictated by the
number of channels in use. Below is a representation of how a non-diversity system functions,
using one antenna. This antenna could be Omnidirectional, sectored panel or directional. The use
of one antenna in this arrangement reduces the cost of antennas, plus the cost of mast space.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 34 November 2000.


Antenna

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner Rx Multicoupler

1 2 n 1 2 n

N by 4 Voice Channels
N by RF Channels

6.2 Medium Density

The schematic below shows a system using antenna diversity. The Transmitters and the first set of
receivers are connected to one antenna and the second set of receivers is connected to the second
antenna. Therefore, there are diverse sources for the signals being fed into the receivers. Note
there is a practical limit to the number of transmitters that can be fed into the duplexer and the
antenna. This is determined by the PEAK power of the transmitters (the peak power of a
transmitter in TETRA is 6 dB above nominal power and therefore, there is a limitation set by the
voltage as well as the power capabilities of these elements). See also 4.1 Receiver Isolation from
Transmitters for more information on protection of Rx multi-coupler.

The use of an antenna system, in this way enables the use of large cells with the benefit of diversity
gain on the receive path. This could be a single antenna with dual slant polarisation or two
antennas.

First Antenna Second Antenna

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner Rx Multicoupler A Rx Multicoupler B

1 2 n 1A 2A nA 1B 2B nB

N by 4 Voice Channels
N by RF Channels
Two Diverse antennas shown

Sigma Wireless Technologies 35 November 2000.


6.3 High Density

The illustration below shows how a large site might be configured. Half of the transmitters would
be fed into one antenna system and the other half would be fed into the second antenna. All the
receivers would be fed from each antenna to give diversity.

First Antenna
Second Antenna

Duplex Filter Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner Rx Multicoupler A Tx Combiner Rx Multicoupler B

1 2 3 4 1A 2A 8A 5 6 7 8 1B 2B 8B

Example Shows 8 Tx and 16 Rx


Redundancy in Duplexers and in Tx Combiners

The key benefit of this configuration is to spread the power load between the two antennas and in
that way to give greater redundancy in case of antenna failure, it offers diversity gain as before.
Receiver protection for the second one is also increased by such a configuration.

Sigma Wireless Technologies 36 November 2000.


i
ETS 300-392-2 First Edition, March 1996 Section 10.3.3

ii
ETS 300-392-2 First Edition, March 1996 Section 6.6.3.1

iii
Jaana Laiho Steffens, Jukka Lempeiainen et al., “Experimental Evaluation of Polarisation Diversity Gain at Base
Station End in GSM900 Network”, IEE Transactions, Vehicular Technology 0-7803-4320-4/98 Pages 16-20.