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Bandwidth

This describes the amount of electromagnetic spectrum needed or allocated for a particular
communications channel or group of channels. It is usually defined in units of frequency and is
computed as the difference between an upper and lower band edge limit.

Example: (1) US PCS is defined as 1850 to 1990 MHz, and therefore has an allocated bandwidth of
140 MHz. (2) Individual PCS voice circuits operate on much narrower channels within the PCS band,
requiring only 30 kHz of bandwidth for each conversation.

Beamwidth
Beamwidth is a measurement of the antenna's radiation pattern. It is defined as the -3dB points (relative
to the direction with the highest gain ) where the intensity falls off by ½ power. It is measured in
degrees, representing an angular measurement of how wide the pattern is dispersed. Because the RF
radiation is 3-dimensional, it is usually measured in two angular directions, azimuth and elevation.

Example: Parabolic antennas have very high gain over a very narrow beamwidth, usually less than 5
degrees in azimuth.

Directional Antenna
This type of antenna transmits or receives maximum power in a particular direction. This design usually
has much higher gain in the desired direction at the expense of the radiation in other directions. These
designs are physically adjusted so that it points to the corresponding receiving (or transmitting) radio.
(Opposite: See Omni-Directional Antenna)

Example: Antennas designed to communicate with geosynchronous satellites or television broadcasts


are directional antennas because the satellites and broadcast towers are fixed in location and do not
move.

Directivity
Directivity is a measure of how focused an antenna radiation pattern is in a given direction. This is
similar to gain , but directivity disregards efficiency (heat losses)

Efficiency
Efficiency is a measure of how much of the electrical power supplied to an antenna element is
converted to electromagnetic power. A 100% efficient antenna would theoretically convert all input
power into radiated power, with no loss to resistive or dielectric elements.

Gain
Antenna gain is measure of the directive property of the antenna, as well as how efficiently it transforms
available input power into radiated power as compared to a theoretical antenna element. It is usually
measured in units of dBi (decibels as referenced to an isotropic antenna element) or dBd (decibels as
referenced to a dipole antenna element, where 0 dBd = 2.1 dBi). An isotropic antenna is a theoretical
point source radiating equal power in all directions, resulting in a perfect spherical pattern. This ideal
reference point is defined to be 0 dBi. New antenna designs are usually compared to this common
reference level.

Multi-Band
Communication standards are assigned to a range of frequencies that are referred to as a frequency
band. Multi-band refers to a radio that is designed to communicate in more than one frequency band.

Example: Tri-band GSM mobile phones, support the 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz frequency bands.

Omni-Directional Antenna
This type of antenna radiates maximum power uniformly in all directions. The isotropic antenna has a
theoretically perfect omni-directional radiation pattern and is used as a reference for specifying antenna
gain. In practice, omni-directional antennas provide a uniform radiation pattern in one reference plane.
(Opposite: See Directional Antenna)

Example: Handset antennas are usually designed to be omni-directional because the position of the
wireless service provider's tower is not normally known by the user.

Pattern
An antenna pattern is related to the 3-dimensional shape of the antenna's radiation field. It is sometimes
subjectively described by how it looks, but it is usually objectively measured in azimuthal and elevation
plots. Plots of gain vs. direction show 2-D cuts in different planes of the 3-D total shape.

Example: The antenna used in cell phones typically has an omni-directional pattern with nulls in the z-
dimension, which is sometimes described as a donut pattern.

Polarization
Polarization is a parameter describing the position and direction of an antenna's electric field with
reference to the earth's surface.

Linear polarization: The electric field is either parallel to the ground (horizontal polarization) or the
electric field is perpendicular to the ground (vertical polarization)

Circular polarization: The wave spins as it travels, covering all angles. Right or left-handed
polarization describes the direction in which it is spinning

Example: Satellite signals are normally circularly polarized, having both vertical and horizontal
components rotating around the z-direction of wave propagation.

Return Loss
Return loss is a measure of the difference between the power input to and the power reflected from a
discontinuity in a transmission circuit. Return loss is often expressed as the ratio in decibels of the
power incident on the antenna terminal to the power reflected from the terminal at a particular frequency
or band of frequencies. (Also see Voltage Standing Wave Ratio)

Example: SkyCross antennas are all designed to have a return loss of -10dB or less, meaning that at
least 90% of the electrical energy generated by the radio is actually transferred into electromagnetic
wave energy.

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)

This is a measure that estimates the amount of radio frequency power absorbed in a unit mass of body
tissue over time. In the interest of ensuring public and user safety, the FCC and other regulatory bodies
have developed safety standards for mobile phone radio frequency emissions. All cellular and PCS
phones manufactured after August 1, 1996 must be tested for compliance against these FCC guidelines
for safe exposure.

Example: The limit for SAR in Australia, United States, and Canada is 1.6 milliwatts per gram.

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR

This parameter is another way to measure return loss. VSWR is a ratio of the maximum to minimum
amplitude (or the voltage or current) of the corresponding field components appearing on a line that
feeds an anten
First let us take the definition of link budget, what it is exactly? Link budget is
only a mathematical calculation in which you take consideration of losses and
gains when a signal is transmitted through any medium (either wirelessly or
wired). It is necessary to calculate the losses (more importantly) so that the link
that establishes between a transmitter and receiver doesn't lose its connection.
Now there are several factors that are taken in to consideration when you are
calculating the losses. Majorly there are two factors: which are Attenuation and
Dispersion (Fiber optics). Random Attenuation or fading is not calculated in Link
Budget because it is supposed to be considered in diversity issue which is a
separate discussion.

Now lets go a step further, I'll try to explain the link budget in GSM first and then
in later technologies like 3G and WiMAX. Earlier i have mentioned that calculating
path loss is a part of calculating link budget. Path loss, in wireless
communications includes the losses when a signal propogates in air (free space)
and the losses when a signal is reflected from any object. In GSM, we know that
the architecture is based on cells. In which every cell could be sectorised (mostly
it is , except micro-cells or pico-cells). When a cell is sectorised then it means
there are different channels that are transmitted in each sector. Also, you know
that when you are calculating the link budget then you have to decide whether
the receiving end is at LOS (line of sight) or NLOS (non-line of sight). GSM is
based on FDMA-TDMA technology, which means there are multiple frequencies
which can interefere each other (again a different topic to minimize interference).
If suppose you are at LOS then you can use a Free Space Path Loss Model to
calculate the path-loss. It is

FSL (db) = 20log(d) + 20log(f) - 147.55

where d is the distance between the transmitter and receiver, f is the signal
frequency.

This model is only used when both transmitter and receiver are at LOS, if both
are at NLOS then it is better to use other models, such as Okumara-Hata Model
which you can search on internet (sorry for not writing it over here as it is very
long). One thing is most important here is that every Model has got its
limitations. for example Hata model can only be used if the coverage frequency
range is between 200Mhz and 1900Mhz. It means Hata model can be used in 2G
and 3G path loss calculations but not in WiMAX. These models are not cent %
correct but it roughly gives an idea of the path loss. We all know when the signal
is transmitted into the air there are several factors that effects its transmission
therefore don't think that if i said it that this model should be implemented to
calculate the path loss then it is correct. Our basic object is to establish such a
link in which signal strength overcomes the path losses (link budget). Other more
important thing is that location of a receiver is very important. We should
consider it when calculating the link budget because calculations are different for
rural, urban , sub-urban and dense-urban areas. Hata Model is also defined
differently for these areas.

What i have explained earlier is only a preview, if you go further in detail then i
recommend you to read on internet about using which model in what conditions.
Few conditions i can briefly describe below :

Weissberger's Model (alternate of ITU Vegetation Model) --- Use it when there are
one or more trees in point to point communication. (NLOS), Frequency range is
230Mhz to 95Ghz (You can use it in WiMAX deployments).
Egli Model --- LOS propogation only, it is more suitable when you are travelling
on irregular terrain, not sure about the frequency range of it. (You can use it in
2G/3G i guess).

Similarly there are other models available, but it only gives an idea or rough
estimate of path loss. These models are made by collecting data at different
times and in different conditions therefore no one can say that this model is cent
% correct. What i have written means that Link Budget can be the same and can
be different for all these technologies. It only depends on the conditions which
are effecting the signal transmission.

RF Terms and Definitions


dB
The dB convention is an abbreviation for decibels. It is a mathematical expression
showing the relationship between two values.

RF Power Level
RF power level at either transmitter output or receiver input is expressed in Watts. It
can also be expressed in dBm. The relation between dBm and Watts can be expressed
as follows:
PdBm = 10 x Log Pmw
For example:
1 Watt = 1000 mW; PdBm = 10 x Log 1000 = 30 dBm
100 mW; PdBm = 10 x Log 100 = 20 dBm
For link budget calculations, the dBm convention is more convenient than the Watts
convention.

Attenuation
Attenuation (fading) of an RF signal is defined as follows:

Pin is the incident power level at the attenuator input


Pout is the output power level at the attenuator output
Attenuation is expressed in dB as follows:PdB = 10 x Log (Pout/Pin)
For example: If, due to attenuation, half the power is lost (Pout/Pin = 2),
attenuation in dB is 10 x Log (2) = 3dB

Path Loss
Path loss is the loss of power of an RF signal travelling (propagating) through space.
It is expressed in dB. Path loss depends on:
The distance between transmitting and receiving antennas.
Line of sight clearance between the receiving and transmitting antennas.
Antenna height.
Free Space Loss
Attenuation of the electromagnetic wave while propagating through space. This
attenuation is calculated using the following formula:
Free space loss = 32.4 + 20xLog F(MHz) + 20xLog R(Km)
F is the RF frequency expressed in MHz.
R is the distance between the transmitting and receiving antennas.
At 2.4 Ghz, this formula is: 100+20xLog R(Km)

Antenna Characteristics
Isotropic Antenna
A hypothetical, lossless antenna having equal radiation intensity in all directions.
Used as a zero dB gain reference in directivity calculation (gain).
Gain
Antenna gain is a measure of directivity. It is defined as the ratio of the radiation
intensity in a given direction to the radiation intensity that would be obtained if the
power accepted by the antenna was radiated equally in all directions (isotropically).
Antenna gain is expressed in dBi.

Radiation Pattern
The radiation pattern is a graphical representation in either polar or rectangular
coordinates of the spatial energy distribution of an antenna.
Side Lobes
The radiation lobes in any direction other than that of the main lobe.

Omni-directional Antenna
This antenna radiates and receives equally in all directions in azimuth. The following
diagram shows the radiation pattern of an omni-directional antenna with its side lobes
in polar form.

Directional Antenna
This antenna radiates and receives most of the signal power in one direction. The
following diagram shows the radiation pattern of a directional antenna with its side
lobes in polar form:
Antenna Beamwidth
The directiveness of a directional antenna. Defined as the angle between two half-
power (-3 dB) points on either side of the main lobe of radiation.

System Characteristics
Receiver Sensitivity
The minimum RF signal power level required at the input of a receiver for certain
performance (e.g. BER).

EIRP (Effective Isotropic Radiated Power)


The antenna transmitted power. Equal to the transmitted output power minus cable
loss plus the transmitting antenna gain.

Pout Output power of transmitted in dBm


Ct Transmitter cable attenuation in dB
Gt Transmitting antenna gain in dBi
Gr Receiving antenna gain in dBi
Pl Path loss in dB
Cr Receiver cable attenuation is dB
Si Received power level at receiver input in dBm
Ps Receiver sensitivity is dBm
Si = Pout - Ct + Gt - Pl + Gr - Cr
EIRP = Pout - Ct + Gt

Example:

Link Parameters:
Frequency: 2.4 Ghz
Pout = 4 dBm (2.5 mW)
Tx and Rx cable length (Ct and Cr) = 10 m. cable type RG214 (0.6 dB/meter)
Tx and Rx antenna gain (Gt and Gr) = 18 dBi
Distance between sites = 3 Km
Receiver sensitivity (Ps) = -84 dBm

Link Budget Calculation


EIRP = Pout - Ct + Gt = 16 dBm
Pl = 32.4 + 20xLog F(MHz) + 20xLog R(Km) @ 110 dB
Si = EIRP - Pl + Gr - Cr = -82 dBm
In conclusion, the received signal power is above the sensitivity threshold, so the link
should work.
The problem is that there is only a 2 dB difference between received signal power and
sensitivity. Normally, a higher margin is desirable due to fluctuation in received
power as a result of signal fading.
Signal Fading
Fading of the RF signal is caused by several factors:
Multipath
The transmitted signal arrives at the receiver from different directions, with different
path lengths, attenuation and delays. The summed signal at the receiver may result in
an attenuated signal.

Bad Line of Sight


An optical line of sight exists if an imaginary straight line can connect the antennas on
either side of the link.
Radio wave clear line of sight exists if a certain area around the optical line of sight
(Fresnel zone) is clear of obstacles. A bad line of sight exists if the first Fresnel zone
is obscured.
Link Budget Calculations
Weather conditions (Rain, wind, etc.)
At high rain intensity (150 mm/hr), the fading of an RF signal at 2.4 Ghz may reach a
maximum of 0.02 dB/Km. Wind may cause fading due to antenna motion.
Interference
Interference may be caused by another system on the same frequency range, external
noise, or some other co-located system.

Antenna gain
 Antenna gain is the ratio of surface power radiated by the antenna and the surface power radiated by a
hypothetical isotropic antenna:

 The surface power carried by an electromagnetic wave is:

 The surface power radiated by an isotropic antenna feed with the same power is:

 Substituting values for the case of a short dipole, final result is:

= 1,5 = 1,76 dBi


dBi are just deibels. The i is just a reminder that the indicated gain is taken
against an isotropic antenna.