Mobile Radio Network Design in the VHF and UHF Bands: A Practical Approach

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The hot lightning channel scatters radio-waves for a fraction of a second. The RF noise burst from the lightning makes the initial part of the open channel unusable and the ionization disappears quickly because of recombination at low altitude and high atmospheric pressure. Although the hot lightning channel is briefly observable with microwave radar, no practical use for this mode has been found in communications.


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Knife-edge diffraction is the propagation mode where radio waves are bent around sharp edges. For example, this mode is used to send radio signals over a mountain range when a line-of-sight path is not available. However, the angle cannot be too sharp or the signal will not diffract. The diffraction mode requires increased signal strength, so higher power or better antennas will be needed than for an equivalent line-of-sight path.

Diffraction depends on the relationship between the wavelength and the size of the obstacle. In other words, the size of the obstacle in wavelengths. Lower frequencies diffract around large smooth obstacles such as hills more easily. For example, in many cases where VHF or higher frequency communication is not possible due to shadowing by a hill, it is still possible to communicate using the upper part of the HF band where the surface wave is of little use.

Diffraction phenomena by small obstacles are also important at high frequencies. Signals for urban cellular telephony tend to be dominated by ground-plane effects as they travel over the rooftops of the urban environment. They then diffract over roof edges into the street, where multipath propagation , absorption and diffraction phenomena dominate. Low-frequency radio waves travel easily through brick and stone and VLF even penetrates sea-water. As the frequency rises, absorption effects become more important. At microwave or higher frequencies, absorption by molecular resonances in the atmosphere mostly from water, H 2 O and oxygen, O 2 is a major factor in radio propagation.

This phenomenon was first discovered during radar research in World War II. Heavy rain and falling snow also affect microwave absorption. HF propagation conditions can be simulated using radio propagation models , such as the Voice of America Coverage Analysis Program , and realtime measurements can be done using chirp transmitters.

For radio amateurs the WSPR mode provides maps with real time propagation conditions between a network of transmitters and receivers. In AM broadcasting , the dramatic ionospheric changes that occur overnight in the mediumwave band drive a unique broadcast license scheme, with entirely different transmitter power output levels and directional antenna patterns to cope with skywave propagation at night. Very few stations are allowed to run without modifications during dark hours, typically only those on clear channels in North America.

Otherwise, there would be nothing but interference on the entire broadcast band from dusk until dawn without these modifications.

Mobile Radio Network Design in the VHF and UHF Bands : A Practical Approach

For FM broadcasting and the few remaining low-band TV stations , weather is the primary cause for changes in VHF propagation, along with some diurnal changes when the sky is mostly without cloud cover. This not only causes dew , frost , or fog , but also causes a slight "drag" on the bottom of the radio waves, bending the signals down such that they can follow the Earth's curvature over the normal radio horizon. The result is typically several stations being heard from another media market — usually a neighboring one, but sometimes ones from a few hundred kilometers away.

Ice storms are also the result of inversions, but these normally cause more scattered omnidirection propagation, resulting mainly in interference, often among weather radio stations. Non-broadcast signals are also affected. Mobile phone signals are in the UHF band, ranging from to over Megahertz, a range which makes them even more prone to weather-induced propagation changes. In urban and to some extent suburban areas with a high population density , this is partly offset by the use of smaller cells, which use lower effective radiated power and beam tilt to reduce interference, and therefore increase frequency reuse and user capacity.

However, since this would not be very cost-effective in more rural areas, these cells are larger and so more likely to cause interference over longer distances when propagation conditions allow. While this is generally transparent to the user thanks to the way that cellular networks handle cell-to-cell handoffs , when cross-border signals are involved, unexpected charges for international roaming may occur despite not having left the country at all.

This often occurs between southern San Diego and northern Tijuana at the western end of the U. Since signals can travel unobstructed over a body of water far larger than the Detroit River , and cool water temperatures also cause inversions in surface air, this "fringe roaming" sometimes occurs across the Great Lakes , and between islands in the Caribbean. Signals can skip from the Dominican Republic to a mountainside in Puerto Rico and vice versa, or between the U.

While unintended cross-border roaming is often automatically removed by mobile phone company billing systems, inter-island roaming is typically not. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the journal, see Radio Propagation journal. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.

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Table of contents

Common types. Safety and regulation. Mobile phone radiation and health Wireless electronic devices and health International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulations. Beam steering Beam tilt Beamforming Small cell. Reconfiguration Spread spectrum. Main article: Surface wave. Main article: Skywave. Main article: Sporadic E propagation. Main article: Tropospheric ducting. Main article: Tropospheric scattering.

Technical Means for Radio Monitoring

Main article: Airplane scatter. Radio portal. Main article: List of radio propagation terms. Westman et al. Sams and Co. Introduction to RF Propagation.

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John Wiley and Sons. DeSoto Ionospheric Radio. Cohen, Shortwave Propagation Handbook. Retrieved March 3, Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved Lucien Boithais: Radio Wave Propagation. Kluwer Acad. Ward Silver and Mark J.

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Wilson, eds , "Propagation of Radio Signals" Ch. Radio spectrum ITU. Electromagnetic spectrum. Microwave Shortwave Medium wave Longwave. Analog television broadcasting topics. Dot crawl Ghosting Hanover bars Sparklies. Authority control NDL : Categories : Radio frequency propagation. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Articles lacking in-text citations from December All articles lacking in-text citations Commons category link is on Wikidata Wikipedia articles with NDL identifiers. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Part of a series on. Safety and regulation Mobile phone radiation and health Wireless electronic devices and health International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulations World Radiocommunication Conference.

Guided between the Earth and the D layer of the ionosphere. Guided between the Earth and the ionosphere.

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Mobile Radio Network Design in the VHF and UHF Bands - CERN Document Server

Ground waves. E layer ionospheric refraction. F1, F2 layer ionospheric refraction. Finally, in this introductory section, it is worth making two further points. We will return to this topic in Section 1. The most common example However, whenever frequencies are reallocated, there is always the possibility that interference will be caused and it should therefore be understood that adequate reception conditions require not only an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio but also, simultaneously, an acceptable signal-to-interference ratio.

This subject will be treated in Chapter 9. The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes radio frequencies extends from about 30 kHz to GHz, although radio wave propagation is actually possible down to a few kilohertz. By international agreement the radio frequency spectrum is divided into bands, and each band is given a designation as in Table 1. Electromagnetic energy in the form of radio waves propagates outwards from a transmitting antenna and there are several ways in which these waves travel, largely depending on the transmission frequency.

Waves propagating via the layers of the ionosphere are known as ionospheric waves or sky waves; those that propagate over other paths in the lower atmosphere the troposphere are termed tropospheric waves, and those that propagate very close to the Earth's surface are known as ground waves. Figure 1. The surface waves are guided along the Earth's surface and because the Earth is not a perfect conductor, energy is extracted from the wave, as it propagates, to supply losses in the ground itself.

Introduction Figure 1. The importance of each of these waves in any particular case depends upon the length of the propagation path and the frequency of transmission. We can now discuss each frequency band in turn.

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