Microwave transmission

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The atmospheric attenuation of microwaves in dry air with a precipitable water vapor level of 0.001 mm. The downward spikes in the graph corresponds to frequencies at which microwaves are absorbed more strongly, such as by oxygen molecules. Atmospheric Microwave Transmittance at Mauna Kea (simulated).svg
The atmospheric attenuation of microwaves in dry air with a precipitable water vapor level of 0.001 mm. The downward spikes in the graph corresponds to frequencies at which microwaves are absorbed more strongly, such as by oxygen molecules.

Microwave transmission is the transmission of information by microwave radio waves. Although an experimental 40-mile (64 km) microwave telecommunication link across the English Channel was demonstrated in 1931, the development of radar in World War II provided the technology for practical exploitation of microwave communication. In the 1950s, large transcontinental microwave relay networks, consisting of chains of repeater stations linked by line-of-sight beams of microwaves were built in Europe and America to relay long distance telephone traffic and television programs between cities. Communication satellites which transferred data between ground stations by microwaves took over much long distance traffic in the 1960s. In recent years, there has been an explosive increase in use of the microwave spectrum by new telecommunication technologies such as wireless networks, and direct-broadcast satellites which broadcast television and radio directly into consumers' homes.

Data transmission is the transfer of data over a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint communication channel. Examples of such channels are copper wires, optical fibers, wireless communication channels, storage media and computer buses. The data are represented as an electromagnetic signal, such as an electrical voltage, radiowave, microwave, or infrared signal.

Microwave form of electromagnetic radiation

Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging from about one meter to one millimeter; with frequencies between 300 MHz (1 m) and 300 GHz (1 mm). Different sources define different frequency ranges as microwaves; the above broad definition includes both UHF and EHF bands. A more common definition in radio engineering is the range between 1 and 100 GHz. In all cases, microwaves include the entire SHF band at minimum. Frequencies in the microwave range are often referred to by their IEEE radar band designations: S, C, X, Ku, K, or Ka band, or by similar NATO or EU designations.

Radar object detection system based on radio waves

Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. A radar system consists of a transmitter producing electromagnetic waves in the radio or microwaves domain, a transmitting antenna, a receiving antenna and a receiver and processor to determine properties of the object(s). Radio waves from the transmitter reflect off the object and return to the receiver, giving information about the object's location and speed.

Contents

Uses

Microwaves are widely used for point-to-point communications because their small wavelength allows conveniently-sized antennas to direct them in narrow beams, which can be pointed directly at the receiving antenna. This allows nearby microwave equipment to use the same frequencies without interfering with each other, as lower frequency radio waves do. Another advantage is that the high frequency of microwaves gives the microwave band a very large information-carrying capacity; the microwave band has a bandwidth 30 times that of all the rest of the radio spectrum below it. A disadvantage is that microwaves are limited to line of sight propagation; they cannot pass around hills or mountains as lower frequency radio waves can.

In telecommunications, a point-to-point connection refers to a communications connection between two communication endpoints or nodes. An example is a telephone call, in which one telephone is connected with one other, and what is said by one caller can only be heard by the other. This is contrasted with a point-to-multipoint or broadcast connection, in which many nodes can receive information transmitted by one node. Other examples of point-to-point communications links are leased lines, microwave radio relay and two-way radio.

Wavelength spatial period of the wave—the distance over which the waves shape repeats, and thus the inverse of the spatial frequency

In physics, the wavelength is the spatial period of a periodic wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats. It is thus the inverse of the spatial frequency. Wavelength is usually determined by considering the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase, such as crests, troughs, or zero crossings and is a characteristic of both traveling waves and standing waves, as well as other spatial wave patterns. Wavelength is commonly designated by the Greek letter lambda (λ). The term wavelength is also sometimes applied to modulated waves, and to the sinusoidal envelopes of modulated waves or waves formed by interference of several sinusoids.

Antenna (radio) electrical device which converts electric power into radio waves, and vice versa

In radio engineering, an antenna is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current to the antenna's terminals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic waves. In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of a radio wave in order to produce an electric current at its terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all radio equipment.

A parabolic satellite antenna for Erdfunkstelle Raisting, based in Raisting, Bavaria, Germany Erdfunkstelle Raisting 2.jpg
A parabolic satellite antenna for Erdfunkstelle Raisting, based in Raisting, Bavaria, Germany

Microwave radio transmission is commonly used in point-to-point communication systems on the surface of the Earth, in satellite communications, and in deep space radio communications. Other parts of the microwave radio band are used for radars, radio navigation systems, sensor systems, and radio astronomy.

Radio navigation

Radio navigation or radionavigation is the application of radio frequencies to determine a position of an object on the Earth. Like radiolocation, it is a type of radiodetermination.

Radio astronomy subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies

Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies. The first detection of radio waves from an astronomical object was in 1932, when Karl Jansky at Bell Telephone Laboratories observed radiation coming from the Milky Way. Subsequent observations have identified a number of different sources of radio emission. These include stars and galaxies, as well as entirely new classes of objects, such as radio galaxies, quasars, pulsars, and masers. The discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation, regarded as evidence for the Big Bang theory, was made through radio astronomy.

The next higher part of the radio electromagnetic spectrum, where the frequencies are above 30 GHz and below 100 GHz, are called "millimeter waves" because their wavelengths are conveniently measured in millimeters, and their wavelengths range from 10 mm down to 3.0 mm (Higher frequency waves are smaller in wavelength). Radio waves in this band are usually strongly attenuated by the Earthly atmosphere and particles contained in it, especially during wet weather. Also, in a wide band of frequencies around 60 GHz, the radio waves are strongly attenuated by molecular oxygen in the atmosphere. The electronic technologies needed in the millimeter wave band are also much more difficult to utilize than those of the microwave band.

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation and their respective wavelengths and photon energies.

Atmosphere of Earth Layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth

The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases, commonly known as air, that surrounds the planet Earth and is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere of Earth protects life on Earth by creating pressure allowing for liquid water to exist on the Earth's surface, absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention, and reducing temperature extremes between day and night.

Oxygen Chemical element with atomic number 8

Oxygen is a chemical element with symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group on the periodic table, a highly reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O
2
. Diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% of the Earth's atmosphere. As compounds including oxides, the element makes up almost half of the Earth's crust.

Wireless transmission of information
Communications satellite artificial satellite sent to space for the purpose of telecommunications

A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunications signals via a transponder; it creates a communication channel between a source transmitter and a receiver at different locations on Earth. Communications satellites are used for television, telephone, radio, internet, and military applications. There are 2,134 communications satellites in Earth’s orbit, used by both private and government organizations. Many are in geostationary orbit 22,200 miles (35,700 km) above the equator, so that the satellite appears stationary at the same point in the sky, so the satellite dish antennas of ground stations can be aimed permanently at that spot and do not have to move to track it.

In a hierarchical telecommunications network the backhaul portion of the network comprises the intermediate links between the core network, or backbone network, and the small subnetworks at the edge of the network.

Cellular network communication network where the last link is wireless

A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the last link is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, but more normally three cell sites or base transceiver stations. These base stations provide the cell with the network coverage which can be used for transmission of voice, data, and other types of content. A cell typically uses a different set of frequencies from neighboring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed service quality within each cell.

Wireless transmission of power
Space-based solar power

Space-based solar power (SBSP) is the concept of collecting solar power in outer space and distributing it to Earth. Potential advantages of collecting solar energy in space include a higher collection rate and a longer collection period due to the lack of a diffusing atmosphere, and the possibility of placing a solar collector in an orbiting location where there is no night. A considerable fraction of incoming solar energy (55–60%) is lost on its way through the Earth's atmosphere by the effects of reflection and absorption. Space-based solar power systems convert sunlight to microwaves outside the atmosphere, avoiding these losses and the downtime due to the Earth's rotation, but at great cost due to the expense of launching material into orbit. SBSP is considered a form of sustainable or green energy, renewable energy, and is occasionally considered among climate engineering proposals. It is attractive to those seeking large-scale solutions to anthropogenic climate change or fossil fuel depletion.

Microwave radio relay

C-band horn-reflector antennas on the roof of a telephone switching center in Seattle, Washington, part of the U.S. AT&T Long Lines microwave relay network Hogg horn antennas.jpg
C-band horn-reflector antennas on the roof of a telephone switching center in Seattle, Washington, part of the U.S. AT&T Long Lines microwave relay network
Dozens of microwave dishes on the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm in Germany Airkz 20040717 heinrich hertz turm.jpg
Dozens of microwave dishes on the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm in Germany

Microwave radio relay is a technology widely used in the 1950s and 1960s for transmitting signals, such as long-distance telephone calls and television programs between two terrestrial points on a narrow beam of microwaves. In microwave radio relay, microwaves are transmitted on a line of sight path between relay stations using directional antennas, forming a fixed radio connection between the two points. The requirement of a line of sight limits the separation between stations to the visual horizon, about 30 to 50 miles. Before the widespread use of communications satellites, chains of microwave relay stations were used to transmit telecommunication signals over transcontinental distances.

Beginning in the 1950s, networks of microwave relay links, such as the AT&T Long Lines system in the U.S., carried long distance telephone calls and television programs between cities. [1] The first system, dubbed TD-2 and built by AT&T, connected New York and Boston in 1947 with a series of eight radio relay stations. [1] These included long daisy-chained series of such links that traversed mountain ranges and spanned continents. Much of the transcontinental traffic is now carried by cheaper optical fibers and communication satellites, but microwave relay remains important for shorter distances.

Planning

Communications tower on Frazier Mountain, Southern California with microwave relay dishes Frazier Peak, tower and Honda Element.jpg
Communications tower on Frazier Mountain, Southern California with microwave relay dishes

Because the radio waves travel in narrow beams confined to a line-of-sight path from one antenna to the other, they don't interfere with other microwave equipment, so nearby microwave links can use the same frequencies (see Frequency reuse). Antennas must be highly directional (high gain); these antennas are installed in elevated locations such as large radio towers in order to be able to transmit across long distances. Typical types of antenna used in radio relay link installations are parabolic antennas, dielectric lens, and horn-reflector antennas, which have a diameter of up to 4 meters. Highly directive antennas permit an economical use of the available frequency spectrum, despite long transmission distances.

Danish military radio relay node DK TGR radiokaede.jpg
Danish military radio relay node

Because of the high frequencies used, a line-of-sight path between the stations is required. Additionally, in order to avoid attenuation of the beam, an area around the beam called the first Fresnel zone must be free from obstacles. Obstacles in the signal field cause unwanted attenuation. High mountain peak or ridge positions are often ideal.

Production truck used for remote broadcasts by television news has a microwave dish on a retractible telescoping mast to transmit live video back to the studio. TV remote pickup Pier 88 jeh.JPG
Production truck used for remote broadcasts by television news has a microwave dish on a retractible telescoping mast to transmit live video back to the studio.

Obstacles, the curvature of the Earth, the geography of the area and reception issues arising from the use of nearby land (such as in manufacturing and forestry) are important issues to consider when planning radio links. In the planning process, it is essential that "path profiles" are produced, which provide information about the terrain and Fresnel zones affecting the transmission path. The presence of a water surface, such as a lake or river, along the path also must be taken into consideration since it can reflect the beam, and the direct and reflected beam can interfere at the receiving antenna, causing multipath fading. Multipath fades are usually deep only in a small spot and a narrow frequency band, so space and/or frequency diversity schemes can be applied to mitigate these effects.

The effects of atmospheric stratification cause the radio path to bend downward in a typical situation so a major distance is possible as the earth equivalent curvature increases from 6370 km to about 8500 km (a 4/3 equivalent radius effect). Rare events of temperature, humidity and pressure profile versus height, may produce large deviations and distortion of the propagation and affect transmission quality. High-intensity rain and snow making rain fade must also be considered as an impairment factor, especially at frequencies above 10 GHz. All previous factors, collectively known as path loss, make it necessary to compute suitable power margins, in order to maintain the link operative for a high percentage of time, like the standard 99.99% or 99.999% used in 'carrier class' services of most telecommunication operators.

The longest microwave radio relay known up to date crosses the Red Sea with 360 km (200 mi) hop between Jebel Erba (2170m a.s.l., 20°44′46.17″N36°50′24.65″E / 20.7461583°N 36.8401806°E / 20.7461583; 36.8401806 , Sudan) and Jebel Dakka (2572m a.s.l., 21°5′36.89″N40°17′29.80″E / 21.0935806°N 40.2916111°E / 21.0935806; 40.2916111 , Saudi Arabia). The link was built in 1979 by Telettra to transmit 300 telephone channels and 1 TV signal, in the 2 GHz frequency band. (Hop distance is the distance between two microwave stations) [2]

Previous considerations represent typical problems characterizing terrestrial radio links using microwaves for the so-called backbone networks: hop lengths of few tens of kilometers (typically 10 to 60 km) were largely used until the 1990s. Frequency bands below 10 GHz, and above all, the information to be transmitted, were a stream containing a fixed capacity block. The target was to supply the requested availability for the whole block (Plesiochronous digital hierarchy, PDH, or Synchronous Digital Hierarchy, SDH). Fading and/or multipath affecting the link for short time period during the day had to be counteracted by the diversity architecture. During 1990s microwave radio links begun widely to be used for urban links in cellular network. Requirements regarding link distance changed to shorter hops (less than 10 km, typically 3 to 5 km), and frequency increased to bands between 11 and 43 GHz and more recently, up to 86 GHz (E-band). Furthermore, link planning deals more with intense rainfall and less with multipath, so diversity schemes became less used. Another big change that occurred during the last decade was an evolution toward packet radio transmission. Therefore, new countermeasures, such as adaptive modulation, have been adopted.

The emitted power is regulated by norms (EIRP) both for cellular system and microwave. These microwave transmissions use emitted power typically from 30 mW to 0.3 W, radiated by the parabolic antenna on a beam wide round few degrees (1 to 3-4). The microwave channel arrangement is regulated by International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R) or local regulations (ETSI, FCC). In the last decade the dedicated spectrum for each microwave band reaches an extreme overcrowding, forcing efforts towards techniques for increasing the transmission capacity (frequency reuse, Polarization-division multiplexing, XPIC, MIMO).

History

Antennas of 1931 experimental 1.7 GHz microwave relay link across the English Channel. The receiving antenna (background, right) was located behind the transmitting antenna to avoid interference. English Channel microwave relay antennas 1931.jpg
Antennas of 1931 experimental 1.7 GHz microwave relay link across the English Channel. The receiving antenna (background, right) was located behind the transmitting antenna to avoid interference.
US Army Signal Corps portable microwave relay station, 1945. Microwave relay systems were first developed in World War II for secure military communication. US Army Signal Corps AN-TRC-1, 5, 6, & 8 microwave relay station 1945.jpg
US Army Signal Corps portable microwave relay station, 1945. Microwave relay systems were first developed in World War II for secure military communication.

The history of radio relay communication began in 1898 from the publication by Johann Mattausch in Austrian journal, Zeitschrift für Electrotechnik. [3] [4] But his proposal was primitive and not suitable for practical use. The first experiments with radio repeater stations to relay radio signals were done in 1899 by Emile Guarini-Foresio. [3] However the low frequency and medium frequency radio waves used during the first 40 years of radio proved to be able to travel long distances by ground wave and skywave propagation. The need for radio relay did not really begin until the 1940s exploitation of microwaves, which traveled by line of sight and so were limited to a propagation distance of about 40 miles (64 km) by the visual horizon.

In 1931 an Anglo-French consortium headed by Andre C. Clavier demonstrated an experimental microwave relay link across the English Channel using 10-foot (3 m) dishes. [5] Telephony, telegraph, and facsimile data was transmitted over the bidirectional 1.7 GHz beams 40 miles (64 km) between Dover, UK, and Calais, France. The radiated power, produced by a miniature Barkhausen-Kurz tube located at the dish's focus, was one-half watt. A 1933 military microwave link between airports at St. Inglevert, France, and Lympne, UK, a distance of 56 km (35 miles), was followed in 1935 by a 300 MHz telecommunication link, the first commercial microwave relay system. [6]

The development of radar during World War II provided much of the microwave technology which made practical microwave communication links possible, particularly the klystron oscillator and techniques of designing parabolic antennas. Though not commonly known, the US military used both portable and fixed-station microwave communications in the European Theater during World War II.

After the war telephone companies used this technology to build large microwave radio relay networks to carry long distance telephone calls. During the 1950s a unit of the US telephone carrier, AT&T Long Lines, built a transcontinental system of microwave relay links across the US that grew to carry the majority of US long distance telephone traffic, as well as television network signals. [7] The main motivation in 1946 to use microwave radio instead of cable was that a large capacity could be installed quickly and at less cost. It was expected at that time that the annual operating costs for microwave radio would be greater than for cable. There were two main reasons that a large capacity had to be introduced suddenly: Pent up demand for long distance telephone service, because of the hiatus during the war years, and the new medium of television, which needed more bandwidth than radio. The prototype was called TDX and was tested with a connection between New York City and Murray Hill, the location of Bell Laboratories in 1946. The TDX system was set up between New York and Boston in 1947. The TDX was upgraded to the TD2 system, which used [the Morton tube, 416B and later 416C, manufactured by Western Electric] in the transmitters, and then later to TD3 that used solid state electronics.

Military microwave relay systems continued to be used into the 1960s, when many of these systems were supplanted with tropospheric scatter or communication satellite systems. When the NATO military arm was formed, much of this existing equipment was transferred to communications groups. The typical communications systems used by NATO during that time period consisted of the technologies which had been developed for use by the telephone carrier entities in host countries. One example from the USA is the RCA CW-20A 1–2 GHz microwave relay system which utilized flexible UHF cable rather than the rigid waveguide required by higher frequency systems, making it ideal for tactical applications. The typical microwave relay installation or portable van had two radio systems (plus backup) connecting two line of sight sites. These radios would often carry 24 telephone channels frequency division multiplexed on the microwave carrier (i.e. Lenkurt 33C FDM). Any channel could be designated to carry up to 18 teletype communications instead. Similar systems from Germany and other member nations were also in use.

Long-distance microwave relay networks were built in many countries until the 1980s, when the technology lost its share of fixed operation to newer technologies such as fiber-optic cable and communication satellites, which offer a lower cost per bit.

Microwave spying Rhyolite sat.svg
Microwave spying

During the Cold War, the US intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency (NSA), were reportedly able to intercept Soviet microwave traffic using satellites such as Rhyolite. [8] Much of the beam of a microwave link passes the receiving antenna and radiates toward the horizon, into space. By positioning a geosynchronous satellite in the path of the beam, the microwave beam can be received.

At the turn of the century, microwave radio relay systems are being used increasingly in portable radio applications. The technology is particularly suited to this application because of lower operating costs, a more efficient infrastructure, and provision of direct hardware access to the portable radio operator.

A microwave link is a communications system that uses a beam of radio waves in the microwave frequency range to transmit video, audio, or data between two locations, which can be from just a few feet or meters to several miles or kilometers apart. Microwave links are commonly used by television broadcasters to transmit programmes across a country, for instance, or from an outside broadcast back to a studio.

Mobile units can be camera mounted, allowing cameras the freedom to move around without trailing cables. These are often seen on the touchlines of sports fields on Steadicam systems.

  • In communications between satellites and base stations
  • As backbone carriers for cellular systems
  • In short-range indoor communications
  • Linking remote and regional telephone exchanges to larger (main) exchanges without the need for copper/optical fibre lines
  • Measuring the intensity of rain between two locations

Troposcatter

Terrestrial microwave relay links are limited in distance to the visual horizon, a few tens of miles or kilometers depending on tower height. Tropospheric scatter ("troposcatter" or "scatter") was a technology developed in the 1950s to allow microwave communication links beyond the horizon, to a range of several hundred kilometers. The transmitter radiates a beam of microwaves into the sky, at a shallow angle above the horizon toward the receiver. As the beam passes through the troposphere a small fraction of the microwave energy is scattered back toward the ground by water vapor and dust in the air. A sensitive receiver beyond the horizon picks up this reflected signal. Signal clarity obtained by this method depends on the weather and other factors, and as a result a high level of technical difficulty is involved in the creation of a reliable over horizon radio relay link. Troposcatter links are therefore only used in special circumstances where satellites and other long distance communication channels cannot be relied on, such as in military communications.

See also

Related Research Articles

Repeater Relay station

In telecommunications, a repeater is an electronic device that receives a signal and retransmits it. Repeaters are used to extend transmissions so that the signal can cover longer distances or be received on the other side of an obstruction.

Line-of-sight propagation characteristic of electromagnetic radiation or acoustic wave propagation which means waves which travel in a direct path from the source to the receiver

Line-of-sight propagation is a characteristic of electromagnetic radiation or acoustic wave propagation which means waves travel in a direct path from the source to the receiver. Electromagnetic transmission includes light emissions traveling in a straight line. The rays or waves may be diffracted, refracted, reflected, or absorbed by the atmosphere and obstructions with material and generally cannot travel over the horizon or behind obstacles.

The Ku band is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies from 12 to 18 gigahertz (GHz). The symbol is short for "K-under", because it is the lower part of the original NATO K band, which was split into three bands because of the presence of the atmospheric water vapor resonance peak at 22.24 GHz, (1.35 cm) which made the center unusable for long range transmission. In radar applications, it ranges from 12-18 GHz according to the formal definition of radar frequency band nomenclature in IEEE Standard 521-2002.

Radio wave type of electromagnetic radiation

Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. Radio waves have frequencies as high as 300 gigahertz (GHz) to as low as 30 hertz (Hz). At 300 GHz, the corresponding wavelength is 1 mm, and at 30 Hz is 10,000 km. Like all other electromagnetic waves, radio waves travel at the speed of light. They are generated by electric charges undergoing acceleration, such as time varying electric currents. Naturally occurring radio waves are emitted by lightning and astronomical objects.

Ultra high frequency radio waves

Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter. Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.

High frequency frequencies between 3-30MHz

High frequency (HF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves between 3 and 30 megahertz (MHz). It is also known as the decameter band or decameter wave as its wavelengths range from one to ten decameters. Frequencies immediately below HF are denoted medium frequency (MF), while the next band of higher frequencies is known as the very high frequency (VHF) band. The HF band is a major part of the shortwave band of frequencies, so communication at these frequencies is often called shortwave radio. Because radio waves in this band can be reflected back to Earth by the ionosphere layer in the atmosphere – a method known as "skip" or "skywave" propagation – these frequencies are suitable for long-distance communication across intercontinental distances and for mountainous terrains which prevent line-of-sight communications. The band is used by international shortwave broadcasting stations (2.31–25.82 MHz), aviation communication, government time stations, weather stations, amateur radio and citizens band services, among other uses.

Parabolic antenna type of antenna

A parabolic antenna is an antenna that uses a parabolic reflector, a curved surface with the cross-sectional shape of a parabola, to direct the radio waves. The most common form is shaped like a dish and is popularly called a dish antenna or parabolic dish. The main advantage of a parabolic antenna is that it has high directivity. It functions similarly to a searchlight or flashlight reflector to direct the radio waves in a narrow beam, or receive radio waves from one particular direction only. Parabolic antennas have some of the highest gains, meaning that they can produce the narrowest beamwidths, of any antenna type. In order to achieve narrow beamwidths, the parabolic reflector must be much larger than the wavelength of the radio waves used, so parabolic antennas are used in the high frequency part of the radio spectrum, at UHF and microwave (SHF) frequencies, at which the wavelengths are small enough that conveniently-sized reflectors can be used.

Radio propagation behavior of radio waves as they travel, or are propagated, from one point to another, or into various parts of the atmosphere

Radio propagation is the behavior of radio waves as they travel, or are propagated, from one point to another, or into various parts of the atmosphere. As a form of electromagnetic radiation, like light waves, radio waves are affected by the phenomena of reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, polarization, and scattering. Understanding the effects of varying conditions on radio propagation has many practical applications, from choosing frequencies for international shortwave broadcasters, to designing reliable mobile telephone systems, to radio navigation, to operation of radar systems.

Super high frequency (SHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range between 3 and 30 gigahertz (GHz). This band of frequencies is also known as the centimetre band or centimetre wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten centimetres. These frequencies fall within the microwave band, so radio waves with these frequencies are called microwaves. The small wavelength of microwaves allows them to be directed in narrow beams by aperture antennas such as parabolic dishes and horn antennas, so they are used for point-to-point communication and data links and for radar. This frequency range is used for most radar transmitters, wireless LANs, satellite communication, microwave radio relay links, and numerous short range terrestrial data links. They are also used for heating in industrial microwave heating, medical diathermy, microwave hyperthermy to treat cancer, and to cook food in microwave ovens.

The V band ("vee-band") is a standard designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for a band of frequencies in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from 40 to 75 gigahertz (GHz). The V band is not heavily used, except for millimeter wave radar research and other kinds of scientific research. It should not be confused with the 600–1000 MHz range of Band V of the UHF frequency range.

Radio spectrum part of the electromagnetic spectrum from 3 Hz to 3000 GHz (3 THz)

The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with frequencies from 30 Hertz to 300 GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called radio waves, are extremely widely used in modern technology, particularly in telecommunication. To prevent interference between different users, the generation and transmission of radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Extremely high frequency radio waves

Extremely high frequency (EHF) is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) designation for the band of radio frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum from 30 to 300 gigahertz (GHz). It lies between the super high frequency band, and the far infrared band, the lower part of which is also referred to as the terahertz gap. Radio waves in this band have wavelengths from ten to one millimetre, so it is also called the millimetre band and radiation in this band is called millimetre waves, sometimes abbreviated MMW or mmW. Millimetre-length electromagnetic waves were first investigated in the 1890s by Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Satellite Internet access is Internet access provided through communications satellites. Modern consumer grade satellite Internet service is typically provided to individual users through geostationary satellites that can offer relatively high data speeds, with newer satellites using Ku band to achieve downstream data speeds up to 506 Mbit/s.

Earth–Moon–Earth communication (EME), also known as moon bounce, is a radio communications technique that relies on the propagation of radio waves from an Earth-based transmitter directed via reflection from the surface of the Moon back to an Earth-based receiver.

Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and near-line-of-sight are radio transmissions across a path that is partially obstructed, usually by a physical object in the innermost Fresnel zone.

White Alice Communications System

The White Alice Communications System was a United States Air Force telecommunication network with 80 radio stations constructed in Alaska during the Cold War. It used tropospheric scatter for over-the-horizon links and microwave relay for shorter line-of-sight links. Sites were characterized by large parabolic, tropospheric scatter antennas as well as smaller microwave dishes for point to point links.

The British Telecom microwave network was a network of point-to-point microwave radio links in the United Kingdom, operated at first by the General Post Office, and subsequently by its successor BT plc. From the late 1950s to the 1980s it provided a large part of BT's trunk communications capacity, and carried telephone, television and radar signals and digital data, both civil and military. Its use of line-of-sight microwave transmission was particularly important during the Cold War for its resilience against nuclear attack. It was rendered obsolete, at least for normal civilian purposes, by the installation of a national optical fibre communication network with considerably higher reliability and vastly greater capacity.

Fixed wireless

Fixed wireless is the operation of wireless communication devices or systems used to connect two fixed locations with a radio or other wireless link, such as laser bridge. Usually, fixed wireless is part of a wireless LAN infrastructure. The purpose of a fixed wireless link is to enable data communications between the two sites or buildings. Fixed wireless data (FWD) links are often a cost-effective alternative to leasing fiber or installing cables between the buildings.

C band (IEEE) 4-8GHz

The C band is a designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies ranging from 4.0 to 8.0 gigahertz (GHz); however, this definition is the one used by radar manufacturers and users, not necessarily by microwave radio telecommunications users. The C band is used for many satellite communications transmissions, some Wi-Fi devices, some cordless telephones as well as some surveillance and weather radar systems.

References

  1. 1 2 Pond, Norman H (2008). The Tube Guys. Russ Cochran. p. 170. ISBN   9-780-9816-9230-2.
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