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Transmission Media

Transmission Media

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Published by: s_alimazhar on Aug 29, 2010
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05/20/2013

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CHAPTER 
4
T
RANSMISSION
M
EDIA
4.1Guided Transmission Media
Twisted PairCoaxial CableOptical Fiber
4.2Wireless Transmission
AntennasTerrestrial MicrowaveSatellite MicrowaveBroadcast RadioInfrared
4.3Wireless Propagation
Ground Wave PropagationSky Wave PropagationLine-of-Sight Propagation
4.4Line-of-Sight Transmission
Free Space LossAtmospheric AbsorptionMultipathRefraction
4.5Recommended Reading and Web Sites4.6Key Terms,Review Questions,and Problems
Key TermsReview QuestionsProblems
 
94
CHAPTER 4 / TRANSMISSION MEDIA
KEY POINTS
The transmission media that are used to convey information can be classi-fied as guided or unguided.Guided media provide a physical path alongwhich the signals are propagated;these include twisted pair,coaxial cable,and optical fiber.Unguided media employ an antenna for transmittingthrough air,vacuum,or water.Traditionally,twisted pair has been the workhorse for communications of all sorts.Higher data rates over longer distances can be achieved with coax-ial cable,and so coaxial cable has often been used for high-speed local areanetwork and for high-capacity long-distance trunk applications.However,the tremendous capacity of optical fiber has made that medium more attrac-tive than coaxial cable,and thus optical fiber has taken over much of themarket for high-speed LANs and for long-distance applications.Unguided transmission techniques commonly used for information com-munications include broadcast radio,terrestrial microwave,and satellite.Infrared transmission is used in some LAN applications.In a data transmission system,the
transmission medium
is the physical path betweentransmitter and receiver.Recall from Chapter 3 that for
guided media
,electromag-netic waves are guided along a solid medium,such as copper twisted pair,coppercoaxial cable,and optical fiber.For unguided media,wireless transmission occursthrough the atmosphere,outer space,or water.The characteristics and quality of a data transmission are determined both bythe characteristics of the medium and the characteristics of the signal.In the case of guided media,the medium itself is more important in determining the limitations of transmission.For unguided media,the bandwidth of the signal produced by the transmittingantenna is more important than the medium in determining transmission character-istics.One key property of signals transmitted by antenna is directionality.In gener-al,signals at lower frequencies are omnidirectional;that is,the signal propagates inall directions from the antenna.At higher frequencies,it is possible to focus the sig-nal into a directional beam.In considering the design of data transmission systems,key concerns are datarate and distance:the greater the data rate and distance the better.A number of de-sign factors relating to the transmission medium and the signal determine the datarate and distance:
Bandwidth:
All other factors remaining constant,the greater the bandwidthof a signal,the higher the data rate that can be achieved.
Transmission impairments:
Impairments,such as attenuation,limit the dis-tance.For guided media,twisted pair generally suffers more impairment thancoaxial cable,which in turn suffers more than optical fiber.
Interference:
Interference from competing signals in overlapping frequencybands can distort or wipe out a signal.Interference is of particular concern forunguided media but is also a problem with guided media.For guided media,
 
4.1 / GUIDED TRANSMISSION MEDIA
95
1
Frequency (Hertz) 1
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Powerandtelephone 
Rotatinggenerators MusicalinstrumentVoicemicrophones 
Microwave 
RadaMicrowaveantennas Magnetrons 
Infrared 
Lasers Guidedmissiles Rangefinders 
Radi
Radiosandtelevisions Electronictubes Integratedcircuit
ELFV
EL
Extremelylowfrequency V
Voicefrequency VL
Verylowfrequency L
Lowfrequency M
Mediumfrequency H
Highfrequency VH
Veryhighfrequency UH
Ultrahighfrequency SH
Superhighfrequency EH
Extremelyhighfrequency 
VLFLFMFHFVHFUHFSHFEHTwistedpaiCoaxialcablVisibllighOptical fiber FMradiandTV AMradioTerrestriaandsatellittransmission Wavelengtinspace (meters1
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Figure 4.1
Electromagnetic Spectrum for Telecommunications
interference can be caused by emanations from nearby cables.For example,twisted pairs are often bundled together and conduits often carry multiplecables.Interference can also be experienced from unguided transmissions.Proper shielding of a guided medium can minimize this problem.
Number of receivers:
A guided medium can be used to construct a point-to-point link or a shared link with multiple attachments.In the latter case,eachattachment introduces some attenuation and distortion on the line,limitingdistance and/or data rate.Figure4.1depicts the electromagnetic spectrum and indicates the frequenciesat which various guided media and unguided transmission techniques operate.Inthis chapter we examine these guided and unguided alternatives.In all cases,we de-scribe the systems physically,briefly discuss applications,and summarize key trans-mission characteristics.
4.1GUIDED TRANSMISSION MEDIA
For guided transmission media,the transmission capacity,in terms of either datarate or bandwidth,depends critically on the distance and on whether the medium ispoint-to-point or multipoint.Table4.1 indicates the characteristics typical for thecommon guided media for long-distance point-to-point applications;we defer a dis-cussion of the use of these media for multipoint LANs to Part Four.

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