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GROUNDED MEDIUM FREQUENCY MONOPOLE

Valentino Trainotti, Walter G. Fano, Lzaro Jastreblansky. a University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

ABSTRACT
Medium frequency (MF) band isolated monopoles have been used for standard amplitude modulation (AM) broadcast applications for long time, since Stuart Ballantine vertical radiator performance study carried out during the twenties decade. Nowaday, they are still doing a good job to medium frequency broadcast stations. Nevertheless, new services are needed at higher frequencies and for them the antenna height is paramount. A medium frequency transmitting mast whose height is in the order of hundreds of meters could be a logical option if several services could share the same structure. In order to overcome the high medium frequency voltage in the antenna base, a simple solution is putting the mast base at ground potential and changing the medium frequency techniques to feed it. 1

Getting these requirements, a project was carried out during November 2004 in order to modify the existing transmitting mast of the LU22 Radio Olavarria Station located at Olavarria, Argentina (AM 1160 kHz). This project gave good results and the possibilities of sharing this mast for the frequency modulation (FM) transmission and a Studio to Transmitting Plant Link (STL) with the normal medium frequency (MF) broadcast transmission was at hands. Some concerns have been arisen because this installation was operating with 10 kW AM MF transmitter without problems for more than thirty years. Nevertheless during a week end of December 2004, the antenna modication was carried out and the performance of the new antenna was similar to the old one and interactions with the new services sharing this mast were not observed. Input impedance calculations and measurements as well eld strength measurements are presented in order to show the performance of the new system. Measured antenna bandwidth was fullling the requirements for a medium frequency (MF) amplitude modulated (AM) broadcast transmitting system and future hybrid digital transmissions like IBOC* and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)**. * Simultaneous amplitude modulation and digital transmissions by IBIQUITY (www.ibiquity.com) **(www.drm.org) 2

INTRODUCTION

Standard isolated monopole has been used in medium frequency band for broadcast application since long time, especially after the thorough study made by Stuart Ballantine on Vertical Radiating Mast in the twenties [2, 4, 3]. These kind of radiators have been made a signicant contribution to the broadcast service due to a high ecient surface wave radiation when a standard 120 buried metallic radials as an articial ground plane was used [6, 9, 12, 15]. An optimun radiator has been obtained from the radiation properties point of view, especially when the optimum height is used according to the operation frequency and ground physical constants [3, 10]. In this case, this ground plane was adopted in order to get the best antenna eciency in the original isolated monopole design [6, 9]. Nevertheless, nowadays when the height of tall metallic mast, like this kind of antennas are using, are necessarily intended to be used, at the same time, supporting several VHF, UHF and Microwave antennas. In the case of one VHF or UHF antenna to be installed on the mast top, a quarter wave insulator could be used, but if several antenna are necessary to be installed, this problem is facing a dicult solution. A simple solution to this problem is modifying the existing isolated mast to a grounded monopole. This approach permits the installation of several

Figure 1: Old Installation Sketch

Figure 2: New Installation Sketch

antennas close to the mast top for several services and at the same time, an ecient operation in the medium frequency (MF) band without interaction problems can be obtained. An isolated MF radiator has been modied in order to be used at the same time for frequency modulation (FM) transmission and a studio to transmitter link (STL) as well as the normal MF amplitud modulated (AM) service. The normal MF AM broadcast service is carried out by mean of 10 kW transmitter and a spare one of 5 kW output power. These transmitters and the antenna have been in service for more than thirty years without any problem, and the logical concerns were arisen about the antenna modication. In gure 1 the medium frequency (MF) amplitude modulation (AM) transmitting station and isolated monopole antenna sketch can be seen. Project was carried out during November 2004 and the antenna modication during a week end in December 2004 in order not to disturb very much the normal AM transmissions of the LU22 Radio Olavarr Argentina. a, These modications consist installing a metallic skirt to the existing mast and the coaxial lines. At the same time the matching unit was modied in order to match the antenna input impedance to the transmission line characteristic impedance. Transmission line is six wire quasi-coaxial line installed between the tun-

ing unit at the base mast and the transmitting building around 200 m away and its characteristic impedance is around 220 ohm. FM and STL equipment were installed inside the tuning unit shelter. This shelter has been provided by a Faraday Shield in order to avoid interactions with the MF radiation and the static electricity eects during stormy weather. In gure 2 the new transmitting system sketch is shown.

Antenna Models

Simulations of the old and new radiating system was carried out using WIPLD software [14] in order to determine the input impedance and the radiated elds. In gures 3 the old isolated monopole antenna model can be seen. The Isolated Monopole Gain, Electric and Magnetic near Fields, as well the wave impedance close to the antenna have been calculated by means of a WIPL-D software and these results can be seen in gures 4, 5, 6 and 7. Near electric and Magnetic Field have been measured before making the antenna modications by means of a calibrated eld strength meter and these results are plotted in the near electric and magnetic eld gures (5, 6). Good agreement between calculated and measured values can be seen. Field strength meter Singer NM25 uses a calibrated small loop as electric eld sensor. In order to measure the magnetic eld intensity an antenna factor of the loaded loop was obtained as can be seen in the Appendix A.

Figure 3: Isolated Monopole Model Sketch

ANTENNA GAIN 10 G[dBi] 5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 [degrees]

Figure 4: Isolated Monopole Gain as a function of elevation angle .

180 170 160 150 140 130 120 110 0 10

Ez[dB V/m]
calculated measured

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 5: Isolated Monopole Electric Field as a function of distance.

120

Hy[dB A/m]
calculated measured

110

100

90

80

70

60 0 10

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 6: Isolated Monopole Magnetic Field as a function of distance.

600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250

Z0[]

377

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 7: Isolated Monopole Wave Impedance Magnitude as a function of distance In the far eld region, the electric and magnetic elds are related through the free space impedance Z00 377 , but this is not true in the near eld = region, so separated eld measurements are necessary. From the wave impedance calculations it can be seen that the far eld condition is obtained at a distance of approximately one wavelength or 250 meters were the impedance phase is close to zero degrees and its magnitude is approaching 377 ohms. It can be seen from calculations and measurements, the dierent electric and magnetic eld variation as a function of distance close to the antenna base. In gure 9 sketch of grounded monopole model can be seen.

10

50

[]

40

30

20

10

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 8: Isolated Monopole Wave Impedance Phase as a function of distance.

Figure 9: Grounded Monopole Sketch 11

1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200

Ra[]

60 m 50 m 40 m

0 1

1.1

1.2

1.3

1.4 f [MHz]

1.5

Figure 10: Grounded Monopole Resistance for Hs = 40 m, Hs = 50 m y Hs = 60 m as a function of frequency.

INPUT IMPEDANCE

Grounded monopole input impedance was analyzed as a function of wire skirt dimensions. Metallic skirt is made up of six wires installed symmetrically all around the supporting tower by means of booms attached to the tower legs. In order to avoid the wire vibrations due to the wind action, plastic insulators were installed along the supporting tower. These insulators were installed with a separation of 10 meters approximately between them. According to the upper skirt short circuit position the antenna input impedance has dierent variations as a function of frequency, but the radiation characteristics are maintained because they depend on the antenna physical dimensions or mast height [11].

12

X [] 800 600 60 m 400 200 0 200 400 600 1


a

50 m

40 m

1.1

1.2

1.3

1.4 f [MHz]

1.5

Figure 11: Grounded Monopole Reactance for Hs = 40 m, Hs = 50 m y Hs = 60 m as a function of frequency These variations can be seen in gure 10 and 11. In this case a low impedance variation is to be chosen and at the same time a minimum input voltage would be important. This statement can assure a good antenna bandwidth suitable for a high delity amplitude modulate transmission and at the same time for future digital transmissions like IBOC or DRM. According to the input impedance variation a short circuit skirt height of Hs = 45 m was chosen assuring a smooth impedance variation and a convenient value to be match to the transmission line characteristic impedance. In Figure 12 and 13 the input impedance as a function of frequency can be seen as well the measured values by means of a DELTA BRIDGE at the antenna input terminals.

13

300

Ra []
calculated measured

250

200

150

100

50

0 1

1.05

1.1

1.15

1.2

1.25

1.3

1.35 f [MHz]

1.4

Figure 12: Grounded Monopole Resistance as a function of frequency

600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 1

Xa []
calculated measured

1.05

1.1

1.15

1.2

1.25

1.3

1.35 f [MHz]

1.4

Figure 13: Grounded Monopole Reactance as a function of frequency

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ANTENNA MATCHING

Knowing the antenna input impedance the matching system has been calculated from the standard circuit theory. T, or L networks can be chosen for this purpose [8]. L network has been chosen due to its simplicity after having the antenna resonance by means of a proper reactance. This value has been included later in the matching system. Antenna input impedance at 1160 kHz is inductive or given by Za = 64 + j255 . Resonance is obtained by means a capacitive reactance of Xa = 255 and L network is used to match the resistive 64 to 220 of the transmission line characteristic impedance. This can be seen in Appendix B. As a result the L network to match and tune the antenna has two capacitors, one in series with the antenna impedance and the other in parallel with the transmission line output terminals. The capacitance of both capacitors have been found to be Cs = 855 pF and Cp = 973 pF. Two 1500 pF high voltage variable vacuum capacitors were used and adjusted by means of a DELTA BRIDGE (Appendix C) to the transmission line characteristic impedance value at the carried frequency. After that, the impedance value was measured as a function of frequency. A radio frequency choke has been connected in parallel to the antenna terminals in order to permit the continuous static discharge of the antenna structure. Its impedance value is around ten times the antenna impedance so it does not modify the circuit condition. In gure 14 the calculated standing wave ratio (VSWR) is presented from the calculated antenna input impedance. Also, the measured VSWR ratio 15

Figure 14: Measured VSWR at the matching unit input as a function of frequency

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Table 1:

INPUT IMPEDANCE CALCULATED, MEASURED

AND VSWR

Frequency kHz 1140 1145 1150 1155 1160 1165 1170 1175 1180

CALCULATED Zin 168+j 32 176+j 28 191+j 22 208+j 13 220+j 0 232-j 14 240-j 31 248-j 49 252-j 72

VSWR/220 1.372 1.301 1.197 1.087 1.001 1.086 1.177 1.272 1.393

MEASURED Zin 165+j 25 180+j 15 190+j 8 210+j 5 220+j 0 230-j 10 235-j 40 240-j 55 245-j 65

VSWR/220 1.371 1.239 1.166 1.050 1.000 1.065 1.206 1.289 1.348

is presented from the measured antenna input impedance. Both values are included in Table 1. It can be observed a good agreement between the calculated and measured values. Connecting the matching unit to the transmission line, the input impedance is measured at the transmitter side by means of the DELTA BRIDGE and using the 5 kW transmitter as generator. The transmission line input impedance was found to be Zin = 220 + j2.5 at the carried frequency or a VSWR = 1.022.

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180 170 160 150 140 130 120 110 0 10

Ez [dB V/m]
calculated measured

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 15: Grounded Monopole Near Electric Field as a function of distance

130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 0 10

Hy[dB A/m]
calculated measured

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 16: Grounded Monopole Near Magnetic Field as a function of distance

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Near Field

Near electric and magnetic elds have been calculated using WIPL-D and measured by means of Singer NM-25 eld strength meter with an electric eld calibrated loop. In gure 15 and 16 the near electric and magnetic elds can be seen as a function of distance between 5 and 800 meters. Good agreement can be appreciated between calculated and measured elds. Grounded Monopole wave impedance has been calculated as a function of distance using the calculated near electric and magnetic elds. This impedance can be seen in gures 17 and 18.

Far eld

Far eld determination is important in order to know the medium frequency (MF) amplitude modulated (AM) station service area. This area depends on the environment where the listener are located, for this reason, more eld strength is needed in urban areas, where the noise level is higher, due to man electric activity. In this case 88 dBV/m (25mV/m) of minimum electric eld strength is necessary and for residential areas this value can be lowers to 74 dBV/m (5 mV/m). For rural areas a minimum level of 54 dBV/m (0.5 mV/m) can do a reasonable service in the medium frequency AM band in moderated atmospheric noise areas. 19

800

Z []
0

700

600

500

400

377

300 0 10

10

10

R [m]

Figure 17: Grounded Monopole Wave Impedance Magnitude as a function of distance


[]

50

40

30

20

10

0 0 10

10

10

R [m]

10

Figure 18: Grounded Monopole Wave Impedance Phase as a function of distance 20

Far eld of the surface wave (Esu ) has been calculated as a function of distance for 10 kW of radiated power and for dierent soil conditions. This task is obtained using the Sommerfeld - Norton theory for planar earth and introducing the shadow or diraction factor taking into account the spherical earth [1, 5, 10, 11, 13]. Isolated Monopole far eld strength measurements were carried out in November 2004, with some scatter values as a function of distance and in order to get them as a comparison with the eld strength produced by the modied antenna. Grounded monopole far eld strength measurements were carried out in December 2004, after the antenna modication and more values have been measured as a function of distance in this occasion. Figure 19 shows the electric eld values as a function of distance, calculated and measured in November 2004 and in December 2004. It can be seen from this gure that the measured value are practically the same for isolated and grounded monopole and they t very well the eld strength corresponding to wet soil, like it is the soil of the Pampa in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina (conductivity = 0.03 S/m, relative permittivity
r

= 20).

It is important to indicate where are located the practical limits of each area after the far eld strength has been measured. These areas are found to be: [A] Urban area up to 25 km. [B] Residential area up to 80 km. 21

[C] Rural area up to 200 km. With these eld strength results it can be seen the service areas can fulll the requirements for this broadcast station in medium frequency.

Conclusion

After this work was completed, the measured results of the modied antenna eld strength can assure a good service area for the LU22 medium frequency station as was determined by measurements and from the listener point of view by means of a car receiver along the countryside routes and with levels similar to the old transmitting system.

22

E [dBV/m] 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 0 10


1 2

1 2
URBAN

RESIDENTIAL

3
RURAL

10

10

R [km]

Figure 19: Far electric eld as a function of distance. 1. Wet ground, = 0.03 S/m,
r

= 20 2.

Average ground, = 0.01 S/m,


r

= 10

3. Dry ground, = 0.001 S/m, Monopole

= 4,

Isolated Monopole, V Grounded

23

8
8.1

APPENDIX A
Magnetic Field Loop Antenna Factor

From Maxwell equation for harmonic elds in free space:

E = j 0 H

(1)

Integrating on both terms over the N turn loop surface and applying Stokes Theorem [16]: E dL = j 0 (N r2 ) H
L

(2)

When the loop is oriented for the maximum induced voltage, and its area is Nr2 , as shown in gure 20, the eective voltage is given by:

Vef = 4.44 0 f N A H

(3)

For a frequency f = 1.16 MHz, N = 3, and loop diameter D = 0.25 m, the eective voltage is given by:

Vef = 0.9531 H Taking into account the 50 loop load, and the input voltage Vin ef = Vef /2 in the strength meter, the magnetic eld is given by: H = 2.0984 Vin ef

(4)

(5)

24

Figure 20: a) Loop geometry. b) Three turn loaded loop. c) Simple equivalent circuit.

25

Figure 21: Theoretical L Network for Rin > Ra

9
9.1

APPENDIX B
L Matching Network

The input resistance (Rin ) of a resonant antenna impedance Ra , when Rin > Ra , according to gure 21 is given by: Rin = Operating: Ra Rin Ra j Ra Xp + Xs Xp Ra + j Xs j Xp (6)

Xp = Rin

(7)

Xs =

Ra (Rin Ra )

(8)

26

Figure 22: DELTA BRIDGE BASIC CIRCUIT

10
10.1

APPENDIX C
DELTA BRIDGE

Impedance measurements have been made by means of DELTA BRIDGE, permitting high power in the antenna circuit in order to avoid the interference from powerful MF AM station within the operating band and having accurate measurements at the Bridge balance. Figure 22 shows a sketch of the DELTA BRIDGE from DELTA ELECTRONICS.

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11

Acknowledgments

We would like to appreciate the kind support of Mr. Daniel Panarace, Director of LU32 1160 AM Radio Olavarr and the technical sta, during the a antenna modication and eld strength measurements.

References
[1] A. Sommerfeld The Propagation of Waves in Wireless Telegraphy. Annalen der Physik, Vol.28, pp. 665-736, 1909. [2] S. Ballantine On the Optimum Transmitting Wavelengths for a Vertical Antenna at Wavelengths below the fundamental. P.I.R.E. Vol.12, N 12, Dec. 1924. [3] H.E. Gihring, G.H. BrownGeneral Considerations of Towers for Broadcast Use. P.I.R.E. Vol.23, N 4, Apr. 1935. [4] A.V. Chamberlain, W.B. Lodge The Broadcast Antenna. P.I.R.E. Vol.24, N 1, Jan. 1936. [5] K.A. Norton The Propagation of Radio-wave over the Surface of the Earth and in the Upper Atmosphere. Part.1, P.I.R.E. Vol.24, N 10, Oct. 1936. Part. 2 P.I.R.E. Vol.25, N 10, Oct. 1937. [6] G.H. Brown, R.F.Lewis, and J.Epstein Ground System as a Factor in Antenna Eciency. P.I.R.E. Vol.25, N 6, June 1937. [7] K.A. Norton The Calculations of Ground Wave Field Intensity over Finitely Conductive Earth. P.I.R.E. Vol.29, N 12, Dec. 1941. 28

[8] Frederick E. Terman Radio Engineering. Mc Graw Hill Books, NY, 1947. [9] F. Abbott Design of Optimum Buried Conductor RF Ground System. P.I.R.E. Vol.40, N 7, July 1952. [10] V. Trainotti On the Service Area of MF AM Broadcast Stations, the Optimum MF AM Broadcast Antenna. Proc. of the 1987 Antenna Applications Symposium. Robert Allerton Park, Univ. of Illinois, Sept 23-24-25, 1987. [11] V. Trainotti Simplied Calculation of Coverage Area for MF AM Broadcast Station. IEEE AP Magazine, Vol. 32, N 3, June 1990. [12] V. Trainotti Asymmetric Vertical Antenna for MF AM Transmitting. IEEE AP Magazine, Vol. 35, N 3, June 1993. [13] V. Trainotti Near and Far Field of MF and HF Antennas. Proc. of the 1996 Antennas Applications Symposium. Robert Allerton Park, Univ. of Illinois, Sept 18-19-20, 1996. [14] B. M. Kolundzija, J. S. Ognjanovic, T. K. Sarkar Electromagnetic Modeling of Composite Metallic and Dielectric Structures. Artech House, Boston, 1999. [15] V. Trainotti, L.Dorado Short Low and Medium Frequency Antenna Performance. 54th. IEEE BTS Symposium, Washington DC, Oct. 2004, reprint in QEX May-June 2005. [16] V. Trainotti, W.G.Fano, L.Dorado Ingenier Electromagntica. Vol.1 a e and Vol.2, Nueva Librer Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2005. a, 29