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# Chapter 15: Radio-Wave Propagation

TRUE/FALSE 1. James Clerk Maxwell predicted radio waves in 1865 based on a set of equations he derived. ANS: T 2. Marconi demonstrated the existence of radio-waves in 1887. ANS: F 3. Electromagnetic radiation is in the form of TEM waves. ANS: T 4. Electromagnetic radiation is in the form of particles called photons. ANS: T 5. X rays are not electromagnetic radiation. ANS: F 6. Gamma rays are not electromagnetic radiation. ANS: F 7. Radio waves are electromagnetic radiation. ANS: T 8. Like light rays, Radio waves can be reflected. ANS: T 9. Free, empty space has a characteristic impedance of 377 ohms. ANS: T 10. Radio waves, like all other waves, must travel through some sort of medium. ANS: F 11. An isotropic radiator radiates in one direction only. ANS: F 12. A "point source" would be an isotropic radiator. ANS: T

13. The wavefront of a point source radiator would be a sphere. ANS: T 14. Beyond some distance from the source, we can approximate a wavefront by assuming it is flat. ANS: T 15. The polarization of a plane wave is the direction of its magnetic field. ANS: F 16. Polarization is either vertical or horizontal. ANS: F 17. For best results, the transmitting and receiving antennas should have opposite polarizations. ANS: F 18. As radio waves travel outward, they are effectively attenuated by the "spreading out" of the wavefront. ANS: T 19. A power density of 100 ANS: T 20. An antenna is a passive device. ANS: T 21. An antenna can have a gain specification greater than one. ANS: T 22. The power absorbed by a receiving antenna depends on its shape, not its size. ANS: F 23. Reflection of plane waves off a smooth surface is called "specular" reflection. ANS: T 24. Radio waves can be reflected, but not diffracted. ANS: F 25. Space waves work on a "line-of-sight" basis. ANS: T 10-9 W/m2 would be a strong radio signal.

26. Ground waves can follow the curvature of the earth to travel over the horizon. ANS: T 27. Ground waves are not reliable because they are affected by bad weather. ANS: F 28. Because of refraction in ionized layers of air, sky waves appear to "bounce" off the sky and come back down to earth far from the source. ANS: T 29. Because of diffraction, radio waves can sometimes "bend" around a corner. ANS: T 30. At gigahertz frequencies, radio waves are absorbed by the ionosphere. ANS: F 31. Transmission of high-frequency (HF) radio waves is affected by "spots" on the surface of the sun. ANS: T 32. It's possible for a radio signal to be detected 1000 miles from the transmitter but not detected 500 miles from the transmitter. ANS: T 33. There is no effective way to compensate for fading. ANS: F 34. Communication by "bouncing" radio signals off the ionization trails of meteors is routinely done by some organizations. ANS: T MULTIPLE CHOICE 1. Radio waves were first predicted mathematically by: a. Armstrong c. Maxwell b. Hertz d. Marconi ANS: C 2. Radio waves were first demonstrated experimentally by: a. Armstrong c. Maxwell b. Hertz d. Marconi ANS: B 3. The technology that made cell phones practical was:

## c. high-power microwave transmitters d. all of the above

4. Cell phones reduce much of the problems of mobile communications with: a. high power levels c. reuse of frequencies b. high antennas d. all of the above ANS: C 5. Which of the following are electromagnetic: a. radio waves b. light ANS: D 6. The electric and magnetic fields of a radio wave are: a. perpendicular to each other c. both a and b b. perpendicular to the direction of travel d. none of the above ANS: C 7. TEM stands for: a. Transverse Electromagnetic b. Transmitted Electromagnetic ANS: A 8. In free space, radio waves travel at a speed of: a. 3 106 meters per second c. 3 106 miles per second b. 300 106 meters per second d. 300 106 miles per second ANS: B 9. Which is a possible polarization for an electromagnetic wave: a. vertical c. circular b. horizontal d. all of the above ANS: D 10. Which polarization can be reasonably well received by a circularly polarized antenna: a. vertical c. circular b. horizontal d. all of the above ANS: D 11. The number of circular polarization modes (directions) is: a. 1 c. 3 b. 2 d. many ANS: B 12. An antenna has "gain" as compared to: a. an isotropic radiator b. a vertically polarized radiator

## c. a ground-wave antenna d. none of the above

ANS: A 13. EIRP stands for: a. the E and I fields of the Radiated Power b. the Effective Isotropic Radiated Power c. the Effective Internal Reflected Power d. the Electric-field Intensity of the Radiated Power ANS: B 14. The "attenuation of free space" is due to: a. losses in the characteristic impedance of free space b. losses due to absorption in the upper atmosphere c. the decrease in energy per square meter due to expansion of the wavefront d. the decrease in energy per square meter due to absorption of the wavefront ANS: C 15. Ground waves are most effective: a. below about 2 MHz b. above about 20 MHz ANS: A 16. Radio waves would most strongly reflect off: a. a flat insulating surface of the right size b. a flat dielectric surface of the right size ANS: C 17. Radio waves sometimes "bend" around a corner because of: a. reflection c. refraction b. diffusion d. diffraction ANS: D 18. Space waves are: a. line-of-sight b. reflected off the ionosphere c. same as sky waves d. radio waves used for satellite communications ANS: A 19. Sky waves: a. are line-of-sight b. "bounce" off the ionosphere c. are same as space waves d. are radio waves used for satellite communications ANS: B 20. Sky waves cannot be "heard": a. close to the transmitter b. far from the transmitter

## c. in the "silent" zone d. in the "skip" zone

ANS: D 21. A 20-dB reduction in the strength of a radio wave due to reflection is called: a. fading c. frequency diversity b. diffraction d. spatial diversity ANS: A 22. "Ghosts" on a TV screen are an example of: a. fading b. diffraction ANS: C 23. A "repeater" is used to: a. send a message multiple times over a channel b. send a message over multiple channels at the same time c. extend the range of a radio communications system d. cancel the effects of fading ANS: C 24. Cellular phone systems rely on: a. high power b. repeaters ANS: D 25. If the number of cell-phone users within a cell increases above some limit: a. the cell area is increased c. the power levels are increased b. the cell area is split d. the number of channels is reduced ANS: B 26. As a cell-phone user passes from one cell to another: a. a "handoff" process occurs c. both cells will handle the call b. a "sectoring" process occurs d. nothing occurs ANS: A 27. To receive several data streams at once, a CDMA spread-spectrum system uses: a. a "funnel" receiver c. multiple receivers b. a "rake" receiver d. none of the above ANS: B 28. The troposphere is the: a. highest layer of the atmosphere b. middle layer of the atmosphere ANS: C 29. Meteor-trail propagation is: a. used for radio telephony b. used to send data by radio ANS: B

## c. the radio horizon d. the reuse of frequencies

c. lowest layer of the atmosphere d. the most ionized layer of the atmosphere

## c. also called "ducting" d. not possible

COMPLETION 1. Radio waves were mathematically predicted by ____________________. ANS: Maxwell 2. Radio waves were first demonstrated by ____________________. ANS: Hertz 3. Radio waves are ____________________ electromagnetic waves. ANS: transverse 4. The propagation speed of radio waves in free space is ____________________ m/sec. ANS: 300 106

5. Electromagnetic radiation can be thought of as a stream of particles called ____________________. ANS: photons 6. Unlike sound or water waves, radio waves do not need a ____________________ to travel through. ANS: medium 7. The dielectric strength of clean dry air is about ____________________ volts per meter. ANS: 3 106

8. Waves from an ____________________ source radiate equally in all directions. ANS: isotropic 9. The wavefront of a point source would have the shape of a ____________________. ANS: sphere 10. At a far distance from the source, a radio wavefront looks like a flat ____________________wave. ANS: plane 11. The polarization of a radio wave is the direction of its ____________________ field. ANS: electric 12. The electric field of a radio wave is ____________________ to its magnetic field. ANS: perpendicular

13. Both the electric and magnetic fields of a radio wave are ____________________ to its propagation direction. ANS: perpendicular 14. With ____________________ polarization, the direction of a radio wave's electric field rotates as it travels through space. ANS: circular 15. An antenna is said to have ____________________ in a certain direction if it radiates more power in that direction than in other directions. ANS: gain 16. The watts per square meter of a radio wave ____________________ as the wave-front moves through space. ANS: decrease 17. Reflection of plane-waves from a smooth surface is called ____________________ reflection. ANS: specular 18. ____________________ is the "bending" of radio waves as they travel across the boundary between two different dielectrics. ANS: Refraction 19. The process of ____________________ makes radio waves appear to "bend around a corner". ANS: diffraction 20. ____________________ waves travel from transmitter to receiver in a "line-of-sight" fashion. ANS: Space 21. ____________________ waves are vertically polarized radio waves that travel along the earth's surface. ANS: Ground 22. ____________________ waves are radio waves that "bounce off" the ionosphere due to refraction. ANS: Sky 23. The ____________________ zone is a region where sky waves cannot be received. ANS: skip 24. "Ghosts" on a TV screen are an example of ____________________ distortion.

ANS: multipath 25. The "fast fading" seen in mobile communications is caused by ____________________ waves interfering with direct waves. ANS: reflected 26. Cell phones typically operate at a ____________________ power level. ANS: low 27. The ____________________ of frequencies allows many cell-phone users to share a geographical area. ANS: reuse 28. ____________________ is when a cell-site uses three directional antennas, each covering a third of the cell area, to reduce interference. ANS: Sectoring 29. The use of ____________________ chips makes cell phones a practical technology. ANS: microprocessor SHORT ANSWER 1. A certain dielectric has permittivity of 6.3 1010 F/m and the same permeability as free space. What is the characteristic impedance of that dielectric? ANS: 45 ohms 2. If a point source of radio waves transmits 1 watt, what is the power density 10,000 meters from the source? ANS: 796 pW/m2 3. What power must a point-source of radio waves transmit so that the power density at 3000 meters from the source is 1 W/m2? ANS: 113 watts 4. If a radio receiver needs 1 nW/m2 of power density to function, how far away from a 1-watt point source will it continue to work? ANS: 8.9 km

5. A line-of-sight radio link over flat terrain needs to use antenna towers 50 km apart. What, approximately, is the minimum height for the towers assuming all the towers are the same? ANS: 37 meters 6. A mobile radio is being used at 1 GHz in an urban environment with lots of reflecting structures. If the car is traveling 36 km/hour, what is the expected time between fades? ANS: 15 msec

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