ANTENNA SYSTEM DESIGN

SIGMA WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES LTD MCKEE AVENUE FINGLAS DUBLIN 11 IRELAND PHONE: INT 353 1 8142050 FAX: INT 353 1 8142051 EMAIL: info@sigma.ie
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Contents
1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................................4 2 FUNDAMENTALS OF ANTENNA DESIGN.............................................................................................5 2.1 GAIN.........................................................................................................................................................6 2.1.1 Polar Plots.........................................................................................................................................6 2.2 MAST POSITION.....................................................................................................................................7 2.2.1 Omnidirectional.................................................................................................................................7 2.2.2 Offset Omnidirectional:.....................................................................................................................7 2.2.3 Sectoral Arrays..................................................................................................................................8 2.2.4 Directional Arrays...........................................................................................................................11 2.3 RF DOWNTILT......................................................................................................................................12 2.4 DIVERSITY............................................................................................................................................13 2.4.1 Diversity Gain Explained................................................................................................................14 2.4.2 Experimental Results.......................................................................................................................15 2.4.3 Different Diversity Schemes Described...........................................................................................15 2.4.4 How does Space Diversity work?....................................................................................................16 2.4.5 How Does Polarisation Diversity Work?........................................................................................17 3 ANTENNA CHARACTERISTICS FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE.............................................18 3.1 HIGH TRAFFIC DENSITY...............................................................................................................................19 3.2 MEDIUM / LOW TRAFFIC DENSITY.................................................................................................................20 4 GOOD TETRA ANTENNA SYSTEM DESIGN PRACTICE.................................................................20 4.1 RECEIVER ISOLATION FROM TRANSMITTERS.....................................................................................................20 4.2 OMNIDIRECTIONAL DIVERSITY APPLICATIONS..................................................................................................21 4.2.1 Introduction.....................................................................................................................................21 4.2.2 Sample Power Balance Calculation................................................................................................21 4.2.3 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Two Offsets ............................................................................................22 4.2.4 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Three Panels ..........................................................................................23 4.2.5 Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ Diversity Array...............................................................................26 4.2.6 Two Sector Hybrid Sector System...................................................................................................27 5 MOUNTING CRITERIA FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE.............................................................28 5.1 ELECTRICAL................................................................................................................................................28 5.1.1 Background.....................................................................................................................................28 5.1.2 Dolphin Measurement.....................................................................................................................29 5.1.3 Practical measurement....................................................................................................................29 5.1.4 Summary of results..........................................................................................................................30 5.1.5 Analysis of results............................................................................................................................31 5.1.6 Test limitations................................................................................................................................32 5.1.7 Conclusions.....................................................................................................................................32 5.2 PHYSICAL MOUNTING CRITERIA.....................................................................................................................33 5.2.1 Sectored Panel array.......................................................................................................................33 6 ANTENNA / SYSTEM INTEGRATION...................................................................................................34 6.1 LOW DENSITY SYSTEM.................................................................................................................................34 6.2 MEDIUM DENSITY.......................................................................................................................................35 6.3 HIGH DENSITY............................................................................................................................................36

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Charts
CHART 1 EFFECT OF GAIN.........................................................................................................................6 CHART 2 OMNI ANTENNA ON ONE METRE MAST AT VARIOUS SPACINGS...............................7 CHART 3 OFFSET ANTENNA ON ONE METRE MAST AT VARIOUS SPACINGS..........................8 CHART 4 BUILD UP OF SECTORED SITE COVERAGE........................................................................9 CHART 5 ILLUSTRATION OF INTERFERENCE IN RE-USING FREQUENCIES...........................10 CHART 6 - AN ELECTRICALLY DOWN-TILTED PANEL ANTENNA MECHANICALLY UPTILTED............................................................................................................................................................11 CHART 7 ILLUSTRATION OF THE USE OF A DIRECTIONAL ARRAY..........................................12 CHART 8 ILLUSTRATION OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL DOWN-TILT....................................................................................................................................................13 CHART 9 VARIABILITY OF THE SIGNAL STRENGTH COMING FROM A MOBILE TRANSMITTER OVER TIME.....................................................................................................................13 CHART 10 ILLUSTRATION OF DUAL POLARISATION DIVERSITY..............................................16 CHART 11 PROCESS FOR SELECTING OPTIMUM ANTENNA SYSTEM.......................................19 CHART 12 'TOP OF MAST' OMNI PLUS TWO OFFSETS....................................................................23 CHART 13 'TOP OF MAST' OMNI PLUS THREE PANELS..................................................................25 CHART 14 EXTENSION POLE FOR OMNI PLUS 3 PANELS...............................................................25 CHART 15 SIDE MOUNT ‘OMNIDIRECTIONAL’ DIVERSITY ARRAY...........................................26 CHART 16 - SIDE MOUNT ‘OMNIDIRECTIONAL’ DIVERSITY ARRAY GAIN.............................26 CHART 17 TWO-SECTOR HYBRID SECTOR SYSTEM.......................................................................27 CHART 18 - TWO SECTOR HYBRID SECTOR SYSTEM GAIN..........................................................28 CHART 19 - MEASUREMENT CONFIGURATION FOR HORIZONTAL SEPARATION...............29 CHART 20- MEASUREMENT CONFIGURATION FOR VERTICAL SEPARATION.......................30

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1

Introduction

The design criteria used in the traditional PMR environment differ significantly from those required by Digital PMR. The difference between the two platforms demand that a higher priority be given to the shape and control of the antenna’s radiation pattern. In the past, system designers attempted to maximise coverage from each site while balancing the return path for the expected type of mobile terminal. Frequency re-use was less of an issue and overlap between sites was managed by the ‘capture effect’ of standard FM receivers. Management of calls was less sophisticated as dropped calls were more acceptable in a dispatcher oriented PMR system. However, because of the influences of Cellular technology expectations from users have been raised and TETRA must adopt new RF planning principles. Coverage from new systems needs to be balanced for in-door portable use and call management needs to be managed by the infrastructure software. The following summarises the changes to antenna and network design: 1. The traditional PMR antenna range has been expanded to include new panel antennas products to allow sectorisation. Techniques enabling polarisation diversity to improve receiver gain in multi-path environments must also be considered. 2. TETRA antennas need to have optimum electrical performance in cellular dimensions. The influence of cellular network planning is strong, imposing electrical and dimensional expectations on all new products developed for this application. 3. Call handling system software is used to manage channel changeover in overlap areas. 4. Receiver diversity is used to enlarge cells as much as possible, while maintaining the balance between fixed and mobile devices. Underpinning all of these changes from standard PMR antenna designs is the need to precisely control the radiation pattern, in terms of envelope shape and electrical tilt. Antenna systems, when properly designed, will yield reduced costs to the network operator and clear communication to network users. The following document is divided into five sections aimed at describing the fundamentals of antenna design at TETRA frequencies, highlighting the key

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trade-off’s when designing a TETRA antenna system and finally to pass over some tips on good antenna system design. This document will not focus on hand portables or mobile transceivers.

2

Fundamentals of Antenna design

The main challenges of antenna design are concerned with defining and controlling the shape of the radiation pattern. The ability to do this well ensures that RF signals are directed into the right area and at the appropriate strength level. It also ensures the minimisation of unwanted signals in key areas. The TETRA standard requires that a 17dB differential be maintained between carrier and the interference level. In a frequency re-use scenario, it is important to be able to plan the network using realistic antenna patterns, which may be used to: • • • • Amplify signals for range or building penetration purposes. Direct radiation in a controlled manner, omni, sectored, directional. Reduce/enlarge coverage using gain and diversity. Optimise performance in a range of mast fixing arrangements.

The key factors affecting the shape of the RF envelope are as follows: Omnidirectional: Sectoral: Directional: Gain, mast position and down-tilt. Gain, beamwidth, front-to-back ratio and down-tilt. Gain, beamwidth.

The antenna patterns used to characterise an antenna are the E-Plane and H-Plane. The E-plane is a cross-section of the antenna pattern and is a ‘side on’ view. The main information given is the depth of the main beam plus any side lobes produced. These side lobes may be a source of interference to other sites and need to be controlled. Panel antennas invariably have unwanted lobes at the rear of the panel. These need to be minimised and controlled. Failure to control this may result in interference to some other site. The H-Plane is the top down view of the radiation pattern and defines the direction of the pattern in relation to the antenna. Omnidirectional antennas have a circular pattern, while panel and directional antennas tend to focus the RF energy in a particular manner. The focussing of this energy results in gain.

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2.1

GAIN

An Omnidirectional antenna is used in circumstances where frequency re-use is not an essential issue due to medium to low traffic density requirements. This type of antenna is constructed using a spiral dipole array or a collinear design and generates a circular pattern when viewed from above. The following diagram is an E-Plane view of an omnidirectional antenna and shows the effect of gain on the shape of the main lobes. When the gain level is increased from 3dB gain, using two dipoles, to 6dB, using four dipoles, the distance covered is increased and the lobes become thinner. The Chart 1 shows the effect of gain at the TETRA frequency band.
0

-15 -20 -30 2700 -3 -6 -10 dB 90

180

Chart 1 Effect of Gain 2.1.1 Polar Plots

Sigma uses log-dB polar plots to display their antenna patterns. The ARRL (the American Radio Relay League, the US national organisation of Amateur Radio operators) log-dB scale is widely used in amateur publications. It provides a convenient scale to compare the patterns of antennas with those of existing designs. It also yields patterns with familiar shapes. The ARRL log-dB scale dedicates approximately half of the area of the plot to the first 10dB. This emphasises the detail of the pattern near the full-gain point and causes the lower level side-lobes to be compressed toward the centre of the pattern without hiding them completely. The log-dB plot is normalised so that the outer 0dB circle represents the maximum gain of the antenna in that plane. The centre of the plot is minus infinity dB, but there isn't much area below -40 dB.

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2.2
2.2.1

MAST POSITION
Omnidirectional

Mast positioning can affect the radiation pattern and care needs to be taken to ensure that the appropriate antenna type is selected for specific masts and position on that mast. The main impact is on the H-Plane pattern (also known as the Azimuth Pattern). Chart 2 shows the ideal H-plane pattern represented by the circle in black. This scenario is realised when the antenna is placed at the top of a mast, free from close obstructions. The radiation pattern is allowed to develop its true radiation envelope. The other patterns are the result of placing the same antenna at varying electrical distances from a one-metre mast. As you can see from the radiation patterns, described by the coloured lines, when an omnidirectional antenna is placed at the front of a triangular mast the pattern is distorted as the signal is reflected from the tower in an irregular manner. As the distance increases, this effect is reduced. The main problem is that a rigger will often place the antenna in the most convenient position available and not necessarily the best position for optimum electrical performance.
O m n i S t a c k e d D ip o le A r r a y 0

-1 5 -2 0 -3 0 2700 -3 -6 -1 0 dB 90

180

Chart 2 Omni Antenna on One Metre Mast at various Spacings 2.2.2 Offset Omnidirectional:

On the other hand, a different result is achieved for an ‘Offset antenna’ placed at the front of a triangular mast. When the antenna is placed in front of the apex of the mast with the dipoles arranged in the offset configuration the H-plane radiation pattern is less susceptible to the effects of positioning at different distances from the mast. The H-plane is reasonably circular, but is offset

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towards the front of the antenna. The chart shows how the pattern remains relatively consistent even when mounted on the side of a mast, at varying electrical distances. As the distance increases, this effect is reduced. The consistency of RF patterns makes network planning more reliable. A positive side effect of the offset pattern is higher gain in one direction. This offset shape can easily be incorporated into overall network planning by choosing sites with this in mind and directing the main lobe in an appropriate direction to form a suitable total coverage pattern. A separate paper is available during the third quarter of 2000 which looks at the effect of towers on antenna radiation patterns and the use of multiple antennas to achieve omni pattern off a tower.
O f f s e t S t a c k e d D i p o le A r r a y . N o D o w n t i l t . 0

-1 5 -2 0 -3 0 2700 -3 -6 -1 0 dB 90

180

Chart 3 Offset Antenna on One Metre Mast at various Spacings 2.2.3 Sectoral Arrays

Drawing from the cellular experience, capacity is increased by having sectored sites with three panel antennas per site, each panel radiating on different RF channels.

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-3 d B
-3 d B

-1 0 d B

-1 0 d B

Chart 4 Build up Of Sectored Site Coverage Chart 4 shows how a sectored site is built up to optimise channel capacity. These sites are typically used in urban environments where traffic density is higher than in rural areas. As vehicles or people move from coverage of one antenna to another, the system takes care of the hand-over to the appropriate available channel. The interleaving of site patterns ensures hand-over between sites without causing interference between them.
2.2.3.1 Frequency Re-Use

As the number of sectors increases an antenna’s front-to-back ratio becomes important. The spillage from the back of the antenna can interfere with cells some distance away, particularly if the back lobes are directed at the horizon. Good design ensures that the back lobes are small and tilted down. In Chart 5, if you imagine the two cells being separated by the cell reuse distance, you can see that the energy radiated off the back of the bottom right blue cell could interfere with a mobile in the coverage area of the top left blue cell. This is how front-to-back ratio affects the frequency re-use of a system. The TETRA standard sets limits on the maximum distance a mobile can access a site from (See reference i, which states "This distance may be used to prevent MS from grossly exceeding the planned cell boundaries"). However, this does not affect the levels of interference created by back lobes, which still must be taken into consideration.

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-3 d B

-1 0 d B

-3 d B

-1 0 d B

Chart 5 Illustration of Interference in Re-Using Frequencies The frequency re-use policy dictates whether this is a major design concern or not. Networks that have low frequency re-use, for example those which have a large separation between sites, will be less concerned about RF spillage from the back of the panel antenna. A method for controlling the back lobe is to use electrical down-tilt (See RF DOWNTILT on Page 12) with mechanical up-tilt (See Chart 6 on page 11 to see the effects of this arrangement on the back lobe at the horizon). One possible option for an antenna user is to purchase all sectored antennas with the maximum amount of down tilt (15o). If another down-tilt value is required at a particular site, then all that needs be done is to reverse the mounting brackets (bottom clamp at the top and vice versa) and the antenna is tilted UP. So that for a 10o down tilt, we would tilt a 15o antenna up by 5o. Thus the antennas to be delivered to all sites would be the same and the down tilt is decided at the installation time and can easily be changed subsequently. The benefits for this type of arrangement is that the purchaser will have all the logistical advantages of having only one sectored antenna type with maximum front-to-back ratio.

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Chart 6 - An Electrically Down-Tilted Panel Antenna Mechanically Up-Tilted
2.2.3.2 Combining Radiation Patterns from Multiple Antennas

It is not normally practical to combine the radiation patterns of multiple antennas to give an omni pattern from, for example, three panel antennas. This is because there is a single source of signal (the transmitter) and the relative phases of the radiated signals from each antenna will determine the final radiation pattern of the antenna system. Both the relative lengths of the feeder cables and the distance between the antenna centres (i.e. where each antenna is mounted) control these phases. This is in contrast to diversity (See DIVERSITY on Page 13) which is used for the receive path only and uses up to three separate receivers to achieve the gain. In this case, the phases of the RF signals do not matter, as they are processed in the receivers before the gain is achieved by aggregating the demodulated outputs using an additive or selective process. A separate paper is available during the third quarter of 2000 which looks at the effect of towers on antenna radiation patterns and the use of multiple antennas to achieve omni pattern off a tower. 2.2.4 Directional Arrays

Directional antenna patterns are used to establish point to point communication or up/down traffic corridors. The beamwidth is much narrower than panel antennas and consequently yield a higher gain. Yagi antennas or two sectored panel arrays are used for this purpose. The pattern shown below in Chart 7 shows the resulting pattern using two Yagis (one pointing “East” and the other pointing “West”). As the front to back ratio on these antenna types is high, there is little interference between the back of one pattern and the front of the other.

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The second illustration is a possible mounting arrangement for these types of antennas. Note that it shows vertical separation for diversity, this will require 10 meters (See section 2.4).

0

-1 5 -2 0 -3 0 2 700 -3 -6 -1 0 dB 90

180

Chart 7 Illustration of the Use of a Directional Array.

2.3

RF DOWNTILT

The effect of down-tilt applies to both Sectored and Non-Sectored antenna arrays. Omnidirectional and sectoral antennas use pattern tilting to regulate the size of cells and control the signal strength in overlap areas. The tilt may be provided using either mechanical or electrical tilt and in some cases a combination of both. Chart 8 shows the difference between mechanical and electrical downtilt. The blue pattern is a cross section of the radiation pattern for our SPA Series panel antenna, with no electrical down-tilt, but which has been mechanically tilted down. The red pattern shows the same antenna type but with 15 degrees of electrical down-tilt. As you can see the electrically down-tilted pattern has two larger secondary lobes, but more importantly, the back lobe is also down-tilted. This provides a powerful and positive means of preventing unwanted spillover into cells some distance away. (See also 2.2.3.1 Frequency Re-Use above and Chart 6 - An Electrically Down-Tilted Panel Antenna Mechanically Up-Tilted above)

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Chart 8 Illustration Of difference between Electrical and Mechanical Down-Tilt

2.4

DIVERSITY

Chart 9 illustrates the variability of the strength of a received signal coming from a mobile transmitter over time, in to both polarisations of a dual slant polarised antenna. Signals usually arrive at the receiver via multiple paths (see below). This receiver diversity can be used to enhance systems performance. This is particularly useful when the system requires talkback from low powered handheld devices. This technique ensures that the network receives the same signal at least twice (dual receiver mode) which is then manipulated either by an additive or a selective process to ensure a better net received signal to noise ratio.
Signal Strength In Dual Polar Antenna with Distance Travelled
0

-20

-40 Signal Strength

-60

Left Polar Right Polar

-80

-100

-120 Time Travelling

Chart 9 Variability of the Signal Strength coming from a mobile transmitter over time

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Quoting from reference ii may help to understand the complexities of propagation in the mobile radio environment: - "Radio wave propagation in the mobile radio environment is described by dispersive multi-path caused by reflection, diffraction and scattering. Different paths may exist between a BS and a MS due to large distant reflectors and/or scatterers and due to scattering in the vicinity of the mobile, giving rise to a number of partial waves arriving with different amplitudes and delays. Since the mobile will be moving, a Doppler shift is associated with each partial wave, depending on the mobile's velocity and the angle of incidence. The delayed and Doppler shifted partial waves interfere at the receiver causing frequency and time selective fading on the transmitted signal." The available antenna diversity options are: Space -Vertical. Space - Horizontal Polarisation (Usually dual polarisation) The principle is the same for each, in that the receiving base station has a choice of two signals on the incoming path. The process on average yields a ‘gain’ on the receive path. A separate paper which looks at diversity gain versus antenna spacing is available during the second quarter of 2000. 2.4.1 Diversity Gain Explained

Diversity gain only operates on the up-link (Mobile Station to Base Station). It is required because portables usually have one watt transmit power towards the base, but bases can be up to 40-Watts back to the mobile. The measurement test involves a mobile and a base station with special test software in it. A typical test route is driven; the mean bit-error rate is measured at the base, using a vertically polarised antenna of equivalent gain to the antenna under test. The route is then driven again, using either two vertically polarised antennas spaced apart, or the two halves of a cross polarised antenna (as two separate tests) each being fed into separate receivers. The mobile transmit power is reduced in steps until the same bit error rate is achieved at the base as was measured in the reference drive. The amount by which the power is reduced is the equivalent Diversity Gain of the base antenna configuration chosen for the test.

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2.4.2

Experimental Results

During Sigma’s initial TETRA antenna development work, tests were performed to determine if diversity gain existed in the 400MHz band. From these experimental results, we know that the diversity gain of a cross-polarised antenna in a suburban environment is about 4dB. The diversity gain of two vertically polarised antennas horizontally spaced at 5.5 metres is about 4.5dB. We also know that in a high-density urban environment the gains are increased by a further 1dB. In open countryside, there is some small gain improvement (over a single antenna) for both configurations. For three antenna diversity, it is possible to assume that there is at least a 1.5dB improvement over two antenna diversity. Thus, the diversity gain of a particular antenna configuration will also depend on the type of environment in which it is being used. Most cellular operators have, over the years, done experiments to assess the gain obtained with different diversity schemes, and some have published the results. The findings are generally similar, but never identical. One set of results is given here iii. Area Type Estimated Diversity Gain with 45 Slanted Antenna 3.7 dB 4.7 dB 4.0 dB 5.7 dB 2.7 dB Estimated Diversity Gain with Space Diversity 5.0 dB 3.3 dB 3.7 dB 4.7 dB 5.3 dB

Urban, Indoor Urban, Outdoor Suburban, Indoor Suburban, Outdoor Rural

Table 1 - Diversity Gain as a Function of Operating Environment 2.4.3 • Different Diversity Schemes Described

Horizontal space diversity requires that approximately 5.5 meters should horizontally separate two antennas. Reducing this space reduces the gain and the final gain obtained depends on the antenna height above surrounding terrain as well as the spacing between the antennas. This is the optimum situation electrically, but in reality access to the required space is limited. The greater the antenna separation, the less likely that fades will occur in both antennas simultaneously. If optimum diversity techniques are used in the base station, expect a minimum of 3dB diversity gain for two antennas and 4.7dB gain from three antennas.

Vertical space diversity can be easier to implement, but again the requirement is for approximately 10 metres vertical separation between two antennas to give the best

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improvement over a single antenna (similar to that given by horizontal spacing). Most of the diversity advantage is lost at 4 metres. One reason for this failure is that the coverage area of the two antenna systems is very different at this spacing. This will cause many problems trying to balance the signal quality received at the base with that received at the mobile / portable. Another disadvantage of this type of diversity is that the two received signal are not the same strength at the antenna, causing a reduction in diversity gain. • Dual-polar diversity is achieved using a single antenna structure with two sets of dipoles positioned at +/- 45 degrees to each other. The dipoles positioned in this way produce of typically of 3 to 4.5dB better than a single vertically polarised antenna of similar dimensions. The gain of these antennas is usually specified as Co-Polar gain i.e. the gain measured at +/-45 Degrees. The 2 to 4dB gain improvement is relative to this gain. If, however, you measure the antenna gain vertically polarised, it will be 3dB less than that measured at +/-45o. The vertical space occupied by a dual polarised antenna of a given Co-Polar gain is the same as for a vertically polarised antenna of the same gain.

Rd e Fe ed

B e lu Fe ed

Chart 10 Illustration of Dual Polarisation Diversity 2.4.4 How does Space Diversity work?

To achieve diversity at least two receivers are required. These will receive signals from diverse sources - two antennas. These antennas will provide a separate signal to each receiver, this signal comes from the same original source - the portable / mobile (called a mobile in the following discussion) but via different paths. These antennas will need to be positioned on a mast in a suitable position to allow them to appear as two separate diverse sources of the same signal. The

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greater the distance between the antennas horizontally, the less likely that a signal fade (received from a moving mobile) from one antenna will occur at the same time as a signal fade from the other antenna. Thus, the diversity gain (reducing the effect of these fades) increases as the separation increases and relies on the concept that the strength of the two signals should be nearly equal on average. On average, if the two signal strengths are not equal, then the full diversity gain cannot be achieved. At 900 MHz, antennas are generally regarded as being at optimum separation at 2.75 metres. At 400 MHz, this optimum is generally regarded as occurring at five and a half Metres, which is often difficult to achieve in practical situations. The required separation is in fact a function of effective antenna height. A separate paper which looks at diversity gain versus antenna spacing is available during the second quarter of 2000. The correlation coefficient between the amplitude envelope of the received signals depends on the antenna spacing. To give an adequately low coefficient (0.7), the antennas should be at the same height and spaced at least 5.5 metres apart. In other words, the long-term correlation between the amplitude of the received signals should be high, but the instantaneous value of the correlation should be very low. (The lowest short term correlation coefficient achievable with two antennas is approximately 0.5, which is adequate to achieve expected diversity gain. The lower the short-term correlation coefficient, the better the diversity gain). If these criteria are met by the antenna system, (and the receivers receive equal amplitude signals on average in the long term), the gain achieved by two receivers over one can be up to 5dB and by three receivers is up to 7dB, dpending on the surrounding propagation environment. 2.4.5 How Does Polarisation Diversity Work?

As a RF signal travels from a moving mobile towards the base antenna, it will follow multiple paths. The obvious one is directly from the mobile antenna to the base antenna. However this path is often obstructed, a more indirect path may give a better signal. There will be many paths and each will be due to reflections. These reflections will change the polarisation of the signal. The amount by which the signal's polarisation is changed depends on the angle of incidence at the reflection point. In most instances the signal will be partly reflected and partly refracted at the surface of the 'reflecting' material. There will be multiple signals propagating from the mobile to the base and, as it moves, the points at which the signals are reflected will be constantly changing. Thus, the polarisation and strength of the incident signals at a single base antenna will be constantly changing in a similar manner.

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If two receiving base antennas occupy the same space, but receive signals at different polarisations (+/- 45o), the RF signals coming from these antennas will be diverse or different (see Chart 9 on page 13) as the signals incident on the two base antennas from the mobile are of different polarisations. One antenna characteristic of importance in this regard is Cross-Polar Discrimination, which quantifies the ability of the antenna to discriminate between the polarisations of the signals impinging on them. If this is at 15dB or better the correlation coefficient is at 0.58 and it falls rapidly below this value. Thus an antenna with the ability to discriminate between opposite polarisations at better than 15dB across the field-of-view of the antenna, will have an adequately low correlation coefficient to achieve the 3 to 5dB diversity gain improvement.

3

Antenna Characteristics for Optimum Performance

The role of an antenna system is driven by the need to balance the conflicting requirements of electrical performance (gain, pattern, tilt), physical dimensions (restricted space available on masts) and product costs. • Having wide coverage from sites reduces network costs, but also reduces capacity. Traffic density will steer you either to Omni, Offset Omni or sectored panels. • Reduced Physical dimensions make it easy to get lower cost mast space, but reduces electrical performance. Gain, Front to Back ratio and bandwidth are affected by the dimensions • Sector planning will influence the choice of tilt. The cell size and frequency re-use plan will dictate the level and type of tilt required (mechanical or electrical). In addition, the ‘pattern’ control ensures predictable coverage in a range of environments. Chart 11 below shows the process for selecting the optimum antenna system depending on the application:

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Traffic Density

Coverage

Sectored

Omni

Yagi

• • • •

Gain Receiver Diversity Front to Back Ratio Bandwidth

Low power devices

• • •

Gain Diversity arrays Bandwidth

Mast space/costs

Chart 11 Process for Selecting Optimum Antenna System

3.1

High Traffic Density

Dense traffic systems typically will be required in urban environments where simultaneous communication is the important issue. The use of multi-frequency sector arrays ensures more capacity in the area covered by the antenna array. Taking the sectored approach will require an array of antennas at each site and as mast space is at a premium, care needs to be taken to ensure that the panel antennas have the smallest dimensions possible while delivering good electrical performance. Key parameters at risk as you try to reduce the overall dimensions include, gain (length), front to back ratio (width), bandwidth (depth) and horizontal beamwidth. On the inbound side, receiver diversity is used to balance the system. Cell sizes can be maximised using dual polarised antennas or arrays of space diversity antennas. Space diversity may be used with Omni as well as panel antenna arrays and offers the maximum electrical performance possible. However, from a practical point of view the current practice is to use dual polar panel antennas in high traffic density sites and use arrays where space is more readily available.

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3.2

Medium / Low Traffic Density

Omnidirectional antennas can be set up to work in an omni or an offset mode. The choice depends on the type of mast on which it is placed. If a ‘top of mast’ position is available, the result is optimum. The main issue is the gain of the antenna and where the inbound signals are low then either the outbound power needs to be restricted (small cells) or receiver arrays need to be used in conjunction with a separate Tx antenna.

4

Good Tetra Antenna System Design Practice

Good design practice ensures that the antenna system is compatible with the infrastructure and offers additional benefits through delivery of: 1. Lower Costs 2. Higher redundancy 3. Optimum channel usage (capacity) These benefits can be derived using a combination of good mounting practices and infrastructure enhancement. The following outlines some possible antenna configurations, along with possible explanations for choice of configuration. These are only examples and the final choices taken will be determined by the system designer. The diversity gain shown in the examples is 3.5 for illustration purposes only. It is up to the system designer to avail of the currently available information on diversity and the radio environment to decide on the value to apply in a particular circumstance. The examples are given primarily to stimulate thought and not to be final solutions.

4.1

Receiver Isolation from Transmitters

In section 6.5.1 of Reference i, the level of blocking for a base station is -25dBm. With a transmitter level of +47 dBm, the isolation between two antennas with transmitter into one antenna and receiver into the other will need to exceed 72dB. This does not take into account any additional filtering, or the fact that some manufacturer's equipment will exceed minimum TETRA requirements. In fact many system designers use a band-pass duplexer on the transmit / receive antenna and use a separate band-pass filter for each receiver. (Some even use half of the duplexer for this purpose, as this reduces the number of different filter types on and individual site). In all antenna configurations given below this requirement for isolation must be taken into account as must any additional insertion losses in the receiver and transmitter paths.

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4.2
4.2.1

Omnidirectional Diversity Applications
Introduction

GSM networks give priority to site capacity. Thus, the use of GSM sectored sites using panel antennas is widespread and has led to the use of polarisation diversity, in preference to space diversity. In contrast to GSM, TETRA networks will place a lower emphasis on capacity and will seek to maximise cell size (and minimise the use of frequencies) using omnidirectional antenna arrays. Most of the work in the area of diversity was originally done for GSM frequencies, where the horizontal diversity spacing is only 3m. The examples given below are presented to show that there are many different ways to achieve omni coverage from towers. They will give the designer some idea of how to go about coming up with the design that is optimum for his own network. A separate paper which looks at diversity gain versus antenna spacing is available during the second quarter of 2000. 4.2.2 Sample Power Balance Calculation

Table 2 below shows an example non diversity power balance calculation for a system with a single antenna of 5dB gain connected to a base station with a duplexer of 1dB insertion loss and a combiner and filtering with a loss of 4dB. There is no diversity gain. The figures are only representative and should only be used as a guide. It assumes a 3-Watt portable. The base station transmit power is adjusted to balance the outbound path with the inbound path. This adjustment of the base station power applies in all examples in this section. In the table below BS is the Base Station and MS is the Mobile Station.

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Tx
BS ->MS 42 dBm -5 dB 1 dBi 5 dB -2 dB 0 dB -112 dBm 153 dB MS-> BS 35 dBm -1 dB 1 dBi 5 dB -2 dB 0 dB -115 dBm 153 dB

Rx

TxPower Com biner/Filter Losses Mobile Antenna Gain Base Antenna Gain BaseCable Losses Diversity Gain RxSensitivity Resultant System Gain

Combiner / Filter Duplexer

Main Antenna

Table 2- System Gain in Reference Example 4.2.3 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Two Offsets

This method uses a single omni at the top of the mast and two offset four stack arrays positioned so that their tops are positioned below the omni and are mounted about three metres off each side of the mast. Table 2 shows the resultant increase in system gain. Setting the Transmitter Power in the Base Station (BS) four and a half dB higher than in the reference example (section 4.1) counterbalances this extra gain and the reduced loss. This configuration will suit triangular masts of up to around three metres. Above this size, the pattern of the offset antennas will become increasingly distorted. The exact amount of distortion depends on how far away from the tower the antennas are mounted and the exact nature of the tower's construction. (See MAST POSITION on Page 7).
BS -> MS MS->BS 45.5 dBm 35 dBm -4 dB 0 dB 1 dBi 1 dBi 5 dB 5 dB -2 dB -2 dB 0 dB 3.5 dB -112 dBm -115 dBm 157.5 dB 157.5 dB
Tx Rx1 Rx2

Tx Power Combiner/Filter Losses Mobile Antenna Gain Base Antenna Gain Base Cable Losses Diversity Gain Rx Sensitivity Resultant System Gain

Main Antenna

Other Two Antennas

Table 3 - System Gain for Two Offsets plus an omni.
4.2.3.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration

The pattern of the omni antenna at the top of the mast is shown in black in the drawing below. This is 3.5dB less gain than peak gain of the offset antennas. At the 90 and the 270-degree areas, of the

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pattern shown below, the gain is 3.5 dB higher than that of the Transmit antenna. As we sweep around towards the 0o and the 180o positions, we see two antennas with nearly equal gains. The offset antennas are spaced at 5.5 metres from each other and would give a diversity gain of 3.5dB, in the direction where their gains are equal (at the 0o and the 180o positions). As we rotate away from this the gains of the two antennas become markedly different, so the diversity gain will be reduced in these directions but the gain of individual antennas becomes closer to 8.5dB. Thus, overall we will get an apparent improvement of about 3.5dB over a single 5dB antenna mounted on the top of the mast. In such a configuration, consideration should be given to providing sufficient isolation between the transmit antenna at the top of the tower and the receive antennas on the side of the tower. (See 4.1 Receiver Isolation from Transmitters on page 20)

0

-1 5 -2 0 2 7 00 -3 -6 -1 0
dB 90

1 80

Chart 12 'Top of Mast' Omni Plus Two Offsets. 4.2.4 ‘Top of Mast’ Omni plus Three Panels

This method uses a single omni at the top of the mast and three panel antennas set at 1200 to each other around the mast. The transmitter feeds the omni at the top and the three receivers operate from the three panel antennas around the mast. Setting the Transmitter Power in the Base Station (BS) 3.1dB higher than in the reference example above counterbalances this extra gain. This

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arrangement best suits triangular masts over two to three metres per side. It can be used on any size tower, as the system works better as the distance between the panels increases above 5.5 metres.
Tx
BS -> MS 45 dBm -4 dB 5 dB 0 dB -112 dBm 158 dB MS->BS 35 dBm 0 dB 5 dB 3 dB -115 dBm 158 dB

Rx1

Rx2

Rx3

Tx Power Combiner/Filter Losses Antenna Gain Diversity Gain Rx Sensitivity Resultant System Gain

Combiner / Filter

Three Panel Antennas Transmit Antenna

Table 4- System Gain for Omni plus Three Panels.
4.2.4.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration

The pattern of the omni antenna at the top of the mast is shown in black in the drawing below. At the zero point, the first panel antenna (red pattern) has a gain that is 3.1dB higher than the omni. As we sweep clockwise around towards the 60-degree point, the gain of this antenna drops by about 7 dB. If the panels are spaced at centres of 5.5 metres or more, the resultant diversity gain is about 3 to 4dB (counting both the red and the blue pattern). This leaves the net resultant gain in this direction about 3 to 4dB down on the peak of the red pattern (-7dB + 3 and -7dB + 4). In a similar manner, the net gain will also be reduced at 1800 and 3000 for the other coloured patterns. Thus, overall we will get an apparent improvement of about 3.1dB over a single 5dB antenna mounted on the top of the mast, with a reduction of approximately 3dB in net gain at the overlap of the patterns. In such a configuration, consideration should be given to providing sufficient isolation between the transmit antenna at the top of the tower and the receive antennas on the side of the tower. (See 4.1 Receiver Isolation from Transmitters on page 20).

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0

-15 -20 27 0 0 -3 -6 -10 d B 9 0

18 0

Chart 13 'Top of Mast' Omni plus Three Panels If we assume that the panels are mounted at the end of an extension pole on each side of a triangular mast, Table 5 below gives an indication of the length of the extension poles required to give a total of 6 metres between the centres of the panels. Note that this is end to end of the extension poles and takes into account the fact that the electrical centres of these antennas are about 100mm forward of the backplane and the brackets mount the antenna about 200mm further away from the vertical mounting pole. Thus, the extension poles net length could be reduced by up to 400mm, without affecting the spacing too adversely. Chart 14 Extension Pole for Omni Plus 3 Panels

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Tower Side Size (Metres) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Table 5 - Extension Pole Length Vs Tower Size 4.2.5

Pole Extension length (Metres) 3 2.4 1.9 1.3 0.65 0

Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ Diversity Array

This antenna array comprises a pair of four stack antennas, one of which is used for Tx while both are used for receiving to achieve space diversity gain. The antenna system functions identically to and has the advantages of the ‘Offset omni’ (See page 7). The antenna configuration has the radiation pattern described below. Network planners would direct the pattern peak in the appropriate direction.
First Antenna Second Antenna

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner

Rx Multicoupler A

Rx Multicoupler B

1

2

n

1A

2A

nA

1B

2B

nB

N by 4 Voice Channels N by RF Channels Two Diverse antennas shown

0

Chart 15 Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ Diversity Array
4.2.5.1 Diversity Gain in this configuration
2 7 00 -3 -6 -1 0 -1 5 -2 0
dB 90

The radiation pattern is shown in Magenta as both the Tx and Rx patterns overlap completely. The dipole arrays of both antennas need to be pointed in the same
180

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Chart 16 - Side Mount ‘Omnidirectional’ November 2000. Diversity Array Gain

direction (note that they are shown in the centre of the radiation pattern and it is worth noting their directions). The diversity gain of the antennas will yield a 3dB improvement in all directions around the mast compared with a single offset antenna and the magenta represents the combination of the red and blue radiation patterns. In such a configuration, consideration should be given to providing sufficient isolation between the transmit antenna and the receive antennas on the other side of the tower, especially receiver 'B'. (See 4.1 Receiver Isolation from Transmitters on page 20). 4.2.6 Two Sector Hybrid Sector System

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to install a hybrid sector array which operates as two discretely separate sectors. The first part of the sector uses a cross-polarised panel antenna in one direction and the second part of the sector uses two separate stacked dipole arrays using space diversity. The pair of stacked dipoles is used in the classic way, one antenna Tx/Rx with a duplexer and the other antenna providing the second Rx path. The stacked dipole in its offset configuration is Omnidirectional but skewed in one direction. This should be pointed in the opposite direction to the panel antenna. The resulting coverage is egg shaped and slightly offset in the direction of the panel. It has been used where a high traffic density is required and where this shape of coverage is not a disadvantage (Such as at Motorway Junctions, with the heavier traffic in the direction of the Panel).

First Sector - Panel Half of First Antenna Second Half not Illustrated for Clarity

Second Sector – Two Offset

Second Antenna

Third Antenna

Duplex Filter

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner A

Rx Multicoupler A

Tx Combiner B

Rx Multicoupler B

1

2

3

4

1A 2A

4A

1B 2B

3B 4B

1B 2B

4B Rx Multicoupler C

Example shows two sector cell – One Offset and one panel system

1C 2C

4C

Chart 17 Two-Sector Hybrid Sector System

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4.2.6.1

Diversity Gain in this configuration

The radiation pattern for the stacked array is shown in Magenta as both the Tx and Rx patterns overlap completely, as in the ‘two offset’ mode. The dipole arrays of these two antennas need to be pointed in the same direction (note that they are shown in the centre of the radiation pattern and it is worth noting their directions). The diversity gain of the antennas will yield a 3dB improvement in all directions, for this antenna pair over a single antenna of the same type. The magenta represents the combination of the red and blue radiation patterns. On the opposite side of the mast a single cross-polarised panel antenna is mounted on a different set of channels. This also has a diversity gain of 3dB relative to the nominal gain of the antenna. This antennas radiation pattern is shown in green. Chart 18 - Two Sector Hybrid Sector System Gain
180 2700 -3 -6 -1 0 -1 5 -2 0
dB 90

0

5
5.1

Mounting Criteria for Optimum Performance
Electrical
Background

5.1.1

The following testing was carried out by Dolphin Telecommunications. Where several services share a radio site there will inevitably be some potential for interference between the various signals present. This section examines the possibility of signals radiated from a TETRA 80º panel being received by a 900 MHz base station through coupling between the two panels. The TETRA band is not harmonically related to either of the TACS or GSM frequency bands and so interference caused by the direct impact of harmonics of the TETRA carrier has been discounted. It is therefore assumed that the primary mechanism for concern would be blocking of the 900 MHz receiver by the TETRA transmitter. GSM interference level recommendation 05.05 requires that a GSM base station is able to operate normally in the presence of an interfering out of band signal at a power level of 0 dBm at the GSM

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receiver antenna terminals. It is therefore desirable to keep any TETRA signal presented to the receiver terminals of the GSM receiver below this level. The TETRA EIRP is limited by licensing requirements to less than +47 dBm. A minimum acceptable loss in the coupling between the two panels is therefore 47 dB. 5.1.2 Dolphin Measurement

While the antenna characteristic data can be obtained for each antenna, the published data refers to the performance within the intended band of operation. Since coupling between the 400 MHz and 900 MHz systems includes reception of the potential interference outside the intended band of operation of the antenna, it is difficult to predict the resulting coupling theoretically. 5.1.3 Practical measurement

In the absence of a theoretical calculation the coupling between two example systems was measured to indicate the levels involved. Two GSM panel antennas, both cross-polar units with different H-plane beamwidths, were examined in close proximity to a TETRA 80º panel antenna to simulate the situation on a shared mast. The measurements were made using a tracking The generator/analyser combination to establish the isolation between the two antennas. MHz.

measurement sweep encompassed all anticipated TETRA frequencies in using the range 380 - 430 To identify the worst-case coupling between the two panels, each measurement was repeated using the second polarisation on the antenna so that the cases corresponding to a co-polar and cross-polar coupling were both taken into account.
1 .0 - 1 .5 5 m e tre s

4 2 to 6 2 d B lo s s

at TETRA fr e q u e n c ie s

TETRA panel 80 d e g re e s HBW
4 7 to 6 8 d B lo s s

GSM panel 85 deg. HBW

at GSM fr e q u e n c ie s

Chart 19 - Measurement configuration for horizontal separation

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For comparison purposes, a measurement of the coupling between the two panels in the GSM frequency range 870 – 960 MHz, with the test generator connected to the GSM panel, was also taken. Tests were carried out with the panels on a common azimuth in each case. Two horizontal separations (1m and 1.55m) were tested to examine the effect of increasing the separation between the two panels. To investigate the possibility of mast sharing where the TETRA panel is installed below a GSM installation, a separate measurement was made of the coupling when the two panels are positioned end-to-end. The measurement was made with a single vertical separation of 1m

TETRA panel 80 degrees HBW

Chart 20- Measurement configuration for vertical separation 5.1.4 Summary of results

TETRA to GSM, 1m horizontal separation
Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum isolation Maximum isolation

TETRA 80º TETRA 80º TETRA 80º TETRA 80º

+45º +45º +45º -45º

TETRA TETRA TETRA TETRA

GSM 60º GSM 60º GSM 85º GSM 85º

frequencies

1.0 metres

47 to 68 dB loss

at TETRA

GSM panel 85 deg. HBW

+45º -45º -45º -45º

42 dB 48 dB 45 dB 43 dB

50 dB 51 dB 51 dB 49 dB

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TETRA to GSM, 1.55m horizontal separation
Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum isolation Maximum isolation

TETRA 80º

-45º

TETRA

GSM 85º

-45º

48 dB

62 dB

TETRA to GSM, 1m vertical separation, TETRA below
Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum isolation Maximum isolation

TETRA 80º TETRA 80º

-45º -45º

TETRA TETRA

GSM 85º GSM 85º

-45º +45º

51 dB 54 dB

67 dB 76 dB

GSM to TETRA, 1m horizontal separation
Radiating panel Polarisation TX band RX panel Polarisation Minimum isolation Maximum isolation

GSM 60º GSM 60º

-45º -45º

GSM GSM

TETRA 80º TETRA 80º

-45º +45º

51 dB 47 dB

61 dB 68 dB

5.1.5

Analysis of results

The coupling between the two panels is affected by the polarisation relationship, despite the fact that the receiving panel is not tuned for the receiving frequency and that the ‘side-on’ orientation does not obviously suggest any correlation. The results show that the isolation is reduced when the two elements in use are on the same polarisation. The isolation between the two panels is noticeably increasing with separation – in the test carried out the minimum isolation improved by 5 dB as the distance was increased from 1m to 1.55m without changing any other parameters. The results suggest that the required TETRA to GSM isolation is achieved with an inter-panel horizontal separation of as little as 1.55 metres. For vertical separation, the test results suggested that the required isolation was achieved with a separation of 1m in all polarisation combinations.

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5.1.6

Test limitations

1. The test antennas shared a common azimuth in all configurations. While the data sheet polar pattern will probably not be applicable in such close proximity to the antenna, it would be reasonable to assume that the isolation would be reduced if the TETRA panel were turned towards the GSM panel. 2. The tests were carried out with the two panels mounted horizontally on a non-conductive support. While the forward beam patterns should have been into free space, it is possible that building reflections may be responsible for some of the minor frequency-dependant perturbations observed. Further work to establish the limitations of the test set-up would be appropriate, however it would seem likely that the isolation figure indicated would be increased if reflective paths between the two panels are reduced or eliminated. 3. The tests were carried out with two GSM panel antenna types. For more general applicability, it would be appropriate to repeat the exercise with other products. 4. The figures indicated assumed that there is no additional bandpass frequency filtering in front of the GSM receiver, providing additional attenuation at the TETRA frequencies. 5.1.7 Conclusions

From the data collected so far, it would be appropriate to use an inter-panel spacing guideline requiring horizontal separation of at least 2m between TETRA and GSM, if the sector orientations are on a similar azimuth. It is suggested that the vertical separation should be at least 1m.

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5.2

Physical Mounting Criteria

The antenna system most appropriate for a given application is governed by: • • • 5.2.1 Mast type and position. Traffic Density Radio system configuration

Sectored Panel array

1. Pole mount This approach involves the three antennas mounted at the same height, each arranged at 120 degrees to each other. Either the antennas may be vertically polarised or dual polarised where diversity gain is required.

2. Mast mount The panel may be mounted on each leg of a triangular tower, again at the same level as before.

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3. Building mount The panel antennas may be mounted at the edge of a building giving sufficient clearance from the rooftop and held in position by a steel structure. The positioning of the panels should be as with a mast, in terms of level and orientation. Free space in front of the antenna should be provided for at least 20M extending down at an angle of 30 degrees. Avoid roof edge obstructions.

6
6.1

Antenna / System Integration
Low Density System.

This type of system uses a simple approach to radio coverage and shows how a single antenna may be used to allow two-way communication with four RF channels. The duplex filter allows simultaneous Tx/Rx operation and is only restricted by the RF power requirements dictated by the number of channels in use. Below is a representation of how a non-diversity system functions, using one antenna. This antenna could be Omnidirectional, sectored panel or directional. The use of one antenna in this arrangement reduces the cost of antennas, plus the cost of mast space.

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Antenna

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner

Rx Multicoupler

1

2

n

1

2

n

N by 4 Voice Channels N by RF Channels

6.2

Medium Density

The schematic below shows a system using antenna diversity. The Transmitters and the first set of receivers are connected to one antenna and the second set of receivers is connected to the second antenna. Therefore, there are diverse sources for the signals being fed into the receivers. Note there is a practical limit to the number of transmitters that can be fed into the duplexer and the antenna. This is determined by the PEAK power of the transmitters (the peak power of a transmitter in TETRA is 6 dB above nominal power and therefore, there is a limitation set by the voltage as well as the power capabilities of these elements). See also 4.1 Receiver Isolation from Transmitters for more information on protection of Rx multi-coupler. The use of an antenna system, in this way enables the use of large cells with the benefit of diversity gain on the receive path. This could be a single antenna with dual slant polarisation or two antennas.
First Antenna Second Antenna

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner

Rx Multicoupler A

Rx Multicoupler B

1

2

n

1A

2A

nA

1B

2B

nB

N by 4 Voice Channels N by RF Channels Two Diverse antennas shown

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6.3

High Density

The illustration below shows how a large site might be configured. Half of the transmitters would be fed into one antenna system and the other half would be fed into the second antenna. All the receivers would be fed from each antenna to give diversity.
First Antenna

Second Antenna

Duplex Filter

Duplex Filter

Tx Combiner

Rx Multicoupler A

Tx Combiner

Rx Multicoupler B

1

2

3

4

1A 2A

8A

5

6

7

8

1B 2B

8B

Example Shows 8 Tx and 16 Rx Redundancy in Duplexers and in Tx Combiners

The key benefit of this configuration is to spread the power load between the two antennas and in that way to give greater redundancy in case of antenna failure, it offers diversity gain as before. Receiver protection for the second one is also increased by such a configuration.

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i

ETS 300-392-2 First Edition, March 1996 Section 10.3.3 ETS 300-392-2 First Edition, March 1996 Section 6.6.3.1 Jaana Laiho Steffens, Jukka Lempeiainen et al., “Experimental Evaluation of Polarisation Diversity Gain at Base

ii

iii

Station End in GSM900 Network”, IEE Transactions, Vehicular Technology 0-7803-4320-4/98 Pages 16-20.

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