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BasicRadioPhysics

Sebastian Bttrich, wire.less.dk edit: September 2009, Pokhara, Nepal

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Goals
Understandelectromagneticwaves usedinwirelessnetworking Understandthebasicprinciplesoftheir behaviour Applythisunderstandingtoreallife situations

TableofContents
Electromagneticfieldsandwaves Characteristics Theelectromagneticspectrum Electromagneticeffects Absorption,reflection,diffraction,refraction, interference Propagationinfreespace Situationswherephysicsreallymatters

ElectromagneticWaves
AlsoknownasElectromagneticradiation Apropagatingwaveinspacewithelectrical (E)andmagnetic(H)components EandHoscillateperpendiculartoeach otherandtothedirectionofthe propagation Examples:light,Xraysandradiowaves

ElectromagneticWaves

Electromagnetic Characteristics
EandHfields Noneedforcarriermedium Characterizedby:Wavelength, frequency,polarization

AWave

[image:from wikipedia.org]

WavelengthandFrequency
c= *f
c=thespeedoflight(3x108m/s)[m/s] =wavelength[m] f=frequency[1/s]

WavelengthandFrequency
Aradiowavewithafrequencyof2.4GHzhas awavelengthof12,5cm Light(oraradiosignal)needstraveltime: 1.3secondsfromtheMoontoEarth 8minutesfromtheSun 300microsecondsfor100km

PowersofTen
Prefix Nano Milli Centi Kilo Mega Giga 109 103 102 103 106 109 Micro 106 Quantity 1/1,000,000,000 1/1,000,000 1/1,000 1/100 1,000 1,000,000 1,000,000,000 Symbol n m c k M G

Polarization

linear elliptical

circular

[Source: wikipedia.org]

DipoleRadiation

[Source: wikipedia.org]

TheElectromagnetic Spectrum

[Source: wikipedia.org]

UseofElectromagnetic Spectrum

UseofElectromagnetic Spectrum

FrequenciesinWireless Networking
Frequency 2.4GHz 5.xGHz Standard 802.11b/g 802.11a Wavelength 12,5cm 56cm

PropagationofRadioWaves
Wavefronts Huygensprinciple Atanypointofawave,spherical wavesstart Radiowavesarenotstrictlyastraight line

RadioWaveEffects
Absorption Reflection Diffraction Refraction Interference

Absorption
Lossofenergytothemediumthatthewaveis travellingthrough Thepowerdecreasesexponentially Anabsorptioncoefficient[dB/m]isusedto measuretheloss Strongabsorption Metalandwater(conductingmaterials) Stones,bricksandconcrete

Reflection
Metalandwatersurfaces Anglein=Angleout

Diffraction
Wavesdonotpropagateinasingledirection Wavesdivergeintowiderbeams Impliesthatwavescanbebentaround corners DirectconsequenceoftheHuygensprinciple Scalesroughlywiththewavelength

Diffraction

Diffraction
Wavesbendeasierthelongerthe wavelength AMRadiostationoperatingat100kHz caneasilybereceivedfaraway ( =3,000m) Inwirelesscommunicationat2.4GHzthe wavelengthis12,5cm

Refraction
Theapparentbendingofwaveswhen theymeetanobstaclewithadifferent density Awavethatmovesfromonemediumto anotherofadifferentdensity,changes speedanddirectionwhenenteringthe newmedium

Refraction

Interference
Samefrequency Fixedphaserelation

FrequencyDependence: Rulesofthumb
Thelowerfrequency,thefurtherit goes Thelowerfrequency,thebetterit goesthroughandaroundthings Thehigherfrequency,themoredatait cantransport

RadioPropagationinFree Space
FreeSpaceLoss(FSL) FresnelZones LineofSight MultipathEffects

FreeSpaceLoss(FSL)
Powerlossisproportionaltothesquareofthe distanceandproportionaltothesquareofthe frequency FSL(dB)=20log10(d)+20log10(f)+K d=distance f=frequency K=constantdependingontheunitsusedford andf

FreeSpaceLoss(FSL)
dismeasuredinmeters fismeasuredinHz FSL(dB)=20log10(d)+20log10(f)147.5

FreeSpaceLoss(FSL)
Rulesofthethumbfor2.4Ghzwireless networks:
100dBarelostinthefirstkilometre 6dBeverytimethatthedistancedoubles 2km:lossof106dB 4km:lossof112dB 10km:lossof120dB 100km:lossof140dB

FresnelZones

r =17,32 d / 4f d=distance[km] f=frequency[Ghz] r=radius[m]

LineofSight(LOS)
Ingeneral,youneedtohaveafreelineofsight (LOS)foraradiolink...andbitofspacearound it.

MultipathEffects
Asignalcanreachareceiverviamanypaths Delays,partialmodificationandinterference ofsignalscancauseproblems Bytakingadvantageofmultipaths,youcan overcomethelimitsoflineofsight MIMO(802.11n)isusingmultipatheffects

Wherephysicsmatters
1. Whenanaccesspointisplacedunderadesk 2. Whenwinterturnstospring 3. Whenitisrushhourinthecity 4. Whenimplementingverylongdistancelinks 5. Whenyouneedtotellmarketingtalkfromthe truth

Example1:Officenetwork
Typicallyhavemassivelymultipath conditions Problemswithobjects
People(waterfilledmovingobjects) Metalinfrastructure(PCs,radiators, desks,CDs)

Thechoiceoflocationsandantennasis essential

Example2:Winterturnsto spring
Regardlessofyourclimatezone, factorslikevegetation,humidity,rain willchange Drytreesmightbetransparentbut greentreesarenot

Example3:Rushhourinthe city
Inurbanenvironments,conditionscan changedramaticallywiththehour
People(70%water),vans,cars, electromagneticinterference

Youshouldalwaysverifyonamonday whatyoumeasureonasunday

Example4:LongDistance Links

Thetraveltimeofthesignalmightlead totimeoutandperformancelosses Dependingonthehardware,thismay becomerelevantalreadyat12km Atypicalindicatoroftimeoutproblemsis highpacketlossinspiteofagood radiosignal

Example5:MarketingTalk
Anantennaoraradiodeviceneverhasareachor distance.Reliableparametersare: Gainoftheantenna TXpoweroftheradiocard EvenwithWiMAXpromisingNLOS,microwavesstill donotgothroughabsorbingmaterials Robustmodulationtechniquescanletyougo roundcorners

Conclusion
Weidentifiedthecarrierinwireless networkingaselectromagneticwavesinthe GHzrange. Weunderstandthebasicsofwave propagation,absorption,reflection, diffraction,reflactionandinterference,and theirimplications. Wecanapplythisknowledgetoreallife casesaswellastomarketinglies.