RAN Lecture 2: Radio Theory

By: Zuliana Ismail, 2010

At the end of this lecture, the student should be able to:
Describe about radio principles Explain the applications of HF, VHF, UHF in aviations

Radio is wireless transmission through space of ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES in the approximate frequency range from 10kHz to 300 000MHz.

Radio theory is essential knowledge for the understanding of the reasons why particular frequencies are used for particular navigational aids system (DME,VOR & etc)

Communication is a process of transmitting INFORMATION from one location to another MEDIUM is required for the delivery of the information to be exchanged. For example, Transmission medium for television or telephone is cable or fiber optics

Radio transmission starts in US in 1920 with the invention of RADIO TRANSMITTING EQUIPMENT that capable of transmitting voice and music.

TRANSMITTER : a device used to generate and transmit radio signals [ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES]. RECEIVER : a device that receives incoming radio signals and converts them to sound or light. Example: receiver on radio or television converting broadcast signals into sound or images.

In communication link, the TRANSMITTER is connected through a cable to one ANTENNA. ANTENNA is a device which provides means for radiating or receiving radio waves. The signal is radiated to ANOTHER ANTENNA, and then passes through another cable to the RECEIVER. Broadcast systems such as TV or radio can used one transmitter to serve many receivers via a free space link.

Types of antenna
Array Antenna Reflector antenna

Wire Antennas

Electromagnetic Wave = Electric wave + Magnetic Wave Electromagnetic wave are used to transmit information by wave motion. Both waves oscillate at the same frequency
Electric Field y Magnetic Field x


The types of electromagnetic wave including: RADIO WAVES (for TV, radio, aircraft communication) Microwaves (radar, microwave oven) Infrared radiation (Body screening, remotes) Visible Light (Bulb) Ultraviolet (Medical Equipments) X-rays (Medical X-rays, Baggage Screening) Gamma rays (Space Observations)

Everyday technologies that depend on radio waves: Standard broadcast radio and television Wireless networks Cell phones GPS receivers Aircraft Communications ATC communications Satellite communications Police radios, Wireless clocks, Cordless phones , Garage door openers

Radio waves are radiated energy.

Properties of Radio Waves

Can be reflected, refracted and diffracted

In free space, they travel in straight lines at the speed of light c = 3v108 m/s.

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