Field strength in free space

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Field strength in free space is a term in telecommunications. It is the field strength caused by a half wave dipole under ideal conditions. The actual field strength in terrestrial environments is calculated by empirical formulas based on this field strength.

Power density[edit]

Let N be the effective power radiated from an isotropic antenna and p be the power density at a distance d from this source[1]

\mbox{p} = \frac{N}{4\cdot \pi \cdot d^2}

Power density is also defined in terms of electrical field strength;

Let E be the electrical field and R be the impedance of the free space

\mbox{p} = \frac{E^2}{R}

The following relation is obtained by equating the two,

 \frac{N}{4\cdot \pi \cdot d^2}= \frac{E^2}{R}

or by rearranging the terms

 \mbox{E} =\frac{\sqrt{N} \cdot\sqrt{R}}{2\cdot \sqrt{\pi}\cdot d}

Numerical values[edit]

Impedance of free space is  120 \cdot \pi

Since a half wave dipole is used, its gain over an isotropic antenna (\mbox{2.15 dBi} = 1.64 ) should also be taken into consideration,

 \mbox{E} =\frac{\sqrt{1.64 \cdot N} \cdot  \sqrt{ 120\cdot \pi}}{2\cdot \sqrt{\pi}\cdot d} 

 \approx 7\cdot\frac{ \sqrt{N}}{d}

In this equation SI units are used.

Expressing the same equation in:

kW instead of W in power,
km instead of m in distance and
mV/m instead of V/m

is equivalent to multiplying the expression on the right by  \sqrt{1000}.[2] In this case,

\mbox{E} \approx 222\cdot\frac{\sqrt{N}}{d}

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Reference data for radio Engineers, Howard W.Sams co,Indianapolis, 1956, 27-7
  2. ^ K.H.Kaltbeitzer: Site selection, EBU Techhnical Monograph 3104,Bruxelles,1965, p 30