Antenna Factors That Drive Wireless System Integration

Antennas designed by Mobile Mark are used by commercial wireless system integrators in countless applications and settings. Experience in this area has given our company a better understanding of the wireless challenges that these new networks face in their efforts to provide effective wireless communications.

Some of these challenges can be addressed by choosing antenna types that match the situation, while other challenges require an examination of the antenna performance characteristics that come in to play. Different antenna styles are required at different points in the network: from cost effective fixed location antennas for smart metering, Internet of things (IoT) and DSRC, to robust high performance point-to-point, point-to-multipoint base station antennas for substation, remote monitoring, and control utility infrastructure. Antenna styles under consideration include embedded antennas, surface mount antennas, omni-directional site antennas, as well as directional panel and yagi antennas.

A typical wireless system consists of so many parameters that it is beyond the scope of this article to cover them all. Instead, we will focus on the wireless system’s ability to digitally communicate over a wide distance in dynamic environments. We will examine, in the most optimistic view and under ideal conditions, the key wireless system characteristics that influence overall range performance as they are quantified using The Friis Transmission Formula:

  • Transmission RF power (1 Watt / 30 dBm)
  • Antenna gain on transmitter and receiver
  • Antenna radiation patterns and polarizations
  • Frequency band (700 MHz to 5.85 GHz)
  • Receiver Power sensitivity (-85 dBm)
  • Path Loss

Each of these six areas will be examined in detail in Parts II – VII of this series.