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Optimized Arbitrary Wireless Device Arrays for Emergency Response Communications



William F. Young, Edward Kuester, Christopher L. Holloway


Wireless communications are essential to emergency responders. Unfortunately, a typical emergency response scenario involves communication into and within structures, which severely interfere with or completely block the radio frequency channel. In this report, we are investigating the potential of utilizing arbitrarily located wireless devices to increase the probability of a communication link and thus improve the emergency responder?s communication capabilities. The proposed approach employs methods based in antenna array and general optimization theory. A combination of analytic and simulation results allows rapid and efficient analysis of a variety of array or system configurations. In order to investigate general trends, we approximate the floor of the building as a perfect electrical conductor and the wireless devices as Hertzian dipole elements. Observation points are located throughout the notional building volume, as well as on a perimeter zone. An important aspect of our analytic solution considers the observation points as being in the far field of the individual radiating elements, with the gain normalized by the system input power. The initial analytic and simulation results lead to the following general conclusions. First, a system of wireless devices, appropriately controlled, can increase the communication capability within a building by optimizing the directivity of electromagnetic radiation. Second, the emergency responder can move throughout the building and surrounding area, and receive similar benefit from the array of elements. Third, the optimized current phase information influences the gain more than the optimized current magnitudes.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1538
Report Number


antennas, emergency communication, ramdon arrays, wireless devices


Young, W. , Kuester, E. and Holloway, C. (2005), Optimized Arbitrary Wireless Device Arrays for Emergency Response Communications, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2005, Updated November 10, 2018