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Radio Wave Signal Propagation Into Large Building Structures Part 1: CW Signal Attenuation and Variability



Christopher L. Holloway, William F. Young, Galen H. Koepke, Dennis G. Camell, Catherine A. Remley


In this paper, we report on our investigation into radio communications problems faced by emergency responders in disaster situations. A fundamental challenge to communications into and out of large buildings is the strong attenuation of radio signals caused by losses and scattering in the building materials and structure. Another challenge is the large amount a signal variability that occurs throughout these large structures. We designed experiments in various large building structures in an effort to quantify continuous wave (CW) radio-signal attenuation and variability throughout twelve large structures. We carried radio frequency transmitters throughout these structures and placed receiving systems outside the structures. The transmitters were tuned to frequencies near public safety, cell phone bands, as well as ISM and wireless LAN bands. This report summarizes the experiments, performed in twelve large building structures. We describe the experiments, detail the measurement system, show primary results of the data we collected, and discuss some of the interesting propagation effects we observed.
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation


large building radio frequency propagation, emergency responder communications, radio frequency propagation measurements


Holloway, C. , Young, W. , Koepke, G. , Camell, D. and Remley, C. (2010), Radio Wave Signal Propagation Into Large Building Structures Part 1: CW Signal Attenuation and Variability, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, [online], (Accessed February 23, 2024)
Created April 2, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017