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A Prototype Antenna for Total RF Field Measurement

Report ID: 
NTIA Technical Report TR-12-483
October 03, 2011
J. Wayde Allen

Abstract: The total radio frequency (RF) field strength is the sum of all signals incident at a given location. These signals can originate from many directions and have various polarizations. This complicates the measurement of the total RF field since commonly used antennas (dipoles, whips, etc.) respond to signals coming from a specific direction and with a specific polarization. This paper describes a prototype antenna constructed from three crossed dipole elements. The output from these three dipole elements can be used to detect signals having arbitrary polarization, and arriving from any direction. This makes it possible to perform real-time measurement of the total RF field.

Keywords: antenna; crossed dipole; electromagnetic; electro-space; environment; noise; polarization; radio; RF; spectrum survey; Table Mountain

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