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University of Leicester Researches Radio Propagation

As the demand for spectrum increases, accurate propagation models will be essential to prevent interference and use the spectrum most efficiently.

The story Radio signals research scans new horizons--Study examines impact of environment on communications on EurekAlert alerted me to work being done at the University of Leicester. Graduate student Naveed Mufti is studying the propagation of signals over the English Channel.

“Unpredictable behavior by radio signals can disrupt vital communication,” Mufti said.

The Radio Systems Research Group in the Department of Engineering is conducting a study across the English Channel between Jersey, Alderney and Portland. The research is aimed at analyzing the data to produce statistics that will aid network designers in predicting interference between radio signals. This is expected to lead to more reliable radio communication and efficient utilization of available radio resource, generating socio-economic benefits."

More research showed the Radio Systems group at the University of Leicester had several publications forthcoming on radio propagation. These include reports on high frequency (HF) and 2 GHz studies. Some of the 2 GHz studies are being extrapolated to upper UHF frequencies.

At UHF, propagation is affected by the weather and it changes as the weather changes. I have a report from a viewer in Atlanta who saw Telemundo's KTMD, licensed to Galveston, Texas, when it was broadcasting on channel 48 (674-680 MHz) from a site near Friendswood, Texas. I received the same station myself in a hotel room in San Antonio. There were numerous reports of UHF station interference along the east coast. It isn't surprising there are reports that at least one wireless carrier doesn't see sub-700 MHz frequencies being that great for wireless broadband.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.