A Novel Base Station Antenna Monitoring System - Sponsored Whitepaper

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Berkeley Varitronics Systems
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A Novel Base Station Antenna Monitoring System by Gary Schober CTO and Chair Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc

The bat. The only mammal capable of true flight. This furry and mouse lik on echo location to navigate.

Until now, it has been difficult to monitor and measure performance of a base station's receive antenna because it requires disruption of service. A new method of monitoring a base station's receive antenna has been invented1. This approach provides uninterrupted service for systems operators and constant unattended monitoring of antennas.

For technical, environmental and economic reasons base stations are located in high and often remote places. Lately, there has been a trend to “lease back” antenna sites from providers who share costs by concentrating as many carriers on the same tower as possible to minimize antenna clutter and centralize maintenance. The classic method used for monitoring the quality of an antenna has been to measure the amount of power injected into an antenna and compare the amount of signal that is reflected back. This calculation is known as the Standing Wave Ratio (SWR). Without disrupting service, antenna monitoring has been limited to transmit antennas, where the signal is relatively high, and any reflected energy is still enough to measure as energy reflected. The magnitude of reflections are proportional to the quality of “impedance match” of the antenna, transmission line and source of RF power; a good indication of the system's efficiency or integrity. The greater the reflected energy, the greater the SWR mismatch or antenna damage2.

The principal quantities to be measured on transmission lines or antenna are line current or voltage, and standing-wave ratio (SWR). Measurements of current or voltage are
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