A New Antenna Monitoring System - Sponsored Whitepaper

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Berkeley Varitronics Systems
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A New Antenna Monitoring System by Gary Schober CTO and Chair Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc

Monitoring the integrity of antenna systems is critical for efficient operation of a remote repeaters, paging or cellular/PCS base stations and is the subject of this article. A new technology approach to this challenge has been invented1 which provides uninterrupted receive antenna monitoring for base stations.

Terrestrial communication systems such as paging, two-way, land mobile and PCS/cellular concentrate transmission and reception within a 1 to 20 mile radius at base stations which include transmit and receive antennas. Because good antenna height is desirable for maximum radiation over terrain obstacles, base station antennas are often located in remote places, such as mountain tops or tall buildings where accessibility might be limited. 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). Until now, antenna monitoring has been limited to transmit

antennas, where the reflected signal is relatively high powered. The 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. Receive antennas require service disruption to inject a high-power stimulus signal to measure the magnitude of reflections.

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