John J. Lemmon; Roger A. Dalke

Abstract: The objective of this report is to assess the vulnerability of telecommunications switching stations and cellular base stations to high power electromagnetic radiation generated by an RF device. Analyses, measurements, and simulations of indoor propagation and the penetration of electromagnetic fields into structures indicate that typical buildings provide little, if any, protection for telecommunications switching stations from high power electromagnetic fields. The front end electronics of cellular base stations are also vulnerable to damage from high intensity RF fields via front door coupling through the receive antennas. Tools to provide estimates of power densities inside of structures and the received power levels in cellular base stations are developed in this report. More quantitative predictions of field strengths inside structures require detailed analyses on a case-by-case basis. The techniques to carry out such analyses are currently available and are briefly discussed.

Keywords: vulnerability; critical infrastructure protection; high power RF fields; shielding; telecommunications switching stations; cellular base stations

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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