October 2011 | NTIA Technical Report TR-12-483

A Prototype Antenna for Total RF Field Measurement

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

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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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