Radio Waves

AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio is a method of transmitting intelligence from one location to
another by means of ...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Some of the uses for radio in modern aircraft can be categorized as
follows.
 Communications ‑ Both ...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum
The RF portion of the electromagnetic wave spectrum extends from
approximately 3 ...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d)
The frequencies are divided into
bands which, starting at the low
end, a...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d)
The range and diversity of
electromagnetic waves, or EM
waves, is very b...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d)
Radio waves are produced by an
alternating current that is fed to an
ant...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d)
The polarization of an RF wave is
determined by the direction of the
lin...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d)
All EM waves consist of two different invisible energy fields that trave...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d)
Radio waves are produced when a
radio frequency electrical signal is
sen...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

Frequency Band Use
The usable range of frequencies
has been divided and bands
assigned for various co...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

VLF and LF Band Communication
The very low frequency (VLF) and
low frequency (LF) bands were
original...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

MF and HF Band Communication
The medium-frequency (MF) and
high-frequency (HF) bands are not
only use...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

MF and HF Band Communication
(cont’d)
Signal radiation in these frequency
ranges have the important p...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

MF and HF Band Communication
(cont’d)
The disadvantage of this type of
propagation is that it depends...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

VHF and UHF Band Communication
Signal radiation in these frequency
ranges gets very little ionospheri...
AVIONICS
TECHNOLOGY

VHF and UHF Band Communication
(cont’d)
Very high frequency (VHF) radio
transmissions operate in the
...
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Nav Topic 1 basic radio wave properties

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Nav Topic 1 basic radio wave properties

  1. 1. Radio Waves AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio is a method of transmitting intelligence from one location to another by means of electromagnetic radiation. The first radios installed in airplanes were used for communications and it was only much later that navigational radio systems were developed. Radio systems for other purposes have also been developed, especially in the last 20 to 30 years. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 1
  2. 2. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Some of the uses for radio in modern aircraft can be categorized as follows.  Communications ‑ Both voice and data.  Navigation ‑ Many different systems are in use today.  ATC Radar ‑ The Air Traffic Control system relies on radar.  Weather Avoidance ‑ Used to avoid areas of adverse weather.  Approach Aids ‑ A specialized type of navigation to guide an aircraft  down to the runway in bad weather. Altitude Measurement ‑ Gives precise alti­tude above ground level.  Airborne Collision Avoidance ‑ Warns the pilot of nearby aircraft. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 2
  3. 3. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum The RF portion of the electromagnetic wave spectrum extends from approximately 3 kHz to 300 GHz. Table radio frequency bands: FREQUENCY RANGE BAND Very Low Frequency (VLF) 3 to 30 kHz Low Frequency (LF) 30 to 300 kHz Medium Frequency (MF) 300 to 3000 kHz High Frequency (HF) 3 to 30 MHz Very High Frequency (VHF) 30 to 300 MHz Ultra High Frequency (UHF) 300 to 3000 MHz Super High Frequency (SHF) 3 to 30 GHz (Giga Hertz) Extremely High Frequency (EHF) 30 to 300 GHz AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 3
  4. 4. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d) The frequencies are divided into bands which, starting at the low end, are: very low frequency (VLF), low frequency (LF), medium frequency (MF), high frequency (HF), very high frequency (VHF), ultra high frequency (UHF), super high frequency (SHF) and extremely high frequency (EHF). Radio frequency chart showing the operating frequencies of common aircraft systems: AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 4
  5. 5. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d) The range and diversity of electromagnetic waves, or EM waves, is very broad. The entire spectrum of EM waves includes not only radio waves but visible light, gamma rays, infrared, etc. Common aircraft radio systems are included on the right side in the Figure.  Notice: there is an aviation application for all of the bands except EHF. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 5
  6. 6. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d) Radio waves are produced by an alternating current that is fed to an antenna to produce radio‑frequency waves. Radio waves travel as an energy field from the antenna at the speed of light, approximately 300,000,000 meters per second. An RF wave is composed of an electromagnetic field and a 90o displaced electrostatic field. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 6
  7. 7. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d) The polarization of an RF wave is determined by the direction of the lines of force in the electromagnetic field. The direction of these lines of force is dependent on the polarization of the radiating element.  A vertical antenna produces a vertically polarized wave  A horizontal antenna emits a horizontally polarized wave. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 Simple vertical antennas have omnidirectional characteristics in that they transmit and receive in a 360o pattern,  They are used for communication. Horizontally polarized antennas are basically directional,  They are primarily used for navigation. 7
  8. 8. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d) All EM waves consist of two different invisible energy fields that travel through space. The electric field and the magnetic field are at right angles to each other and to the direction of propagation or travel. Figure below shows the two fields and the direction of propagation. A radio wave has two components, an electric wave (E) and a magnetic wave (H) AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 8
  9. 9. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Radio Wave Spectrum (cont’d) Radio waves are produced when a radio frequency electrical signal is sent down a conductor to an antenna. The antenna transforms the electrical signal into EM waves which propagate outward from the antenna through space. The EM waves travel through space at the velocity of light, which is 186,284 miles per second or 300,000,000 meters per second. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 The basic operating frequency of a radio is called the carrier frequency,  the signal carries the data or information that needs to be transmitted from one place to another. The wavelength of an EM wave is the distance from peak to peak for the invisible waves in the electric and magnetic fields. Wavelength is measured in meters and it is inversely proportional to the frequency. The wavelength in meters can be found by dividing the constant 300,000,000 by the frequency in hertz. 9
  10. 10. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY Frequency Band Use The usable range of frequencies has been divided and bands assigned for various communication and navigation purposes. The frequencies used for aviation communication and navigation are shown in Figure on the right side. Communication radios use highly sensitive and selective transmitters and receivers for two-way communication between aircraft and ground stations or between aircraft in flight. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 10
  11. 11. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY VLF and LF Band Communication The very low frequency (VLF) and low frequency (LF) bands were originally used for radio navigation. Because the wavelengths were in the kilometer range and higher (30 kHz has a wavelength of 10 kilometers, or about 6.2 miles), enormous antennas had to been used. Until today, these frequency bands are still used in aircraft for long range navigation (LORAN-C, Omega and Decca) and direction finder navigation (ADF). AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 11
  12. 12. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY MF and HF Band Communication The medium-frequency (MF) and high-frequency (HF) bands are not only used by commercial AM broadcasting stations, but portions are also used by aircraft for air-toground communication. Aircraft flying over the oceans typically use HF communication because it can travel great distances. HF equipment operates in the frequency range of 2 to 25 megahertz and is normally singlesideband. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 12
  13. 13. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY MF and HF Band Communication (cont’d) Signal radiation in these frequency ranges have the important property of being reflected by the ionosphere. When a radio wave in the MF or HF range hits ionosphere layer, it is reflected back to earth. Multiple reflections between this layer and earth are possible, allowing great distances to be obtained in these ranges, particularly the high-frequency band. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 13
  14. 14. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY MF and HF Band Communication (cont’d) The disadvantage of this type of propagation is that it depends on the characteristics of the ionosphere, which varies widely, especially during daylight hours. As a result of this varying, the waves are reflected differently and take different paths over a period of time.  This causes the signal at the receiver to vary in strength, which causes the output to fade in and out. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 14
  15. 15. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY VHF and UHF Band Communication Signal radiation in these frequency ranges gets very little ionospheric reflection. Communications in these ranges tend to be line-of-sight and over a short distance. Line-of-sight means exactly what the name says the transmitter and receiver must be within a straight visual sighting line from each other. Buildings and uneven terrain may affect the transmission. For commercial use, the lower part of the UHF band and the VHF band is also used for mobile communications and television. AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 15
  16. 16. AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY VHF and UHF Band Communication (cont’d) Very high frequency (VHF) radio transmissions operate in the 118.000 to 135.975 megahertz range. This frequency range is used for air traffic control (ATC) communication and for communication between civil aircraft operated domestically. VHF communication use singlechannel simplex operation in which a single frequency is used for both transmitting and receiving (singlechannel), but only one person can talk at a time (simplex). AV2220 - Aircraft Communication Systems Chapter 1 16

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