Wireless communication relies on a strong received signal for best performance, whether that performance is high data transmission speeds or clarity of analog voice communications. A weak signal leads to higher error rates, leading to a reduction in data throughput and increased noise and static in voice transmissions.
Let’s look at the example of an 802.11g (WiFi) signal. For this example, we want to maintain a 24 Mbps data connection with greater than 95% time availability. The parameters of the data link are shown in Table 1.
|TX Antenna Gain||3||dBi|
|RX Antenna Gain||3||dBi|
|System Noise Bandwidth||40||MHz|
|Receiver Noise Figure||5||dB|
|Total Noise Power (kTB) + NF||-92.9||dBm|
|Minimum Signal-to-Noise Ratio||16||dB|
|Desired Fade Margin||10||dB|
Table 1. Data Link Parameters
Using free-space RF loss and a Rayleigh fading model for time availability, you can expect 0.84 mi from a typical 1 W (30 dBm) WiFi-based data radio. Adding a 10 W (40 dBm) power amplifier to the transmit side increases the range to 2.65 mi, or three times the range of the 1 W scenario. If we step up the transmit power to 100 W (50 dBm), the range increases to 8.4 mi – three times greater than the 10 W scenario, and ten times greater than the 1 W scenario!
Figure 1. Comparison of Communication Range vs. Transmitter Power
With the recent release of NuWaves’ NuPower S100A01, users requiring greater distance from their S-band datalinks now have the option to add up to 100 W of transmit power to their systems with a small form-factor, power-efficient amplifier designed for rugged environments. Providing full output power with only 1 W input, the S100A01 mates perfectly with standard 1 W output radios. Check out the S100A01 today to extend your range by a factor of 10!
Figure 2. NuPower S100A01 Power Amplifier