The k Factor in Microwave Link Planning (23rd Sep)
Webinar Recorded: 23rd September 2021
When planning a microwave link it is imperative to ensure there is sufficient clearance between the main bore of the radio signal and any obstacles along the radio path.
There are various rules and guidelines defining what is meant by sufficient clearance - they may be set by a national spectrum management authority, in-house criteria, or recommended by a body such as the ITU-R. All of them, however, require the radio planner to apply the relevant k factor associated with the chosen clearance criteria and model.
It is therefore paramount that the radio planner fully understands the function of the k factor, how it is derived, how meteorological conditions cause it to vary, and how these variations impact clearance and fading.
The k factor also plays a role in allowing the radio planner to identify any areas along the path that may cause the signal to be reflected. These reflections may result in undesirable multipath fading at the receiver which, in turn, may negatively impact the required link reliability objectives. Indeed, it may be the case that the reflections impair the reliability objectives to such a degree that the deployment of space diversity is required. If space diversity is required, it is important that the radio planner calculates the optimum spacing between the main and the diversity antenna(s) to ensure the link reliability objectives are met, and again the k factor has a role to play.
In this webinar, we’ll define the k factor and discuss its role in calculating path clearance, identifying reflection areas, and optimising antenna spacing in diversity systems.
Webinar Speaker: Karl Van Heeswijk
Karl is an experienced training specialist in radio theory, point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and mobile systems.