Tool gauges antenna exclusion zones

Australian researchers have developed an online tool that will allow users to calculate exclusion zones around antennas where radiation levels exceed safety standard limits.


Researchers at Swinburne University, working with EM Software and Systems, have developed an online tool that will allow users to calculate exclusion zones around antennas where radiation levels exceed safety standard limits.


Commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the exclusion zone calculator will allow people to conduct safety assessments of transmitting antennas, such as those found in radio communication networks.


To calculate the zone, all the user needs to do is enter the antenna type, transmitter power, antenna gain and frequency band into the online tool. It will then automatically calculate the safe distance around the antenna.


‘Without the tool, exclusion zones are difficult and often expensive to assess, which consequently reduces the level of compliance,’ said Swinburne researcher Dr Vitas Anderson.


There are thousands of commercial transmitting antennas throughout Australia that emit radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation. Safe levels of human exposure to radiation are determined by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.


The online tool can be accessed at the Australian Communications and Media Authority website at http://www.acma.gov.au/ExclusionZoneCalculator/Default.aspx.