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ECE 4124 - Radio Wave Propagation (3C)

Course Description

Behavior of radiated electromagnetic waves in atmosphere, space, urban and indoor environments; path, frequency and antenna selection for practical communication systems; propagation prediction.

Why take this course?

This is an important senior level course for students in the electromagnetics and communications area. Greater demand for flexibility and portability has led to a boom in the cellular-radio telephone industry, and recent research efforts by leading telecommunications firms indicate that radio links may replace wires in offices and factories of the future, becoming the more conventional offices and factories of the future. More conventional types of radio communication are used extensively by military and consumer industries throughout the RF spectrum. This course presents fundamental concepts for understanding, evaluating, and predicting radio propagation effects throughout the radio spectrum and in a variety of scenarios. This material is not presented in-depth elsewhere in the EE curriculum and is an excellent complement to ECE 4104 (Microwave Techniques), ECE 4114 (Antennas), ECE 4634 (Analog and Digital Communications), and ECE 4644 (Satellite Communications). Students planning careers in radar, communication systems, or electromagnetics are introduced to fundamental concepts which govern radio wave propagation. This course illustrates how electromagnetic field theory can be applied to the development of practical design tools such as link budgets. This course builds on the fundamental EM field concepts learned in ECE 3105 and 3106.

Learning Objectives

  • Predict propagation effects of electromagnetic waves in the terrestrial, atmosphere, space, and urban environments
  • Compute link budgets and select antennas, frequencies, and paths for radio communication and radar systems
  • Describe statistical characteristics of propagating signals
  • Identify factors that hamper and enhance radio propagation in a variety of scenarios.