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RF Safety Applications

Important Survey Points

Measuring leak in waveguide

Above: Measuring a leak in flexible waveguide at the back of a satellite-uplink antenna.

RF Safety Surveys & Reports

Some situations make an RF survey the only practical solution. Some sites are impractical to analyze with confidence, and sometimes the people involved will accept nothing other than measurements—they simply do not trust the calculations. Whenever an RF survey is conducted, it is of little value unless the results are well documented. Reports must communicate clearly what has been measured, the conditions under which they were measured, the capabilities and limitations of both the equipment and the surveyor, and what the readings mean.

Every RF safety report should answer these questions:

If all of these points are not clear after reading an RF safety report, the report is not adequate. Somebody that knows nothing of the site or its conditions should be able to get answers to all of these questions from simply reading the report. That is the type of report you should demand!

Everything Starts with the Survey

A safety report starts with a survey. But a good survey is a lot more than just making measurements. Measured values, even when they made in the most accurate way possible, often do not tell the whole story. RF Safety Solutions understands and implements all of the following:

It is very important to know what to measure, where to look for possible problems, and what questions to ask. If you operate a radio or TV broadcast site, your operation and the RF safety concerns are very different from a wireless services operator. If you process semiconductors, the major concern should be during and  after maintenance operations. This is when leaks are most likely occur. RF Safety Solutions is very familiar with most systems that use significant amounts of RF energy.

Every instrument has advantages and disadvantages. It is very important to select the correct equipment for the job, know how to use the instruments and what their limitations are, and understand how measurements can be affected by the environment and the human body. Richard Strickland literally “wrote the book” on some of the most popular RF survey products in use today and has worked closely with top measurement experts and equipment designers to develop an understanding of instrument behavior under various conditions.

Under what conditions could somebody get hurt through a RF overexposure? What procedures and hardware (administrative and engineering controls) are in place to prevent this from happening? Do the workers understand the risks? Are the procedures being followed? For example, how high is the field near the feed horn of a satellite transmitting antenna? What is the magnitude of the field that might be present near a waveguide joint if it were to fail? RF Safety Solutions' goal is to answer all these questions and more.

What a Complete RF Safety Report Looks Like

Our reports are always written specifically for a customer and can vary considerably. We do not use document templates, but we do use lots of photographs and captions. The outline of a typical RF safety report from RF Safety Solutions is as follows:

Two to three pages tell the entire story for a busy executive. We put a lot of care into writing these critical pages.

The table of contents is very detailed and typically shows three levels with executable links.

This section covers what we measured under what conditions. There is a full description of the site with several photographs and captions, as well as diagrams, added as needed for clarity. The magnitude of the RF fields at various locations under specific conditions are clearly illustrated through diagrams or annotated photographs.

This section includes details of the appropriate standards and regulations and how they apply to your organization and site. For example, if you fall under the FCC Regulations, it is important to know whether a specific location qualifies for use of the MPE limits for Occupational/Controlled exposure or whether the limits for General Population/Uncontrolled exposure apply.

What are the risks in terms of personnel safety, regulatory compliance, and liability? What steps are recommended to address these risks? This section covers the risks and our recommendations.

The written reports are professionally edited before we send you a final draft for review so that you can check on specific nomenclature and ensure that it meets all your needs. Changes are rarely required!