5G EMF safety assessments

We’re often asked about the best way to measure field strengths relating to 5G signals. The first point is to consider why you’re making the measurements.

Invariably by calculation we know that the field strength will be well below ICNIRP general public reference levels so the need for measurement is driven by something else other than straight compliance. This takes us down the route of performing a frequency selective measurement because a broadband (non-frequency selective) approach probably isn’t going to answer concerns relating to 5G i.e. broadband equipment doesn’t have the sensitivity to detect 5G signals in most public locations.

Whilst a broadband meter and probe can demonstrate a low RF field strength environment a zero/flat line/in-the-noise floor result often isn’t useful in allaying fears and concerns. People know the signal is there so much better to show it and put it into context with other signals.

The downside is a frequency selective approach is a little more complicated so fine if you can get away with a broadband approach but be aware of the limitations and think about what you want to get from your work.

The Narda SRM-3006 is able to perform 5G FR1 & FR2 measurements in a number of different ways, within those different methods it can be as complicated or as easy as you need to make it but for most general assessments the process isn’t difficult. IEC 62232 (Determination of RF field strength, power density and SAR in the vicinity of base stations for the purpose of evaluating human exposure) provides a lot of information on the subject but if you don’t have the time for a lot of reading just give us a call.

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