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MULTI-PATH FADING: WHAT IS IT? COULD IT BE AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR WIRELESS SPREAD-SPECTRUM NETWORK?

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Spread-spectrum wireless data networks are desired by municipal fresh water and wastewater systems due to their fast deployment nature. While these systems offer fewer pre-installation considerations, they may experience a greater tendency for signal loss especially in urban and suburban settings.

One of the primary causes of signal loss in any wireless data network is multi-path fading. Multi-path fading, commonly called Rayleigh fading, occurs when radio signals following different paths arrive and combine out-of-phase at the receiver antenna. Multi-path is particularly challenging because it can occur in both weak-signal and strong-signal situations.

When signals are strong, so are their reflections. In a highly reflective urban or suburban environment, multi-path interference can be a severe problem. Multi-path is commonly considered to be a mobile wireless communications problem, but even in the absence of motion, the changing wavelengths inherent in frequency-hopping systems create the environment for stationary installations to experience multi-path fading. Some channels in the license-free spectrum may have relatively clean signals, while others may suffer from multi-path cancellation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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