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AIRAYA Knowledgebase Path Related RF Issues

Understanding Line of Sight
Article # 330
Title Understanding Line of Sight
Abstract Fresnel Zone Clearance is key to a fast and robust AI108 link. To maximize the throughput of your AI108 link, you should have both visual line of sight and radio (fresnel) line of sight.
Using binoculars on a clear day, it is easy to determine if visual line of sight exists between two points, even when they are miles apart. To have a clear line of sight there must be no obstructions between the two locations. Often this means that the end-points must be high enough to allow the viewer to see over any ground-based obstructions.

Tip: A shiny, reflective helium balloon can be used to pinpoint an end-point at long distances. When using a balloon, you can also raise and lower the balloon to calculate mast height and adjust for line of sight clearance issues that may come up during your initial path evaluation.

If you can not see one end-point from the other, your link will most likely have problems due to the non-line of sight (NLOS) nature of the installation. AIRAYA does not recommend NLOS applications for high-speed wireless microwave links such as the AI108. Links may work marginally but will provide less than optimal throughput and reliability.

To ensure your AI108 link is robust, you also need to check for radio line of sight using fresnel zone clearance as your guide. Generally, obstacles such as buildings, trees, and hills that are within 40% of the first fresnel zone will reduce the received signal between two end-points, reducing the throughput of your link and decreasing system reliability.

You should use the AIRAYA Clearance (Fresnel Zone) Calculator located on our website to estimate antenna heights and required fresnel zone clearance. You will need to know the approximate distance and height of obstactles from either end of the AI108 link to perform the estimation.

When deciding how best to achieve radio ine of sight, one of the following techniques can be used:

Raise the antenna mounting point on the existing structure
Build a new structure, i.e. radio tower or mast, which is tall enough to mount the antenna
Increase the height of an existing tower or mast
Locate a different mounting point, i.e. building or tower, for the antenna
Cut down problem trees along the path
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