Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Mohammod Ali

Abstract

Due to the wide availability and usage of wireless devices and systems there have been and are concerns regarding their effects on the human body. Respective regulatory agencies have developed safety standards based on scientific research on electromagnetic (EM) exposure from wireless devices and antennas. The metric that quantifies the exposure level is called the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). Wireless devices must satisfy the regulatory standards before being marketed. In the past, researchers have primarily focused on investigating the EM exposure from wireless devices that are used very near to the user's head or body (less than 25 mm). But as time progressed many more wireless devices have become ubiquitous (vehicular wireless devices, laptop PCMCIA cards, Bluetooth dongles, wireless LAN routers, cordless phone base stations, and pico base stations are to name a few) and are operated at distances greater than 25 mm yet smaller than 200 mm. Given the variations in operating frequency, distance, and antenna size and type it is challenging to develop an approach using which EM exposure from a wide variety of wireless devices can be evaluated. The problem becomes more involved owing to the difficulties in identifying the antenna zone boundaries, e.g. reactive near-field, radiating near-field, far-field etc. The focus of this thesis is to investigate a large class of low and highly directive antennas and evaluate the EM exposure from them into a large elliptical phantom. The objective is to be able to predict threshold power levels that meet the SAR limits imposed by the regulatory agencies. It was observed that among the low directivity antennas at close near-field distances, electrically small antennas induced distinguishably higher SAR than electrically larger antennas. But differences in SAR were small as the phantom moved into the far-fields of the antennas. SAR induced by highly directive antennas were higher when the phantom was in the far-field of the antennas and was facing the antenna frontal plane. The same was not true when the phantom was in the near-field of the antennas. Finally, by analyzing the simulation and measurement data threshold power formulas were developed for low directivity antennas using which power levels corresponding to the safe exposure limits independent of device type or geometry can be estimated.

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