Consumer Electronics

How does the frequency of a radio signal affect the transmission range?

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Wiki User
2008-01-26 21:43:54

There is a complex answer to this, so lets put up the basics.

First, very low frequency (vlf) radio frequency (rf) energy can

"bend" and can travel around the world (literally) as well as

penetrate water to some degree. It can be received almost anywhere

on the globe. Is that enough range? U.S. Naval submarine

communications uses this phenomenon. Electromagnetic radiation

(emr) can also travel (propagate) via a "bounce" (can be reflected

and/or refracted) off the ionized upper atmosphere (depending on

frequency and angle of incidence), and, to a degree, bounce off

land and water. It can thereby "bounce" its way around the world.

There will be "dead spots" where the signal can't be "seen" by a

receiver - unlike a circumnavigating vlf wave. Both those

eventualities are power dependent, naturally. The bad news is that

if one wants to get a signal from point A to point B, there are

variables that will determine what "band" of transmission is best

suited to the task.

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