FM antenna manufacturers and users may soon be able to use computer modeling to verify the patterns of directional antennas.
The Federal Communications Commission meeting agenda for November includes consideration of a proposal to do just that. As we reported earlier, antenna maker Dielectric has urged the FCC to take this action.
Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel describes the idea as regulatory relief for FM broadcasters.
“When seeking a license, FM radio stations using directional antennas are required to provide physical measurements to verify their directional pattern,” she wrote in a summary of the Nov. 18 meeting agenda.
“To do this, stations must either build a full-size mockup of the antenna or build a scale model. We will consider a proposal that would allow broadcasters to verify patterns using computer modeling rather than real-world testing. This will decrease regulatory costs and achieve regulatory parity between FM and other broadcasters.”
The Media Bureau has also opened MB Docket 21-422, “Updating FM Broadcast Radio Service—Directional Antenna Performance Verification.”
Read the Dielectric filing (PDF).
Dielectric has said that this would be the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years. Its petition was written with consultant Merrill Weiss. The company notes that TV stations have been able to do this for the past four years.
Dielectric VP of Engineering John Schadler says simulated antenna modeling will be more accurate, save time, reduce the impact of human error and facilitate the accuracy of designs.