Engineers Explore TV Antenna Production, RF Monitoring Challenges at IEEE


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Two of Dielectric’s up-and-coming broadcast engineering experts have been tapped for presentations this fall at key industry tradeshows. Electrical Engineers Nicole Starrett and Dan Glavin will address audiences at the 2019 IEEE Broadcast Symposium early next month, with presentations that educate and problem-solve on two of today’s more substantial RF challenges: software-based antenna design (Starrett) and next-generation RF monitoring (Glavin). Glavin will present on the same RF monitoring topic at the 2019 WBA Broadcasters Clinic later in October.

Starrett will present Antenna Simulation: Tackling Repack and Beyond at the IEEE event at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 3. Starrett will discuss how transitioning from physical to software-based design processes prepared suppliers and broadcasters alike for the spectrum repack period – and how these now-established design models can be carried into the next generations of antenna and RF design.

“The repack timeline created a unique situation where many TV stations required new antennas and RF systems in a short period of time, and the long-established physical modeling process would create production challenges around storage, testing and design modifications,” said Starrett. “Modern simulation processes eliminated these limitations and reduced design time from weeks to days at Dielectric, thus accelerating the design, production and delivery of more than 900 repack antennas from our facilities. This paper will examine these processes, and offer insight into how they will benefit single-frequency network and ATSC 3 antenna designs moving forward.” 

Glavin will present Real-Time Monitoring of RF Systems Performance at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2 at the IEEE event, and again on Thursday, October 17 at the WBA show. Glavin will discuss how innovative radar techniques facilitate real-time monitoring and VSWR measurement of transmission line systems for RF and IT engineers alike. This IP-connected systems approach empowers users to identify fault locations and other performance issues without expensive and time-consuming antenna sweeps. Dielectric introduced its RFHAWKEYE solution for next-generation, IP-connected RF monitoring at the 2019 NAB Show in April.

“The U.S. spectrum repack initiative has introduced an entirely new generation of antennas, transmitters, transmission line and related RF equipment to more than 1,000 TV stations,” said Glavin. “At the same time, the number of experienced RF engineers in the field continues to decline, as newer, younger engineers enter the broadcast field with a stronger IT skill set. This paper will discuss how leveraging real-time, IP-connected, RF time-domain monitoring methods can be applied to monitor and troubleshoot RF systems of any age, and more effectively discern potentially dangerous system changes that were previously undetectable through remote monitoring.”

The 2019 IEEE Broadcast Symposium takes place October 1-3 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown (Hartford, CT), The 2019 WBA Broadcasters Clinic happens October 15-17 at the Madison Marriott West (Madison, WI).

September 24, 2019

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