At its May meeting. the FCC is anticipating amending its rules to allow FM antenna directional pattern verification by computer modeling. Currently, an applicant seeking to license an FM station using a directional antenna must verify the antenna’s directional pattern with real world measurements. This is done by building a full-size mockup of the antenna and supporting structures or by constructing a scale model of the antenna and structures. The updates bring the FM rules into conformity with other broadcast services.
The proposed decision would:
- Give FM license applicants the option of submitting computer-generated proofs of FM directional antenna patterns from the antenna’s manufacturer, in lieu of measured pattern plots and tabulations.
- Set out the information required of an FM license applicant submitting a computer-generated directional pattern, for example, the identity of the individual performing the modeling; information regarding the software used to create the computer model; and a description of the software tool(s) used in the modeling and the procedures applied in using the software, including a description of all radiating structures included in the model.
- Require that the first time the directional pattern of a particular model of antenna is verified using computer results, the license applicant submit to the Commission both the results of the computer modelling and measurements of either a full-size or scale model of the antenna or elements thereof, demonstrating reasonable correlation between the measurements achieved and the computer model results. Once a particular antenna model or series of elements has been verified by any license applicant, subsequent license applicants using the same antenna model number or elements and the same modeling software may cross-reference the original submission by providing the application file number.
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