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The Fundamentals of Radio Wave Propagation

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The Fundamentals of Radio Wave Propagation

How do radio waves get from one location to another? Why does a signal at generated at Point A, which is several thousand miles away, reach Point B without a complicated myriad of connecting wires? The answer, in three words, is radio wave propagation. Radio wave propagation theory is of particular importance to wireless

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Frequency Name

Frequency Range


Low Frequency

10-300 kHz

30-1 km

Medium Frequency (mf)



High Frequency (hf)

3-30 MHz


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Extremely High Frequency (EHF)




Radio waves travel at approximately the speed of light.  In free space, they also travel in straight lines, thus, in order for them to be transmitted from the origin to the destination, both the transmitter and the receiver must be in the other’s line of sight or the signal must arrive through some sort of reflected path.

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