Online Tool Developed to Assess Antenna Risk

Swinburne University, together with EM Software and Systems, has developed an online tool that will allow users to calculate exclusion zones around antennas where radiation levels exceed safety standard limits.

Commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the exclusion zone calculator will allow people to conduct safety assessments of transmitting antennas, such as those found on boats, four wheel drives and in radio communication networks.

All transmitting antennas emit some level of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation. However according to Swinburne researcher Dr Vitas Anderson, “this tool will let people know where it is and is not safe to linger.”

“People who have concerns will now be able to easily figure out the potentially hazardous areas around their antenna and steer clear,” he said.

To calculate the zone, all users need to do is enter the antenna type, transmitter power, antenna gain and frequency band into the online tool, and it will automatically calculate the safe distance around the antenna.

According to Anderson, the tool will make it much easier for individuals and small companies with limited resources and RF expertise to comply with government safety regulations.

“Without the tool exclusion zones are difficult and often expensive to assess, which consequently reduces the level of compliance. The best way of increasing safety compliance is by making it easier for people.”

“This project will provide the public with access to an online tool that is easy to operate and gives clear and easy to understand outputs.”

There are thousands of commercial transmitting antennas throughout Australia that emit RF electromagnetic radiation. Safe levels of human exposure to radiation are determined by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

The online tool can be accessed at the Australian Communications and Media Authority website:

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