Antenna Factor

In telecommunications, the antenna factor is defined as the ratio of the incident electromagnetic field strength to the voltage V (units: V or µV) on the line connection of an antenna.

For an electric field antenna, the field strength is in units of V/m or µV/m and the resulting antenna factor AF is in units of 1/m:

If all quantities are expressed logarithmically in decibels instead of SI units, the above equation becomes


AF_{mathrm{dBm}^{-1}} =
E_mathrm{mathrm{dBV/m}} - V_{mathrm{dBV}} =
E_mathrm{mathrm{dB}mumathrm{V/m}} - V_{mathrm{dB}mumathrm{V}}

For a magnetic field antenna, the field strength is in units of A/m and the resulting antenna factor is in units of A/(Vm). For the relationship between the electric and magnetic fields, see the impedance of free space.

In a 50 Ω system, the antenna factor is related to the antenna gain G and the wavelength λ via:


AF = frac{9.73}{lambda sqrt{G} }

The variable G means antenna gain (dimensionless) and it can be written in terms of effective aperture A to obtain the final expression considering the impedance of free space (376.7Ω) and the load as 50Ω. The antenna effective aperture can be written as A = (λ2G)/4π.

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