RF Awareness Training - Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Course - Safety Issues for Mobile Communications

Background Information

The rapid growth of Radio Frequency personal wireless services has lead to concern over the effects of the electromagnetic radiation. International standards bodies and US agencies are continually issuing revised regulations and setting up regulatory groups and activities to address these concerns.

This one-day course on RF awareness:

Provides a compilation of safety concerns and regulations associated with these services.
Examines the risks of exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields for humans, as well as techniques to ensure the safety of people and critical electronic systems. Stresses modern personal communications systems, including cellular mobile handsets, base stations and other mobile wireless systems. It is recommended that candidates have some engineering, science or technical background, but extensive knowledge of mathematics, physics and biology is not required.


Session 1:

Basic engineering and physics of wireless RF safety

  • Brief review of field theory, electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields.
  • Field and power density measurements and units.
  • Fundamental antenna elements: isotropic element, electric and magnetic dipoles, antenna gain and directivity. Near and far-fields of antennas. Sources of intense RF.
  • Field interaction with matter, conductors, dielectrics and living systems. Specific Absoption Rate (SAR).

Session 2:

Biological effects and hazards of RF energy

  • Induced RF energy in humans from exposure to RF radiation. Absorption mechanisms at different frequencies. Partial and whole body resonances, hot-spots and quasioptical absorption. SAR and dosimetry.
  • Effects of RF fields on humans and laboratory animals. Current research and epidimiology. Thermal, biological and established effects. Electrosensitivity. Measurement and computational methods for RF fields induced in humans. Spatially-averaged and localised peak SAR.

Session 3:

International standards and guidelines for safety of personnel exposed to RF energy

  • International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP 1998).
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI C95.1-1991).
  • IEEE C95.1-2005.Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz.
  • Philosophy of standard setting. Limits for general public and occupationally exposed persons. Whole body and partial body exposure limits. Time averaged exposure. Measurement and calculation of exposure levels. Minimum safe distance. Evaluation of compliance with standards.

Course Tutor: Prof. Max Ammann

Professor Ammann received the CEI Part II degree in 1980 and the Ph.D. degree in microwave antenna design from Trinity College, Dublin in 1997. He spent eight years on radio systems engineering and antenna design for TCL/Philips Radio Communications Systems, where he was responsible for commissioning the Garda Nationwide Communications Network. As a member of the IEEE International Committee for Electromagnetic Safety, he participated in the revision of the IEEE Std. C95.1, 2002, 2005 & 2012 standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz. He is also a member of the URSI Committee for Communications and Radio Science within the Royal Irish Academy with expertise in Commission K: Electromagnetics in Biology and Medicine. He has served as an expert to industry on various antenna technologies in the communications, medical, aviation and electronic security sectors in Ireland and abroad. The roles have included design assessment, design solutions, technological strategy reporting and assessment of compliance with international standards on human exposure to electromagnetic energy. The industrial contacts also stem from several successful transfers of fundamental design research into applied solutions. He is currently associate editor of IEEE Antennas & Wireless Propagation Letters.