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In-situ measurement methodology for the assessment of 5G NR massive MIMO base station exposure at sub-6 GHz frequencies

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

As the roll-out of the fifth generation (5G) of mobile telecommunications is well underway, standardized methods to assess the human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from 5G base station radios are needed in addition to existing numerical models and preliminary measurement studies. Challenges following the introduction of 5G New Radio (NR) include the utilization of new spectrum bands and the widespread use of technological advances such as Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) and beamforming. We propose a comprehensive and ready-to-use exposure assessment methodology for use with common spectrum analyzer equipment to measure or calculate in-situ the time-averaged instantaneous exposure and the theoretical maximum exposure from 5G NR base stations. Besides providing the correct method and equipment settings to capture the instantaneous exposure, the procedure also comprises a number of steps that involve the identification of the Synchronization Signal Block, which is the only 5G NR component that is transmitted periodically and at constant power, the assessment of the power density carried by its resources, and the subsequent extrapolation to the theoretical maximum exposure level. The procedure was validated on site for a 5G NR base station operating at 3.5 GHz, but it should be generally applicable to any 5G NR signal, i.e., as is for any sub-6 GHz signal and after adjustment of the proposed measurement settings for signals in the millimeter-wave range.
Journal: IEEE Access
ISSN: 2169-3536
Volume: 7
Pages: 184658 - 184667
Publication year:2019