Current Status, Knowledge Gaps, and Research Needs Pertaining to Firefighter Radio Communication Systems : FINAL REPORT : CHAPTER IV: STRUCTURE COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES
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Current Status, Knowledge Gaps, and Research Needs Pertaining to Firefighter Radio Communication Systems : FINAL REPORT : CHAPTER IV: STRUCTURE COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES

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  • Alternative Title:
    NIOSH Firefighter Radio Communications: Chapter 4
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    "This report was prepared by TriData Corporation under contract with NIOSH. It should not be considered a statement or NIOSH polity or of any agency or individual who was involved." - p. 29

    NIOSH Firefighter Radio Communications

    Buildings and other structures pose difficult problems for wireless (radio) communications. Whether communication is via hand-held radio or personal cellular phone, communications to, from, and within structures can degrade depending on a variety of factors. These factors include multipath effects, reflection from coated exterior glass, non-line-of-sight path loss, and signal absorption in the building construction materials, among others. The communications problems may be compounded by lack of a repeater to amplify and retransmit the signal or by poor placement of the repeater. RF propagation in structures can be so poor that there may be areas where the signal is virtually nonexistent, rendering radio communication impossible. Those who design and select firefighter communications systems cannot dictate what building materials or methods are used in structures, but they can conduct research and select the radio system designs and deployments that provide significantly improved radio communications in this extremely difficult environment.

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