Characterization and minimization of human RF-EMF exposure in realistic urban environments

01 October 2017 → 30 September 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
urban environments
Project description

As telecommunications networks evolve to cope with ever-increasing user demands, so does our

exposure induced by radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). Though in most countries

legislation through science-based limits restrict this exposure, our methods to accurately

characterize it in our everyday environments are lacking in efficiency and are based on strict

assumptions. This research proposal aims in the first place at tackling the current issues by

developing a measurement-based method to predict the RF-EMF distribution in space and time in

any environment with as few measurements as possible. Secondly, shifting the focus to the (near)

future, guidelines will be developed for the development of low-RF-EMF-exposure cities. To this

aim, first, the influence of various parameters of urban planning (such as average building height)

and network topologies (such as base station density) on the exposure distribution is determined

through a simulation study. The final piece of the puzzle is the exposure induced by one's personal

wireless devices. Through measurements of the received and transmitted powers of a mobile

phone in various network topologies, an accurate characterization of the global exposure (the sum

of the exposures induced by the network and by the device) is provided. The combined objectives

of this research proposal will lead to a significant improvement of the characterization of human

exposure to RF-EMF in real urban environments.