Experimental Procedure for Fifth Generation (5G) Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Measurement and Maximum Power Extrapolation for Human Exposure Assessment

The fifth generation (5G) technology has been conceived to cover multiple usage scenarios from enhanced mobile broadband to ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) to massive machine type communications. However, the implementation of this new technology is causing increasing concern over the possible impact on health and safety arising from exposure to electromagnetic field radiated by 5G systems, making imperative the development of accurate electromagnetic field (EMF) measurement techniques and protocols. Measurement techniques used to assess the compliance with EMF exposure limits are object to international regulation. The basic principle of the assessment is to measure the power received from a constant radio frequency source, typically a pilot signal, and to apply a proper extrapolation factor. This kind of approach is standardized for 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies, but is still under investigation for 5G technology. Indeed, the use of flexible numerologies and advanced Time Division Duplexing (TDD) and spatial multiplexing techniques, such as beam sweeping and Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), requires the definition of new procedures and protocols for EMF measurement of 5G signals. In this paper a procedure for an accurate estimation of the instant maximum power received from a 5G source is proposed. The extrapolation technique is based on the introduction of proper factors that take into account the effect of the TDD and of the sweep beam in the measured value of the 5G signal level. Preliminary experimental investigation, based on code domain measurement of appropriate broadcast channels, and carried out in a controlled environment are reported, confirming the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
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