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Fresnel zone

You'll hear this in the context of radio transmission, for example when you need to network two buildings by a radio link. The farther apart the antennas, the bigger the Fresnel zone gets - it's the area clear of obstructions that you need for a clean signal. See Fresnel Zone Clearance. A calculator: http://www.radiolan.com/fresnel.html

Thanks to Jeff Liebermann for putting these links in a newsgroup post.

The term originated from optics, specifically the Fresnel lense used in lighthouses.



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"The farther apart the antennas, the bigger the Fresnel zone gets..."

The dispersion, and hence the Fresnel zone, vary with the square of the distance from the transmitting antenna. This does not take into account the line-of-sight limitations experienced by VHF/UHF transmission. Signal attenuation occurs at a similar rate, which is why commercial radio and TV broadcasting demand such high power.

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