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DAS: Getting the Word Out in Difficult Areas

DAS: Getting the Word Out in Difficult Areas

A distributed antenna system, or DAS, is a network of spatially separated antenna nodes connected to a common source via a transport medium that provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure.

As our society becomes increasingly reliant on cell phones, digital media, and multiple forms of communications, the role played by distributive antenna systems has also increased. In the early days of such devices it was common to lose coverage in tunnels, subways, office buildings, and other spaces.

Simply putting up an antenna strong enough to give full coverage in these locations is seldom practical or effective. Initially this problem was addressed with a number of solutions, none of them very desirable. These approaches included leaky feeders, repeaters, and tunnel transmitters. However, beginning in the late 80s, designers developed a distributive antenna concept that allows the transmission of a signal with lower power requirements and very high reliability.

In fact, depending on the application, many lower-power antennas will cover the same area as a single high-power antenna with little or no interference and uninterrupted service with lower overall power consumption.

The basic technology of these systems is fairly simple, but very effective in reducing path loss. A typical installation will use passive splitters and feeders, and they may incorporate various varieties of repeaters to deal with losses from the feeder. The effectiveness of these systems is why they are popular choices for large buildings and commercial structures such as stadiums and underground installations.

distributive antenna systems

distributive antenna systems

The more sophisticated systems avoid cabling these areas while providing the ability to provide coverage over a wide spectrum of the band. While this concept is used with many different communications bands, it is also used in some cases for WiFi communications indoor instead of less-powerful routers.


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