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Effective radiated power

Definition of directional radio frequency power / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Effective radiated power (ERP), synonymous with equivalent radiated power, is an IEEE standardized definition of directional radio frequency (RF) power, such as that emitted by a radio transmitter. It is the total power in watts that would have to be radiated by a half-wave dipole antenna to give the same radiation intensity (signal strength or power flux density in watts per square meter) as the actual source antenna at a distant receiver located in the direction of the antenna's strongest beam (main lobe). ERP measures the combination of the power emitted by the transmitter and the ability of the antenna to direct that power in a given direction. It is equal to the input power to the antenna multiplied by the gain of the antenna. It is used in electronics and telecommunications, particularly in broadcasting to quantify the apparent power of a broadcasting station experienced by listeners in its reception area.

Illustration of definition of equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP). The axes have units of signal strength in decibels. is the radiation pattern of a given transmitter driving a directional antenna. It radiates a far field signal strength of in its direction of maximum radiation (main lobe) along the z-axis. The green sphere is the radiation pattern of an ideal isotropic antenna that radiates the same maximum signal strength as the directive antenna does. The transmitter power that would have to be applied to the isotropic antenna to radiate this much power is the EIRP.

An alternate parameter that measures the same thing is effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP). Effective isotropic radiated power is the hypothetical power that would have to be radiated by an isotropic antenna to give the same ("equivalent") signal strength as the actual source antenna in the direction of the antenna's strongest beam. The difference between EIRP and ERP is that ERP compares the actual antenna to a half-wave dipole antenna, while EIRP compares it to a theoretical isotropic antenna. Since a half-wave dipole antenna has a gain of 1.64 (or 2.15 dB) compared to an isotropic radiator, if ERP and EIRP are expressed in watts their relation is

If they are expressed in decibels