Near-field electromagnetic ranging

Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging

Near-field electromagnetic ranging

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Near-field electromagnetic ranging (NFER) refers to any radio technology employing the near-field properties of radio waves as a Real Time Location System (RTLS).


Near-field electromagnetic ranging is an emerging RTLS technology that employs transmitter tags and one or more receiving units. Operating within a half-wavelength of a receiver, transmitter tags must use relatively low frequencies (less than 30 MHz) to achieve significant ranging. Depending on the choice of frequency, NFER has the potential for range resolution of 30 cm (1 ft) and ranges up to 300 m (1,000 ft).

Technical Discussion

The phase relations between the EH components of an electro-magnetic field ((E and H are the components E=electric and H=magnetic)) vary with distance around small antenna. This was discovered first discovered by Heinrich Hertz and is formulated with Maxwell's field theory.

Close to a small antenna, the electric and magnetic field components of a radio wave are 90 degree out of phase. As the distance from the antenna increases, the EH phase difference decreases. Far from a small antenna in the far-field, the EH phase difference goes to zero.Hertz, Heinrich. Electric Waves: Being Researches on the Propagation of Electric Action with Finite Velocity......
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