Dielectric applauds the FCC’s unanimous 4-0 NPRM approval to permit directional FM antenna modelling with computational methods. The new rule will allow FM broadcasters to transition from physical modelling to a more efficient, economical and accurate simulated modelling procedure.
The approval indicates that the FCC views computer simulation as an acceptable method to validate the radiation patterns of directional FM antennas, and represents the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years.
In preparation for the ruling, Dielectric has been developing AI processes to fully automate the optimisation of FM antenna geometry for each project. Dielectric’s AI-based innovations will ensure that the geometry for each installation will best fit the broadcaster’s desired radiation patterns while maintaining FCC compliance.
“May 19th, 2022 was a monumental day for FM broadcasters. The FCC adopting new rules allowing the use of computer modelling changes the rules for FM antenna modelling, which for decades has required broadcasters to build physical models and collect measured data to verify antenna patterns,” said Keith Pelletier, President of Dielectric.
Pelletier adds that the rule change will ease product to market timelines, helping broadcasters upgrade facilities quickly. In addition, he notes that the increased accuracy and the ability to run infinite patterns to maximise on FCC protections will allow broadcasters ease of mind.
“They can now have confidence that they are getting the best possible solution, all while not having to wait the traditional timelines for range testing and optimising,” said Pelletier. “Our trials of AI scripts have proven that we can completely optimise the geometry and not be compromised by time constraints. By simultaneously solving combinations of parasitics, pattern shapers and radiator locations, AI has replaced the slow, inaccurate and limited process of trial and error. We no longer have to settle for being ‘close enough’ when it comes to pattern verification.”
“At the end of the day their listeners will benefit from this rule change,” he continued. “Dielectric sees this change as significant in the history of FM, and is fully prepared to help all broadcasters seek the best possible solution.”
Dielectric first disclosed the Petition for Rulemaking, written with leading broadcast consultancy Merrill Weiss Group, in September. The filing, which contains all relevant technical information, is available here.