Important Terms to Know About Microwave Communications Equipment and Systems When you think of microwave communications equipment and systems, you may be tempted to think of the popular household appliance that cooks and defrosts food. But in this instance, microwave communication involves the transmission of signals through radio using microwave towers. This type of communication is known as a “line of sight” communication, as no objects can obstruct the transmission of data between the towers. Otherwise, there will be a disruption in the signals being sent. Familiarize yourself with these important terms about microwave communications equipment and systems:
Point to Point: A term in telecommunications that involves the connection between two points. For example, a telephone call involves two parties, with a direct connection between the two, where the caller’s voice can only be heard by the other caller. In contrast, point to multi-point communication involves multiple nodes receiving information transmitted by one node. Examples include two-way radios and leased lines.
Backhaul: Part of a telecommunications network, this portion of the network is made up of links between the backbone network and smaller subnetworks.
Parabolic Antenna: A type of antenna used to direct microwaves in narrow beams for the purpose of point-to-point communication links. It uses a parabolic reflector to achieve its purpose. For narrow beamwidths, the reflector must be larger than the radio waves’ wavelengths.
Microwave Radio Relay: A technology that allows for the transmitting of both digital and analog signals. Examples include long-distance telephone calls and TV programs. Microwaves are transmitted between two locations through the use of directional antennas to create a fixed radio connection between the two points.