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Radio Frequency Essay

5012 words - 21 pages

Facundo HolzmeisterTopic: RF Field EngineerIntroHow important is your cell phone? Can you live without it? It's a wonder how technology works these days and how fast it's evolving. Not even a decade ago, no one had a clue what a cellphone was, let alone owned one, but now it's almost rare to not even own a smartphone. We are getting to the point where it's absolutely necessary to own a cellular device. According to "Cell Phone Ownership Hits 91% of Adults." by Lee Rainie, over 90% of adults own a cellular device, and over 50% own a smartphone. These days, cell phones provide tons of functions such as internet access, emergency assistance, a high end camera, music and even mobile games to ...view middle of the document...

Still I never really found the need to ask him what his responsibilities were, and what he did during his shift in full detail. Now, thanks to my senior topic (RF Field Engineer), I have found a reason to ask and find the answer to all of those curious questions and learn more about telecommunications and cellular networks, with the help of my mentor, Oscar Holzmeister.SearchingWhen I was first introduced to telecommunications, I didn't have a clue of what to expect. On the first day of my mentorship, my mentor introduced me into Radio Frequency as a Field Engineer and I was taught how an RF Field Engineer operates in this particular field and how they assist others beneficially. He told me that his job was to maintain and operate Radio Base Stations. According to my mentor, Oscar Holzmeister RF Field Engineer at T-Mobile, Radio Base Stations (RBS), receive communications from an individual who is placing a call and transmits that communication to the individual who is going to receive that call in a different location. After I had gained a basic understanding of what an RF Field Engineer does, I began to accompany my mentor to his various work stations and slowly but surely, I began troubleshooting RBSs with my mentor. A few weeks into mentorship, I had gained a lot of knowledge on Radio Based Stations, had acquired firsthand experiences in maintaining stations, and had the opportunity to help others receive and place calls in various areas. But even though I had a great mentor, I still needed various sources of research to gain more knowledge on my senior topic. In response, I began to look up research on a basic Google search and discovered that most of the articles that I found, were unreliable or outdated. Due to the small amount of reliable research that I found on Google, I was starting to run out of research and I had no idea where to look--until I went with my senior class up to the Cal Poly Library for assistance on using Cal Poly's database. Once I had full access to the database, I found tons of reliable research written recently by professors and engineers. One of the articles that really caught my attention was " Wireless Regional Access Networks: A Wise Choice for Internet: Connectivity to Rural Areas of Zimbabwe " by R. Mardeni & R.L. Chimheno, stating that Wireless Access Network or Cellular Coverage is rapidly becoming the focus for communication in rural areas such as Zimbabwe, and over the course of many years RBSs become outdated and begin to malfunction, not allowing people around the parameter of the RBS to receive any signal on their cellphones. Through this article, I narrowed my topic down to RBS malfunctions and issues. Even though the source was reliable, I asked my mentor what he thought were the malfunctions and issues of an RBS, and from his response, which would become my first answer, I had developed my Essential Question, "How can an RF Field Engineer best troubleshoot cellular coverage in a city?" This is...

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