GL-08 — Guidelines for the Preparation of Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure Compliance Reports for Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems

GL-08
Issue 2
July 2019

 

Preface

This guideline, GL-08, issue 2, Guidelines for the Preparation of Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure Compliance Reports for Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, replaces GL-08, issue 1, published in November 2010.

This issue of GL-08 includes the following:

  • clarified general reporting requirements
  • attention to guy wire anchor points is limited to installations operating below 110 MHz
  • various editorial changes

Issued under the authority of
the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

MARTIN PROULX
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

SUSAN HART
Director General
Spectrum Operations Branch

1. Purpose

This document provides guidelines to key parameters required in radio frequency (RF) exposure compliance reports prepared by proponents and operators of all radiocommunication and broadcasting antenna installations. While this document provides guidance, it is the responsibility of proponents and operators to provide all relevant information to demonstrate compliance with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz (SC6, as may be amended from time to time) for the protection of the general public.

For inquiries related to the compliance of a site with SC6, proponents and operators may contact their local Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) office.

2. Introduction

As outlined in CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, it is the responsibility of proponents and operators of radiocommunication and broadcasting installations to ensure that their facilities comply with SC6 at all times, taking into consideration the local radio environment.

Compliance with SC6 is an ongoing obligation and operators of antenna installations must retain copies of all information related to SC6 compliance, such as analyses, measurements and compliance reports. As proof of ongoing compliance, RF exposure compliance reports must reflect the current radio environment of the installation. At any time, ISED may request operators to provide their SC6 records as proof of ongoing compliance. Operators have five days to provide the necessary information upon receipt of such a request.

3. Related documents

4. Safety Code 6 evaluation

As per CPC-2-0-03, compliance with SC6 may be demonstrated by providing one or any combination of the following:

  • theoretical calculations
  • measurements results
  • proof that corrective measures were implemented where needed

Note that for broadcasting undertaking, the specific requirements outlined in section 8 of BPR-1 shall be verified when evaluating SC6.

When calculations are used to show compliance, a description of the mathematical prediction models used must be included in the RF exposure report. In the case of computational evaluations, a description of the software used should also be provided. Figure(s) (displaying north bearing and a scale in the legend to indicate distances) clearly identifying SC6 compliance contours should be provided. Near and far field considerations and a description of how field reflections are being considered must be addressed in the report. See section 5.3.1 for details.

When calculations, using worst case assumptions (methodology outlined in TN-261 or other comparable methods), show that RF exposure levels exceed the uncontrolled environment limits of SC6 in any area accessible to the general public, measurements, or the implementation of permanent mitigation measures restricting public access (see CPC-2-0-20 for details), shall be detailed in the report in order to demonstrate compliance.

When field measurements are used to demonstrate compliance, information such as dates when measurements were taken, weather conditions, and whether transmitters were operating at maximum power at the time of measurement should be noted in the RF exposure report. In addition, the measurement methodology used (i.e. time averaging versus spatial averaging) should be described (see section 5.3.2 for details). When measurements are used to assess compliance of new installations or existing installations being modified, these should be taken immediately after the station is turned on for testing.

A description of each piece of equipment used for measurement, as well as the manufacturer's published uncertainty for the equipment and calibration information of each measurement device (e.g. the accuracy of measurements in dB), should be included. The measurement equipment uncertainty must be added to each measurement point. When the measured value plus the manufacturer’s specified instrument uncertainty factor exceeds the SC6 limits for uncontrolled environments, the site will be considered as non-compliant. In such cases, ISED must be informed immediately and close follow-up is required. Permanent corrective measures shall be implemented for the site to comply with the SC6 requirements. The maximum normalized percentage (%) of the Safety Code 6 limit for uncontrolled environments, as well as their location, should be clearly identified in the report. See section 5.3.2 for details.

The RF exposure report shall conclude with a clear statement related to the SC6 compliance of the site (see annex A for an example).

5. Elements to include in RF exposure reports

This section provides a template of the key information that should be included in the RF exposure report.

5.1 Title page

The title page should contain the assessment date, company name, site name where the antenna system is located, name(s) of person(s) conducting the RF exposure compliance study including title and signature, and date on which the report was signed.

5.2 Description of site and proposed installation

The RF exposure report should contain general information on the site such as the site name, address and coordinates. A description of the site location and antenna structure, as well as a summary of the proposed installation, should also be included (see tables 1, 2 and 3).

A description, including calculations and/or measurements, of all publicly accessible locations of interest (e.g. balconies, viewing points, observation decks, parking lots) in the vicinity of the proposed antenna site where the general public may be exposed to higher levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) should also be included in the report.

The RF exposure report should contain an elevation plan or sketch showing the location of all antennas at the site, including all guy-wires placement. It should also contain the location of all signage and access control mechanisms such as locked doors, fences and locked gates. Rooftop sites should include a site plan clearly identifying access to the rooftop and showing the location of each transmit antenna on the rooftop.

Table 1 — General information on the site
General information
Site name:
Address:
Site coordinates:
LAT/LONG
(WGS84)
Date:
Table 2 — Description of the site location
Site description
Structure type (e.g. rooftop (with locked access), water tower, monopole, mast, lattice tower (with anti-climb))
Is tower using guy wires? YES/NO
Owner of the building and/or antenna structure
Overall height of the antenna-supporting structure from the ground level (m) (and above rooftops if applicable (m))
Is the structure shared? YES/NO
Have all on-site antenna systems been included in the report? YES/NO
Objects (e.g. reflectors, guy wires, scatterers) in the vicinity of the proposed site that may affect the RF field strength
Other towers* (broadcast within 1 km and radiocommunication transmitters within 100 m)
Rooftop/tower access is restricted and locked at all times YES/NO
* In addition to the RF installations at the site under study, nearby transmitting antennas can also impact the calculations, especially if they are high-power stations. It is important to assess the full radio environment when evaluating Safety Code 6 compliance. Mathematical predictions and field measurements have demonstrated that non-broadcast wireless stations beyond 100 m have negligible impact on the overall exposure level. Close attention should be given to broadcast stations within 1 km of the proposed site. If it is suspected that there are stations nearby that may impact RF levels at the site under study, these must be taken into account in the detailed calculations. If any antenna systems have been excluded from the calculations, the rationale should be provided.
Table 3 — Summary of the parameters of the proposed installation(s)
Parameters Installation #1 Installation #2 ...
Operator(s)
Type of service currently at the site (e.g. TV, AM, FM radio, mobile, cellular, PCS, 3G, 4G, 5G, paging, etc.), power and technology used (e.g. ATSC, NTSC, 4G, LTE, 5G NR, etc.) (all broadcast within 1 km and all radiocommunication transmitters within 100 m)
Proposed new services
Number of sector(s)
Frequency bands (MHz)
Antenna model/manufacturer and description (i.e. overall dimension, number of bays, spacing between radiating elements, gain)
Antenna patterns (details regarding vertical and horizontal radiation patterns)
Height (m) above ground and/or rooftop to the radiating centre of the antenna
Azimuth (degrees) for each sector
Downtilt (electrical) for each sector
Downtilt (mechanical) for each sector
Transmitter power (Watts or dBW)
Maximum e.i.r.p. (Watts or dBW)
(specify if per sector, per channel and/or per polarization)
Number of channels per antenna (if more than one) per frequency band per technology
Polarization (e.g. horizontal, vertical, circular, elliptical)
Antenna displacement from site coordinates in table 1 (must indicate the number of metres north or south, number of metres east or west)
Note 1: If a parameter is not relevant to an antenna installation, the applicant should enter “N/A” in that field.
Note 2: In addition to the GL-08 requirements for the RF exposure report, the technical specifications for 5G antenna integrated radio units should also be submitted as a separate file.

5.3 Safety Code 6 assessment

This section of the RF exposure report should include the detailed calculations, measurements and/or mitigation and corrective measures, as applicable.

5.3.1 Detailed calculations

If detailed calculations are used to demonstrate compliance, the following should be included:

  • a description of the mathematical prediction models used for calculations
  • a description of the software used (if any)
  • a discussion on near field and far field and how field reflections are considered
  • a technical description of RF installationsFootnote 1 considered in the calculations (using table 3 format)
  • field levels should be determined at 2 m above ground, structure floor, or rooftop level
  • note that as part of the simulation, 2D vertical views of field levels should also be included for nearby structures, such as buildings with publicly accessible areas (at 2 m above rooftop level, balconies, etc. of nearby buildings)
  • a legible site plan clearly identifying any publicly accessible areas (rooftop sites should identify rooftops access points (if locked or not) and show the location of each transmit antenna)
  • figure(s) displaying compliance contours (including north bearing and a scale in the legend to indicate distances)

For two or three dimensional simulations, the following parameters are recommended:

  • two or three dimensional contours at 1%, 50% and 100% of the limits for an uncontrolled environment in Safety Code 6, with distance grids in metres and originating point (0, 0, 0) at the radiation centre of the antenna
    • note that (0,0,0) are the displacements in the x, y, z planes; x (east/west) and y (north/south) are the horizontal displacements and z is the vertical displacement
  • two dimensional plots should include a horizontal view at 2 m above any roof or ground level, or a vertical view that clearly specifies the azimuth of the view
  • generic ground plane image area of 400 x 400 m or satellite ground plane image of 400 x 400 m

5.3.2 Measurements

If measurements are used to demonstrate compliance, the following should be included:

  • date and weather conditions
  • special conditions (e.g. stations not operating at authorized power or temporarily relocated)
  • measurement equipment (description and calibration data)
  • measurement methodology (including consideration to time and spatial averaging and near field environment)
  • measurement equipment uncertainty and supporting document
  • legible site plan showing measurement locations, access control mechanisms (where necessary) and publicly accessible areas (rooftop sites should identify the location of each transmit antenna)
  • table of measured values normalized to percentage of Safety Code 6 limits for uncontrolled environment, with and without equipment uncertainty, at different locations (see table 4 format)
Table 4 — Table template for measurement values normalized to percentage of Safety Code 6 limit, with and without equipment uncertainty, at different locations identified on plans or sketch
Location Measured value normalized limit for uncontrolled environment (% of SC6) without measurement equipment uncertainty Measured value normalized limit for uncontrolled environment (% of SC6) with measurement equipment uncertainty

5.3.3 Mitigation and corrective measures

Any mitigation measures implemented shall be documented. In cases where temporary measures were implemented to ensure compliance, formal engagement and implementation schedules of permanent solutions shall be included. Detailed descriptions of signage and access control mechanisms shall also be included and located on the plan.

5.4 Safety Code 6 compliance statement

A clear compliance statement, which includes all guy wire anchor points,Footnote 2 should conclude every report. Refer to annex A for an example.

Annex A — Example of declaration of RF exposure compliance

ATTESTATION: I attest that the information provided in this section is correct; that a technical report was prepared and information contained therein is correct; that the site evaluation was performed or supervised by me; that applicable measurement methods and evaluation methodologies have been followed; and that the site is in compliance with Safety Code 6.

Signature:
Date:
NAME (Please print or type):

TITLE (Please print or type):

COMPANY (Please print or type):

Date modified: