Theoretical and numerical assessment of maximally allowable power-density averaging area for conservative electromagnetic exposure assessment above 6 GHz

Bioelectromagnetics. 2018 Dec;39(8):617-630. doi: 10.1002/bem.22147. Epub 2018 Nov 1.


The objective of this paper is to determine a maximum averaging area for power density (PD) that limits the maximum temperature increase to a given threshold for frequencies above 6 GHz. This maximum area should be conservative for any transmitter at any distance >2 mm from the primary transmitting antennas or secondary field-generating sources. To derive a generically valid maximum averaging area, an analytical approximation for the peak temperature increase caused by localized exposure was derived. The results for a threshold value of 1 K temperature rise were validated against simulations of a series of sources composed of electrical and magnetic elements (dipoles, slots, patches, and arrays) that represented the spectrum of relevant transmitters. The validation was successful for frequencies in which the power deposition occurred superficially (i.e., >10 GHz). In conclusion, the averaging area for a PD limit of 10 W/m2 that conservatively limits the temperature increase in the skin to less than 1 K at any distance >2 mm from the transmitters is frequency dependent, increases with distance, and ranges from 3 cm2 at <10 GHz to 1.9 cm2 at 100 GHz. In the far-field, the area depends additionally on distance and the antenna array aperture. The correlation was found to be worse at lower frequencies (<10 GHz) and very close to the source, the systematic evaluation of which is part of another study to investigate the effect of different coupling mechanisms in the reactive near-field on the ratio of temperature increase to incident power density. The presented model can be directly applied to any other PD and temperature thresholds. Bioelectromagnetics. 39:617-630, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: 5G; averaging area; exposure safety; power density; standardization.

MeSH terms

  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Radiation Exposure / analysis*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Temperature