The radiation patterns of three versions of underwater radiotelemetry antennas were measured to compare the relative reception ranges in the horizontal and vertical planes, which are important considerations when designing detection systems. The received signal strengths of an antenna made by stripping shielding from a section of coaxial cable (stripped coax) and by two versions of a dipole antenna were measured at several orientations relative to a dipole transmit antenna under controlled field conditions. The received signal strengths were greater when the transmit and receive antennas were parallel to each other than when they were perpendicular, indicating that a parallel orientation provides optimal detection range. The horizontal plane radiation pattern of the flexible, stripped coax antenna was similar to that of a rigid dipole antenna, but movement of underwater stripped coax antennas in field applications could affect the orientation of transmit and receive antennas in some applications, resulting in decreased range and variation in received signal strengths. Compared with a standard dipole, a dipole antenna armored by housing within a polyvinyl chloride fitting had a smaller radiation pattern in the horizontal plane but a larger radiation pattern in the vertical plane. Each of these types of underwater antenna can be useful, but detection ranges can be maximized by choosing an appropriate antenna after consideration of the location, relation between transmit and receive antenna orientations, radiation patterns, and overall antenna resiliency.
Additional publication details
Comparison of three underwater antennas for use in radiotelemetry