The rule the FCC adopted Thursday will no longer require FM stations to build a full-size mockup of an antenna or build a scale model if they want to apply for a directional antenna. The FCC has finally said using computer models is OK.
The Commission adopted a Report and Order that gives FM and LPFM applicants using directional antennas the option of verifying the directional pattern through the use of computer modeling.
Some FM stations use directional antennas in order to prevent interference to other stations or to keep the signal from radiating outside the station’s authorized service area. When seeking a license, FM radio stations using directional antennas are required to provide measurements of the radiated signal to verify their directional pattern. To do this, stations must either build a full-size mockup of the antenna or build a scale model. These measurements can involve considerable expense to the applicant.