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I'm trying to calculate the overall gain of the transmitter-receiver system for a line-of-sight wireless transmission.

My question is how to calculate the overall gain of the system. Is it as simple as calculating the gain of the transmitter and receiver separately and then adding them together?

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  • $\begingroup$ You would also need to include free space path loss... $\endgroup$ – Seth Apr 24 at 15:57
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You need to multiply the antenna gains, not add them. Specifically, if the free-space loss (attenuation) is $L_{FS}$, the transmitter antenna has gain $G_T$, and the receiver antenna has gain $G_R$, then the total system loss $L$ is $$ L = \frac{L_{FS}}{G_T G_R}. $$ The system gain $G$ is $$G = \frac{1}{L} = G_{FS}G _T G_R, $$ where $G_{FS}$ is the free-space gain.

Of course, if you're doing the calculation in decibels, then the antenna gains are added: $$ G_{dB} = G_{FS,dB} + G_{T,dB} + G_{R,dB}. $$

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you that's really helpful but I'm a bit confused as to how to calculate the free-space gain that you talked about. I understand how to calculate the free-space loss, but I can't seem to find any information about free-space gain? $\endgroup$ – y390 Apr 22 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ I focused on the gain since that is what you mention in your question. The gain is just the reciprocal of the loss: $G = 1/L$. If all you need is the loss, you can use the first formula in my answer; in decibels, it'd be $L_{dB} = L_{FS,dB} - G_{T,dB} - G_{R,dB}$. $\endgroup$ – MBaz Apr 22 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ Perfect, I understand now, thank you for your help! $\endgroup$ – y390 Apr 22 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ You're welcome; glad to be of help! $\endgroup$ – MBaz Apr 22 at 2:04

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