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Dielectric Applauds FCC NPRM Approval of AI-Based Directional FM Antenna Pattern Verification

Commission unanimously approves Dielectric’s Petition for Rulemaking to establish computational directional FM antenna pattern modeling for radio broadcasters

RAYMOND, Maine, June 1, 2022 — Dielectric today applauds the FCC’s unanimous 4-0 NPRM approval to permit directional FM antenna modeling with computational methods. The new rule will allow FM broadcasters to transition from physical modeling to a more efficient, economical and accurate simulated modeling procedure.

The approval indicates that the FCC views computer simulation as an acceptable method to validate the radiation patterns of directional FM antennas, and represents the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years.

In preparation for the ruling, Dielectric has been developing AI processes to fully automate the optimization of FM antenna geometry for each project. Dielectric’s AI-based innovations will ensure that the geometry for each installation will best fit the broadcaster’s desired radiation patterns while maintaining FCC compliance.

“May 19th, 2022 was a monumental day for FM broadcasters. The FCC adopting new rules allowing the use of computer modeling changes the rules for FM antenna modeling, which for decades has required broadcasters to build physical models and collect measured data to verify antenna patterns,” said Keith Pelletier, President of Dielectric.

Pelletier adds that the rule change will ease product to market timelines, helping broadcasters upgrade facilities quickly. In addition, he notes that the increased accuracy and the ability to run infinite patterns to maximize on FCC protections will allow broadcasters ease of mind.

“They can now have confidence that they are getting the best possible solution, all while not having to wait the traditional timelines for range testing and optimizing,” said Pelletier. “Our trials of AI scripts have proven that we can completely optimize the geometry and not be compromised by time constraints. By simultaneously solving combinations of parasitics, pattern shapers and radiator locations, AI has replaced the slow, inaccurate and limited process of trial and error. We no longer have to settle for being ‘close enough’ when it comes to pattern verification.”

“At the end of the day their listeners will benefit from this rule change,” he continued.  “Dielectric sees this change as significant in the history of FM, and is fully prepared to help all broadcasters seek the best possible solution.”

Dielectric first disclosed the Petition for Rulemaking, written with leading broadcast consultancy Merrill Weiss Group, in September. The filing, which contains all relevant technical information, is available at www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/1061557929592.

About Dielectric

Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. Now celebrating its 77th year of operation, the company builds and delivers antennas and RF systems optimized for every TV and FM radio broadcast need since 1942. Dielectric is an innovative, customer-centric organization with a long history of engineering excellence in designing and manufacturing high-quality broadcast solutions. As a trust partner of broadcasters worldwide, Dielectric maintains its legacy of advanced, precision RF solutions while building in features that prepare broadcasters for the future. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com

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