SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of radio wave propagation 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
376860  Demonstrate an understanding of radio wave propagation 
ORIGINATOR
TT - Sovereignty of the State 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Sovereignty of the State 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is for learners who work in the electronic communication support environment and who need to demonstrate and apply an understanding of the theory of radio wave propagation for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) or the maintenance and repair on these systems.

A person credited with this unit standard is able to:
  • Interpret the properties and characteristics of the different states of matter.
  • Analyse the fundamental forces of nature to determine their impact on radio communication and transmission.
  • Illustrate the characteristics of waves, radio waves and sine waves and the way they propagate through different mediums.
  • Evaluate the impact of the different layers of earth's atmosphere on radio propagation.
  • Analyse the relationship between the units of measurement of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Determine the uses of different types of antennas and their applications. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that the learner is competent in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4.
  • Physical Science at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Interpret the properties and characteristics of the different states of matter. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The basic particles of nature are identified as electrons, protons and neutrons. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The set of quantum numbers for an electron or other particles of half-integer spin are determined by using the Pauli Exclusion Principle. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The process of ionization is discussed in terms of electron exchange reflecting the difference between a positive or negative charge of an atom. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The valence of an atom is assessed to reflect its ability to gain or lose electrons. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Electromagnetic phenomena are interrogated to reflect their relationship with photons. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The behaviour of electrons are described in terms of mass, motion and energy levels. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Analyse the fundamental forces of nature to determine their impact on radio communication and transmission. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Electric and magnetic fields are analysed to determine their behaviour in terms of lines and force. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The attributes of electromagnetic (EM) radiation are explained in accordance with relationships within the electromagnetic spectrum and wavelength. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Electromagnetic wave theory is interpreted in terms of its impact on radio propagation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The main concepts related to electromagnetic fields are analysed to determine their function, relationship with each other and impact on radio propagation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Main concepts include but not limited to electric field, electric charge, magnets and magnetic material, units of measurement.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The concepts of resistance and power are analysed in order to determine their relationship with the forces of nature. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Illustrate the characteristics of waves, radio waves and sine waves and the way they propagate through different mediums. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Surface mediums, angles and wave energy are discussed in relation to their effect on the behaviour of waves. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Effect includes but is not limited to refraction, diffraction, Doppler Effect, reflection, diffusion and absorption, resonance and superpositioning.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The basic paths to radio signals are analysed to determine the behaviour of the radio waves when being transmitted. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Basic paths include ground waves (diffraction), sky waves (refraction) and space waves (direct waves).
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Inverse-square law is discussed to reflect its impact on electromagnetic wave propagation in relation to the impact of other factors. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Other factors include but are not limited to Sporadic-E, Spread-F, solar flares, geomagnetic storms, ionospheric layer tilts and solar proton events.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Free space loss is evaluated in terms of its impact on signal strength. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The concept of Fresnel zone is used to analyse interference by obstacles near the path of a radio beam. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Natural elements are analysed to reflect their impact on radio propagation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Natural elements include but are not limited to whether (precipitation, rain, fog, snow, hail, temperature inversion), terrain and ground constants.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The characteristics of a sine wave are analysed to reflect its uses in radio propagation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Characteristics include amplitude, phase and phase angle, frequency, period, angle, wavelength, harmonic and parameters.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Evaluate the impact of the different layers of earth's atmosphere on radio propagation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The layers of the earth's atmosphere are identified and discussed to reflect the elements that have an impact on radio waves. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Layers include troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere.
  • Elements include but are not limited to radio frequency (rf) energy, motion, refraction, wavelength, frequency, turbulence, VHF and UHF signals).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The elements and conditions of the ionosphere are evaluated to determine their impact on electromagnetic waves. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Elements and conditions include but are not limited to solar radiation, charged particles, ultraviolet radiation, air pressure, recombining, ionisation, frequency, electron density and ionospheric absorption.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The ways in which radio waves interact with the ionosphere are evaluated to reflect the uses of free electrons and spreading of re-radiation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    An ionosonde as a radar is assessed to determine its benefits and uses in finding the best frequency for operational frequencies in the shortwave range. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Natural phenomenon impacting on earth's atmosphere are analysed to determine their effects on radio propagation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Natural phenomenons includes but are not limited to geomagnetic field (GMF), solar winds and sun (solar axial rotation, sunspot, sunspot numbers, sunspot variation, solar flares, solar magnetic storm, magnetic storms and solar flux index).
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Analyse the relationship between the units of measurement of the electromagnetic spectrum. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Units of measurement include wavelength, frequency, speed of light and time. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The frequency spectrum is analysed to reflect the relationship between the units of measurement. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The specific formulas are applied in the utilisation of the different units of measurement. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The frequency spectrum is assessed for its impact on radio band used in radio communication. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Determine the uses of different types of antennas and their applications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The relationships between antennas, radiating electromagnetic field, applied alternating voltage and an associated alternating electric current are analysed to determine their impact on the different types of antennas. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The isotropic radiator is examined to determine how energy is radiated and the pattern of radiation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Different types of antennas are identified in terms of their characteristics, uses and applications. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Types of antennas include but are not limited to elementary dipole, whip, yagi, parabolic, log periodic, loop, monopole.
  • Characteristics, uses and applications include but are not limited to length, ratio of power density radiated, ratio of power density fed and received, actual radiation resistance, frequency of range, radiation pattern and collection of data.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Antenna gain is explained with reference to ratio of radiation intensity, direction and shaping the pattern of an antenna. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The concept of polarisation is analysed to determine its relationship to waves and vectors. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • The assessment will be governed by the policies and guidelines of the relevant Education and Training Quality Assuror (ETQA) that has jurisdiction over this field of learning.
  • The assessor will (at the very least) be accredited and have a relevant qualification and/or be a subject matter expert in this learning area and at least have experience in the skills specific area.
  • The learner can be assessed against this unit standard to obtain credits or as part of an integrated assessment for a qualification. To this effect the following must be complied with:

    > Internal moderation must be conducted.
    > External moderation must be conducted.
    > An assessor, accredited by the relevant ETQA, will assess the learner's competency.
    > Assessment procedures will be supplied by the ETQA.
    > All assessment activities must be fair, so that all candidates have equal opportunities. Activities must be free of gender, ethnic or other bias.
    > Assessment and moderation procedures, activities and tools must be transparent, affordable and support development within the field, sub-field and NQF.
    > Questions and answers to determine theoretical knowledge are expected.
    > Assessment of a portfolio of evidence.
    > Direct observation in simulated and/or controlled work conditions. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Matter.
  • Basic particles of nature.
  • Quantum number (principal, azimuthal, magnetic, spin).
  • Electron cloud, electron binding energy, electron energy levels, orbit and volts.
  • Ionisation.
  • Valence.
  • Photon energy and photon frequency.
  • Quantum processes.
  • Photon properties and interaction of radiation with matter.
  • Electromagnetic radiation.
  • Radioactive decay.
  • Force fields.
  • Reflection, refraction, diffraction, Doppler effect, light, resonance, superposition principle.
  • Atmosphere.
  • Propagation.
  • Radio waves.
  • Work with exponential and logarithmic functions and decimal scales to reflect the use of related laws in the simplification and manipulation of these functions.
  • Antenna theory.
  • Evaluate factors influencing voltage standing wave radiation (VSWR).
  • International telecommunications.
  • The different types of noise and the impact of noise on radio communication. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identifying and solving problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made when:
  • Identifying how theory could be used in dealing with problems that occur between various interrelated equipment/components of the radio communication system to ensure optimum performance. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation, and community during:
  • Activities to analyse the relationship between the units of measurement of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively when:
  • Evaluating the impact of the different layers of earth's atmosphere on radio propagation. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information when:
  • Interpreting the properties and characteristics of the different states of matter. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion when:
  • Surface mediums, angles and wave energy are discussed in relation to their effect on the behaviour of waves. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others when:
  • The basic paths to radio signals are analysed to determine the behaviour of the radio waves when being transmitted. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation when:
  • The layers of the earth's atmosphere are identified and discussed to reflect the elements that have an impact on radio waves. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    N/A 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  50500   National Diploma: Electronic Warfare  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.