On the averaging area for incident power density for human exposure limits at frequencies over 6 GHz

Yota Hashimoto, Akimasa Hirata, Ryota Morimoto, Shinta Aonuma, Ilkka Laakso, Kari Jokela, Kenneth R. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Incident power density is used as the dosimetric quantity to specify the restrictions on human exposure to electromagnetic fields at frequencies above 3 or 10 GHz in order to prevent excessive temperature elevation at the body surface. However, international standards and guidelines have different definitions for the size of the area over which the power density should be averaged. This study reports computational evaluation of the relationship between the size of the area over which incident power density is averaged and the local peak temperature elevation in a multi-layer model simulating a human body. Three wave sources are considered in the frequency range from 3 to 300 GHz: an ideal beam, a half-wave dipole antenna, and an antenna array. 1D analysis shows that averaging area of 20 mm 20 mm is a good measure to correlate with the local peak temperature elevation when the field distribution is nearly uniform in that area. The averaging area is different from recommendations in the current international standards/guidelines, and not dependent on the frequency. For a non-uniform field distribution, such as a beam with small diameter, the incident power density should be compensated by multiplying a factor that can be derived from the ratio of the effective beam area to the averaging area. The findings in the present study suggest that the relationship obtained using the 1D approximation is applicable for deriving the relationship between the incident power density and the local temperature elevation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3124-3138
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • averaging area of dosimetric quantities
  • computational dosimetry
  • human safety standard
  • millimeter-wave radiation

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