FHSS – Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum

Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) is one of two types of spread spectrum radio, the other being direct-sequence spread spectrum. FHSS is a transmission technology used in LAWN transmissions where the data signal is modulated with a narrowband carrier signal that “hops” in a random but predictable sequence from frequency to frequency as a function of time over a wide band of frequencies.

The signal energy is spread in time domain rather than chopping each bit into small pieces in the frequency domain. This technique reduces interference because a signal from a narrowband system will only affect the spread spectrum signal if both are transmitting at the same frequency at the same time. If synchronized properly, a single logical channel is maintained.

The transmission frequencies are determined by a spreading, or hopping, code. The receiver must be set to the same hopping code and must listen to the incoming signal at the right time and correct frequency in order to properly receive the signal. Current FCC regulations require manufacturers to use 75 or more frequencies per transmission channel with a maximum dwell time (the time spent at a particular frequency during any single hop) of 400 ms.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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