Exposure assessment of mobile phone base station radiation in an outdoor environment using sequential surrogate modeling



Human exposure to background radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) has been increasing with the introduction of new technologies. There is a definite need for the quantification of RF-EMF exposure but a robust exposure assessment is not yet possible, mainly due to the lack of a fast and efficient measurement procedure. In this article, a new procedure is proposed for accurately mapping the exposure to base station radiation in an outdoor environment based on surrogate modeling and sequential design, an entirely new approach in the domain of dosimetry for human RF exposure. We tested our procedure in an urban area of about 0.04 km2 for Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology at 900 MHz (GSM900) using a personal exposimeter. Fifty measurement locations were sufficient to obtain a coarse street exposure map, locating regions of high and low exposure; 70 measurement locations were sufficient to characterize the electric field distribution in the area and build an accurate predictive interpolation model. Hence, accurate GSM900 downlink outdoor exposure maps (for use in, e.g., governmental risk communication and epidemiological studies) are developed by combining the proven efficiency of sequential design with the speed of exposimeter measurements and their ease of handling. Bioelectromagnetics 34:300–311, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.