I am using 'active radio tags' in a particle tracking experiment. The tags emit a 433 MHz signal containing a unique ID code at a programmable time interval and I am attempting to locate them by surveying a zone with a passive antenna and a GPS.

Is it correct to refer to individual transmission instances (i.e a very short signal containing one 'radio frame' with a defined beginning and end) as a 'transmission'? Is there a more accurate term? Ideally the term would be as brief as possible.

How would you refer to the 'transmission interval' i.e the delay between successive 'transmissions'? I have seen this referred to as a 'signal impulse'.


1 Answer 1


Yeah, a "transmission" is pretty much what I'd call this. You could also call it a radio packet if the data you're transmitting is actually packetized – i.e. data with fixed structure within each transmission and the data then being handled based on that information.

I would not call them "signal impulse". They are not impulses, and adding "signal" to it makes the reader expect them to be impulses in the signal-theoretical sense.

In your specific application, these could be called beacon packets (compare Bluetooth LE beacons); you could call your time period beacon interval (a term also used in WLAN for the interval between beacon packets that access points regularly send to announce their presence).

So, transmission and transmission interval sound good. Depending on how much you want your application to bleed into your naming, you can find other terms – often drawing from analogies to existing technologies.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for the fast and detailed reply! I will continue with the more generic terms 'transmission' and 'transmission interval', also using 'radio packet' when outlining the equipment I use in detail. $\endgroup$
    – Jenks23
    Apr 5, 2022 at 9:15

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