Radio Frequency Radiation Safety

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4.5 days online theory plus 2 days in-person practical

Delivery mode

Online for the theory component, then In-person on-campus at ADFA for the practical component



Standard price


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This course provides those who are designated Radio Frequency Radiation Safety Officers (RFRSO) with an understanding of the principles and practice of radio frequency radiation safety and radio frequency radiation safety measurement. The references for the course are ARPANSA Radiation Protection Series Publication No. 3 and Australian Standard AS 2772.2-1988.


Please note the structure of this course will run as follows:

Monday 11th Nov – Friday 15th Nov theory component delivered online via Zoom

Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th Nov practical component face-to-face in Canberra

Course content

  • Introduction to Radio Frequency (RF) radiation
  • Introduction to the health effects of RF and RF radiation safety
  • Introduction to the Australian RF Exposure Standard
  • RF calculations and the application of the exposure standard to continuous wave and pulsed RF sources
  • RF radiation test and measurement and the computation and measurement standard
  • RF radiation survey exercises
  • Review and assessment

Learning outcomes

Skills/competencies/knowledge that would be gained through this course:
  • Attendees able to demonstrate an understanding of RF radiation health effects, and RF radiation safety practices and requirements, as specified in the Australian Standard.
  • Attendees able to demonstrate competency with calculations involving RF quantities associated with RF sources, and the application of these calculations to RF surveys.
  • Attendees able to demonstrate competency with the measurement of RF radiation quantities.
  • Attendees able to demonstrate competency with the application of measured RF quantities to establish hazard distances and the associated uncertainty bounds.

Who should attend

This course is ideal for members of the Australian Defence Force, or other organisations, who are designated Radio Frequency Radiation Safety Officers (RFRSO).

Prerequisite: Competency with basic mathematical calculations.


Dr Alistair Drake

Dr Alistair Drake has been undertaking radar-based research for more than 40 years. Trained as a physicist, his research interests have been primarily biological. In an 18-year career as a UNSW academic, he taught courses in meteorology and general physics. He developed and maintains the health-effects component of the RFRSO course.

Dr David Low

Dr David Low undertook his PhD with the University of Adelaide’s Atmospheric Radar group, refurbishing the Buckland Park VHF wind profiler. After two years in Japan, working with Kyoto University’s Radio Atmospheric Science Centre on the MU Radar at Shigaraki, he began what became a two-decade academic career with UNSW Canberra, lecturing Physics to the ADFA cohort. Dr Low's contributions to the design, development and delivery of the RFRSO course come in the calculation, communications and radar sections.

Dr Greg Milford

Dr Greg milford has had a 20-year career working as a Professional Engineer in various industries involved with RF electronic circuit and systems design and measurement, and a similar career length as a university Academic, engaged in research, teaching and course development. He's also a co-developer of the RFRSO course.

Dr Robert Smith

Dr Robert Smith has spent 27 years working as a University Academic, teaching Astronomy and Physics, in particular, the Level 3 Electromagnetism component of the Physics Major. Immediately prior to joining UNSW Canberra, he worked in Infrared Astronomical Instrumentation development. For the past 11 years, he has been involved in RF Radiation as an Amateur Radio Operator. He developed and maintains the Introduction to RF Radiation and Introduction to the Australian RF Exposure components of the RFRSO course.

Dr John Taylor

Dr John Taylor lectured in physics at UNSW Canberra for 24 years, teaching across a range of subject areas including atmospheric physics and meteorology, underwater acoustics and electromagnetism and optics. His research work focused on acoustic and electromagnetic instruments for remote sensing of the atmospheric boundary layer. He has been the coordinator of the RFRSO course since its inception and contributes to the practical sections of the course.

Cancellation policy

Courses will be held subject to sufficient registrations. UNSW Canberra reserves the right to cancel a course up to five working days prior to commencement of the course. If a course is cancelled, you will have the opportunity to transfer your registration or be issued a full refund. If registrant cancels within 10 days of course commencement, a 50% registration fee will apply. UNSW Canberra is a registered ACT provider under ESOS Act 2000-CRICOS provider Code 00098G.