Understand Fresnel Zones and Their Potential Impact On Your Process Signal Radio Transmission

wire frame rendition of ellipsoid representing Fresnel zone in radio transmission
Rendition of an ellipsoid, the representative shape
of a Fresnel zone
Most of us have been touched by wireless communications in the industrial process control setting. The majority of the installations are likely to be networks that operate similarly to the wireless network you may have in your home. Multiple points communicate through a network controller of some sort. The facility is flooded with signal coverage through multiple access points, so there may not be much need to consider signal propagation. Of course, this is an oversimplification. The point to be made is that, as an operator or implementer, making the actual signal connection is probably not going to be an issue in most cases.
How would you approach an application with a one mile transmission distance?
antennas and associated Fresnel zones and obstruction avoidance
Antennas with three Fresnel zones depicted and
obstruction that is outside the primary Fresnel zone
Courtesy Wikipedia
An extended transmission distance across an outdoor area requires more understanding of signal propagation and the factors that can impede the successful delivery of your
process data from transmitter to receiver. One concept that may come into play is the Fresnel zone.

I shall avoid any deep or technical approach to Fresnel zones, as my purpose is to provide the designer, technician, or implementer, who may have limited radio expertise, familiarity with the subject at a level empowering visualization of the concept to recognize the potential for its impact upon achieving a successful project. That said, a Fresnel zone, of which there an infinite theoretical number, is an ellipsoid shaped area extending between transmission and receiving antennas.  While we often consider the transmission path between two points as the popular "line of sight", an unobstructed straight line, radio frequency transmission is more accurately characterized by Fresnel zones. Being aware of the shape of the first, or primary, Fresnel zone for your application is an important element in identifying potential obstructions. A general practice is to keep the primary Fresnel zone at least 60% clear of signal obstructions, in order to maintain high wireless link performance.

There are numerous sources of Fresnel zone calculators online, but a strong recommendation to consult with your selected wireless equipment provider is in order here. Combine their expertise at applying their products with your application knowledge to reach the best outcome.