Determination of rainfall parameters for specific attenuation due to rain for different integration times for terrestrial line-of-sight links in South Africa.
Currently, there have been large demand for end-user services that use large bandwidths, while requiring best throughputs; these requirements are often not realistic because of meagre allocation of radio resources. Consequently, for many networks, the traditional option of migrating to higher frequency bands in the microwave and millimeter wave spectrum (3-300 GHz) is often the immediate solution. However, this option suffers a huge drawback most especially at geographical locations which experience signal deterioration from larger levels of hydrometeors (presence of water in the atmosphere). More importantly, the influence of ubiquitous hydrometeors such as precipitation, is reputed to be a major constraint to communication links between base stations at microwave and millimeter bands. This often cripples many radio networks, as a result of incessant and spontaneous outages experienced during rainfall events. Therefore, there is need for radio system engineers to acquire sufficient information on effects of rain in a particular locality for planning and design of reliable communication links. In this work, the choice of approaching this problem tallies with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) concept of rainfall rate point estimation but with emphasis on measurements at lower integration time of 30-seconds. This dissertation considers local rainfall rate measurements from 10 locations across South Africa at 5-minute integration time as obtained from South African Weather Services. Using rainfall measurements at one-minute and 30-second data from the coastal city of Durban (29°52’S, 30°58’E), various rainfall rate conversion models are obtained for these selected locations by applying rainfall statistics at higher integration time. Power-law functions obtained over South Africa reveals that rainfall statistics at 30-second integration time provides more information compared with one-minute and 5-minute integration times. In addition, a comparison of these results with ITU-R estimations have shown a close agreement with rainfall rates at 99.99% availability at the investigated locations. Furthermore, a comparison of rainfall Drop Size Distribution (DSD) at 30-second and one-minute integration time over Durban is undertaken to establish temporal variability in disdrometer measurements. These variations are compared using statistical DSD models of lognormal and modified gamma distributions with two parameter estimation techniques: Method of Moments (MM) and Method of Maximum Likelihood (ML). Datasets employed are subset rainfall measurements with seasonal cycles comprising of summer, autumn, winter and spring, and on lumped yearly basis. Finally, investigations of the effects of rainfall integration time on rainfall attenuation are compared over Durban using one-minute and 30-second data. For this purpose, Mie scattering theory is employed to calculate the power-law coefficients and the frequency dependency of rainfall measurements at 30-seconds integration time.