Rain cell size attenuation modelling for terrestrial and satellite radio links.
There is need to improve prediction results in rain attenuation in order to achieve reliable wireless communication systems. Existing models require improvements or we need fresh approaches. This dissertation presents a model of rain attenuation prediction for terrestrial and satellite radio links based on a novel approach. This approach postulates that the difference in rain attenuation for various locations is attributed to the dissimilar rain drop sizes and rain cell diameter sizes and that cell sizes derived from local measurements would depict the true nature of rain cells better than the cells derived from long term rain data gathered from different climates. Therefore all other link parameters used in the attenuation equation are presented by the use of mathematical analysis; but the rain cell size is derived from local rain rate measurements. The physical link aspects considered in the mathematical attenuation model are: the Fresnel ellipsoid of the link path, the effect of elevation angle, the rain cell diameter size and the shape of growth of rain rates in the cell. The effect of the elevation angle of the link on the scale of attenuation is accounted for through the proposed coefficient of elevation equation. The coefficient of elevation is considered to modify the size of the rain cell diameter in proportion to the elevation angle of the link and the rain rate growth is taken to be of the truncated-Gaussian form. On the other hand, the rain cell diameter is derived from rain rate measurements as a power law model and substituted in the attenuation expression. The rain cell size model evaluated in this dissertation is based on point rain rate measurement data from the disdrometer located at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The “Synthetic Storm” technique is applied to develop the rain cell diameter distributions and the rain cell diameter model. In addition, the impact of the rain cell diameter size model in site diversity and cellular network-area planning for the region is discussed. To validate the model for terrestrial links, attenuation data collected from Durban, South Africa is used while that for satellite links, attenuation data from 15 links which are located in tropical climatic zones are used. In each case, the new model is tested against some well-known global rain attenuation prediction models including the standard ITU-R models. The performance of the proposed models for the sampled radio links based on error estimations shows that improvements have been achieved and may be regarded as a universal tropical model especially for satellite links.