Correlation of rain dropsize distribution with rain rate derived from disdrometers and rain gauge networks in Southern Africa.
Alonge, Akintunde Ayodeji.
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Natural phenomena such as rainfall are responsible for communication service disruption, leading to severe outages and bandwidth inefficiency in both terrestrial and satellite systems, especially above 10 GHz. Rainfall attenuation is a source of concern to radio engineers in link budgeting and is primarily related to the rainfall mechanism of absorption and scattering of millimetric signal energy. Therefore, the study of rainfall microstructure can serve as a veritable means of optimizing network parameters for the design and deployment of millimetric and microwave links. Rainfall rate and rainfall drop-size are two microstructural parameters essential for the appropriate estimation of local rainfall attenuation. There are several existing analytical and empirical models for the prediction of rainfall attenuation and their performances largely depend on regional and climatic characteristics of interest. In this study, the thrust is to establish the most appropriate models in South African areas for rainfall rate and rainfall drop-size. Statistical analysis is derived from disdrometer measurements sampled at one-minute interval over a period of two years in Durban, a subtropical site in South Africa. The measurements are further categorized according to temporal rainfall regimes: drizzle, widespread, shower and thunderstorm. The analysis is modified to develop statistical and empirical models for rainfall rate using gamma, lognormal, Moupfouma and other ITU-R compliant models for the control site. Additionally, rain drop-size distribution (DSD) parameters are developed from the modified gamma, lognormal, negative exponential and Weibull models. The spherical droplet assumption is used to estimate the scattering parameters for frequencies between 2 GHz and 1000 GHz using the disdrometer diameter ranges. The resulting proposed DSD models are used, alongside the scattering parameters, for the prediction and estimation of rainfall attenuation. Finally, the study employs correlation and regression techniques to extend the results to other locations in South Africa. The cumulative density function analysis of rainfall parameters is applied for the selected locations to obtain their equivalent models for rainfall rate and rainfall DSD required for the estimation of rainfall attenuation.