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Rain attenuation modelling for line-of-sight terrestrial links.

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In today's rapidly expanding communications industry, there is an ever-increasing demand for greater bandwidth, higher data rates and better spectral efficiency. As a result current and future communication systems will need to employ advanced spatial, temporal and frequency diversity techniques in order to meet these demands. Even with the utilisation of such techniques, the congestion of the lower frequency bands, will inevitably lead to the increased usage of the millimetre-wave frequencies in terrestrial communication systems. Before such systems can be deployed, radio system designers require realistic and readily useable channel and propagation models at their disposal to predict the behaviour of such communication links and ensure that reliable and efficient data transmission is achieved The scattering and attenuation of electromagnetic waves by rain is a serious problem for microwave and millimetre-wave frequencies. The conversion of rain rate to specific attenuation is a crucial step in the analysis of the total path attenuation and hence radio-link availability. It is now common practice to relate the specific attenuation and the rain rate using the simple power law relationship. The power-law parameters are then used in the path attenuation model, where the spatial variations of rainfall are estimated by a path-integration of the rain rate. These power law parameters are strongly influenced by the drop-size-distribution (DSD). Thus an examination of the various DSDs and their influence on the specific attenuation and link availability is warranted. Several models for the DSD have been suggested in literature, from the traditional exponential, to the gamma, log normal and Weibull distributions. The type of DSD varies depending on the geographical location and rainfall type. An important requirement of the DSD is that it is consistent with rain rate (i.e. the DSD must satisfy the rain-rate integral equation). Thus before application in the specific attenuation calculations, normalisation needs to be performed to ensure the consistency, as done in this study. Once the specific attenuation has been evaluated for necessary frequency and rain-rate range, path averaging is performed to predict the rain attenuation over the communication link. The final step in this dissertation is the estimation of the percentage of time of such occurrences. For this, cumulative time statistics of surface point rain rates are needed. The resulting cumulative distribution model of the fade depth and duration due to rain is a valuable tool for system designers. With such models the system designer can then determine the appropriate fade margin for the communication system and resulting period of unavailability for the link


Thesis (M.Sc.Eng.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2006.


Theses--Electronic engineering., Radio waves--Attenuation., Electromagnetic waves--Scattering.