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# Planning a Microwave Link: It’s Not Just Line of Sight!

Ben Evans, P.E. Evans Engineering Solutions Broadcasters Clinic, Middleton, WI October 10, 2012

Topics we will cover:
 Some theory  Making sure you have a clear path (including the Fresnel Zone!)  Accounting for propagation conditions  Setting your fade margin  Adding up your gains and losses  What to watch out for  A few ways to improve performance

Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight!

Source: Lehpamer, H., Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning, Design, and Deployment (Second Edition), McGraw-Hill, 2010. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight!

6 + 20 log Dmi + 20 log fGHz Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .44 + 20 log Dkm + 20 log fGHz or FSLdB = 96.Consider a signal from a transmit point to a receive point: The free space path loss (FSL) is: FSLdB = 92.

at any point along the path (in meters): R = 17.Z. for map overlays). To simplify.g.66 SQRT(Dkm/fGHz) Rule of thumb for clearance is 60% of the F.Z. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . Radius. we can use Rmax over entire path (e.Z.For “Fresnel clearance” of a microwave link.. Radius at the path midpoint (where it’s at maximum): Rmax = 8. we consider the calculated 1st Fresnel Zone: Optical line-of-sight Radius of F.3 SQRT[d1d2/fGHz (d1+d2)] F.

The path and F. should be plotted on a terrain profile graph with earth curvature.Z. using earth radius factor (K) of 4/3 Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . There are many software programs available for this. Path profile for a 950 MHz link.

Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .0 means the beam is bent upwards.What’s this “K-factor” in path studies about? The K-factor takes into account the refractivity in the atmosphere which bends the beam either up or down. the bending of the beam either up or down makes it appear as though the radius of the earth is less than or greater than the true radius.0 means the beam is bent towards the earth. <1. A K-factor of >1. K = effective earth radius/true earth radius In effect.

 K-factor of 4/3 (or 1. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . however. K can be as low as 0.5. which allows shorter towers. Lower K requires higher antennas.  In wet coastal areas.K-Factor Considerations  For K>1. the radio horizon is longer than the optical horizon.33) is used is most cases for planning a link.

Going back to our STL path. with K = 4/3 … Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Path is re-drawn for K=1 (true earth radius). Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Now plotted for K = ∞ (flat earth) Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

It’s also possible to plot a microwave link in Google Earth. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Z.Microwave beam shown as cylinder with radius of 1st F. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

RFF = 2D2/λ [ft] Where D is the largest dimension of the antenna in feet and λ is the wavelength in feet. the microwave antenna should be clear of any RFconductive objects within a horizontal spacing equal to the distance to the end of the near-field. For example. a 4-ft dish operating at 6 GHz has a near-field distance of 195 feet. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .If possible.

Fading A random increase in path loss caused by unusual propagation conditions Multipath Fading the dominant fading factor < 10 GHz and is dependent on the following factors:  Distance of path  Frequency  Climate  Terrain Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Inland temperate regions are somewhere in between.  Less fading in irregular.Characteristics of multipath fading in different regions: Least amount of fading over dry. hilly terrain or forests (less reflections). Higher fading in flat terrain (such as deserts & lakes) due to increased incidence of reflections. Worst fading over hot and humid coastal areas. mountainous areas.     Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

How to set a multipath fade margin (MFM)? First. This is only one factor in overall system reliability however. From Barnett/Vigants model: MFM = -10LOG[(1-PR)/(2.5x10-6abfD3)] Where: PR = fraction of time of path unavailability a = terrain factor b = climate factor f = frequency in GHz D = path length in miles Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . decide on a propagation reliability (PR) over time.

Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

DoD recommends 6 dB though more would be appropriate for higher-gain dishes  Atmospheric absorption – only consider water vapor between 15 and 30 GHz. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . peaks at 22 GHz. very complex problem to quantify  Equipment aging – includes antenna misalignment.Other factors added to the fade margin  Rain fade – significant for >6 GHz and long paths.2 dB/km Use of multipath fade margin alone (plus allowance for rain > 10 GHz) is usually appropriate for gross planning below 20 GHz. estimate 0.

Estimated Rain Attenuation (RA) at Specific Frequencies for 1”/hr Rainfall Freq.6 1. (GHz) 6 10 15 20 RA (dB/km) 0.6 Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .6 2.1 0.

and you can’t increase the antenna heights to avoid them. Source: Lehpamer. of each obstacle and add the losses according to the diagram. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .Z. H.If your path has obstacles in the F..Z. and Deployment (Second Edition). how do you estimate the diffraction losses? From the path profile. 2010. Design. Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning. determine the level of penetration of the 60% 1st F. McGraw-Hill.

H.Putting together the radio link budget. 2010. Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning. with gains and losses… Source: Lehpamer.. McGraw-Hill. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . and Deployment (Second Edition). Design.

Lm Po = Transmitter power output (dBm) Ltx = All losses between transmitter and its antenna (dB) Gatx = Gain of transmitting antenna (dBi) FSL = Free space loss (dB) MFM = Multipath fade margin (dB) RA = Rain attenuation (dB) Lrc = All losses between receiver and its antenna (dB) Grc = Gain of receiving antenna (dBi) Lm = Miscellaneous losses (obstacle.MFM . misalignment.Lrc + Grc .RA .Calculation of Received Signal (RSL) with Fading RSL = Po .FSL . aging) (dB) Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .Ltx + Gatx .

or 7.141.3 dB/km for ½” rain per hour. RSL = 23. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .5 km. A propagation reliability of 99.3 dB below the receiver threshold level. The receiver threshold level is -75 dBm. Frequency is 11. Rain attenuation is estimated to be 0.7 + 37.6 .7.6 dBi.0 = -77.7 dB over the entire path.25. The MFM is calculated as 20.4 .0 GHz.0 + 37.4 .95% is desired.4 dB for that reliability. Assume no combiner or transmission line losses. assuming a terrain factor of 2 and a climate factor of 0.3 This is 2.0 dB. Gain of both transmitting and receiving antennas is 37. Assume no obstacle losses. Miscellaneous loss is assumed to be 6.0 dBm. Transmitter power is 23.Example A digital QAM modulated radio link is to be built with a path distance of 25.20.6.6 .

These have to be taken into account.A few things to watch out for The reliability (or availability) calculation does not include equipment failure or the reliability of your telecom company or ISP that delivers content to your microwave site. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

.Z. Source: Lehpamer. is below the surface. Also. and Deployment (Second Edition). H.A radio link path mostly over water is a received signal cancellation hazard due to reflections from the surface. McGraw-Hill. use vertical polarization instead of horizontal polarization. Design. 2010. Antenna heights should be adjusted so that the 2nd F. Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning. Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .. and Deployment (Second Edition). McGraw-Hill. 2010. H. so link is uninterrupted.Way to improve performance Adaptive modulation automatically reduces modulation rate as fading increases. Source: Lehpamer. Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning. Design.

Source: Lehpamer. Reduces fading by up to 15 dB..Ways to improve propagation reliability Frequency Diversity The signals are transmitting on two frequencies usually separated by 2%. Design. Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning. H. 2010. McGraw-Hill. and Deployment (Second Edition). Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .

Design. Source: Lehpamer. between 16.. and Deployment (Second Edition). Microwave Transmission Networks: Planning.Space Diversity Two receiving antennas separated vertically by a spacing that creates two paths not simultaneously affected by fading. Separation can be between 100 and 200 wavelengths (e..g. 2010. McGraw-Hill.5 and 33 feet). Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! . H. for 6 GHz.

P. Evans Engineering Solutions www.evansengsolutions.com ben@evansengsolutions.com 262-518-0002 Planning a Microwave Link: It's Not Just Line of Sight! .Thanks for listening! Ben Evans.E.

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