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By Walter Debus Director of Engineering Axonn, LLC

Technical Memorandum

August 4, 2006

and change the transmitter power to increase separation distance. A typical RF transmission system is shown in Figure 1. Substituting (3) into (1) and then solving for distance yields the maximum distance equation for Free-space shown in (4). a better understanding as to what can be changed in the system that result in greater transmission distance. Furthermore.-and general terrain and environment using more or less detail. It depends on frequency. the maximum distance that can be achieved assuming free space path loss is: (4) dfs = antiLog10[{142 -32. among many other factors. in general they are overly optimistic for most situations. the path loss can not exceed L ≈142 dB without violating the receiver sensitivity. using the example above with a Path Loss of 142 dB and assuming f MHz = 2350. For instance.line of sight (LOS) or non-LOS . The estimate takes into account the situation . (3) Lfs = 32. receive terminal location relative to obstacles and reflectors.45 + 20Log10(dkm) +20Log10(fMHz) By rearranging terms in (3) the maximum distance can be calculated. PATH LOSS AND DISTANCE CALCULATIONS Path Loss is the largest and most variable quantity in the link budget. depending on the particular model. Usually a statistical path loss model or prediction program is used to estimate the median propagation loss in dB. Hence. this model is very limited in its ability to accurately predict path loss in most environments. the maximum path loss can be derived as shown in (2).DOC# 8545-0003-01 INTRODUCTION For radio transmission systems that consist of at least one transmitter. (3) is the Free Space loss model which only takes into consideration distance and frequency. 1 . This paper presents mathematical transmission models that represent more realistic transmission systems. and what can be changed to increase this separation distance? The simplistic answers to these questions are: use the Free Space Path Loss model in determining trans/ceiver separation. and link distance.5 dB.. measured field data is presented that supports the realistic math models. the remainder of this document examines the following loss models: • • • • Free Space Model CCIR Model Hata Models Walfisch-Ikegami Models (WIM) Figure 2 shows the numerous physical environment variables used to some degree by each of the above models in calculating path loss. The questions are: how far apart can the transmitter and receiver be in distance while maintaining acceptable performance. plus trans/ceiver antennas and at least one receiver there are two questions that inevitably get asked. antenna height.45 -20Log10(2350)}/20] ≈ 121 km. While these two assumptions work under restricted conditions. In addition.The Lfs equation is shown in (3). The distance of 121 km can only be achieved under the most optimistic case of LOS with absolutely no other types of distortion or reflections occurring. FREE SPACE PATH LOSS MODEL (Lfs) . The received signal strength (link budget) in Figure 1 is equal to: (1) R = Pt + Gtot – L For a known receiver sensitivity value. (2) L = Pt + Gtot – R Example: for Pt = 39 dBm. Based on the NIST study. For example. Subsequently each loss model will be discussed more fully. Gtot = 7. R = -95 dBm. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have done an excellent job in documenting and comparing several realistic empirical propagation loss models.

Okumura published many empirical curves useful for radio system planning.DOC# 8545-0003-01 CCIR PATH LOSS MODEL (Lccir) .55Log10(hb)]} 2 .55 + 26.33Log10(fMHz) + 40.16Log10(fMHz) + 13. The CCIR and Hata models differ only in the effects of the mobile antenna and area coverage.82Log10(hb) + a(hm) + K] / [44.1Log10(fMHz)-0.1Log10(fMHz)-0.7]hm – [1.97 K 4.56Log10(fMhz)-0.An empirical formula for the combined effects of free-space path loss and terraininduced path loss was published by the CCIR (Comite' Consultatif International des Radio-Communication.9-6. and Large City.8] 3.82Log10(hb) + a(hm) + B] / [44.9 – 6.R .16Log10(fMHz) -13. now ITU-R) and is given by: (5) Lccir = 69.55 .4 0 0 Substituting (8) into (1) and solving for distance yields the following Hata maximum distance equation: (9) dhata = antiLog10{[Pt + Gtot . Suburban. These empirical curves were subsequently reduced to a convenient set of formulas known as the Hata models that are widely used in the industry.55Log10(hb)]} Example: for Pt = 39 dBm.78[Log10(fMHz)]2 – 18.16Log10(fMHz) -13.9-6.55Log10(hb)]Log10(dkm) – B Where: a(hm) = [1.55 + 26. Gtot = 7.9 – 6.69.56Log10(fMhz)-0.82Log10(hb) – a(hm) + [44.82Log10(hb) – a(hm) + [44.75hm)]2 – 4. There are four Hata models: Open. R = -95 dBm. The basic formula for Hata path loss is: (8) Lhata = 69.R .26. hb = 8 meters. Small City. hm = 1 meter and B = 25% area covered by buildings.2[Log10(11.8] B = 30 – 25Log10(% of area covered by buildings) Substituting (5) into (1) and solving for distance yields the following CCIR maximum distance equation: (6) dccir = antiLog10{[Pt + Gtot .7]hm – [1.55Log10(hb)]Log10(dkm) – K Where: Type of Area Open Suburban Small City Large City a(hm) [1. fMHz = 2350.26.94 2[Log10(fMHz/28)]2 + 5.55 . yields a maximum CCIR distance of: (7) dccir (meters) ≈ 550 HATA PATH LOSS MODELS (Lhata) – based on the CCIR model and following extensive measurements of urban and suburban radio propagation losses.16Log10(fMHz) + 13.5 dB.69.

fMHz = 2350. In a LOS situation where the base antenna height is greater the 30 meters (hb ≥ 30) and there is no obstruction in the direct path between the transmitter and the receiver. In the absence of data. Gtot = 7. hm = 1 meter. The model works best for base antennas well above roof height. 4.20Log10(fMHz)] / 26} Example: for Pt = 39 dBm. R = -95 dBm. Gtot = 7. the WIM path loss model for LOS is: (11) Lwim-los = 42.64 .5 + 0.45 + 20Log10(dkm) + 20Log10(fMHz) Lrts = -16.075(Ø-35°).114(Ø-55°). building height in meters may be estimated by three times the number of floors. 740. The model is the most complex but it has the ability to represent more environments. yields maximum WIM LOS distance of: (13) dwim-los (meters) ≈ 16200 For NLOS situations the WIM model uses all the parameters listed in association with Figure 2.R .64 + 26Log10(dkm) + 20Log10(fMHz) Substituting (11) into (1) and solving for distance yields the following WIM LOS maximum distance equation: (12) dwim-los = antiLog10{[Pt + Gtot .42.354 Ø.5 dB. Where: Lfs = Free-Space loss = 32. fMHz = 2350.0 – 0. 740. The WIM distinguishes between Line Of Sight (LOS) and NLOS propagation situations. yields maximum Hata distances of: 5300. Open Suburban Small City Large City (10) dhata(meters) ≈ WALFISCH-IKEGAMI PATH LOSS MODELS (Lwim) – the WIM has been shown to be a good fit to measured propagation data for frequencies in the range of 800 to 2000 MHz and path distances in the range up to 5 km. R = -95 dBm.5 dB. 2. 0 ≤ Ø ≤ 35º 35° ≤ Ø ≤ 55º 55° ≤ Ø ≤ 90º Lrts + Lmsd < 0 Lrts + Lmsd ≥ 0 3 . plus 3m if the roof is pitched instead of flat.9 -10Log10(w) + 10Log10(fMHz) + 20Log10(Δhm) + Lori Where: Lori = -10 + 0.DOC# 8545-0003-01 Example: for Pt = 39 dBm. The high level NLOS path loss equation is: Lfs + Lrts + Lmsd. (14) Lwin-nlos = Lfs. The NLOS path loss equation is best presented in sections due to its complexity. hb = 8 meters. 1600.

300 1. R = -95 dBm. from the common example used above in each model the calculated distance values range widely. Table (A) shows these calculated example values. Hence.Lbsh . 18 + 15(| Δhb|/hB). what is the best path loss model to use? For instance.45 .9 + 10Log10(w) . it is extremely important to pick a model that is representative of the environment the RF system is working into or gross errors in system performance will occur.DOC# 8545-0003-01 Lmsd = Lbsh + Ka + Kd*Log10(dkm) + Kf*Log10(fMHz) – 9Log10(b) Where: Lbsh = -18Log10(1 + Δhb).5(fMHz/925 – 1).32. 18. 4 .5 dB.5 Δhb > 0 Δhb ≤ 0 Small City Large City Ka = Kd = Kf = Substituting (14) into (1) and solving for distance yields the following WIM NLOS maximum distance equation: (15) dwim-nlos = antiLog10{[Pt + Gtot .20Log10(Δhm) .R . What is the correct model? Table A Calculated Distance Values for Common Example Path Loss Model Free-Space WIM LOS Hata Open Hata Suburban WIM NLOS Hata Small/Large City CCIR Calculated Distance Value in Meters 121.Lori .8| Δhb|(dkm/0. Gtot = 7.Ka + 9Log10(b)]/ (20 + Kd)} Example: for Pt = 39 dBm.600 820 740 550 The two extremes (Free-space and CCIR) in Table (A) are further clarified in Figure 3 which is a graph of the various model path losses as a function of distance. 54. yields maximum WIM NLOS distance of: (16) dwim-nlos (meters) ≈ 820 USE OF PATH LOSS MODELS A good question asked is. Δhb > 0 Δhb ≤ 0 Δhb > 0 Δhb ≤ 0 and dkm ≥ 0. 54 + 0. 0.5). At a distance of 1 km the difference in the two extremes is approximately 50 dB and at 10 km this difference grows to approximately 70 dB.7(fMHz/925 – 1).000 16. 54 + 0. 0.5 Δhb ≤ 0 and dkm < 0.(30 + K f)Log10(fMHz) + 16.200 5. fMHz = 2350.8| Δhb|. Small City. 1.

In some cases it may take in excess of 15 dB increase in link budget to double the transmission distance. Each of these variables was changed one-at-a-time by ± 2% increments up to ± 10%. The Hata model will be used for illustrative purposes.0 6. the receiver sensitivity is the most sensitive variable to change that effects transmission distance.Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex 5 .DOC# 8545-0003-01 Measured data offers a means to better understand what path loss model to use in calculating transmission distance.8 13. Also shown are 100 meter rings that are used to average the measurements. This rule is correct for the Free-space path loss model but is overly optimistic and does not hold true for more realistic models. That is. the Hata small/large city model is recommended for most urban environment path loss calculations. The method of analysis is to change a single variable in an equation by a fixed percentage and then calculate the resultant percentage change in maximum distance. frequency. Note in Figure 5 the good correlation between the Hata small/large city model and the measured data.5 11. The system configuration consisted of transmitter power of 39 dBm.3 11.2 15.0 7. With this knowledge. Based on Figure 5. Given these equations exist allows for a maximum distance sensitivity analysis to be performed.8 7. Repeating this process for each variable provides the knowledge as to what variable is the most sensitive to change. receiver height of 1 meter and transmission frequency of 2350 MHz. receiver sensitivity and transmit power are number one and two when it comes to distance sensitivity. 12 and 15 calculate the maximum transmission distance for the various path loss models. based on Table (B). As seen. Hence. connection losses of 1.2 13. Figure 6 is a graph of the resultant Hata sensitivity analysis. A sensitivity analysis was performed on all path loss models with similar results as found with the Hata model. The CCIR model seems overly pessimistic and the open LOS type models seem overly optimistic. the WIM-NLOS model closely correlates with the measured data. The percentage difference in distance was then calculated at each point. Table (B) lists the dB increase value needed to double the distance for the various path loss models and for the system variables used in the above distance calculation examples. SUMMARY 1 COFDM . Figure 4 shows the GPS map and the various signal strength measurements at various points. RULE OF THUMB DOUBLE-THE-DISTANCE ESTIMATOR A common rule of thumb that is used in RF engineering is: 6 dB increase in link budget results in doubling the transmission distance. transmitter height of 8 meters. A 10% increase in receiver sensitivity results in a 75% increase in transmission distance. the variables that can be changed in the Hata distance equation are: transmit power. receiver sensitivity.5 dB. 6. focus can be placed on the system elements that will afford the biggest payback in effort expended to increase transmission distance. Referring back to (9). a good rule of thumb for urban environments is: 12 dB increase in link budget results in doubling the transmission distance. along with ease of use. transmitter height and receiver height. total gain. Also.5 11. The increase value is a function of the variables shown in Figure 2 with the transmitter height being the most sensitive. 9. Field strength measurements were conducted on a COFDM1 system. Table B Link Budget Increase Values Needed to Double Transmission Distance Path Loss Model Free-Space WIM-LOS Hata Models CCIR WIM-NLOS dB Increase Value Needed To Double Distance Tx Height = 1m Tx Height = 15m 6. Figure 5 is a graph of both the calculated and measured receiver signal strength for the roof mounted system.4 SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS OF DISTANCE CALCULATIONS Equations 4. At various known GPS location points surrounding the building field strength measurements were made. antenna gain of 9 dB. Values are shown for two different transmitter antenna heights. The transmitter was installed on the roof of a single story building and the receiver was mobile.

L. The Hata model is easy to use and has demonstrated its ability to predict path loss with a good degree of accuracy.L. the use of 12 dB is a good rule of thumb for predicting the needed increase in link budget in order to double the transmission distance. Receiver sensitivity is the first variable in a system that should be optimized in order to increase transmission distance. Serious errors can occur by using the Free-space path loss model for all but the most restricted cases.C. A more realistic model to use for urban environments is the Hata small/large city model. Walter Debus Director of Engineering Axonn. 6 .DOC# 8545-0003-01 Care must be taken when choosing the path loss model for predicting RF system performance. For urban environments. Other variables in a system also effect distance but must be changed by a greater percentage to equal the effects offered by changing the receiver sensitivity.

Cl) Total gain in dB L = Transmission path loss in dB R = Receiver sensitivity in dBm d = Distance between transmitter and receiver in meters 7 .DOC# 8545-0003-01 Figure 1 Typical RF Transmission System Ag/2 Path Loss (L) @ Distance (d) Ag/2 Transmit Power ( P t) Receiver Sensitivity (R) Where: Pt = Transmitter power in dBm Ag = Total antenna gain in dB Cl = Total connection loss in dB Gtot = (Ag .

DOC# 8545-0003-01 Figure 2 Physical Environment Path Loss Variables base antenna d buildings hb w b hB hm street level mobile antenna !h b = h b " h B !h m = h B " h m mobile station # incident wave direction of travel Where: d = Distance in meters hb = Base antenna height over street level in meters hm = Mobile station antenna height in meters hB = Nominal height of building roofs in meters Δhb = hb-hB = Height of base antenna above rooftops in meters Δhm = hB-hm = Height of mobile antenna below rooftops in meters b = Building separation in meters (20 to 50m if no data given) w = Width of street (b/2 if no data given) Ø = Angle of incident wave with respect to street (use 90º if no data) 8 .

25% Buildings) 200 190 180 Path Loss in dB CCIR Hata Large City Hata Small City WI NLOS Hata Suburb Hata Open WI LOS Free Space 170 160 150 140 130 120 110 100 90 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Distance in Km 9 .DOC# 8545-0003-01 Figure 3 Calculated Path Loss For Different Models (fMHz = 2350. hb = 8m. hm = 1m.

DOC# 8545-0003-01 Figure 4 10 .

5 dB.4 0.1 0.DOC# 8545-0003-01 Figure 5 Received Signal Level @ 2350 Mhz (Pt = +39 dBm. hm = 1m) 110 105 100 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 0.3 0. hb = 8m.0 Distance in Km CCIR Hata Large City Hata Small City WI NLOS Measured Hata Suburb Hata Open WI LOS Free Space Receive Level in -dBm 11 .7 0.5 0.9 1.8 0. Gaintotal = 7.6 0.2 0.

5dB. G tot =7. RxH=1m) 150% Percent Change in Distance 100% Rcvr Sen.DOC# 8545-0003-01 Figure 6 Hata Sensitivities (F=2350Mhz. R=-95dBm. TxH=8m. Pt=39dBm. 50% Tx Pwr Ant. Gain Freq 0% Tx Height Rx Height -50% -100% -10% -8% -6% -4% -2% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% Percent Change in Variable 12 .

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