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Agba and Olfa Ben Sik Ali Institut de Recherche d’Hydro-Québec 1800 Lionel-Boulet - Varennes (Québec) Canada {agba.basile, ben-sik-ali.olfa}
ABSTRACT The fading prediction methods are an issue of great importance which requires more investigations especially in broadband digital systems. ITU-R P.530 recommendation is one of the most used methods providing guidelines for terrestrial line-of-sight links design. This paper investigates the validity of this method by comparing the theoretical predictions with two years measurements carried out in different geoclimatic regions in Quebec (Canada). The worst month outage probability, the annual conversion factor and improvements factors in space and frequency diversity are obtained from measurements and statistics of the data, and show a good agreement. The discrepancies between prediction and measurements are in concordance with those calculated over links used originally to elaborate this ITU recommendation. Index Terms— ITU-R P.530, terrestrial line-of-sight links, propagation, measurement data 1. INTRODUCTION The unpredictable nature of radio wave propagation remains a challenging issue that researchers try to handle by proposing prediction methods that take into account several climatic and environmental parameters. Study Group 3 of ITU-R have been proposing and maintaining actively terrestrial line-of-sight prediction methods through periodic revision of ITU-R P.530. The design procedures and the mathematical basis proposed in this recommendation are essentially empirical formulas derived from measurements over various climatic regions. In addition, many world-wide tabular data provided by ITU-R to support the recommendation give average values of different parameters (such as refractivity gradient, annual mean temperature or rain intensity). How accurate are the predictions for a given region? This is the question, the paper intents to answer. In order to demonstrate the challenges faced in modeling and predicting the propagation phenomena, a brief historical overview is given in section 2. The theoretical basis of the ITU-R P.530-13 is provided in section 3. Section 4 is devoted to the presentation of the experimental results and its comparison with prediction. Finally, section 5 provides a conclusion and a summary of this work. 2. A BRIEF VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF RADIO WAVE PROPAGATION The history of radio wave propagation began with the introduction of Maxwell’s equations in 1864. Later, Hertz produced the electromagnetic waves predicted by Maxwell and gave a description of the phenomena based on the concepts of polarization, reflection and refraction. Hertz also derived a first theoretical calculation of the electromagnetic field, followed by theoretical formulations of the field and radiation for different dipoles performed by Abraham, Hack and Rüdenberg [1, 2, 3]. The investigation into the earth, ground, and atmospheric effect on propagation were motivated by the successful reception of radio signal across the Atlantic by Marconi on 1901 [4]. This successful reception introduced several speculations on the mechanism of radio wave propagation around the earth curvature, such as the postulation by Kennelly and Heaviside of the existence of an ionized region in the upper atmosphere that reflect the radio wave [5, 6]. A mathematical description of the ionospheric propagation was given by Eccles [7]. The first formula of radio propagation was given by Austin [8] based on experimentally data on wavelengths in the kilometer region. In this range of frequency, the propagation over long distance was studied as a function of wavelength, ground conditions, time of day, and season [9]. The technology advance following World War II increased the interest in the range of super high frequency (SHF) [10]. The ionospheric propagation doesn’t have a great effect on SHF. Moreover, in this range, the wavelength is of the order of, or smaller than the dimension of irregularities of topology and climate (rain, water vapour, snow, etc.). Hence, the theory of propagation established for longer wave was of little help for this case. Intensive measurement campaigns have been dedicated to obtain quantitative data of sufficient accuracy to serve as a basis for theoretical work [11, 12, 13]. We can mention the work of Burrows et al. [11] on the atmospheric refraction that leads to the definition of a fictitious radius of the earth depending on geoclimatic factors.

2012 25th IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE) 978-1-4673-1433-6/12/$31.00 ©2012 IEEE

ks is extracted from kns using some intermediate . and hL highly impact the fade occurrence factor and consequently the worst month outage probability.1. pan is then calculated as: pan = pw ⋅10−ΔG /10 3.530: space. ITU-R P.1 ± cos 2ξ −2. 2 and 3. 3.7 ) ) (4) Where. there exist principally three commonly used propagation prediction methods. and ITU-R P. The method is based on the calculation of a conversion factor. For the special case of terrestrial line-of-sight links.7 log d + 1.s and kns. f is the frequency (GHz).530 recommendation [15. link position in latitude and path inclination as follow: ΔG = 10. In this paper. hL is the altitude of the lower antenna and A is the fade depth (dB). the corresponding non-selective correlation coefficients. Prediction of propagation loss.6 log 1. is a central question in the planning of radio services. The ITU-R Recommendations are up-to-date information available on technical characteristics and operational procedures of radiocommunication technologies and services.s depending on antenna gains and their vertical separation. Ins. 14]. kns for SFD. for the purpose of improving radiocommunication systems”. 3. climate conditions.s + Ins. In the following equations.46 (1) K = 10 −4. Sa. Worst month value to annual value conversion ITU provides a method to convert the average worst month distribution to the distribution for the average year. Worst month outage probability The basic performance indicator in ITU-R P.027 dN1 (10 + S a ) pw = p0 ⋅10− A /10 (2) (3) Many improvement techniques are recommended in ITU-R P. Where. 16. Sa is the terrain roughness defined as the standard deviation of terrain heights (m) within a 110 km × 110 km area.The development of radio wave propagation theory and knowledge is the result of the works of many pioneers and contributors.3. In the following. The study group 3 (SG 3) is interested on the “propagation of radiowaves in ionized and non-ionized media and the characteristics of the radio noise.2. _G which depends on the link length. we present some of them related to the prediction of the deep multi-path fading.5 − 5.f depending mainly on frequency separation. dN1 is the point refractivity gradient in the lowest 65 m of the atmosphere not exceeded for 1 % of an average year. and 3 are used for small percentage of time but for all percentage of time A must be replaced by At. such as the atmosphere. Ins. The parameters dN1. and for frequency diversity. Here we outlined only a fraction of them and we can refer the reader to more extensive paper on the subject [10. the fade deep at which the transition occurs between deepfading and shallow-fading distribution [17]. polarization and combined space and frequency. 3.530 recommendation proposes the following steps to compute the diversity improvement for digital systems (which bandwidth is typically greater than 10 MHz). minuscule letter is used for percentage and capital letter for probability value.f . The first step calculates improvement factors for space diversity. This recommendation includes more than 130 equations.s+f ≈ Ins. 2.530 recommendation is the worst month outage probability. ξ is the latitude. ITU-R P.530-13 (established on November 2009). The measurements used in this paper are carried out over links deploying the combined space and frequency diversity technique. the study of radio propagation relies on qualitative observations and quantitative measurements in different environments.f are derived and the product of these two coefficients is the resulting nonselective coefficient. p0 is the multipath occurrence factor. The following sections are based on the current revision. The selective correlation coefficient. ITUR P.4 1 + ε p ( ) −1. The resulting improvement factor Ins. namely Barnett-Vigants and Morita methods. The positive sign (+) is employed for ξ≤ 45.7 log 1 + ε p ( ( 0. Then. angle. As detailed in the previous section. 9. Combined space and frequency diversity (SFD) (5) p0 = Kd 3.03 ⋅ f 0.530 addresses the prediction methods required for the design of terrestrial line-of-sight systems. pw.530 RECOMMENDATION The propagation of radio wave depends on several variable factors. ITU-R P. kns. and pw is expressed in % and can be converted in seconds in terms of unavailability. The recommendations on the propagation aspects are published in P series of ITU-R.8 ⋅10−0. frequency. |εp| is the magnitude of the path inclination (mrad).00076 hL −0. 17]. The annual value. |εp|. d is the path length (km). we are interested on the last one. which is an indicator of the reliability. and surface roughness. It provides guidelines based on fading measurements of 251 terrestrial line-of-sight links in various regions.4−0. The equations 1. that depends on the geoclimatic factor K according to equations 1.

[18.formulas. The conclusion established for worst month outage is also validated for annual statistics. 4. and various values of geoclimatic factors. The month to month cap varies from 1 dB to 20 dB.1. Each link has a main channel and a diversity channel providing both spatial and frequency diversity (with a frequency spacing of 275 MHz). P (%) 10 1 10 0 Theoretical worst month 10 -1 10 -2 4. Similarly.75 ds +P 0. the experimental values for each link. the ITU-R method over-predicts the worst month outage for all observed links. we limit the presentation of figures to links 1 and 2. table 2 gives the predicted value of the minimum fade margin A respecting this performance target. Comparison of monthly fading of the main channel with that predicted for the worst month with formula 1 shows that the theoretical prediction curve is an upper bound which is validated during the link measurement . Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of these links. Pan and Pd given respectively by equation 3. the ITU-R annual outage over-predicts the annual outage measured during the link measurement period. 10 2 10 1 Theoretical worst month Pds = P (%) η (1 + ks2 ) (7) 10 0 10 -1 10 -2 10 -3 Where. figure 2 show results for link 2. Annual outage results Figures 3 and 4 show annual outage predicted by equations 4 and 5. Ps is the non-protected selective outage probability defined as the probability that the bit error rate is larger than a given threshold. MEASUREMENTS RESULTS AND COMPARATIVE STUDY A data base of quantitative measurement is obtained by a campaign of a continuous monitoring of 4 terrestrial line-ofsight links located on different regions in Quebec during 2 years. We outline that there is a huge dispersion of the distribution of fading from month to month. the links have different antenna heights (with respect to sea level) and lengths. Parameters of the 4 monitored links 4. and η is a multipath activity parameter.75 dns ) Fig.2. In fact. The over-prediction for links having large p0 is on the order of 10 dB and on the order of 5 dB. Pdns and the selective outage probability Pds are calculated respectively by: Pdns = Pns I ns . 2. Pns = pw/100. These results are in concordance with the work of Olsen et al. and annual outage deduced from measurement for links 1 and 2. 10 -3 10 -4 10 -5 10 -6 worst month (theory) 09-03-26 to 09-05-22 09-05-22 to 09-06-22 09-06-22 to 09-07-22 09-07-22 to 09-08-24 09-08-24 to 09-09-28 09-09-28 to 09-11-02 09-11-02 to 09-12-08 09-12-08 to 10-01-14 10-02-22 to 10-03-26 10-03-26 to 10-05-04 10-05-04 to 10-06-07 10-07-20 to 10-08-03 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Flat Fade Margin (dB) 30 35 40 45 Fig. The two other links have similar results. The non-selective outage probability. and the error on the prediction. 19] dealing with ITU’s links. d + f P 2 s (6) duration (2 years). Thus. 1. Worst month outage results Figure 1 shows results on cumulative distribution fading per month for the main channel of link 1. 5 and 8 are compared to the statistics derived from measurements. Measurement results per month for link 2 Fixing a target worst month outage of 0. Also all curves have shape similar to the theoretical one for the observed months. Table 1. As depicted in table 1.01 %. Measurement results per month for link 1 4/3 (8) 10 2 In the following sections the theoretical quantities Pw. for small value of p0. As presented in table 2. the total outage probability for SFD is given by: 10 -4 10 -5 10 -6 10 -7 worst month (theory) 09-03-31 to 09-04-30 09-04-30 to 09-06-02 09-06-02 to 09-07-02 09-07-02 to 09-08-04 09-08-04 to 09-09-03 09-09-03 to 09-10-06 09-10-06 to 09-11-09 09-11-09 to 09-12-14 09-12-14 to 10-01-13 10-01-13 to 10-02-16 10-02-16 to 10-03-22 10-03-22 to 10-05-01 10-05-01 to 10-06-04 10-06-04 to 10-07-05 10-07-05 to 10-08-03 -5 0 5 10 15 20 Flat Fade Margin (dB) 25 30 35 40 45 Pd = P ( 0. Finally.

. Annual results for link 1 10 -5 10 -6 -5 0 5 10 15 20 Flat Fade Margin (dB) 25 30 35 40 45 Fig. The gap between predicted values and measured one varies between 1 to 10 dB.10 2 Theoretical worst month (no diversity) 10 1 Theoretical worst month (with diversity) 10 0 10 p (%) -1 10 -2 10 -3 Table 2. For the 4 studied links. CONCLUSION The recommendation of ITU-R P. Outage with diversity results The effect of both spatial and frequency diversity on link 1 is illustrated by figures 5 and 6. Outage with diversity for link 1 10 2 10 0 Unavailability without diversity Unavailability with diversity 10 1 P (%) 10 -1 10 0 10 -2 10 P (%) -1 10 -2 10 -3 10 10 -4 -3 X: 29 Y: 0. An improvement of about 7 dB was obtained. The worst month and the annual outages derived from measurements are under the values predicted by ITU-R P. 3. The results can be summarized as follows. Canada are the main elements addressed in this paper.530 and its validation by experimental measurements carried out in the region of Quebec. The worst months took place in the summer or in the beginning of the autumn for the two years of observation. We note that the improvement is also observed for link 3 and 4. 6. Annual results for link 2 4. 10 P (%) 10 -1 -2 10 -3 10 -4 10 -5 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Flat Fade Margin (dB) 30 35 40 45 Fig.530-13. Comparison between predicted and measured fade margin 10 2 10 -4 10 -5 10 -6 09-03-31 to 09-05-11 09-05-11 to 09-65-15 09-06-15 to 09-07-16 09-07-16 to 09-08-18 09-08-18 to 09-09-21 09-09-21 to 09-10-26 09-10-26 to 09-11-26 09-11-26 to 09-12-28 09-12-28 to 10-01-29 10-01-29 to 10-03-22 10-03-22 to 10-05-11 10-05-11 to 10-06-11 10-06-11 to 10-07-12 worst month with diversity worst month no diversity -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Flat Fade Margin 30 35 40 45 10 1 Worst month (theory) Annual (theory) Worst month (data 2009) Annual (measurements) Worst month (data 2010) Fig. It is higher than the improvement predicted by the ITU-R recommendation. Comparison for outage with and without diversity 10 2 10 1 Worst month (theory) Annual (theory) Worst month (data 2009) Annual (measurements) Worst month (data 2010) 10 0 5. These observations are pertinent with works reported in the literature as the work of Olsen et al.3. It must be noted that while the worst month outage expression without diversity over-predicts the real values in our cases. 5. the diversity formula under-predict the outage in the case of 2 observed links. We are continuing to monitor the 4 links presented in this paper in order to have more advanced and accurate results by averaging them over a long period of time.0002423 -5 0 5 10 15 20 Flat Fade Margin (dB) 25 30 35 40 45 10 -4 Fig. space and frequency diversity (frequency spacing of 275MHz and antenna spacing of about 10 m) provides an average gain of 5 dB. We investigated also in this paper the improvement carried out by the use of space and frequency diversity. The improvement on link 2 is slightly under prediction. 4. [19].

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