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User Manual

Microwave Links

v e r s i o n 2.8.3

AT283_UMM_E2
Atoll User Manual

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Contact Information

Forsk (Head Office) 7 rue des Briquetiers  www.forsk.com Web


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USA +1 888 GoAtoll (+1 888 462 8655) Technical support
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People’s Republic of China

Atoll 2.8.3 User Manual Release AT283_UMM_E2


© Copyright 1997 - 2010 by Forsk
The software described in this document is provided under a license agreement and may only be used or copied under
the terms and conditions of the license agreement. No part of this document may be copied or reproduced in any form
without prior authorisation from Forsk.
The product or brand names mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective regis-
tering parties.

About the Atoll User Documentation


The Atoll user documentation is a guide and reference for users working with Atoll. Atoll is easy to use and offers a clear,
self-explanatory user interface. The user documentation helps the user make effective and efficient use of all the features
that Atoll offers. The user documentation aims to familiarise the user with the working environment of Atoll and enable
him to use all of Atoll’s features and functions.
The Atoll user documentation is technology-specific. For each Atoll radio technology, the Atoll user manual contains
instructions and information specific to that technology as well as chapters describing the Atoll working environment and
the tools available.

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Atoll User Manual

4 Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this document is prohibited © Forsk 2010


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of Contents.......................................................................................................................... 5

1 The Working Environment .................................................................................................... 13


1.1 The Atoll Work Area .................................................................................................................... 13
1.1.1 Working with Document Windows .................................................................................................... 14
1.1.2 Docking or Floating an Atoll Window................................................................................................ 14
1.2 The Explorer Window ................................................................................................................. 15
1.2.1 Working with the Explorer Window Tabs.......................................................................................... 15
1.2.2 Navigating in the Explorer Window .................................................................................................. 16
1.2.3 Displaying or Hiding Objects on the Map Using the Explorer........................................................... 16
1.2.4 Working with Layers Using the Explorer .......................................................................................... 16
1.3 Working with Objects .................................................................................................................. 17
1.3.1 Using the Object Context Menu ....................................................................................................... 17
1.3.1.1 Renaming an Object ................................................................................................................... 17
1.3.1.2 Deleting an Object ...................................................................................................................... 17
1.3.1.3 Displaying the Properties of an Object ....................................................................................... 18
1.3.2 Modifying Sites and Microwave Link Extremities Directly on the Map ............................................. 18
1.3.2.1 Selecting One of Several Microwave Links ................................................................................ 19
1.3.2.2 Moving a Site Using the Mouse .................................................................................................. 19
1.3.2.3 Moving a Site to a Higher Location............................................................................................. 19
1.3.2.4 Changing the Azimuth of the Antenna Using the Mouse ............................................................ 19
1.3.2.5 Changing the Antenna Position Relative to the Site Using the Mouse ....................................... 20
1.3.2.6 Selecting Another Site for the Link Extremity Using the Mouse ................................................. 20
1.3.3 Display Properties of Objects ........................................................................................................... 21
1.3.3.1 Defining the Display Properties of Objects ................................................................................. 21
1.3.3.2 Examples of Using the Display Properties of Objects ................................................................ 25
1.4 Working with Maps....................................................................................................................... 26
1.4.1 Changing the Map Scale .................................................................................................................. 26
1.4.1.1 Zooming In and Out .................................................................................................................... 26
1.4.1.2 Zooming In on a Specific Area.................................................................................................... 27
1.4.1.3 Choosing a Scale........................................................................................................................ 27
1.4.1.4 Changing Between Previous Zoom Levels................................................................................. 27
1.4.2 Moving the Map in the Document Window....................................................................................... 27
1.4.3 Using the Panoramic Window .......................................................................................................... 27
1.4.4 Centring the Map Window on an Object........................................................................................... 28
1.4.5 Measuring Distances on the Map ..................................................................................................... 28
1.4.6 Displaying Rulers Around the Map ................................................................................................... 28
1.4.7 Displaying the Map Legend .............................................................................................................. 29
1.4.8 Using Zones in the Map Window...................................................................................................... 29
1.4.8.1 Using a Filtering Zone................................................................................................................. 29
1.4.8.2 Using a Computation Zone ......................................................................................................... 30
1.4.8.3 Using a Focus Zone.................................................................................................................... 31
1.4.8.4 Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools.............................................................................................. 31
1.4.8.5 Using a Printing Zone ................................................................................................................. 33
1.4.8.6 Using a Geographic Export Zone ............................................................................................... 33
1.4.9 Editing Polygons, Lines, and Points ................................................................................................. 34
1.4.9.1 Adding a Vector Layer ................................................................................................................ 34
1.4.9.2 Creating Polygons, Lines, and Points......................................................................................... 35
1.4.9.3 Editing the Shape of Polygons and Lines ................................................................................... 35
1.4.9.4 Combining or Cropping Polygons Using the Toolbar.................................................................. 36
1.4.9.5 Editing a Point............................................................................................................................. 36
1.4.9.6 Editing Contours, Lines, and Points Using the Context Menu .................................................... 37
1.4.10 Exporting Coverage Prediction Results............................................................................................ 37
1.4.10.1 Exporting an Individual Coverage Prediction in Vector Format .................................................. 38
1.4.10.2 Exporting an Individual Coverage Prediction in Raster Format .................................................. 38
1.4.10.3 Exporting Multiple Coverage Predictions.................................................................................... 39
1.4.11 Saving a Map as a Graphic Image ................................................................................................... 39
1.4.12 Copying a Map to Another Application ............................................................................................. 40

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Atoll User Manual

1.4.13 Map Window Pointers .......................................................................................................................40


1.5 Working with Data Tables .........................................................................................................41
1.5.1 Opening a Data Table .......................................................................................................................41
1.5.2 Adding, Deleting, and Editing Data Table Fields...............................................................................42
1.5.2.1 Accessing an Object Type’s Table Fields ...................................................................................42
1.5.2.2 Adding a Field to an Object Type’s Data Table ...........................................................................42
1.5.2.3 Deleting a Field from an Object Type’s Data Table.....................................................................43
1.5.3 Editing the Contents of a Table.........................................................................................................43
1.5.4 Opening an Object’s Record Properties Dialogue from a Table .......................................................44
1.5.5 Defining the Table Format.................................................................................................................44
1.5.6 Copying and Pasting in Tables .........................................................................................................47
1.5.6.1 Copying and Pasting a Table Element ........................................................................................47
1.5.6.2 Pasting the Same Data into Several Cells ..................................................................................47
1.5.7 Viewing a Statistical Analysis of Table Contents ..............................................................................49
1.5.8 Exporting Tables to Text Files...........................................................................................................49
1.5.9 Importing Tables from Text Files.......................................................................................................50
1.5.10 Exporting Tables to XML Files ..........................................................................................................51
1.5.11 Importing Tables from XML Files ......................................................................................................52
1.6 Printing in Atoll ................................................................................................................................52
1.6.1 Printing Data Tables and Reports .....................................................................................................52
1.6.2 Printing a Map ...................................................................................................................................52
1.6.2.1 Printing Recommendations .........................................................................................................53
1.6.2.2 Defining the Printing Zone ...........................................................................................................53
1.6.2.3 Defining the Print Layout .............................................................................................................54
1.6.3 Previewing Your Printing...................................................................................................................55
1.6.4 Printing a Docking Window ...............................................................................................................56
1.7 Grouping, Sorting, and Filtering Data..................................................................................56
1.7.1 Grouping Data Objects......................................................................................................................56
1.7.1.1 Grouping Data Objects by a Selected Property ..........................................................................56
1.7.1.2 Configuring the Group By Submenu ...........................................................................................57
1.7.1.3 Grouping Microwave Links by Site ..............................................................................................58
1.7.1.4 Advanced Grouping.....................................................................................................................58
1.7.1.5 Examples of Grouping .................................................................................................................59
1.7.2 Sorting Data ......................................................................................................................................60
1.7.2.1 Sorting Data in Tables.................................................................................................................60
1.7.2.2 Advanced Sorting ........................................................................................................................61
1.7.3 Filtering Data.....................................................................................................................................62
1.7.3.1 Filtering in Data Tables by Selection...........................................................................................62
1.7.3.2 Advanced Data Filtering ..............................................................................................................63
1.7.3.3 Restoring All Records..................................................................................................................64
1.7.3.4 Advanced Filtering: Examples .....................................................................................................64
1.7.4 User Configurations ..........................................................................................................................66
1.7.4.1 Exporting a User Configuration ...................................................................................................67
1.7.4.2 Importing a User Configuration ...................................................................................................67
1.7.5 Site Lists............................................................................................................................................67
1.7.5.1 Creating a Site List ......................................................................................................................68
1.7.5.2 Adding a Site to a List from the Explorer Window .......................................................................68
1.7.5.3 Adding a Site to a List from the Map Window .............................................................................68
1.7.5.4 Adding Sites to a List Using a Zone ............................................................................................68
1.7.5.5 Editing a Site List.........................................................................................................................69
1.7.5.6 Filtering on a Site List..................................................................................................................69
1.7.6 Folder Configurations........................................................................................................................69
1.7.6.1 Creating a Folder Configuration ..................................................................................................70
1.7.6.2 Applying a Saved Folder Configuration .......................................................................................70
1.7.6.3 Reapplying the Current Folder Configuration ..............................................................................70
1.7.6.4 Exporting a Folder Configuration.................................................................................................70
1.7.6.5 Importing a Folder Configuration.................................................................................................70
1.7.6.6 Deleting a Folder Configuration...................................................................................................71
1.7.7 Creating and Comparing Subfolders.................................................................................................71
1.7.8 Filtering Data Using a Filtering Zone.................................................................................................71
1.8 Tips and Tricks ...............................................................................................................................72
1.8.1 Undoing and Redoing .......................................................................................................................72
1.8.2 Refreshing Maps and Folders ...........................................................................................................72
1.8.3 Searching for Objects on the Map.....................................................................................................72
1.8.3.1 Searching for a Map Object by Its Name ....................................................................................72
1.8.3.2 Searching for a Map Object using Any Text Property .................................................................73
1.8.3.3 Searching for a Point on the Map ................................................................................................73

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1.8.4 Using the Status Bar to Get Information........................................................................................... 73


1.8.5 Saving Information Displayed in the Event Viewer........................................................................... 74
1.8.6 Using Icons from the Toolbar ........................................................................................................... 74
1.8.7 Using Shortcuts in Atoll .................................................................................................................... 75

2 Starting an Atoll Project .......................................................................................................... 79


2.1 Before Starting a Microwave-Planning Project .............................................................. 79
2.2 Creating an Atoll Document .................................................................................................... 79
2.2.1 Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template ............................................................................ 79
2.2.1.1 Templates Available ................................................................................................................... 79
2.2.1.2 Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template ...................................................................... 80
2.2.1.3 Defining a New Atoll Document .................................................................................................. 81
2.2.2 Working in a Multi-User Environment ............................................................................................... 83
2.2.2.1 The Atoll Multi-User Environment ............................................................................................... 83
2.2.2.2 Creating a New Atoll Document from a Database ...................................................................... 84
2.2.2.3 Working With a Document on a Database.................................................................................. 85
2.2.2.4 Refreshing an Atoll Document from the Database ..................................................................... 86
2.2.2.5 Archiving the Modifications of an Atoll Document in the Database ............................................ 87
2.3 Making a Backup of Your Document .................................................................................. 90
2.3.1 Configuring Automatic Backup ......................................................................................................... 90
2.3.2 Recovering a Backup ....................................................................................................................... 91
2.4 Making and Sharing Portable Atoll Projects .................................................................... 91

3 Managing Geographic Data ................................................................................................ 95


3.1 Geographic Data Types ............................................................................................................ 95
3.2 Supported Geographic Data Formats ................................................................................ 96
3.3 Importing Geo Data Files .......................................................................................................... 96
3.3.1 Importing a Raster-format Geo Data File ......................................................................................... 97
3.3.2 Importing a Vector-format Geo Data File ......................................................................................... 98
3.3.3 Importing MSI Planet® Geo Data..................................................................................................... 99
3.3.3.1 Importing One MSI Planet® Geo Data Type .............................................................................. 99
3.3.3.2 Importing a MSI Planet® Geo Database .................................................................................. 100
3.3.4 Importing a WMS Raster-format Geo Data File ............................................................................. 101
3.3.5 Grouping Geo Data Files in Folders............................................................................................... 102
3.3.6 Embedding Geographic Data ......................................................................................................... 102
3.3.7 Repairing a Broken Link to a Geo Data File................................................................................... 102
3.4 Digital Terrain Models .............................................................................................................. 103
3.5 Clutter Classes............................................................................................................................. 103
3.5.1 Assigning Names to Clutter Classes .............................................................................................. 104
3.5.2 Defining Clutter Class Properties ................................................................................................... 104
3.5.3 Adding a Clutter Class.................................................................................................................... 105
3.5.4 Refreshing the List of Clutter Classes ............................................................................................ 105
3.5.5 Displaying Total Surface Area per Clutter Class ............................................................................ 105
3.6 Clutter Heights ............................................................................................................................. 106
3.7 Contours, Lines, and Points .................................................................................................. 106
3.7.1 Managing the Display of a Vector Layer ........................................................................................ 106
3.7.2 Managing the Properties of the Vector Layer................................................................................. 106
3.7.3 Moving a Vector Layer to the Data Tab.......................................................................................... 107
3.8 Scanned Images ......................................................................................................................... 107
3.8.1 Importing Several Scanned Images ............................................................................................... 107
3.8.2 Defining the Display Properties of Scanned Images ...................................................................... 108
3.9 Geoclimatic Maps ....................................................................................................................... 108
3.9.1 Managing Geoclimatic Map Properties .......................................................................................... 109
3.9.2 Displaying Geoclimatic Statistics.................................................................................................... 109
3.10 Setting the Priority of Geo Data........................................................................................... 109
3.10.1 Setting the Display Priority of Geo Data ......................................................................................... 109
3.10.2 Setting the Priority of Geo Data in Calculations ............................................................................. 110
3.10.2.1 Example 1: Two DTM Maps Representing Different Areas ...................................................... 111
3.10.2.2 Example 2: Clutter Classes and DTM Maps Representing the Same Area ............................. 111
3.10.2.3 Example 3: Two Clutter Class Maps Representing a Common Area ....................................... 111
3.11 Displaying Information About Geo Data .......................................................................... 112
3.12 Geographic Data Sets .............................................................................................................. 112
3.12.1 Exporting a Geo Data Set .............................................................................................................. 112

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Atoll User Manual

3.12.2 Importing a Geo Data Set ...............................................................................................................113


3.13 Editing Geographic Data .........................................................................................................113
3.13.1 Editing Clutter Class Maps..............................................................................................................114
3.13.1.1 Creating a Clutter Polygon ........................................................................................................114
3.13.1.2 Editing Clutter Polygons ............................................................................................................114
3.13.1.3 Displaying the Coordinates of Clutter Polygons ........................................................................115
3.13.1.4 Deleting Clutter Polygons..........................................................................................................115
3.13.2 Editing Geoclimatic Maps................................................................................................................115
3.14 Saving Geographic Data .........................................................................................................116
3.14.1 Saving Modifications to an External File .........................................................................................116
3.14.1.1 Exporting an Edited Clutter Class Map in a Raster-Format File................................................116
3.14.1.2 Exporting an Edited Vector Layer in Vector-Format File ...........................................................117
3.14.2 Updating the Source File.................................................................................................................117
3.14.3 Combining Several Files into One File............................................................................................118
3.14.4 Exporting an Embedded File...........................................................................................................118
3.14.5 Creating a New File from a Larger File ...........................................................................................119

4 Antennas and Equipment.....................................................................................................123


4.1 Defining the List of Manufacturers ......................................................................................123
4.2 Defining Antennas.......................................................................................................................123
4.2.1 Creating an Antenna .......................................................................................................................123
4.2.2 Importing Microwave Antennas.......................................................................................................125
4.2.3 Editing Microwave Antenna Patterns ..............................................................................................125
4.2.4 Printing Microwave Antenna Patterns .............................................................................................126
4.3 Microwave Equipment...............................................................................................................127
4.3.1 Modelling the IDU and ODU in Atoll................................................................................................128
4.3.2 Importing Microwave Equipment.....................................................................................................132
4.3.3 Advanced Configuration..................................................................................................................132
4.3.3.1 Digital Hierarchies .....................................................................................................................132
4.3.3.2 Interference Reduction Factor ...................................................................................................133
4.3.3.3 Theoretical Graphs....................................................................................................................136
4.4 Microwave Waveguides and Cables .................................................................................137
4.4.1 Defining Microwave Waveguides and Cables.................................................................................137
4.4.2 Modifying a Microwave Waveguide or Cable ..................................................................................138
4.5 Microwave Antenna/Equipment/Waveguide Compatibility .....................................138
4.5.1 Defining Compatibility Manually ......................................................................................................138
4.5.1.1 Using the Microwave Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility Table ................................................138
4.5.1.2 Using the Microwave Antenna/Equipment Compatibility Table .................................................139
4.5.2 Using Assistants to Define Compatibility.........................................................................................139
4.5.2.1 Using the Assistant to Define Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility .............................................139
4.5.2.2 Using the Assistant to Define Antenna/Equipment Compatibility ..............................................140

5 Managing Frequency Bands and Sub-bands ......................................................145


5.1 Microwave Frequency Bands ................................................................................................145
5.1.1 Long-Haul Frequency Band ............................................................................................................145
5.1.2 Medium-Haul Frequency Band .......................................................................................................146
5.1.3 Short-Haul Frequency Band............................................................................................................146
5.2 Defining Microwave Link Frequency Bands ...................................................................146
5.3 Defining Microwave Link Frequency Sub-bands .........................................................147
5.3.1 Example of Creating a Frequency Sub-band ..................................................................................148

6 Managing Calculations in Atoll ........................................................................................151


6.1 Using Propagation Models in Microwave Projects .....................................................151
6.1.1 Working with the Microwave Propagation Model ............................................................................151
6.1.2 Working with the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model............................................................................153
6.2 Defining Microwave Link Classes and Performance Objectives .........................154
6.2.1 Microwave Link Classes..................................................................................................................154
6.2.2 Defining Performance Objectives....................................................................................................154
6.2.2.1 Defining Quality Objectives .......................................................................................................155
6.2.2.2 Defining Availability Objectives .................................................................................................156
6.3 Defining Calculation Parameters .........................................................................................156
6.3.1 Global Parameters ..........................................................................................................................156

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Table of Contents

6.3.2 Link Parameters ............................................................................................................................. 159


6.3.2.1 Defining Calculation Parameters for a Single Microwave Link ................................................. 159
6.3.2.2 Defining Calculation Parameters for All Microwave Links ........................................................ 163
6.3.2.3 Defining Calculation Parameters for a Group of Microwave Links ........................................... 165

7 Microwave Link Project Management ....................................................................... 173


7.1 Designing a Microwave Link Network .............................................................................. 173
7.2 Planning and Optimising Microwave Sites ..................................................................... 174
7.2.1 Creating Sites ................................................................................................................................. 174
7.2.1.1 Site Description......................................................................................................................... 175
7.2.1.2 Creating or Modifying a Site ..................................................................................................... 175
7.2.2 Site Survey Tools ........................................................................................................................... 176
7.2.2.1 Displaying the Line of Sight Area Around One Site .................................................................. 176
7.2.2.2 Analysing the Line of Sight Between Candidate Sites.............................................................. 176
7.2.2.3 Finding the Best Route Between Two Sites ............................................................................. 179
7.2.2.4 Displaying the Terrain Profile Between Candidate Sites .......................................................... 180
7.2.2.5 Displaying a 360° View Around One Site ................................................................................. 181
7.2.3 Search Tools for New Sites ............................................................................................................ 184
7.3 Creating Microwave Links ...................................................................................................... 185
7.3.1 Definition of a Microwave Link........................................................................................................ 185
7.3.2 Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link ........................................................................................ 188
7.3.3 Defining Port Parameters ............................................................................................................... 189
7.3.4 Placing a New Microwave Link Using the Microwave Link Template............................................. 190
7.3.5 Managing Microwave Link Templates ............................................................................................ 190
7.3.5.1 Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link Template................................................................... 191
7.3.5.2 Adding a Field to a Microwave Link Template .......................................................................... 191
7.3.5.3 Deleting a Microwave Link Template........................................................................................ 191
7.3.6 Modifying Microwave Sites and Microwave Links Directly on the Map .......................................... 191
7.3.7 Display Tips for Microwave Sites and Links ................................................................................... 192
7.3.8 Checking Data Consistency ........................................................................................................... 192
7.3.9 Setting the Working Area of an Atoll Document ............................................................................. 192
7.4 Analysing the Path Profile ...................................................................................................... 193
7.4.1 Displaying the Path Profile ............................................................................................................. 193
7.4.1.1 Viewing a Microwave Link Profile ............................................................................................. 193
7.4.1.2 Studying Microwave Link Clearance......................................................................................... 194
7.4.1.3 Managing Microwave Link Profile Display Options................................................................... 194
7.4.1.4 Zooming In on the Profile.......................................................................................................... 194
7.4.1.5 Printing a Microwave Link Profile.............................................................................................. 195
7.4.1.6 Displaying Microwave Link Clearance Values Along the Profile............................................... 195
7.4.1.7 Modifying Microwave Link Profile Values ................................................................................. 197
7.4.2 Determining Microwave Link Antenna Heights............................................................................... 200
7.4.2.1 Adjusting Microwave Antenna Heights Using the Mouse ......................................................... 200
7.4.2.2 Defining Microwave Antenna Heights....................................................................................... 200
7.4.2.3 Automatically Optimising Microwave Antenna Heights............................................................. 200
7.4.3 Adding a Microwave Passive Repeater.......................................................................................... 201
7.4.3.1 Description of a Passive Repeater ........................................................................................... 201
7.4.3.2 Creating or Modifying a Passive Repeater ............................................................................... 202
7.4.3.3 Placing a Passive Microwave Repeater on the Map Using the Mouse .................................... 202
7.5 Analysing Microwave Link Reliability ................................................................................ 203
7.5.1 Analysing a Single Microwave Link ................................................................................................ 203
7.5.1.1 Calculating Microwave Link Required Margins......................................................................... 204
7.5.1.2 Calculating a Microwave Link Budget....................................................................................... 204
7.5.1.3 Modifying Microwave Link Calculation Parameters .................................................................. 205
7.5.1.4 Configuring the Link Budget Report Display............................................................................. 206
7.5.1.5 Printing and Exporting the Link Budget Report......................................................................... 206
7.5.2 Analysing Microwave Links ............................................................................................................ 206
7.5.2.1 Setting a Microwave Link as Active .......................................................................................... 206
7.5.2.2 Defining the Content of the Link Budget Report ....................................................................... 207
7.5.2.3 Calculating Multiple Microwave Link Budgets........................................................................... 207
7.5.2.4 Managing Link Budget Calculation Validity............................................................................... 208
7.5.3 Performing a End-to-End Reliability Analysis ................................................................................. 208
7.5.3.1 Creating Multi-hops................................................................................................................... 208
7.5.3.2 Performing a End-to-End Reliability Analysis ........................................................................... 210
7.6 Studying Reflection .................................................................................................................... 210
7.6.1 Displaying Reflection...................................................................................................................... 211
7.6.2 Analysing Reflections ..................................................................................................................... 212

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Atoll User Manual

7.6.2.1 Displaying the Reflection Analysis Report.................................................................................212


7.6.2.2 Configuring the Reflection Analysis Report ...............................................................................214
7.6.2.3 Modifying Reflection Analysis Parameters ................................................................................214
7.6.3 Solutions Against Reflections..........................................................................................................215
7.7 Planning Microwave Link Channels ...................................................................................216
7.7.1 Checking Microwave Link Site Parities ...........................................................................................217
7.7.1.1 Checking Site Parities on the Map ............................................................................................217
7.7.1.2 Creating a Report on Site Parities.............................................................................................217
7.7.2 Using the Search Tool to Display Channel Reuse ..........................................................................218
7.7.3 Performing Semi-automatic Channel Search..................................................................................218
7.7.4 Working with the Frequency Spectrum Analyser ............................................................................219
7.7.5 Displaying Third-order Intermodulation Products............................................................................220
7.8 Analysing Interference ..............................................................................................................221
7.8.1 Interference Reduction Factor.........................................................................................................221
7.8.1.1 Defining IRF Graphs Manually ..................................................................................................221
7.8.1.2 Defining IRF Graphs with the Assistant.....................................................................................222
7.8.2 Using IRF in Interference Calculations............................................................................................224
7.8.3 Performing an Interference Analysis on a Single Microwave Link ..................................................224
7.8.4 Performing an Interference Analysis on Multiple Microwave Links .................................................225
7.8.4.1 Defining the Content of the Interference Report........................................................................225
7.8.4.2 Calculating Interference on Multiple Microwave Links ..............................................................226
7.8.5 Managing Interference Calculation Validity.....................................................................................226
7.8.6 Displaying Interference on the Map ................................................................................................226
7.9 Advanced Configuration...........................................................................................................227
7.9.1 Point-to-Multipoint Links..................................................................................................................227
7.9.1.1 Creating a Point-to-Multipoint Link ............................................................................................227
7.9.1.2 Point-to-Multipoint Link Properties ............................................................................................228
7.9.1.3 Setting all Microwave Links of a Point-to-Multipoint Link as Active...........................................229
7.9.1.4 Mapping Microwave Links to Point-to-Multipoint Links Globally................................................229
7.9.1.5 Adding a Microwave Link to a Point-to-Multipoint Link ..............................................................229
7.9.1.6 Adding a Microwave Link to a Point-to-Multipoint Link Using the Mouse ..................................230
7.9.1.7 Deleting a Microwave Link from a Point-to-Multipoint Link........................................................230
7.9.1.8 Deleting a Point-to-Multipoint Link.............................................................................................230
7.9.1.9 Adjusting the Antenna of the Point-to-Multipoint Hub................................................................230
7.9.1.10 Adjusting the Antenna of the Point-to-Multipoint Hub Using the Mouse....................................231

Index ..................................................................................................................................................... 233

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Chapter 1
The Working Environment
Chapter 1: The Working Environment

1 The Working Environment


The Atoll working environment provides a comprehensive and integrated set of tools and features that allow you to create
and define your microwave-planning project in a single application. You can save the entire project as a single file, or you
can link your project to external files.
Atoll uses standard Windows interface elements, with the ability to have several document windows open at the same
time, support for drag-and-drop, context menus, and support for standard Windows shortcuts, for example, for cutting and
pasting. Atoll also allows you to undo recent changes to your document. Atoll offers the standard Windows Print func-
tionality, with added functionality allowing you to print either the entire map window, parts of it, or only certain objects. Atoll
also provides other tools, such as a search tool to locate either a site, a point on the map, or a vector.
The Explorer window plays a central role in Atoll. The Explorer window contains most of the objects in a document
arranged in folders.
Using the Explorer window, you can manage all objects in the Atoll document: sites, calculations, etc., as well as
geographic data such as the Digital Terrain Model (DTM), and clutter classes. You can, for example, define various studies
or configure the parameters or display of data objects.
The content of the folders in the Explorer window can be displayed in tables, allowing you to manage large amounts of
data. You can sort and filter the data in a table, or change how the data is displayed. You can also use the table feature
to enter large amounts of information by cutting and pasting the information from any Windows spreadsheet into the table.
The map is the working area for your document and Atoll provides many features for working with the map. You can
change the view by moving or zooming in or out and you can choose which objects are displayed and how they are
displayed. You can also export the current display definition, or configuration, to use it in other documents.
This chapter explains the following topics:
• "The Atoll Work Area" on page 13
• "The Explorer Window" on page 15
• "Working with Objects" on page 17
• "Printing in Atoll" on page 52
• "Working with Maps" on page 26
• "Working with Data Tables" on page 41
• "Grouping, Sorting, and Filtering Data" on page 56
• "Tips and Tricks" on page 72.

1.1 The Atoll Work Area


The Atoll work area, shown in Figure 1.1 on page 14, consists of the main window where the map window and data tables
and reports are displayed and the Explorer window. The Explorer window contains the data and objects of a document,
arranged in folders. It is presented in detail in "The Explorer Window" on page 15.
Atoll offers a variety of tools to help you plan a network. The tools open in separate windows, some of which can be docked
into the work area or floated over the work area (see Figure 1.1 on page 14).

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Atoll User Manual

Toolbar

Document window (map)

Workspace

Explorer window
(docked)

Panoramic window
(floating)

Point Analysis window


(docked)

Figure 1.1: Atoll user interface

1.1.1 Working with Document Windows


When you have one Atoll document open, you can have several document windows open at the same time. You can
resize, maximise, and minimise document windows as you can in any Windows-based application.
As well, you can tile document windows, in order to display all of them at the same time, or cascade them, in order to
display the title bar of each document window.
To tile document windows:
• Select Window > Tile.
To cascade document windows:
• Select Window > Cascade.

1.1.2 Docking or Floating an Atoll Window


Only document windows are part of an individual Atoll document. Other windows and tools, such as the Explorer window,
display the content of the active document. They are not part of the individual Atoll document, but part of the working envi-
ronment and, when you switch to a different document, they will display the content of the active document.
You can change how these windows and tools are displayed. You can also choose to remove them from their position and
float them over the Atoll working environment.
To display a window:
• On the View menu, select the name of the window.
To close a window:
• Click the Hide button ( ) in the corner of the window. Depending on the position of the docking window, this
button can be in the upper-left or upper-right corner.
You can change how much room a window takes if it shares a docking area with other windows by maximising or minimis-
ing the window.
To maximise a window in its docking area:

• Click the Maximise button ( ) near the corner of the window. Depending on the position of the window, this
button can be in the upper-left or upper-right corner.
To minimise a window in its docking area:

• Click the Minimise button ( ) near the corner of the window. Depending on the position of the window, this button
can be in the upper-left or upper-right corner.
You can leave a window in its docking area, or you can have it float over the working environment, allowing you to maxim-
ise the amount of area for document windows or other windows.

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

To float a window:
• Double-click the docking window title bar. The docking window leaves the docking area and floats over the working
environment.

Note: You can move the docking window by clicking the title bar and dragging it. To prevent the
window from docking as you move it, press CTRL as you drag the docking window.

To dock a window:
• To return the window to its previous docked location, double-click the docking window title bar.
Or

• Click the title bar of the docking window and drag the window to a different docking area.

Note: The window positions for docking windows are not associated with the current document;
they remain the same no matter which document you open.

1.2 The Explorer Window


The Explorer window plays a central role in Atoll. The Explorer window contains the data and objects of a document,
arranged in folders. Each object and folder has a context-specific menu that you can access by right-clicking. You can
modify items at the folder level, with changes affecting all items in the folder, or you can access and edit items individually.
As well, most folder contents can also be accessed in a table, allowing you to easily manage large amounts of information.
For information on working with tables, see "Working with Data Tables" on page 41.
In this section, the following are described:
• "Working with the Explorer Window Tabs" on page 15
• "Navigating in the Explorer Window" on page 16
• "Displaying or Hiding Objects on the Map Using the Explorer" on page 16
• "Working with Layers Using the Explorer" on page 16.

1.2.1 Working with the Explorer Window Tabs


The Explorer window has three tabs:

• The Data tab: The Data tab allows you to manage radio data and calculations. Depending on the modules
installed with Atoll, the Data tab has the following folders:
- Sites
- Antennas
- Transmitters
- Predictions
- UMTS Parameters, CDMA2000 Parameters, GSM/GPRS Parameters, WiMAX 802.16d Parameters, WiMAX
802.16e Parameters, or LTE Parameters
- UMTS Simulations, CDMA2000 Simulations , WiMAX 802.16d Simulations, WiMAX 802.16e simulations, or
LTE Simulations
- Traffic analysis (GSM/GPRS/EDGE projects only)
- Hexagonal design
- Microwave links
- CW Measurements and Drive test data

• The Geo tab: The Geo tab allows you to manage geographic data. The number of folders depends on the
number and types of geographical data types (vector data, scanned images, etc.) you import or create:
- Clutter classes
- Clutter heights
- Digital Terrain Model
- Population data
- Any other geo data map
- Traffic (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/TDMA, UMTS HSPA, CDMA2000)

• The Modules tab: The Modules tab allows you to manage the propagation models and additional modules. It
contains:
- A Propagation Models folder with the following propagation models:
- Longley-Rice
- Okumura-Hata
- Cost-Hata
- Standard Propagation Model
- ITU 526-5
- ITU 370-7 (Vienna 93)

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Atoll User Manual

- ITU 1546
- WLL
- Microwave Propagation Model
- Erceg-Greenstein (SUI)
- The AFP models available in your Atoll installation.
- Any additional module created using the API.

1.2.2 Navigating in the Explorer Window


The Explorer window has three tabs; each tab has objects and folders containing objects.
To move from one tab to another:
• Click the tab at the top of the Explorer window.
A folder on a tab can be opened to allow you to view its contents. Each folder containing at least one object has an Expand
( ) or Contract button ( ) to the left of its name.
To expand a folder to display its contents:
• Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of its name.

1.2.3 Displaying or Hiding Objects on the Map Using the Explorer


You can use the Explorer to display or hide objects on the map. This allows you to hide one type of object so that another
type of object is more plainly visible. For example, you could hide all predictions but one, so that the results of one predic-
tion are more clearly displayed.

Note: Hiding an object affects only its visibility in the map window; it will still be taken into
consideration during calculations.

To hide an object on the map:


1. Select the tab of the Explorer window that contains that object.

2. Clear the check box ( ) immediately to the left of the object name. The check box appears cleared ( ) and the
object is no longer visible on the map.

Note: You can hide the contents of an entire folder by clearing the check box to the left of the
folder name. When the check box of a folder appears greyed ( ), it indicates that the
folder contains both visible and hidden objects.

1.2.4 Working with Layers Using the Explorer


In Atoll, the map is made of objects arranged in layers. The layers on the top (as arranged on the Data and Geo tabs) are
the most visible on the screen and in print. The visibility of the lower layers depends on which layers are above and visible
(see "Displaying or Hiding Objects on the Map Using the Explorer" on page 16) and on the transparency of these layers
(see "Defining the Transparency of Objects and Object Types" on page 23).
To move a layer up or down:
1. Select the tab of the Explorer window that contains that object.
2. Click and drag the object to its new position. As you drag the object, a horizontal black line indicates where the
object will remain when you release the mouse button (see Figure 1.2).

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

Figure 1.2: Moving a layer

Note: Before you print a map, you should pay attention to the arrangement of the layers. For
more information, see "Printing Recommendations" on page 53.

1.3 Working with Objects


In Atoll, the items found in the Explorer window and displayed on the map are referred to as objects. Most objects in Atoll
belong to an object type. For example, a transmitter is an object of the type transmitter.
Atoll enables you to carry out many operations on objects by clicking the object directly or by right-clicking the object and
selecting the operation from the context menu.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Using the Object Context Menu" on page 17
• "Modifying Sites and Microwave Link Extremities Directly on the Map" on page 18
• "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.

1.3.1 Using the Object Context Menu


In Atoll, an object’s context menu gives you access to commands specific to that object as well as to commands that are
common to most objects. In this section, the following context menu commands common to all objects types are explained:
• Rename: "Renaming an Object" on page 17.
• Delete: "Deleting an Object" on page 17.
• Properties: "Displaying the Properties of an Object" on page 18.

1.3.1.1 Renaming an Object


You can change the name of an object in Atoll.
To rename an object:
1. Right-click the object either in the Explorer window or on the map. The context menu appears.
2. Select Rename from the context menu.
3. Enter the new name and press ENTER to change the name.

Note: In Atoll, objects such as sites are named with default prefixes. Individual objects are
distinguished from each other by the number added automatically to the default prefix.
You can change the default prefix for sites by editing the atoll.ini file. For more
information, see the Administrator Manual.

1.3.1.2 Deleting an Object


You can delete objects from either the Explorer window or from the map.
To delete an object:
1. Right-click the object either in the Explorer window or on the map. The context menu appears.
2. Select Delete from the context menu. The selected object is deleted.

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Atoll User Manual

1.3.1.3 Displaying the Properties of an Object


You can modify the properties of an object in the Properties dialogue.
To open the Properties dialogue of a data object:
1. Right-click the object either in the Explorer window or on the map. The context menu appears.

Tip: When you are selecting data objects on the map, it can be difficult to ensure that the
correct object has been selected. When a site is selected, the site (and its name) is
surrounded by a black frame ( ). When a transmitter is selected, both ends of its icon
have a green point ( ). When there is more than one microwave link with with the
same azimuth, clicking the transmitters in the map window opens a context menu
allowing you to select the transmitter you want (see "Selecting One of Several Microwave
Links" on page 19).

2. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.

Switching Between Property Dialogues

You can switch between the Properties dialogues of items (antennas, sites, etc.) in the same folder or subfolder in the

Explorer window by using the browse buttons ( ) in the lower-left corner of each Properties dialogue:

• : jump to the first item in the list

• : jump to the previous item in the list

• : jump to the next item in the list

• : jump to the last item in the list


If you have made any changes to the properties of an item, Atoll prompts you to confirm these changes before switching
to the next Properties dialogue.
You can use this feature, for example, to access the properties of co-site transmitters without closing and reopening the
Properties dialogue. Switching is performed within the lowest subfolder in the hierarchy. For example:
• If transmitters are grouped by site, you can switch only within one site (co-site transmitters).
• If transmitters are grouped by a flag, you can switch only within this group.
• If transmitters are grouped by activity and by a flag, you can switch only within transmitters having the same activity
and the same flag.
The browse buttons are not available:
• When creating a new item.
• When opening the an item’s Properties dialogue by double-clicking its record in a table.
• For repeater properties.
• For propagation model properties.
The Display tab of the Properties dialogue is explained in the following section.

1.3.2 Modifying Sites and Microwave Link Extremities Directly on


the Map
In a complex microwave or -planning project, it can be difficult to find the data object in the Data tab, although it might be
visible in the map window. Atoll lets you access the Properties dialogue of sites and microwave links directly from the
map. You can also change the position of a site by dragging it, or by letting Atoll find a higher location for it.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Selecting One of Several Microwave Links" on page 19
• "Moving a Site Using the Mouse" on page 19
• "Moving a Site to a Higher Location" on page 19
• "Changing the Azimuth of the Antenna Using the Mouse" on page 19"Changing the Antenna Position Relative to
the Site Using the Mouse" on page 20
• "Selecting Another Site for the Link Extremity Using the Mouse" on page 20.

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

1.3.2.1 Selecting One of Several Microwave Links


If there is more than one microwave link with the same azimuth, Atoll enables you to select a specificmicrowave link.
To select one of several microwave link with the same azimuth:
1. In the map window, click thelinks. A context menu appears with a list of thelinks with the same azimuth
(seeFigure 1.3).

Figure 1.3: Selecting one microwave link

2. Select thelink from the context menu.

- When you select a microwave link, both ends appear white and the link itself appears outlined ( ).

1.3.2.2 Moving a Site Using the Mouse


You can move a site by editing the coordinates on the General tab of the Site Properties dialogue, or by using the mouse.
To move a site using the mouse:
1. Click and drag the site to the desired position. As you drag the site, the exact coordinates of the pointer’s current
location are visible in the Status bar.
2. Release the site where you would like to place it. By default, Atoll locks the position of a site. When the position
of a site is locked, Atoll asks you to confirm that you want to move the site.
3. Click Yes to confirm.

Tip: While this method allows you to place a site quickly, you can adjust the location more
precisely by editing the coordinates on the General tab of the Site Properties dialogue.

1.3.2.3 Moving a Site to a Higher Location


If you want to improve the location of a site, in terms of reception and transmission, Atoll can find a higher location within
a specified radius from the current location of the site.
To have Atoll move a site to a higher location:
1. Right-click the site in the map window. The context menu appears.
2. Select Move to a Higher Location.
3. In the Move to a Higher Location dialogue, enter the radius of the area in which Atoll should search and click
OK. Atoll moves the site to the highest point within the specified radius.

1.3.2.4 Changing the Azimuth of the Antenna Using the Mouse


In Atoll, you can set the azimuth of a link’s antenna by modifying it on the Radio tab of the Microwave Link Properties
dialogue, or you can modify it on the map, using the mouse.
To modify the azimuth of the antenna using the mouse:

1. In the Data tab of the Explorer window, move the Microwave Radio Links
folder on top of the Sites folder as explained in "Working with Layers Using
the Explorer" on page 16.
2. On the map, click the link extremity whose azimuth you want to modify.
3. Move the pointer to the end of the antenna with a green circle ( ). An arc
with an arrow appears under the pointer.
4. Click the green circle and drag it to change the antenna’s azimuth.
The current azimuth of the antenna is displayed in the far left of the status
bar. It is defined in degrees, with 0° indicating north.

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Atoll User Manual

5. Release the mouse when you have set the azimuth to the desired angle.
The antenna’s azimuth relative to the link direction is modified on the Radio
tab of the Microwave Link Properties dialogue.

Note: If you make a mistake when changing the azimuth, you can undo your changes by using
Undo (by selecting Edit > Undo, by pressing CTRL+Z, or by clicking in the toolbar)
to undo the changes made.

1.3.2.5 Changing the Antenna Position Relative to the Site Using the Mouse
By default, antennas are placed on the site. However, antennas are occasionally not located directly on the site, but a short
distance away. In Atoll, you can change the position of the antenna relative to the site either by adjusting the Dx and Dy
parameters or by entering the coordinates of the antenna position on the General Tab of the Microwave link Property
dialogue. Dx and Dy are the distance in metres of the antenna from the site position. You can also modify the position of
the antenna on the map, using the mouse.

To move a microwave link extremity using the mouse:

1. In the Data tab of the Explorer window, move the Microwave Radio Links
folder on the top of the Sites folder as explained in "Working with Layers
Using the Explorer" on page 16.
2. On the map, click the link extremity you want to move.
3. Move the pointer to the end of the antenna with a green rectangle ( ). A
cross appears under the pointer.
4. Click the green rectangle and drag it to change the antenna’s position relative
to the site.
The current coordinates (x and y) of the antenna are displayed in the far right
of the status bar.
5. Release the mouse when you have moved the selected link extremity to the
desired position.
The position of the selected link extremity is modified on the General tab of
the Microwave Link Properties dialogue.

Note: If you make a mistake when changing the position of the link extremity, you can undo your
changes by using Undo (by selecting Edit > Undo, by pressing CTRL+Z, or by clicking
in the toolbar) to undo the changes made.

1.3.2.6 Selecting Another Site for the Link Extremity Using the Mouse
In Atoll, you can change the link extremity and place it on another site using the mouse.

To select another site for the link extremity on the map:

1. In the Data tab of the Explorer window, move the Microwave Radio Links
folder on the top of the Sites folder as explained in "Working with Layers
Using the Explorer" on page 16.
2. On the map, click the link extremity you want to move.
3. Move the pointer to the end of the antenna with a green rectangle ( ). A
cross appears under the pointer.
4. Click the green rectangle and drag it to the other site on the map.
5. Release the mouse when the frame appears around the site, indicating it is
selected.
The site for the selected link extremity is modified on the General tab of the
Microwave Link Properties dialogue and the link is renamed.

Note: If you make a mistake when changing the position of the link extremity, you can undo your
changes by using Undo (by selecting Edit > Undo, by pressing CTRL+Z, or by clicking
in the toolbar) to undo the changes made.

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

1.3.3 Display Properties of Objects


In Atoll, most objects, such as sites, belong to an object type. How an individual object appears on the map depends on
the settings on the Display tab of the object type’s Properties dialogue. The Display tab is similar for all object types whose
appearance can be configured. Options that are inapplicable for a particular object type are unavailable on the Display tab
of its Properties dialogue (see Figure 1.4).
In this section, the display options are explained, followed by a few examples of how you can use them while working on
your Atoll document (see "Examples of Using the Display Properties of Objects" on page 25).

1.3.3.1 Defining the Display Properties of Objects

Figure 1.4: The Display tab for Sites

When you access the Properties dialogue of an individual object, the Display tab will only show the options applicable to
an individual object (see Figure 1.5).

Figure 1.5: The Display tab for an individual site

To define the display properties of an object type:


1. Right-click the object type folder in the Explorer window. The context menu appears.
2. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
3. Select the Display tab. Depending on the object type, the following options are available:
- "Defining the Display Type" on page 22
- "Defining the Transparency of Objects and Object Types" on page 23
- "Defining the Visibility Scale" on page 23
- "Defining the Object Type Label" on page 23
- "Defining the Object Type Tip Text" on page 24
- "Adding an Object Type to the Legend" on page 24
4. Set the display parameters.

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Atoll User Manual

5. Click OK.

Defining the Display Type

Depending on the object selected, you can choose from the following display types: unique, discrete values, value inter-
vals, or automatic.
To change the display type:
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
2. Select the display type from the Display Type list:
- Unique: defines the same symbol for all objects of this type. By defining a unique symbol for an object type,
objects of different types, for example, sites, are immediately identifiable.
i. To modify the appearance of the symbol, click the symbol in the table below. The Symbol Style dialogue
appears.
ii. Modify the symbol as desired.
iii. Click OK to close the Symbol Style dialogue.
- Discrete values: defines the display of each object according to the value of a selected field. This display type
can be used to distinguish objects of the same type by one characteristic. For example, you could use this
display type to distinguish transmitter by antenna type, or to distinguish inactive from active sites.
i. Select the name of the Field by which you want to display the objects.
ii. You can click the Actions button to access the Actions menu. For information on the commands availa-
ble, see "Using the Actions Button" on page 22.
iii. To modify the appearance of a symbol, click the symbol in the table below. The Symbol Style dialogue
appears.
iv. Modify the symbol as desired.
v. Click OK to close the Symbol Style dialogue.
- Value intervals: defines the display of each object according to set ranges of the value of a selected field.
This display type can be used, for example, to distinguish population density, signal strength, or the altitude
of sites.
i. Select the name of the Field by which you want to display the objects.
ii. Define the ranges directly in the table below. For an example, see Figure 1.7 on page 24.
iii. You can click the Actions button to access the Actions menu. For information on the commands availa-
ble, see "Using the Actions Button" on page 22.
iv. To modify the appearance of a symbol, click the symbol in the table. The Symbol Style dialogue appears.
v. Modify the symbol as desired.
vi. Click OK to close the Symbol Style dialogue.

Notes:
• When you create a new map object, for example, a new site, you must click the Refresh button
( ) for Atoll to assign a colour to newly created object according to the set display type.
• You can define the default symbol used for sites and how it is displayed by editing an option in
the atoll.ini file. For more information, see the Administrator Manual.

Using the Actions Button

The Actions button on the Display tab of the Properties dialogue allows you to modify the display type as defined in
"Defining the Display Type" on page 22.
To access the Actions menu:
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
2. Click the Actions button. The Actions menu gives you access to the following commands:
- Select all: Atoll selects all the values in the table.
- Delete: Atoll removes selected value from the table.
- Insert before: When the selected display type is value intervals, Atoll inserts a new threshold in the table
before the threshold selected in the table.
- Insert after: When the selected display type is value intervals, Atoll inserts a new threshold in the table after
the threshold selected in the table.
- Properties: Atoll opens the Display dialogue where you may change the colour and style.
- Shading: Atoll opens the Shading dialogue. When "Value Intervals" is the selected display type, you select
Shading to define the number of value intervals and configure their colour. Enter the upper and lower limits
of the value in the First Break and Last Break boxes respectively, and enter a value in the Interval box.
Define the colour shading by choosing a Start Colour and an End Colour. The value intervals will be deter-
mined by the set values and coloured by a shade going from the set start colour to the set end colour.

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

When "Discrete Values" is the selected display type, you select Shading to choose a Start Colour and an
End Colour.

- Configuration: Select Import if you want to import an existing display configuration. Select Export if you want
to export the display settings of the current object to a configuration file, so that you can share them with other
users or use them in other documents.

Defining the Transparency of Objects and Object Types

You can change the transparency of some objects, such as predictions, and some object types, such as clutter classes,
to allow objects on lower layers to be visible on the map.
To change the transparency:
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
2. Move the Transparency slider to the right to make the object or object type more transparent or to the left to make
it less transparent.

Defining the Visibility Scale

You can define a visibility range for object types. An object is visible only if the scale, as displayed on the Map toolbar, is
within this range. This can be used to, for example, prevent the map from being cluttered with symbols when you are at a
certain scale.
Visibility ranges are taken into account for screen display, and for printing and previewing printing. They do not affect which
objects are considered during calculations.
To define an object visibility range:
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
2. Enter a Visibility Scale minimum in the between 1: text box.
3. Enter a Visibility Scale maximum in the and 1: text box.

Defining the Object Type Label

For most object types, such as sites, you can display information about each object in the form of a label that is displayed
with the object. You can display information from every field in that object type’s data table, including from fields that you
add.
To define a label for an object type:
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.

2. Click the Browse button ( ) beside the Label box. The Field Selection dialogue appears (see Figure 1.6).

Figure 1.6: Defining a label

3. Select the fields which you want to display in the label:


a. To select a field to be displayed in the label for the object type, select the field in the Available Fields list and

click to move it to the Selected Fields list.


b. To remove a field from the list of Group these fields in this order, select the field in the Selected Fields list

and click to remove it.

c. To change the order of the fields, select a field and click or to move it up or down in the list. The objects
will be grouped in the order of the fields in the Selected Fields list, from top to bottom.
4. Click OK to close the Field Selection dialogue and click OK to close the Properties dialogue.

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Atoll User Manual

Note: For most object types, you can also display object information in the form of a tool tip that
is only visible when you move the pointer over the object. This option has the advantage
of not filling the map window with text. For more information on tool tips, see "Defining the
Object Type Tip Text" on page 24.

Defining the Object Type Tip Text

For most object types, such as sites and microwave links, you can display information about each object in the form of a
tool tip that is only visible when you move the pointer over the object. You can display information from every field in that
object type’s data table, including from fields that you add.
In the Explorer window, the tool tip displays the total numbers of elements present in the Sites, Links, Multi-Hops, and
Point to Multipoint folders, and their subfolders.
To define tip text for an object type:
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.

2. Click the Browse button ( ) beside the Tip Text box. The Field Selection dialogue appears (see Figure 1.6).
3. Select the fields which you want to display in the tool tip:
a. To select a field to be displayed in the tool tip for the object type, select the field in the Available Fields list

and click to move it to the Selected Fields list.


b. To remove a field from the list of Group these fields in this order, select the field in the Selected Fields list

and click to remove it.

Note: For most object types, you can also display object information in the form of a label that is
displayed with the object. This option has the advantage of keep object-related
information permanently visible. For more information on tool tips, see "Defining the
Object Type Label" on page 23.

Once you have defined the tool tips, you must activate the tool tip function before they appear.
To activate the tool tip function:

• Click the Display Tips button ( ) on the toolbar. Tool tips will now appear when the pointer is over the object.

Adding an Object Type to the Legend

You can display the information defined by the display type (see "Defining the Display Type" on page 22) in your Atoll
document’s legend. Only visible objects appear in the Legend window. For information on displaying or hiding objects,
see "Displaying or Hiding Objects on the Map Using the Explorer" on page 16.
In Figure 1.7, on the Display tab of a signal level prediction, the intervals defined are:
• Signal level >= -65 red
• -65 > Signal level >= -105 shading from red to blue (9 intervals)
• Signal level < -105 not shown in the coverage.
The entries in the Legend column will appear in the Legend window.

Figure 1.7: Defined thresholds as they will appear in the Legend

With value intervals, you can enter information in the Legend column to be displayed on the legend. If there is no infor-
mation entered in this column, the maximum and minimum values are displayed instead.
1. Access the Display tab of the Properties dialogue as explained in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
2. Check the Add to legend box. The defined display will appear on the legend.
To display the Legend window:
• Select View > Legend. The Legend window appears.

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You can also display the comments defined in the properties of a coverage prediction in the Legend window by setting an
option in the atoll.ini file. For more information about setting options in the atoll.ini file, see the Administrator Manual.

1.3.3.2 Examples of Using the Display Properties of Objects


In this section are the following examples of how display properties of objects can be used:
• "Automatic Display Type - Server Coverage Studies" on page 25
• "Shading - Signal Level Study" on page 25.

Automatic Display Type - Server Coverage Studies

When doing a best server prediction, Atoll calculates, for each pixel on the map, which server is best received. If the
selected display type for transmitters is "Automatic," Atoll colours each pixel on the map according to the colour of the
transmitter that is best received on that pixel. This way, you can identify immediately which transmitter is best received on
each pixel. The following two figures show the results of the same best server area and handover margin study.
In Figure 1.8, the transmitter display type is "Discrete Values," with the site name as the chosen value. The difference in
colour is insufficient to make clear which transmitter is best received on each pixel. In Figure 1.9, the transmitter display
type is "Automatic." Because Atoll ensures that each transmitter has a different colour than the transmitters surrounding
it, the study results are also immediately visible.

Figure 1.8: Value interval display type Figure 1.9: Automatic display type

To display the results of a server coverage study with the transmitters set to the Automatic display type:
1. Right-click the Transmitters folder in the Explorer window. The context menu appears.
2. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
3. Select the Display tab.
4. Select "Automatic" as the Display Type.
5. Click OK.

6. Click the Refresh button ( ) to update the display of the study results.

Shading - Signal Level Study

Atoll displays the results of a signal level study as value intervals. On the map, these value intervals appear as differences
of shading. You can use the Shading command to define the appearance of these value intervals to make the results
easier to read or more relevant to your needs. For example, you can change the range of data displayed, the interval
between each break, or you can change the colours to make the intervals more visible.
In this example, Figure 1.10 shows the results of the best signal level plot from -60 dBm to -105 dBm. However, if you are
more interested in reception from -80 dBm to -105 dBm, you can change the shading to display only those values. The
result is visible in Figure 1.11.

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Figure 1.10: Shading from -60 dBm to -105 dBm Figure 1.11: Shading from -80 dBm to -105 dBm

To change how the results of a signal level study are displayed:


1. Expand the Predictions folder in the Explorer window and right-click the signal level study. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
3. Select the Display tab.
4. Click Actions to display the menu and select Shading. The Shading dialogue appears.
5. Change the value of the First Break to "-80". Leave the value of the Last Break at "-105."
6. Click OK to close the Shading dialogue.
7. Click OK to close the Properties dialogue and apply your changes.

1.4 Working with Maps


Atoll has the following functions to help you work with maps:
• "Changing the Map Scale" on page 26
• "Moving the Map in the Document Window" on page 27
• "Using the Panoramic Window" on page 27
• "Centring the Map Window on an Object" on page 28
• "Measuring Distances on the Map" on page 28
• "Displaying Rulers Around the Map" on page 28
• "Displaying the Map Legend" on page 29
• "Using Zones in the Map Window" on page 29
• "Editing Polygons, Lines, and Points" on page 34
• "Saving a Map as a Graphic Image" on page 39
• "Copying a Map to Another Application" on page 40.
• "Map Window Pointers" on page 40.

1.4.1 Changing the Map Scale


You can change the scale of the map by zooming in or out, by zooming in on a specific area of the map, or by choosing a
scale.
Atoll also allows you to define a zoom range outside of which certain objects are not displayed (see "Defining the Visibility
Scale" on page 23).

1.4.1.1 Zooming In and Out


Atoll offers several tools for zooming in and out on the map. When you zoom in or out on the map, you do so based on
the position of the cursor on the map.
To zoom in on the map:

1. Click the Zoom icon ( ) on the Map toolbar (or press CTRL+Q).
2. Click the map where you want to zoom in.

Note: You can also zoom in by pressing CTRL++, by selecting Zoom In from the View menu, or
by holding down the CTRL key and rotating the mouse wheel button forward.

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To zoom out on the map:

1. Click the Zoom icon ( ) on the Map toolbar (or press CTRL+Q).
2. Right-click the map where you want to zoom out.

Note: You can also zoom out by pressing CTRL+–, by selecting Zoom Out from the View
menu, or holding down the CTRL key and rotating the mouse wheel button backward.

1.4.1.2 Zooming In on a Specific Area


To zoom in on a specific area of the map:

1. Click the Zoom Area icon ( ) on the Map toolbar (or press CTRL+W).
2. Click in the map on one of the four corners of the area you want to select.
3. Drag to the opposite corner. When you release the mouse button, Atoll zooms in on the selected area.

1.4.1.3 Choosing a Scale


To choose a scale:

1. Click the arrow next to the scale box ( ) on the Map toolbar.
2. Select the scale from the list.
If the scale value you want is not in the list:

1. Click in the scale box ( ) on the Map toolbar.


2. Enter the desired scale.
3. Press ENTER. Atoll zooms the map to the entered scale.

1.4.1.4 Changing Between Previous Zoom Levels


Atoll saves the last five zoom levels, allowing you to move quickly between previous zoom levels and zoomed areas.
To move between zoom levels:

• Click the Previous Zoom button ( ) to return to a zoom level you have already used (or press ALT + ←).
• Once you have returned to a previous zoom level, click the Next Zoom button ( ) to return to the latest zoom
level (or press ALT + →).

1.4.2 Moving the Map in the Document Window


You can move the map in the document window using the mouse.
To move the map in the document window:

1. Click the Move Map Window button ( ) on the Map toolbar (or press CTRL + D).
2. Move the pointer over the map and drag the map in the desired direction.

1.4.3 Using the Panoramic Window


The Panoramic window displays the entire map with all of the imported geographic data. A dark rectangle indicates what
part of the geographic data is presently displayed in a document window, helping you situate the displayed area in relation
to the entire map.
You can use the Panoramic window to:
• Zoom in on a specific area of the map
• Resize the displayed map area
• Move around the map.
To zoom in on a specific area of the map:
1. Click in the Panoramic window on one of the four corners of the area you want to zoom in on.
2. Drag to the opposite corner. When you release the mouse button, Atoll zooms in on the selected area.
To resize the displayed map area:
1. Click in the Panoramic window on a corner or border of the zoom area (i.e., the dark rectangle).
2. Drag the border to its new position.

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To move around the map:


1. Click in the Panoramic window in the zoom area (i.e., the dark rectangle).
2. Drag the rectangle to its new position.

1.4.4 Centring the Map Window on an Object


You can centre the map on any selected object, for example, a transmitter, a site, or on any zone in the Zones folder on
the Geo tab of the Explorer window. When centring the map window on an object the current scale is kept.
You can select the object in the map window or in the Explorer window.
To the map window on a selected object:
1. Right-click the object in the map window or in the Explorer window.
2. Select Centre in the Map Window from the context menu.

Tip: If you want to quickly find an object, such as a site, on the map, you can select it in the
Explorer window and then select the Centre in the Map Window command.

1.4.5 Measuring Distances on the Map


You can measure distances on the map by using the Distance Measurement tool. The Distance Measurement tool also
gives you the azimuth of a straight line between two points. You can also use the Distance Measurement tool to measure
distance along a line with several points. Atoll will then give you the distance between each point (as you measure), the
azimuth of each segment between two points, and the total distance.
To measure a distance on the map between two points:

1. Click the Distance Measurement button ( ) on the toolbar.


2. Click the first point on the map once.
As you move the pointer away from the first point, Atoll marks the initial position and connects it to the pointer with
a line.
3. Place the pointer over the second point on the map. The status bar displays the following (see Figure 1.12):
- The distance between the two points
- The azimuth between the two points.
To measure the total distance on the map on a line over a series of points:

1. Click the Distance Measurement button ( ) on the toolbar.


2. Click the first point on the map once.
As you move the pointer away from the first point, Atoll marks the initial position and connects it to the pointer with
a line.
3. Click once on the map at each point on the line between the first point and the final point, where you will have to
change direction on the line.
4. When you reach the last point on the line, the status bar displays the following (see Figure 1.12):
- The total distance between the first point and the last point
- The distance between the second-last point and the last point
- The azimuth between the last two points.

Total distance between Azimuth between second-


first and last point last and last point
Distance between second-
last and last point

Figure 1.12: Measurement data in the status bar

1.4.6 Displaying Rulers Around the Map


You can display rulers around the map in the document window.
To display rulers:
1. Select Tools > Options.
2. In the Options dialogue, click the Coordinates tab.

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3. Under Display rulers, select where you want the rulers to be displayed in the map window.
4. Click OK.

1.4.7 Displaying the Map Legend


You can display a map legend. The legend will contain the information on the object types that you have added to it. For
information on adding object types to the legend, see "Adding an Object Type to the Legend" on page 24.
To display the legend:
• Select View > Legend.

1.4.8 Using Zones in the Map Window


On the Geo tab of the Explorer window, Atoll provides you with a set of tools known as zones. The zones are a type of
polygons, which can be created and modified in the same way as contours, lines, or points. Zones can be used to define
areas of the map for the following purposes:
• Filtering Zone: The filtering zone is a graphical filter that restricts the objects displayed on the map and on the
Data tab of the Explorer window to the objects inside the filtering zone. It also restricts which objects are used in
calculations such as coverage predictions, etc.
• Computation Zone: The computation zone is used to define which microwave links are to be taken into consid-
eration in calculations (i.e., link budget, interference analysis, etc.,).
• Focus Zone: With the focus zone, you can select the areas of coverage predictions or other calculations on which
you want to generate reports and results.
• Printing Zone: The printing zone allows you to define the area to be printed.
• Geographic Export Zone: The geographic export zone is used to define part of the map to be exported as a
bitmap.

Important: Zones are taken into account whether or not they are visible. In other words, if you have
drawn a zone, it will be taken into account whether or not its visibility check box in the
Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer window is selected.
For example, if you have filtered the sites using a filtering zone, the sites outside the
filtering zone will not be taken into consideration in coverage predictions, even if you have
cleared the filtering zone’s visibility check box. You will have to delete the zone if you no
longer want to select sites using a filtering zone.

In this section, the following are explained:


• "Using a Filtering Zone" on page 29
• "Using a Computation Zone" on page 30
• "Using a Focus Zone" on page 31
• "Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools" on page 31
• "Using a Printing Zone" on page 33
• "Using a Geographic Export Zone" on page 33.

1.4.8.1 Using a Filtering Zone


The filtering zone is a graphical filter that restricts the objects displayed on the map and on the Data tab of the Explorer
window to the objects inside the filtering zone. It also restricts which objects are used in calculations such as coverage
predictions, etc. By limiting the number of sites, you can reduce the time and cost of calculations and make visualisation
of data objects on the map clearer.
The filtering zone is taken into account whether or not it is visible. In other words, if you have drawn a zone, it will be taken
into account whether or not its visibility check box in the Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer window is selected.
You will have to delete the zone if you no longer want to select sites using a filtering zone.

1.4.8.1.1 Creating a Filtering Zone


To create a filtering zone:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of Zones folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Filtering Zone folder.
4. Select Draw from the context menu.
5. Draw the filtering zone:
a. Click once on the map to start drawing the zone.
b. Click once on the map to define each point on the map where the border of the zone changes direction.
c. Click twice to finish drawing and close the zone.

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The filtering zone is delimited by a blue line. The data objects outside of the selected zone are filtered out. On the
Data tab of the Explorer window, any folder whose content is affected by the filtering zone appears with a special
icon ( ), to indicate that the folder contents have been filtered.

You can also create a filtering zone as follows:

• Vector Edition toolbar: You can use the New Polygon ( ) and New Rectangle ( ) buttons available in the
Vector Edition toolbar to draw the filtering zone.
• Existing polygon: You can use any existing polygon on the map as a filtering zone by right-clicking it and
selecting Use as > Filtering Zone from the context menu.
• Importing a polygon: If you have a file with an existing polygon, for example, a polygon describing an adminis-
trative area, you can import it and use it as a filtering zone. You can import it by right-clicking the Filtering Zone
folder on the Geo tab and selecting Import from the context menu.
• Fit to Map Window: You can create a filtering zone the size of the map window by selecting Fit to Map Window
from the context menu.
Once you have created a filtering zone, you can use Atoll’s polygon editing tools to edit it. For more information on the
polygon editing tools, see "Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools" on page 31.

Note: You can export the filtering zone as a polygon, so that you can use it in a different Atoll
document, by right-clicking the Filtering Zone folder on the Data tab of the Explorer
window and selecting Export from the context menu.

1.4.8.2 Using a Computation Zone


The computation zone is used to define the area where Atoll carries out calculations. When you make a link budget or
you study interference, Atoll calculates all the microwave links that are active, filtered (i.e., that are selected by the current
filter parameters), and intersects the computation zone.
When working with a large network, the computation zone allows you to restrict your studies to the part of the network you
are currently working on. By allowing you to reduce the number of microwave links studied, Atoll reduces both the time
and computer resources necessary for calculations.
If there is no computation zone defined, Atoll makes its calculations on all microwave links that are active and filtered and
for the entire extent of the geographical data available.
The computation zone is taken into account whether or not it is visible. In other words, if you have drawn a computation
zone, it will be taken into account whether or not its visibility check box in the Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer
window is selected. You will have to delete the computation zone if you no longer want to define an area for calculations.

1.4.8.2.1 Creating a Computation Zone


To create a computation zone:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Zones folder.
3. Right-click the Computation Zone folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Draw from the context menu.
5. Draw the computation zone:
a. Click once on the map to start drawing the zone.
b. Click once on the map to define each point on the map where the border of the zone changes direction.
c. Click twice to finish drawing and close the zone.
The computation zone is delimited by a red line.

You can also create a computation zone as follows:

• Vector Edition toolbar: You can use the New Polygon ( ) and New Rectangle ( ) buttons available in the
Vector Edition toolbar to draw the computation zone.
• Existing polygon: You can use any existing polygon on the map as a computation zone by right-clicking it and
selecting Use as > Computation Zone from the context menu.
• Importing a polygon: If you have a file with an existing polygon, for example, a polygon describing an adminis-
trative area, you can import it and use it as a computation zone. You can import it by right-clicking the Computa-
tion Zone folder on the Geo tab and selecting Import from the context menu.
• Fit to Map Window: You can create a computation zone the size of the map window by selecting Fit to Map
Window from the context menu.

Once you have created a computation zone, you can use Atoll’s polygon editing tools to edit it. For more information on
the polygon editing tools, see"Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools" on page 31.

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Note: You can save the computation zone, so that you can use it in a different Atoll document,
in the following ways:
- Saving the computation zone in the user configuration: For information on export-
ing the computation zone in the user configuration, see "Exporting a User Configura-
tion" on page 67.
- Exporting the computation zone: You can export the computation zone by right-
clicking the Computation Zone folder on the Data tab of the Explorer window and
selecting Export from the context menu.

1.4.8.3 Using a Focus Zone


Using the focus zone , you can define an area on which statistics can be drawn and on which reports are made.It is impor-
tant not to confuse the computation zone and the focus and hot spot zones. The computation zone defines the sites and
microwave links calculated in link budget, interference studies, etc. and the potential interferers while the focus zone filters
the displayed results.
Atoll bases the statistics on the area covered by the focus zone; if no focus zone is defined, Atoll will use the computation
zone. However, by using a focus zone for the report, you can display the statistics for a specific number of sites, instead
of displaying statistics for every site that has been calculated.
Atoll takes the focus zone taken into account whether or not they are visible. In other words, if you have drawn a focus
zone, it will be taken into account whether or not its visibility check box in the Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer
window is selected. You will have to delete the zone if you no longer want to define an area for reports.

Note: A focus zone can consist of more than one polygon. The polygons of a focus zone must not
intersect or overlap each other.

1.4.8.3.1 Drawing a Focus Zone


To define a focus zone:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Zones folder.
3. Right-click the Focus Zone folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Draw from the context menu.
5. Draw the focus:
a. Click once on the map to start drawing the zone.
b. Click once on the map to define each point on the map where the border of the zone changes direction.
c. Click twice to finish drawing and close the zone.
A focus zone is delimited by a green line. If you clear the zone’s visibility check box in the Zones folder of the Geo
tab in the Explorer window, it will no longer be displayed but will still be taken into account.

You can also create a focus zone in one of the following ways:

• Vector Edition toolbar: You can use the New Polygon ( ) and New Rectangle ( ) buttons available in the
Vector Edition toolbar to draw the focus zone.
• Existing polygon: You can use any existing polygon on the map as a focus zone by right-clicking it and selecting
Use as > Focus Zone from the context menu.
• Importing a polygon: If you have a file with an existing polygon, for example, a polygon describing an adminis-
trative area, you can import it and use it as a focus zone. You can import it by right-clicking the Focus Zone folder
on the Geo tab and selecting Import from the context menu.
• Fit to Map Window: You can create a focus zone the size of the map window by selecting Fit to Map Window
from the context menu.

Note: You can save the focus zone , so that you can use it in a different Atoll document, in the
following ways:
- Saving the focus zone in the user configuration: For information on exporting the
focus zone in the user configuration, see "Exporting a User Configuration" on page 67.
- Exporting the focus zone: You can export the focus zone by right-clicking the Focus
Zone folder on the Data tab of the Explorer window and selecting Export from the
context menu.

1.4.8.4 Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools


Atoll provides you with several different ways of editing the computation zone, focus zone, and filtering zones. You can
edit these zones by editing the points that define them, by combining several polygons, or by deleting parts of the polygons
that make up these zones. When you no longer need the zone, you can delete it from the map.

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The computation and focuspolygons can contain holes. The holes within polygonal areas are differentiated from overlaying
polygons by the order of the coordinates of their vertices. The coordinates of the vertices of polygonal areas are in clock-
wise order, whereas the coordinates of the vertices of holes within polygonal areas are in counter-clockwise order.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Editing Polygon Zones" on page 32
• "Removing a Polygon Zone" on page 33.

1.4.8.4.1 Editing Polygon Zones


You can edit polygon zones in several ways. Before you can edit a polygon zone, you must first put it in editing mode.
To put the polygon zone in editing mode:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of Zones folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the folder containing the polygon zone you want to edit.
4. Select Edit from the context menu. The vector tools on the Vector Edition toolbar are activated.

Tip: You can also activate the vector tools by selecting the polygon zone to edit from the
Vector Edition toolbar list.

You can now edit the polygon zone as explained in the following sections:
• "Editing the Points of a Polygon Zone" on page 32
• "Editing Polygon Zones Using the Toolbar" on page 32
• "Editing Polygon Zones Using the Context Menu" on page 33.

Editing the Points of a Polygon Zone

To edit a point of a polygon zone:


1. Put the polygon zone in editing mode as explained in "Editing Polygon Zones" on page 32.
2. Select the polygon zone. You can now edit it by:
- Moving a point:

i. Position the pointer over the point you want to move. The pointer changes ( ).
ii. Drag the point to its new position.
- Adding a point to the polygon zone:
i. Position the pointer over the polygon zone border where you want to add a point. The pointer changes
( ).
ii. Right-click and select Insert Point from the context menu. A point is added to the polygon zone border at
the position of the pointer.
- Deleting a point from a polygon zone:

i. Position the pointer over the point you want to delete. The pointer changes ( ).
ii. Right-click and select Delete Point from the context menu. The point is deleted.

Editing Polygon Zones Using the Toolbar

In Atoll, you can create complex polygon zones by using the tools on the Vector Edition toolbar. The filtering, computa-
tion, and focus zone polygons can contain holes. The holes within polygonal areas are differentiated from overlaying poly-
gons by the order of the coordinates of their vertices. The coordinates of the vertices of polygonal areas are in clockwise
order, whereas the coordinates of the vertices of holes within polygonal areas are in counter-clockwise order.
To edit a polygon zone using the icons on the Vector Edition toolbar:
1. Put the polygon zone in editing mode as explained in "Editing Polygon Zones" on page 32.
2. Click the contour to edit. The Vector Edition toolbar has the following buttons:

- : To combine several polygon zones:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Combine button ( ).


ii. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the new polygon zone.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the polygon zone.
iv. Double-click to close the polygon zone.
v. Draw more polygon zones if desired. Atoll creates a group of polygons of the selected and new contours.
If polygon zones overlap, Atoll merges them.

- : To delete part of the selected polygon zone:

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i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Delete button ( ).


ii. Draw the area you want to delete from the selected polygon zone by clicking once on the map where you
want to begin drawing the area to delete.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the area.
iv. Double-click to close the area. Atoll deletes the area from the selected contour.

- : To create a polygon out of the overlapping area of two polygons:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Intersection button ( ).


ii. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the polygon that will overlap the selected one.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the polygon.
iv. Double-click to close the polygon. Atoll creates a new polygon of the overlapping area of the two polygons
and deletes the parts of the polygons that do not overlap.

- : To split the selected polygon into several polygons:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Split button ( ).


ii. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the polygon that will split the selected one.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the polygon.
iv. Double-click to close the polygon. Atoll separates the area covered by the polygon from the selected pol-
ygon and creates a new polygon.

Editing Polygon Zones Using the Context Menu

When you are editing polygon zones, you can access certain commands using the context menu.
To edit a polygon zone using the context menu:
1. Click the polygon zone you want to edit.
2. Right-click the polygon zone to display the context menu and select one of the following:
- Properties: Select Properties to open the Properties dialogue of the selected polygon zone. The Properties
dialogue gives the coordinates of each point that defines the position and shape of the polygon zone.
- Insert Point: Select Insert Point to add a point to the border of the contour at the position of the pointer.
- Move:
i. Select Move from the context menu to move the contour, line, or point on the map.
ii. Move the contour, line, or point.
iii. Click to place the contour, line, or point.
- Quit edition: Select Quit Edition to exit editing mode.
- Delete: Select Delete to remove the selected contour, line, or point from the map.

1.4.8.4.2 Removing a Polygon Zone


When you no longer need a polygon zone, you can remove the zone and redisplay all data objects.
To remove a polygon zone:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of Zones folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the folder containing the zone you want to remove.
4. From the context menu, select Delete Zone. The polygon zone is removed and all document data are now dis-
played.

Tip: You can also delete it by right-clicking its border on the map and selecting Delete from
the context menu.

1.4.8.5 Using a Printing Zone


The printing zone allows you to define the area to be printed. For information on using the printing zone, see "Defining the
Printing Zone" on page 53.

1.4.8.6 Using a Geographic Export Zone


If you want to export part of the map as a bitmap, you can define a geographic export zone. After you have defined a
geographic export zone, Atoll offers you the option of exporting only the area covered by the zone if you export the map
as a raster image.

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To define a geographic export zone:


1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Zones folder.
3. Right-click the Geographic Export Zone folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Draw from the context menu.
5. Draw the geographic export zone:
a. Click the point on the map that will be one corner of the rectangle that will define the geographic export zone.
b. Drag to the opposite corner of the rectangle that will define the geographic export zone. When you release the
mouse, the geographic export zone will be created from the rectangle defined by the two corners.
The geographic export zone is delimited by a light purple line . If you clear the geographic export zone’s visibility
check box in the Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer window, it will no longer be displayed but will still be
taken into account.

You can also create a geographic export zone as follows:

• Vector Edition toolbar: You can use the New Polygon ( ) and New Rectangle ( ) buttons available in the
Vector Edition toolbar to draw the geogaphic export zone.
• Existing polygon: You can use any existing polygon on the map as a geographic export zone by right-clicking it
and selecting Use as > Geographic Export Zone from the context menu.
• Importing a polygon: If you have a file with an existing polygon, you can import it and use it as a geographic
export zone. You can import it by right-clicking the Geographic Export Zone folder on the Geo tab and selecting
Import from the context menu.
• Fit to Map Window: You can create a geographic export zone the size of the map window by selecting Fit to Map
Window from the context menu.

Once you have created a geographic export zone, you can use Atoll’s polygon editing tools to edit it. For more information
on the polygon editing tools, see "Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools" on page 31.

Note: You can export the geographic export zone as a polygon, so that you can use it in a
different Atoll document, by right-clicking the Geographic Export Zone folder on the
Data tab of the Explorer window and selecting Export from the context menu.

Important: The geographic export zone can only export in raster format. You can not export in raster
format if the coverage prediction was made per transmitter (for example, coverage
predictions with the display type set by transmitter, by a transmitter attribute, by signal
level, by path loss, or by total losses). Only the coverage area of a single transmitter can
be exported in raster format.

1.4.9 Editing Polygons, Lines, and Points


Atoll uses different types of polygons, lines, and points in the map window. For example, the zones such as the compu-
tation and focus, described in "Using Zones in the Map Window" on page 29, are specific types of polygons. Another type
of polygon, called contours, can along with lines and points, be used to add additional information to geographic data.
Atoll provides you with several different ways of editing the polygons, lines, and points. You can move or delete the points
that define polygons, lines, and points. You can edit polygons by editing the points that define them, by combining several
polygons, or by deleting parts of the polygons.
Polygons, including the computation and focuspolygons can contain holes. The holes within polygonal areas are differen-
tiated from overlaying polygons by the order of the coordinates of their vertices. The coordinates of the vertices of polyg-
onal areas are in clockwise order, whereas the coordinates of the vertices of holes within polygonal areas are in counter-
clockwise order.
When you no longer need the polygon, line, or point, you can delete it from the map.
In this section, the different ways of editing polygons, lines, and points are explained:
• "Adding a Vector Layer" on page 34
• "Creating Polygons, Lines, and Points" on page 35
• "Editing the Shape of Polygons and Lines" on page 35
• "Combining or Cropping Polygons Using the Toolbar" on page 36
• "Editing a Point" on page 36
• "Editing Contours, Lines, and Points Using the Context Menu" on page 37.

1.4.9.1 Adding a Vector Layer


You can add vector objects such as polygons, lines or points to geographical map information in a project by first creating
a vector layer. You can also modify certain geographic data maps, for example, geoclimatic maps, by adding a vector layer
to them and afterwards adding polygons, lines and points. For information on modifying certain geographic data maps by
adding a vector layer, see "Editing Geoclimatic Maps" on page 115.

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To add a vector layer to the Geo tab:

• Click the New Vector Layer button ( ) ) on the Vector Edition toolbar.
Atoll creates a folder called "Vectors" on the Geo tab of the Explorer window.

For information on adding vector objects such as contours, lines, and points to the vector layer, see "Creating Polygons,
Lines, and Points" on page 35.

1.4.9.2 Creating Polygons, Lines, and Points


Once you have created a vector layer, as explained in "Adding a Vector Layer" on page 34, you can add polygons, lines,
and points to it.
To add a polygon, line, or point to a vector layer:
1. Right-click the vector layer on the Geo tab. The context menu appears.
2. Select Edit from the context menu. The tools on the Vector Edition toolbar are available.

Tip: You can also make the vector tools available by selecting the vector layer to edit from the
Vector Edition toolbar list. Because Atoll names all new vector layers "Vectors" by
default, it might be difficult to know which Vectors folder you are selecting. By renaming
each vectors folder, you can ensure that you select the correct folder. For information on
renaming objects, see "Renaming an Object" on page 17.

If the Vector Edition toolbar is not visible, select View > Vector Edition Toolbar.

3. Click one of the following buttons on the Vector Edition toolbar:

New Polygon:

a. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the contour.
b. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the contour.
c. Double-click to close the contour.

New Rectangle:

a. Click the point on the map that will be one corner of the rectangle.
b. Drag to the opposite corner of the rectangle.
c. Release the mouse to create the rectangle defined by the two corners.

Note: If the polygon or rectangle is on the vector layer of a geoclimatic map,, you must define
the value the polygon or rectangle represents and map the vector layer. For more
information, see "Editing Geoclimatic Maps" on page 115.

New Line:

a. Click once on the map where you want to begin the line.
b. Click each time you change angles on the line.
c. Double-click to end the line.

New Point: Click once on the map where you want to place the point.

4. Press ESC to deselect the currently selected button on the Vector Edition toolbar.

1.4.9.3 Editing the Shape of Polygons and Lines


You can edit the shape of polygons and lines on the vector layer.
To edit the shape of polygons and lines:
1. On the Explorer window tab containing the vector layer, right-click the vector layer folder. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Edit from the context menu. The vector tools on the Vector Edition toolbar are activated.

Tip: You can also activate the vector tools by selecting the vector layer to edit from the Vector
Edition toolbar list.

3. Select the contour or line. You can now edit by:


- Moving a point:

i. Position the pointer over the point you want to move. The pointer changes ( ).

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ii. Drag the point to its new position.


- Adding a point to a contour or a line:
i. Position the pointer over the contour border or line where you want to add a point. The pointer changes
( ).
ii. Right-click and select Insert Point from the context menu. A point is added to the contour border or line
at the position of the pointer.
- Deleting a point from a contour or a line:

i. Position the pointer over the point you want to delete. The pointer changes ( ).
ii. Right-click and select Delete Point from the context menu. The point is deleted.

1.4.9.4 Combining or Cropping Polygons Using the Toolbar


In Atoll, you can create complex contours by using the tools on the Vector Edition toolbar.
To edit a vector object using the icons on the Vector Edition toolbar:
1. On the Explorer window tab containing the vector layer, right-click the vector layer folder. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Edit from the context menu. The vector tools on the Vector Edition toolbar are activated.

Tip: You can also activate the vector tools by selecting the vector layer to edit from the Vector
Edition toolbar list.

3. Click the contour to edit. The Vector Edition toolbar has the following buttons:

- : To combine several contours:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Combine button ( ).


ii. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the new contour.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the contour.
iv. Double-click to close the contour.
v. Draw more contours if desired. Atoll creates a group of polygons of the selected and new contours. If con-
tours overlap, Atoll merges them.

- : To delete part of the selected contour:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Delete button ( ).


ii. Draw the area you want to delete from the selected contour by clicking once on the map where you want
to begin drawing the area to delete.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the area.
iv. Double-click to close the area. Atoll deletes the area from the selected contour.

- : To create a contour out of the overlapping area of two contours:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Intersection button ( ).


ii. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the contour that will overlap the selected one.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the contour.
iv. Double-click to close the contour. Atoll creates a new contour of the overlapping area of the two contours
and deletes the parts of the contours that do not overlap.

- : To split the selected contour into several contours:

i. In the Vector Edition toolbar, click the Split button ( ).


ii. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the contour that will split the selected one.
iii. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the contour.
iv. Double-click to close the contour. Atoll separates the area covered by the contour from the selected con-
tour and creates a new contour.

1.4.9.5 Editing a Point


To edit a point:
1. On the Explorer window tab containing the vector layer, right-click the vector layer folder. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Edit from the context menu. The vector tools on the Vector Edition toolbar are activated.

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Tip: You can also activate the vector tools by selecting the vector layer to edit from the Vector
Edition toolbar list.

3. Select the point. You can now edit by:


- Moving:

i. Click the point you want to move. The pointer changes ( ).


ii. Drag the point to its new position.
- Deleting a point:

i. Click the point you want to delete. The pointer changes ( ).


ii. Right-click and select Delete from the context menu. The point is deleted.

1.4.9.6 Editing Contours, Lines, and Points Using the Context Menu
When you are editing contours, lines, and points, you can access certain commands using the context menu.
To edit a vector object using the context menu:
1. Click the vector object you want to edit.
2. Right-click the vector object to display the context menu and select one of the following:
- Delete: Select Delete to remove the selected contour, line, or point from the map.
- Convert to Line: Select Convert to Line to convert the selected contour to a line.
- Convert to Polygon: Select Convert to Polygon to convert the selected line to a contour.
- Open Line: Select Open Line to remove the segment between the last and the first point.
- Close Line: Select Close Line to add a segment between the last and the first point of the line.
- Insert Point: Select Insert Point to add a point to the border of the contour at the position of the pointer.
- Move:
i. Select Move from the context menu to move the contour, line, or point on the map.
ii. Move the contour, line, or point.
iii. Click to place the contour, line, or point.
- Quit edition: Select Quit Edition to exit editing mode.
- Properties: Select Properties to open the Properties dialogue of the selected contour, line, or point. The
Properties dialogue has two tabs:
- General: The General tab gives the name of the vector Layer, the Surface of the object, and any
Properties of the contour, line, or point.
- Geometry: This tab gives the coordinates of each point that defines the position and shape of the contour,
line, or point.

Note: Only the commands relevant to the selected contour, line, or point are displayed in the
context menu.

1.4.10 Exporting Coverage Prediction Results


In Atoll, you can export the coverage areas of a coverage prediction in raster or vector formats. In raster formats, you can
export in BMP, TIF, JPEG 2000, ArcView© grid, or Vertical Mapper (GRD and GRC) formats. When exporting in GRD or
GRC formats, Atoll allows you to export files larger than 2 GB. In vector formats, you can export in ArcView©, MapInfo©,
or AGD formats. The file exported can then be imported as a vector or raster object in Atoll or in another application.
When you export a coverage prediction in vector format, the exported zone is delimited by the rectangle encompassing
the coverage. When you export a coverage prediction in vector format, you can export the entire coverage prediction, or
you can export a defined area of the coverage prediction.
All coverage types can be exported, however, you can not export a coverage prediction in raster format if the coverage
prediction was made per transmitter (for example, coverage predictions with the display type set by transmitter, by a trans-
mitter attribute, by signal level, by path loss, or by total losses). In this case, only the coverage area of a single transmitter
can be exported in raster format.
You can export coverage predictions separately or you can export several coverage predictions at the same time. When
you export more than one coverage prediction, Atoll suggests the formats that can be used for all the coverage predictions
to be exported.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Exporting an Individual Coverage Prediction in Vector Format" on page 38
• "Exporting an Individual Coverage Prediction in Raster Format" on page 38
• "Exporting Multiple Coverage Predictions" on page 39.

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1.4.10.1 Exporting an Individual Coverage Prediction in Vector Format


To export a coverage prediction in vector format:
1. Select the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Predictions folder.

Note: The coverage prediction must be displayed in the map window before it can be exported.
For information on displaying objects in the map window, see "Displaying or Hiding
Objects on the Map Using the Explorer" on page 16.

3. Select Export the Coverage from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
4. In the Save As dialogue, enter the File name and select the vector format from the Save as type list.
If you have chosen to export the prediction coverage in a vector format other than in AGD format:

a. If desired, under Coordinate Systems, change the reference coordinate system for the file being exported.
b. If desired, change the Resolution of the exported coverage. The default resolution is the resolution of the cov-
erage prediction results (as set in the coverage prediction Properties dialogue).
c. If desired, move the Smoothing slider, or enter the percentage in the text box, to define how much Atoll
smooths the exported coverage.
5. Click Save to export the coverage prediction results.

1.4.10.2 Exporting an Individual Coverage Prediction in Raster Format


To export a coverage prediction in raster format
1. Select the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Predictions folder.

Note: The coverage prediction must be displayed in the map window before it can be exported.
For information on displaying objects in the map window, see "Displaying or Hiding
Objects on the Map Using the Explorer" on page 16.

3. You can export the entire coverage prediction, the geographic export zone, or part of the coverage prediction.
To export the entire coverage prediction:

- Right-click the coverage prediction you want to export.


To export the geographic export zone, define the geographic export zone:

a. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.


b. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Zones folder.
c. Right-click the Geographic Export Zone folder. The context menu appears.
d. Select Draw from the context menu.
e. Draw the geographic export zone by clicking the point on the map that will be one corner of the rectangle that
will define the geographic export zone and dragging to the opposite corner of the rectangle that will define the
geographic export zone. When you release the mouse, the geographic export zone will be created from the
rectangle defined by the two corners.
The geographic export zone is delimited by a light purple line. If you clear the geographic export zone’s visi-
bility check box in the Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer window, it will no longer be displayed but
will still be taken into account.

f. Right-click the coverage prediction you want to export.


To export part of the coverage prediction:

a. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the coverage prediction.


b. Right-click the part of the coverage prediction you want to export.
4. Select Export the Coverage from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
5. In the Save As dialogue, enter the File name and select the raster format from the Save as type list.
6. Enter the file name and select the type and the path of the file to be exported.
7. Click Save to export the coverage prediction results. The Raster Export dialogue appears.
a. Under Region, select the area to export:
- The Coverage Area of the Prediction Study to export a rectangle containing only the area covered by
the study,
- The Computation Zone to export a rectangle containing the entire computation zone, or

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- The Geographic Export Zone to export the rectangle defined by the geographic export zone.
b. If desired, move the Smoothing slider, or enter the percentage in the text box, to define how much Atoll
smooths the exported coverage.
c. Click OK to finish exporting the coverage prediction results.

Notes
• When selecting a coordinate system different than the one initially defined in Atoll, the file is
converted using the selected coordinate system.
• You can not export in raster format if the coverage prediction was made per transmitter (for
example, coverage predictions with the display type set by transmitter, by a transmitter
attribute, by signal level, by path loss, or by total losses). Only the coverage area of a single
transmitter can be exported in raster format.

1.4.10.3 Exporting Multiple Coverage Predictions


If you have several coverage predictions that you want to export, you can export them at the same time.
To export several coverage predictions at the same time:
1. Select the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the the Predictions folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Export Coverages from the context menu. The Coverage Export dialogue appears.
4. In the Coverage Export dialogue, select the check boxes corresponding to the coverage predictions you want to
export. By default, Atoll selects the check boxes of all coverage predictions whose visibility check box is selected
on the Data tab of the Explorer window.
5. Under Options, you can define the following parameters:
- Folder: Enter the folder you want to store the exported coverage predictions in or click the Browse button

( ) to navigate to it.
- Format: Select the vector file format you want Atoll to export the coverage predictions in.
- Time stamp: If you select the Time stamp check box, Atoll will add the date and time to the file name of each
exported coverage prediction.
- Resolution in metres: You can define a resolution for the exported coverage predictions.
6. Click Export to export the selected coverage predictions. The selected coverage predictions are saved in the
selected folder.

Note: When you export several coverage predictions at the same time, Atoll does not take the
geographic export zone into consideration. The geographic export zone is only taken into
consideration for raster file formats.

1.4.11 Saving a Map as a Graphic Image


You can save a map as a graphic image.
To save a map as a graphic image:

1. Click the Select an area button ( ) in the Map toolbar.


2. Define the area to save:
a. Click in the map on one of the four corners of the area you want to select.
b. Drag to the opposite corner.
3. Select File > Save Image As. The Map Export dialogue appears.
4. In the Map Export dialogue, select the zone that you wish to save as an image. You can select:
- Selection: The area on the map selected in step 1.
- Geographic Export Zone
- Printing Zone
5. Click Export. The Save As dialogue appears.
6. In the Save as dialogue, select a destination folder, enter a File name, and select a file type from the Save as
type list.
The following file formats are supported: TIF, BIL, BMP, and ArcView Grid (TXT). If you wish to use the saved file
as a digital terrain model, you should select the TIF, BIL, or TXT format. When saving in BIL format, Atoll allows
you to save files larger than 2 Gb.

7. Click Save. The Exported Image Size dialogue appears.


8. You can define the size of the exported image in one of two ways:

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Atoll User Manual

- Scale: If you wish to define the size by scale, select Scale, enter a scale in the text box and a Resolution. If
you wish to export the image with rulers, select Include Rulers.
- Pixel Size: If you wish to define the size by pixel size, select Pixel Size, and enter a pixel size in the text box.

Important: If you wish to use the exported file as a digital terrain model, you must define the size of
the exported image by pixel size. Atoll then creates a geo-reference file for the exported
image.

9. Click OK.

1.4.12 Copying a Map to Another Application


You can copy a selected area of the map into a document created using another application.
To copy a selected area of the map into a document created using another application:

1. Click the Select an area button ( ) in the Map toolbar.


2. Define the area to copy:
a. Click in the map on one of the four corners of the area you want to select.
b. Drag to the opposite corner.
3. Select Edit > Copy Image. The Copy Image dialogue appears.
4. Define the resolution of the image in one of the following ways:
- Select Use Screen Resolution
- Select Use Custom Resolution and enter a resolution in metres.
5. Click OK.
6. Open the application into which you want to paste the image.
7. In the new application, select Edit > Paste Special.
8. In the Paste Special dialogue, select Picture (Enhanced Metafile).

Note: You can also select Bitmap to paste the selection without rulers, or Text to paste the
upper left and lower right coordinates of the selection.

9. Click OK. The area of the map, including the rulers, is pasted as an image into the new document.

1.4.13 Map Window Pointers


In Atoll, the pointer appears in different forms according to its function. Each pointer is described below:

Appearance Description Meaning


The zone selection pointer indicates that, on the map, you can define a zone to
Selection arrow print or copy and, in the Panoramic window, you can define the zone to be
displayed on the map. To define a zone, click and drag diagonally.

The polygon drawing pointer indicates you can draw a zone to filter either sites
or links, draw computation/focus/hot spot/filtering/printing/ eographic export
Polygon drawing
zones, or draw vector or raster polygons on the map. To draw a polygon, click
pointer once to start, and each time you change angles on the border defining the
outside of the polygon. Close the polygon by clicking twice.

The rectangle drawing pointer indicates you can draw computation/focus/hot


Rectangle
spot/filtering/printing/geographic export zones, or draw vector or raster
drawing pointer rectangles on the map. To define a zone, click and drag diagonally.

Hand The hand pointer indicates you can move the visible part of the displayed map.

The zoom pointer indicates you can click to zoom in and right-click to zoom out
Zoom tool
at the location of the mouse pointer

The zoom area pointer indicates you can zoom in on an area of the by clicking
Zoom area
and dragging to define the area.

The pencil pointer indicates you can create a polygonal clutter zone, by clicking
Pencil once to start the polygon, once to create each corner, and by double-clicking to
close the polygon.

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Appearance Description Meaning


The deletion pointer indicates that you can delete a newly created polygonal
Deletion
clutter zone by clicking its border.

The position indicator pointer indicates you can select the border of a polygon.
Position
Right-clicking the polygon border opens a context menu allowing you to add a
indicator point, delete the polygon, or centre the map on the polygon.

The select/create points pointer indicates you can modify the polygon in the
map window. You can add a new point and modify the polygon contour by
Select/create
clicking on one of the edges and dragging. You can move an existing point by
points clicking and dragging an existing point. You can right-click to open a context
menu to delete a point, delete the polygon, or centre the map on the polygon.

Microwave link The microwave link pointer indicates you can click a point on the map to create
start the first point of a microwave link. Once you have created the first point, the
End microwave link pointer changes and the next click ends the link.

Multi-hop or The multihop and multipoint pointer indicates you can click once to create the
first point of a multi-hop link or the hub of a point-to-multipoint link. In the case
point-to-
of a multihop link, each subsequent click creates another point in the link. In the
multipoint case of a point-to-multipoint, each subsequent link creates anew point,
microwave link connected to the hub by a link.

Rotate hub
antenna of The rotate hub antenna pointer indicates you can click the hub antenna and
point-to- drag it to a new position to change the azimuth of the hub antenna.
multipoint link
The measurement pointer indicates you can click on the map to set the start
Measurements
point of your measurement. As you move the pointer, the distance between the
on the map first point and the pointer is displayed in the status bar.

The terrain section pointer indicates that you can create a terrain section by
clicking once on the map to create the first point and once more to create the
Terrain section
second point. The terrain profile between the two points is displayed in the
Point Analysis window and stored under Terrain Sections in the Geo tab.

1.5 Working with Data Tables


Atoll stores object data (sites, antennas, microwave links, etc.) in the form of tables, containing all their parameters and
characteristics. The data contained in prediction reports are also stored in the form of tables.
You can add columns to the data table and you can delete certain columns. When you create a new column, you can
create a default value for a field you create. You can also create a list of options (for text fields) from which the user can
choose when filling in the field.
You can filter, sort, and group the data contained in these tables, and view a statistical analysis of the data. You can also
export the data or import data into the Atoll data tables.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Opening a Data Table" on page 41
• "Adding, Deleting, and Editing Data Table Fields" on page 42
• "Editing the Contents of a Table" on page 43
• "Opening an Object’s Record Properties Dialogue from a Table" on page 44
• "Defining the Table Format" on page 44
• "Copying and Pasting in Tables" on page 47
• "Viewing a Statistical Analysis of Table Contents" on page 49
• "Exporting Tables to Text Files" on page 49
• "Importing Tables from Text Files" on page 50
• "Exporting Tables to XML Files" on page 51
• "Importing Tables from XML Files" on page 52.

1.5.1 Opening a Data Table


To open a data table:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the data folder of which you want to display the data table.
3. Select Open Table from the context menu.

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Atoll User Manual

1.5.2 Adding, Deleting, and Editing Data Table Fields


The data for each object type is stored in the form of a data table. Every data table in Atoll is created with a default set of
columns, each corresponding to a field. In this section, the following functions are explained:
• "Accessing an Object Type’s Table Fields" on page 42
• "Adding a Field to an Object Type’s Data Table" on page 42
• "Deleting a Field from an Object Type’s Data Table" on page 43

1.5.2.1 Accessing an Object Type’s Table Fields


The fields contained in an object type’s table are defined in a dialogue.
To access an object type’s table fields:
1. In the Explorer window, open the data table as described in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Right-click the table in the map window. The context menu appears.
3. Select Table Fields from the context menu. A dialogue appears where you can view the existing fields and add
or delete new ones.
The dialogue displays the following information for each type of data (see Figure 1.13):

- The Name of the field in the database (Name).


- The Name of the field in the ATL file (Legend).
- The Type of the field.
- The maximum Size of the field.
- The Default value of the field.
- The Group to which the field belongs. When opening an Atoll document from a database, you can select a
group of custom fields to be loaded from the database, instead of loading all custom fields.

Figure 1.13: The Table tab

1.5.2.2 Adding a Field to an Object Type’s Data Table


You can add a custom field to any object type’s data table.
To add a custom field to an object type’s data table:
1. Access the object type’s table fields as explained in "Accessing an Object Type’s Table Fields" on page 42.
2. Click Add. The Field Definition dialogue appears (see Figure 1.14).
3. The Field Definition dialogue has the following text boxes:
- Name: Enter the Name for the field that will appear in the database
- Group: If desired, you can define a Group that this custom field will belong to. When you open an Atoll doc-
ument from a database, you can then select a specific group of custom fields to be loaded from the database,
instead of loading all custom fields.
- Legend: Enter the name for the field that will appear in the Atoll document.
- Type: Select a type for the field (text, short integer, long integer, single, double, true/false, date/time, or cur-
rency)
- Size: The Size field is only available if you have selected "text" as the Type. Enter a size in characters.
- Default Value: If you want, enter a default value that will appear each time you create a new record of this
object type.
- Choice List: The Choice List field is only available if you have selected "text" as the Type. You can create
a choice list by entering the list items in the Choice List text box, separating each list item with a hard return.

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4. Click OK to return to the object type table.

Note: User or custom fields are for information only and are not taken into account in any
calculation. You can find these fields in the Other Properties tab of an object type’s
Properties dialogue.

Figure 1.14: The Field Definition dialogue

1.5.2.3 Deleting a Field from an Object Type’s Data Table


You can delete custom fields from an object type’s data table. Custom fields are the fields that the user adds to an object
type’s data table, as explained in "Adding a Field to an Object Type’s Data Table" on page 42.
To delete a custom field from an object type’s data table:

Caution: All data stored in the field will be lost when you delete the field itself. Make sure that you
are not deleting important information.

1. Access the object type’s table fields as explained in "Accessing an Object Type’s Table Fields" on page 42.
2. Select the custom field that you want to delete.

Tip: Some fields can not be deleted. If you select a field and the Delete button remains
unavailable, the selected field is not a custom field and can not be deleted.

3. Click Delete. The field is deleted from the object type’s data table.

1.5.3 Editing the Contents of a Table


To edit the contents of a table:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the data folder of which you want to display the data table.
3. Select Open Table from the context menu.
4. Edit the content of the table by entering the value directly in the field (see Figure 1.15).
5. Click elsewhere in the table when you have finished to update the table. Your changes are automatically saved.

Tip: If a list of options has been defined for a field, you can select a value from the list (see
Figure 1.16) or enter a new value.

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Figure 1.15: Editing data in the transmitters data tables

Figure 1.16: Choosing data in the transmitters data tables

1.5.4 Opening an Object’s Record Properties Dialogue from a


Table
You can open the Record Properties dialogue of an object, for example, a site, antenna, transmitter, or cell, from its data
table.
To open the Record Properties dialogue of an object:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Right-click the record whose properties you want to see.
3. Select Record Properties from the context menu.

Note: You can also open the Record Properties dialogue by double-clicking the record. To
avoid editing the record when you double-click, double-click the left margin of the record
instead of the record itself.

1.5.5 Defining the Table Format


Atoll lets you format the data tables so that the data presented is more legible or better presented. You can change the
format of the data table by:
• "Formatting the Column Headers" on page 45
• "Formatting Table Columns" on page 45
• "Changing Column Width or Row Height" on page 45
• "Displaying or Hiding a Column" on page 46
• "Freezing or Unfreezing a Column" on page 46
• "Moving Columns" on page 46

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Formatting the Column Headers

1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select Format > Header Format. The Format dialogue appears.
3. The Format dialogue has the following tabs:
- Font: You can select the Font, Outline (the font style), font Size, Effects, and Text Colour.
- Colour: You can select the background colour (Interior) of the column headers, by selecting a Foreground
colour, a Background colour, and a pattern from the list box. You can also select a 3D Effect for the header.
- Borders: You can select the Border, the Type, and the Colour for each column header.
- Alignment: You can select both the Horizontal and Vertical alignment of the column header text.
4. Click OK.

Formatting Table Columns

1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select Format > Column Format. The Format dialogue appears.
3. The Format dialogue has the following tabs:
- Font: You can select the Font, Outline (the font style), font Size, Effects, and Text Colour.
- Colour: You can select the background colour (Interior) of the column headers, by selecting a Foreground
colour, a Background colour, and a pattern from the list box. You can also select a 3D Effect for the header.
- Borders: You can select the Border, the Type, and the Colour for each column header.
- Alignment: You can select both the Horizontal and Vertical alignment of the column header text.
4. Click OK.

Changing Column Width or Row Height

You can change the column width and row height in a data table. When you change the column width, you change the
width only for the selected column. When you change the row height, however, you change the row height for every row
in the table.
To change the column width:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Click the border separating two column headers and drag to change the column width (see Figure 1.17).
To change the row height:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Click the border separating two rows and drag to change the row height (see Figure 1.18).

Figure 1.17: Changing column width

Figure 1.18: Changing row height

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Displaying or Hiding a Column

You can choose which columns in data tables to display or hide.


To display or hide a column:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select Format > Display Columns. The Columns to Be Displayed dialogue appears (see Figure 1.19).
3. To display a column, select its check box.
4. To hide a column, clear its check box.

Tip: You can also hide a column by right-clicking on its header and selecting Hide Columns
from the context menu. You can hide more than one column by pressing CTRL while
selecting the columns and then selecting Hide Columns from the context menu.

5. Click Close.

Figure 1.19: The Columns to Be Displayed dialogue

Note: You can also right-click the data table and select the Display Columns or Hide Columns
command from the context menu.

Freezing or Unfreezing a Column

In Atoll, you can freeze one or more columns of a data table so that they always remain visible as you scroll horizontally
through the table. For example, while scrolling through the Sites table, you might want to have the Name column always
visible. You can keep this column, or any other column visible, by freezing it.
To freeze a column:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select the header of the column you want to freeze. Click and drag over several headers to select more than one
column to freeze.

Note: You can only freeze adjacent columns.

3. Right-click the selected header or headers and select Freeze columns from the context men.

Note: You can not freeze a column in a report table.

To unfreeze columns:
• Select Format > Unfreeze columns.

Moving Columns

In Atoll, you can change the column order so that you can group similar columns or present data in a determined order.
To move a column:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select the header of the column you want to move. Click and drag over several headers to select more than one
column to move.

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Note: You can only move several columns at the same time when they are adjacent.

3. Click again on the selected column and drag to the desired area. As you drag the column, the position the column
will occupy is indicated by a red line (see Figure 1.20).

Figure 1.20: Moving columns

Note: It may be necessary to click Refresh in the Map toolbar for your changes to appear.

1.5.6 Copying and Pasting in Tables


In Atoll, you can copy and paste data in tables using the Copy (CTRL+C), Cut (CTRL+X), and Paste (CTRL+V)
commands on the Edit menu. You can copy and paste data to create new elements or you can copy and paste the same
data into several cells.
In this section, the following is explained:
• "Copying and Pasting a Table Element" on page 47
• "Pasting the Same Data into Several Cells" on page 47.

1.5.6.1 Copying and Pasting a Table Element


You can create a new element in tables by copying an existing element, pasting it into a new row and editing the details
that are different.

Note: Each element in a table must have a unique Name.

To create a new element by copying and pasting:


1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Click in the left margin of the table row containing the element to select the entire row.
3. Select Edit > Copy to copy the table row.

4. Click in the left margin of the table row marked with the New Row icon ( ) to select the entire row.
5. Select Edit > Paste to paste the copied data into the new row. Atoll, creates a new element from the copied data.
The name of the new element is the same as that of the copied element, preceded by "Copy of." You can edit this
name.

1.5.6.2 Pasting the Same Data into Several Cells


You can paste the same data into several cells, using Fill Up or Fill Down.
To paste the same data into several cells:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Click on the cell with the data you wish to copy and drag to select the cells into which you wish to copy the data
(see Figure 1.21).

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Figure 1.21: Selecting the cells

3. Copy into the selected cells:


- To copy the contents of the top cell of the selection into the other cells, select Edit > Fill > Down (see
Figure 1.22).

Figure 1.22: Copying the contents of the top cell

- To copy the contents of the bottom cell of the selection into the other cells, select Edit > Fill > Up (see
Figure 1.23).

Figure 1.23: Copying the contents of the bottom cell

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1.5.7 Viewing a Statistical Analysis of Table Contents


You can view a statistical analysis of the contents of an entire column in a table or of the contents of a selection of cells.
To view a statistical analysis of table contents:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select the column data you want to analyse:
To view a statistical analysis of an entire column:

- Click the column title. The entire column is selected.


To view a statistical analysis of a selection of cells in one column:

- Select the cells you want to analyse. You can select contiguous cells by clicking the first cell and dragging to
the last cell of the selection you want to analyse, or by clicking the first cell, pressing SHIFT and clicking the
last cell. You can select non-contiguous cells by pressing CTRL and clicking each cell in the column sepa-
rately.

Tip: In Atoll you can organise data in several different ways, allowing you to select only
certain data. For more information, see "Grouping, Sorting, and Filtering Data" on
page 56.

3. Right-click the selection of cells. The context menu appears.


4. Select Statistics from the context menu. The Statistics dialogue appears (see Figure 1.24).

Figure 1.24: The Statistics dialogue

The statistics displayed depend on the type of numerical data selected. If you leave the Statistics dialogue open,
you can view the statistical analysis of other cells by selecting them in the table. The contents of the Statistics
dialogue are updated automatically.

1.5.8 Exporting Tables to Text Files


You can export entire Atoll data tables, or selected columns, to ASCII text files (in text, TXT, and Comma Separated
Value, CSV, formats) and to MS Excel files.
To export a table:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Right-click the table. The context menu appears.
3. Select Export from the context menu. The Export dialogue appears. You can see how the exported table will
appear in the Preview pane (see Figure 1.25).

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Figure 1.25: Exporting a data table

4. Select the Header check box if you want to export the names of the columns with the data.
5. Select a Decimal Symbol from the list.
6. Select a Field Separator from the list.
7. Select the fields (displayed as columns in the table) you want to export. You can display all the fields belonging to
a table by clicking the Expand button ( ) to the left of the table name. You can select contiguous fields by clicking
the first field, pressing SHIFT and clicking the last field. You can select non-contiguous fields by pressing CTRL
and clicking each fields separately.

a. To select a field to be exported, select the field in the Available Fields box and click to move it
to the Exported Fields list. All fields in the Exported Fields list will be exported.
b. To remove a field from the list of Exported Fields, select the field in the Exported Fields list and click

to remove it.

c. To change the order of the fields, select a field and click or to move it up or down in the list. The fields
at the top of the Exported Fields appear at the left of the exported table.

Note: You can save the choices you have made in the Export dialogue as a configuration file by
clicking the Save button at the top of the dialogue and entering a name for the file in the
Save As dialogue that appears. The next time you export a data table, you can click Load
in the Export dialogue to open your configuration file with the same settings you used this
time.

8. Click Export. The Save As dialogue appears.


9. In the Save As dialogue, enter the File name and select the format from the Save as type list.
10. Click Save to export the table.
You can export the Sites, Links, Multi-Hops, and Point to Multipoint tables to text files by selecting the folder or a
subfolder in the Explorer window and pressing CTRL+E.
For information on importing data into a data table, see "Importing Tables from Text Files" on page 50.

1.5.9 Importing Tables from Text Files


You can import data in the form of ASCII text files (in TXT and CSV formats) into Atoll data tables.
To import a table:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Right-click the table. The context menu appears.

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3. Select Import from the context menu. The Open dialogue appears.
4. Select the ASCII text file you want to open and click Open. The Import dialogue appears (see Figure 1.26).

Figure 1.26: Importing information into a data table

5. Enter the number of the first line of data in the 1st Data Line box.
6. Select a Decimal Symbol from the list.
7. Select a Field Separator from the list.
8. Select the Update Records check box if you want to replace the data of records already existing in the table.

Note: Atoll compares the values in the left-most column of the data to be imported with the
values in the same column of the data table to see if records already exist. The values of
these records are replaced when the Update Records check box is selected. If the
Update Records check box is not selected, these records are not imported.

9. Under Field Mapping, there are two header rows:


- Source: The column headers from the text file you are importing.
- Destination: The column headers from the Atoll data table.
Align the content of the source file with the content of the destination file by clicking the column header in the Desti-
nation row and selecting the corresponding column from the Atoll data file (see Figure 1.26). Select <Ignore> for
source file columns that you do not want to import.

Tip: You can change the width of the columns to make the contents easier to work with. See
"Changing Column Width or Row Height" on page 45.

Note: You can save the choices you have made in the Import dialogue as a configuration file by
clicking the Save button at the top of the dialogue and entering a name for the file in the
Save As dialogue that appears. The next time you export a data table, you can click Load
in the Import dialogue to open your configuration file with the same settings you used this
time.

10. Click Import. The contents are imported in the current Atoll data table.
You can import data from text files into the Sites, Links, Multi-Hops, and Point to Multipoint tables by selecting the folder
or a subfolder in the Explorer window and pressing CTRL+I.
For information on exporting the information in a data table into a text file, see "Exporting Tables to Text Files" on page 49.

1.5.10 Exporting Tables to XML Files


You can export the data tables in your Atoll document to XML files. You can use XML to exchange information between
Atoll and the OMC.

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Atoll creates one XML file for each exported data table, and an index.xml file that contains the mapping between the tables
that were exported and the XML files corresponding to each data table. The index.xml file also stores the information on
the system (GSM, UMTS, etc.), the technologyTDMA, CDMA, , etc., and the version of Atoll with which the XML files were
created. For more information about the formats of the XML files, see the Technical Reference Guide.
To export all the data tables in your document to XML files:
1. Select File > Data Exchange > XML File Export. The Browse for Folder dialogue appears.
2. Select the folder where the XML files are to be stored. Click the Make New Folder button if you want to create a
new folder to store the XML files.
3. Click OK. All the data tables in the document are exported to XML files.
For information on importing the data tables from XML files into your document, see "Importing Tables from XML Files" on
page 52.

1.5.11 Importing Tables from XML Files


You can import data tables into your Atoll document from XML files. You can use XML to exchange information between
Atoll and the OMC.
In order for Atoll to be able to correctly import the data tables from XML files, the XML files and the current Atoll document
must use the same system (GSM, UMTS, etc.), the technologyTDMA, CDMA, , etc., and the Atoll version used to create
the XML files must be the same as the version used to import the data. For more information about the formats of the XML
files, see the Technical Reference Guide.
To import data tables into your document from XML files:
1. Select File > Data Exchange > XML File Import. The Browse for Folder dialogue appears.
2. Select the folder where the index.xml file is located.
3. Click OK. The data tables from the XML files listed in the index.xml file are imported in the document .

Note: Tables are imported in the same order they appear in the index.xml file. Do not modify the
order of tables in the index.xml file because the order in which the data is imported is very
important; some data must be imported before other data. For example, antennas used
by transmitters must be imported before the transmitters themselves.

During the import procedure, existing data in the tables are overwritten by the data from the XML files. Once the import is
complete, Atoll performs a database integrity check, and a duplicate records check to ensure that the import did not create
database problems.
For information on exporting the data tables in your document to XML files, see "Exporting Tables to XML Files" on
page 51.

1.6 Printing in Atoll


In Atoll, you can print any part of your document, including maps, data tables, document reports, and antenna patterns.
This section explains the following:
• "Printing Data Tables and Reports" on page 52
• "Printing a Map" on page 52
• "Printing a Docking Window" on page 56

1.6.1 Printing Data Tables and Reports


Data tables and reports are both presented in tabular format in Atoll and can, therefore, both be printed in the same way.
If you wish to see how the table will appear once printed, see "Previewing Your Printing" on page 55.
To print a table:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. If you want to print an area of the table, select it by clicking in one corner of the area and dragging diagonally to
the opposite corner.
3. Select File > Print.
4. If you want to print only a selected area, choose Selected in the Print dialogue.
5. Click OK to print.

1.6.2 Printing a Map


You can print a map in Atoll and create a paper copy of studies, predictions, etc. Atoll offers several options allowing you
to customise and optimise the printed map. Atoll supports printing to a variety of paper sizes, including A4 and A0.

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Before you print a map, you have the following options:


• You can print the entire map, or you can define an area of the map to be printed in one of the following ways:
- Selecting the print area (see "Defining the Printing Zone" on page 53).
- Creating a focus zone (see "Drawing a Focus Zone" on page 31).
• You can accept the default layout or you can modify the print layout (see "Defining the Print Layout" on page 54).
• You can see how the map will appear once printed (see "Previewing Your Printing" on page 55).

Important: Printing graphics is a memory-intensive operation and can make heavy demands on your
printer. Before printing for the first time, you should review the "Printing
Recommendations" on page 53 to avoid any memory-related problems.

To print a map:
1. Select the document window containing the map.
2. You now have the following options before printing the map:
- You can select a print area ("Defining the Printing Zone" on page 53) or create a focus zone ("Drawing a Focus
Zone" on page 31).
- You can modify the print layout ("Defining the Print Layout" on page 54).
- You can see how the map will appear once printed (see "Previewing Your Printing" on page 55).
3. Select File > Print.
4. Click OK.

1.6.2.1 Printing Recommendations


The appearance of the map is determined by the arrangement and properties of the objects the map contains. Objects in
Atoll are arranged in layers. The layers on the top (as arranged on the Data and Geo tabs) are the most visible on the
screen and in print. The visibility of the lower layers depends on which layers are above it and on the transparency of these
layers (for information on transparency, see "Defining the Transparency of Objects and Object Types" on page 23).
Before printing a map, it is recommended to organise the layers from top to bottom as follows, when a document contains
surface layers (raster maps or polygonal vector maps), lines (vectors such as roads, or airport), and points (measure-
ments, etc.):
• Points (vectors)
• Roads and Lines (vectors)
• Surface polygons (vectors)
• Multi-format maps - population, geoclimatic, traffic maps (vector or raster), and others
• Clutter class maps (transparent raster maps)
• Images, DTM, or clutter height maps (non-transparent maps).
Sites and transmitters must be above all the other layers. For this reason, visible objects on the Data tab, for example,
sites, transmitters, and predictions, are displayed above objects on the Geo tab. For performance reasons, however, it is
strongly recommended to put vector layers, such as roads, over predictions. This will ensure that these vector layers are
visible when you print the map.
To put vector layers from the Geo tab over predictions:
1. In the Explorer window, click the Geo tab.
2. Right-click the vector layer you wish to move to the Data tab. The context menu appears.
3. Select Transfer to Data from the context menu.
4. Click the Data tab.
5. Drag the vector layer to a position above Predictions but below Sites, Antennas, and Transmitters.

1.6.2.2 Defining the Printing Zone


You can define an area to be printed.
To create a printing zone:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Zones folder.
3. Right-click the Printing Zone folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Draw from the context menu.
5. Draw the printing zone:
a. Click the point on the map that will be one corner of the rectangle that will define the printing zone.
b. Drag to the opposite corner of the rectangle that will define the printing zone. When you release the mouse,
the printing zone will be created from the rectangle defined by the two corners.
The printing zone is delimited by a light green line (see Figure 1.27). If you clear the printing zone’s visibility check
box in the Zones folder of the Geo tab in the Explorer window, it will no longer be displayed but will still be taken
into account.

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Figure 1.27: Printing zone

You can also create a printing zone as follows:

• Vector Edition toolbar: You can use the New Polygon ( ) and New Rectangle ( ) buttons available in the
Vector Edition toolbar to draw the printing zone.
• Existing polygon: You can use any existing polygon on the map as a printing zone by right-clicking it and
selecting Use as > Printing Zone from the context menu.
• Importing a polygon: If you have a file with an existing polygon, you can import it and use it as a printing zone.
You can import it by right-clicking the Printing Zone folder on the Geo tab and selecting Import from the context
menu.
• Fit to Map Window: You can create a printing zone the size of the map window by selecting Fit to Map Window
from the context menu.

Once you have created a printing zone, you can change its size by dragging the edges of the zone displayed on the rulers
of the map window. You can also use Atoll’s polygon editing tools to edit the printing zone. For more information on the
polygon editing tools, see "Using Polygon Zone Editing Tools" on page 31.

Note: You can export the printing zone as a polygon, so that you can use it in a different Atoll
document, by right-clicking the Printing Zone folder on the Data tab of the Explorer
window and selecting Export from the context menu.

1.6.2.3 Defining the Print Layout


You can use the Print Setup dialogue to define how your map will appear when you print it. On the Print Setup dialogue,
you can:
• Set the scale of the map.
• Choose to print the rulers with the map.
• Choose to print the area outside the focus zone.
• Choose to print the legend.
• Add a title, comment, logo, header, or footer.
• Select paper size and source, as well as the page orientation and the margins.
These settings can be saved as a configuration, allowing you to define a standard appearance which you can then import
the next time you print a similar document.
To define the appearance of the map when it is printed:
1. Select File > Print Setup. The Print Setup dialogue appears. You define the print set up on the Page tab, the
Components tab, and the Header/Footer tab. You can see any changes you make in the schematic preview on
the right side of the Print Setup dialogue.

Note: If you have previously defined a configuration file containing all the necessary settings,
you can click the Import button under Configuration to import those settings.

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2. Click the Page tab. On the Page tab, you can define the page size, margins, and orientation and the scale of the
printed map:
a. Under Orientation, select whether the page should be printed in Portrait or Landscape.
b. Under Paper, select the Size of the paper and, optionally, the Source of the paper.
c. Under Scaling, define the scale of the printed image either by selecting Fit to page, or by selecting Scale and
defining the scale.
d. Under Margins, set the margins of the page in millimetres.
3. Click the Components tab.
a. Under Map, you can define the appearance of the printed map:
- Select the Rulers check box if you want to print the map with a scale around it.
- Select the Area inside focus zone only check box if you only want to print the part of the map inside the
focus zone.
b. Under Legend, you can define the placement of the legend.
- Select the Legend check box if you want to print a legend with the map.

- Click a button to set the Position of the legend. The buttons


inside the square will place the legend on top of the map.
The buttons outside of the square will place the legend
outside of the map.

- Click a Font button to open the Font dialogue to define the font of the legend.
c. Select the Comments check box if you want to print a comment with the map and set its Position. Clicking
the Properties button opens a dialogue where you can enter text and set variables such as the current time
and date. If you want the comment to appear on the map (and not outside of it), select the On the map check
box.
4. Click the Header/Footer tab. On the Header/Footer tab, you can set the position of graphic elements.
a. Select the Map Title check box if you want to define a title for the map and set its Position. Clicking the Prop-
erties button opens a dialogue where you can enter text and set variables such as the current time and date.
If you want the title to appear on the map (and not outside of it), select the On the map check box.
b. Under Logo 1 and Logo 2, you can define graphics that appear for the map. The graphics can be a company
logo or other information, such as copyright information, in the form of a BMP graphic.
i. For the selected check box, click the Properties button. The Logo dialogue appears.
By default, Atoll searches for the header and footer logos in the Atoll’s installation folder. If a file named
logo.bmp is present in this folder, it is considered as the default header logo. However, you can select a
different file.

ii. Click File. The Open dialogue appears.


iii. Select the your graphic in BMP format and click Open.

Note: Only BMP graphics can be used as logos. If your logo is in a different format, you must
first convert it using a graphics programme to the BMP format.

iv. Select the correct Width and Height (in pixels).


v. Click OK.
c. Select the Header/Footer check box if you want to define a header or footer for the map and set its Position.
Clicking the Properties button opens a dialogue where you can enter text and set variables such as the cur-
rent time and date. If you want the header or footer to appear on the map (and not outside of it), select the On
the map check box.
5. Once you have made your settings, click OK to close the Print Setup dialogue, or click Print to print the document.

Note: You can save the current settings as a configuration file by clicking the Export button
under Configuration. This enables you to re-use the same settings the next time by
importing them.

1.6.3 Previewing Your Printing


When you want to print maps, data tables, or reports, you can preview your printing.

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To preview your printing:


1. Select the map or table you want to print.
2. Select File > Print Preview. The Print Preview window appears.
At the top of the Print Preview window, you can click one of the following buttons:

- Click Print to open the Print dialogue.


- Click Zoom In to zoom in on the print preview.
- Click Zoom Out to zoom out on the print preview.
- Click Next Page to display the following page
- Click Prev Page to display the previous page.
- Click Two Page to display two pages side by side
- Click One Page to display a single page.

1.6.4 Printing a Docking Window


You can print the content of many docking windows using the context menu; selecting File > Print only prints the contents
of a document window, as explained in "Printing a Map" on page 52. The docking windows whose contents you can print
are:
• Legend Window (for more information on this tool, see "Adding an Object Type to the Legend" on page 24)
• Point Analysis Tool
• CW Measurement Analysis Tool (for more information on this tool, see the Measurements and Model Calibration
Guide.
• Drive Test Data Analysis Tool
• Microwave Link Analysis (for more information on this tool, see "Studying Reflection" on page 210)
To print the content of a docking window:
1. Open the docking window you want to print.
- If you want to print a Point Analysis window, click the tab of the study you want to print.
2. Right-click the window you wish to print.
3. Select Print from the context menu. The Print dialogue appears.
4. Click OK to print.

1.7 Grouping, Sorting, and Filtering Data


In Atoll you can organise data in several different ways, allowing you to select only certain data and then, for example,
modify only selected data or run calculations on the selected data. Atoll allows you to group, sort, or filter data quickly by
one criterion, or by several.
After you have defined how you will group, sort, or filter data, you can save this information as a folder configuration.
In this section the following will be explained:
• "Grouping Data Objects" on page 56
• "Sorting Data" on page 60
• "Filtering Data" on page 62
• "Folder Configurations" on page 69
• "Creating and Comparing Subfolders" on page 71

1.7.1 Grouping Data Objects


You can group objects according to a selected property on the Data tab of the Explorer window. The objects to be grouped
can be in a data folder or in a subfolder (see "Creating and Comparing Subfolders" on page 71). You can also define the
properties by which you can group objects. Grouping objects in the Explorer window is similar to sorting data in the data
table because it puts all records with the selected property together.
Once you have grouped data objects, you can access their Properties dialogue from the context menu to edit properties
on all grouped objects. You can save the grouping parameters as a folder configuration. For information, see "Folder
Configurations" on page 69.
This section explains:
• "Grouping Data Objects by a Selected Property" on page 56
• "Configuring the Group By Submenu" on page 57
• "Advanced Grouping" on page 58.
For examples of grouping data objects, see "Examples of Grouping" on page 59.

1.7.1.1 Grouping Data Objects by a Selected Property


You can group data objects by a selected property using the Group By command on the context menu.

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To group data objects by a selected property:


1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder or subfolder whose objects you want to group. The context menu appears.
3. From the Group By submenu, select the property by which you want to group the objects. The objects in the folder
are grouped by that property.

Note: If the range of properties available in the Group By submenu has been configured as
explained in "Configuring the Group By Submenu" on page 57, you can select additional
properties by selecting More Fields from the Group By submenu. For information on
using the dialogue that appears, see "Configuring the Group By Submenu" on page 57.

To undo the grouping:


1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder or subfolder whose objects you have grouped.
3. From the context menu, select from the Group By > None.
See "Examples of Grouping" on page 59.

1.7.1.2 Configuring the Group By Submenu


Some data objects, such as transmitters, have a large number of properties that will appear by default in the Group By
submenu. You can make it easier to group data objects by configuring the Group By submenu to display only the prop-
erties that are relevant for grouping.
To configure the Group By submenu:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder whose Group By submenu you want to configure. The context menu appears.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the General tab of the Properties dialogue.
5. Click the Configure button next to the Group By field that shows how the data objects are presently grouped. The
Configuration dialogue appears (see Figure 1.28).

Figure 1.28: The Configuration dialogue

6. Select the fields you want to appear in the Group By submenu. You can display all the fields belonging to a table
by clicking the Expand button ( ) to the left of the table name. You can select contiguous fields by clicking the
first field, pressing SHIFT and clicking the last field. You can select non-contiguous fields by pressing CTRL and
clicking each fields separately.
- To select a field to appear in the Group By submenu, select the field in the Available Fields list and click

to move it to the Grouping Fields list.


- To remove a field from the list of Grouping Fields, select the field in the Grouping Fields list and click

to remove it.

- To change the order of the fields, select a field and click or to move it up or down in the list. The objects
will be grouped in the order of the fields in the Grouping Fields list, from top to bottom.
7. Click OK to close the Configuration dialogue and click OK to close the Properties dialogue. The Group By sub-
menu will now contain only the fields you selected.

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1.7.1.3 Grouping Microwave Links by Site


You can find all the microwave links that are connected to a specific site by grouping all links by site.
To group microwave links by site:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Classify by Site from the context menu. Atoll creates subfolders for each site with a microwave link and
sorts the links by site (see Figure 1.29).

Figure 1.29: Grouping microwave links by site

To restore normal display of microwave links:


1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Classify by Site from the context menu. The default display of the contents of the Links folder is restored.

1.7.1.4 Advanced Grouping


You can group data objects by one or more properties, using the Group By button on the Properties dialogue.
To group data objects by one or more properties:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder or subfolder whose objects you have grouped.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the General tab of the Properties dialogue.
5. Click the Group By button. The Group dialogue appears (see Figure 1.30).

Figure 1.30: The Group dialogue

6. Select the fields by which you want to group the objects. You can select contiguous fields by clicking the first field,
pressing SHIFT and clicking the last field. You can select non-contiguous fields by pressing CTRL and clicking
each fields separately.
- To select a field to be used to group the objects, select the field in the Available Fields list and click

to move it to the Group these fields in this order list.


- To remove a field from the list of Group these fields in this order, select the field in the Group these fields

in this order list and click to remove it.

- To change the order of the fields, select a field and click or to move it up or down in the list. The objects
will be grouped in the order of the fields in the Group these fields in this order list, from top to bottom.

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7. Click OK to close the Group dialogue and click OK to close the Properties dialogue and group the objects.
To undo the grouping:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder or subfolder whose objects you have grouped.
3. From the context menu, select from the Group By > None.

1.7.1.5 Examples of Grouping


In this example, there is an Atoll document with a large number of sites and, therefore, transmitters. While it is easy to
see on the map which transmitters are part of which site, in the Explorer window, you can only see a very long list of trans-
mitters under the Transmitter folder.
By right-clicking the Transmitter folder and selecting Group By > Site (Figure 1.31), you can group the transmitters by the
site they are located on.

Figure 1.31: Grouping transmitters by site

The result of grouping can be seen in Figure 1.32.

Figure 1.32: Transmitters grouped by site

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You can also group objects by the computation or focus zone. You normally create a computation or focus zone when you
want to concentrate on a given subset of transmitters, for example, when you are working on a certain area of the network.
By grouping them by computation or focus zone, the transmitters you are working on are immediately visible under the
Transmitter folder.
By right-clicking the Transmitter folder and selecting Group By > Polygon > Focus Zone (Figure 1.31), you can group
the transmitters in the focus zone together.

Figure 1.33: Grouping transmitters by zone

The result of grouping can be seen in Figure 1.32. The transmitters are now in two groups: those inside the focus zone
and those outside the focus zone.

Figure 1.34: Transmitters grouped by site

1.7.2 Sorting Data


In Atoll, you can sort the document data either in the data tables or using the Sort function of Properties dialogue. You
can sort the data in ascending (A to Z, 1 to 10) or descending (Z to A, 10 to 1) order.
You can sort the data by either one or by several columns. When you sort data by several columns, Atoll sorts the records
by the first column and then, within each group of identical values in the first column, Atoll then sorts the records by the
second column, and so on.
Once you have sorted data objects, you can save the settings as a folder configuration. For information, see "Folder
Configurations" on page 69.
This section explains the following:
• "Sorting Data in Tables" on page 60
• "Advanced Sorting" on page 61

1.7.2.1 Sorting Data in Tables


When sorting data in tables, you can sort by one column or by several columns.

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Sorting by One Column

To sort data in a table by one column:


1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select the header of the column that you want to sort on. The entire column is selected.
3. Right-click the column header. The context menu appears.
4. From the context menu, select how you wish to sort:
- Sort Ascending: sort the data table records from the lowest value in the reference column to the highest
value.
- Sort Descending: sort the data table records from the highest value in the reference column to the lowest
value.

Sorting by Several Columns

You can only sort in a table by adjacent columns. If you want to sort by columns that are not adjacent, you can move the
columns first as explained in "Moving Columns" on page 46.

Tip: If you want to sort data by several columns without moving the columns, you can use the
Sort function on the Properties dialogue. For information, see "Advanced Sorting" on
page 61.

To sort data in a table by several columns:


1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Click the header of the first column and drag over the adjacent columns that will be your sort references.
The entire column is selected.
3. Right-click the column headers. The context menu appears.
4. From the context menu, select how you wish to sort:
- Sort Ascending: sort the data table records from the lowest value in the first reference column to the highest
value.
- Sort Descending: sort the data table records from the highest value in the first reference column to the lowest
value.

1.7.2.2 Advanced Sorting


You can sort data by several criteria using the Sort function of the Properties dialogue.
To sort data using the Sort function of the Properties dialogue:
1. Click the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder whose data you want to sort. The context menu appears
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the General tab in the Properties dialogue.
5. Click the Sort button. The Sort dialogue appears (see Figure 1.35).
6. For the first column you want to sort on:
a. Select the column name from the Sort by list.
b. Choose whether you want to sort in ascending or descending order.
7. For each other column you want to sort on:
a. Select the column name from the And by list.
b. Choose whether you want to sort in ascending or descending order.
8. Click OK.

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Figure 1.35: The Sort dialogue

1.7.3 Filtering Data


In Atoll, you can filter data according to one or several criteria. You can filter data to be able to work with a subset of data,
or to facilitate working with large documents by reducing the amount of records displayed.
The filtered data objects are the data objects that remain after you have applied your filter criteria.
You can save the filtering parameters as a folder configuration. For information, see "Folder Configurations" on page 69.
This section explains the following:
• "Filtering in Data Tables by Selection" on page 62
• "Advanced Data Filtering" on page 63
• "Restoring All Records" on page 64
• "Advanced Filtering: Examples" on page 64.

1.7.3.1 Filtering in Data Tables by Selection


You can filter a data table by selecting one or more values. Once you have selected one or more values, you can choose
to view only records that have the same value or only records that do not have that value.
To filter a data table on one or more fields:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select the value to filter on. To select more than one value, press CTRL as you click the other values.
3. Select one of the following from the Records menu:
- Filter by Selection: All records with the selected value or values are displayed. You can now modify these
records or make calculations on them as you would normally do with the entire data table (see Figure 1.36 on
page 62).
- Filter Excluding Selection: All records without the selected value or values are displayed. You can now
modify these records or make calculations on them as you would normally do with the entire data table (see
Figure 1.37 on page 63).

Figure 1.36: Filtering by selection (Antenna AO9209)

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Figure 1.37: Filtering excluding selection (Antenna AO9209)

1.7.3.2 Advanced Data Filtering


You can use advanced data filtering to combine several criteria in different fields to create complex filters.
To create an advanced filter:
1. Open the data table as explained in "Opening a Data Table" on page 41.
2. Select Records > Advanced Filter. The Filter dialogue appears.

Tip: You can also access the Filter dialogue by clicking the Filter button of the Properties
dialogue.

3. Click the Filter tab:


a. Select a Field from the list.
b. Under Values to Include, you will find all the values represented in the selected field. Select the check boxes
next to the values you want to include in the filter. Click Clear All to clear all check boxes.

Note: Making selections on the Filter tab of the Filter dialogue is the equivalent of filtering by
selection as explained in "Filtering in Data Tables by Selection" on page 62.

4. Click the Advanced tab:


a. In the Column row, select the name of the column to be filtered on from the list. Select as many columns as
you want (see Figure 1.38).

Figure 1.38: The Filter dialogue - Advanced tab

b. Underneath each column name, enter the criteria on which the column will be filtered as explained in the fol-
lowing table:

Formula Data are kept in the table only if


=X value equal to X (X may be a number or characters)

<> X value not equal to X (X may be a number or characters)

<X numerical value is less than X

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Formula Data are kept in the table only if


>X numerical value is greater than X

<=X numerical value is less than or equal to X

>=X numerical value is greater than or equal to X

*X* text objects which contain X

X* text objects which start with X

5. Click OK to filter the data according to the criteria you have defined.
Filters are combined first horizontally, then vertically.
See "Advanced Filtering: Examples" on page 64.

1.7.3.3 Restoring All Records


After you have applied filter criteria to records, you may want to cancel the filter criteria and display all the records again.
To restore all records:
• Select Records > Remove Filter.

1.7.3.4 Advanced Filtering: Examples


In this section, you will find a few examples of advanced filtering:
• "Advanced Filtering: Example 1" on page 64
• "Advanced Filtering: Example 2" on page 65
• "Advanced Filtering: Example 3" on page 65.

1.7.3.4.1 Advanced Filtering: Example 1


In this example, there is an Atoll document with antennas from two manufacturers and with different characteristics.

Figure 1.39: Initial table

The objective of this example is to use filter criteria to find antennas manufactured by Kathrein with a beamwidth between
50 and 100°. To do this, the following filter syntax is entered in the Advanced tab of the Filter dialogue (for information on
the Advanced tab, see "Advanced Data Filtering" on page 63):
• The first criterion, as shown in Figure 1.40, is all antennas made by a manufacturer with a name beginning with a
"K" ("=K*"). While you could write in the entire name ("=Kathrein"), it is not necessary because there is only one
manufacturer with a "K."
• The second criterion is all antennas with a beamwidth under 100°.
• The third criterion is all antennas with a beamwidth over 50°.
The combination of these criteria is all antennas from manufacturers with a name beginning with "K" and with a beamwidth
under 100° but over 50°.
The result of this advanced filter can be seen in the second pane of Figure 1.40.

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Figure 1.40: Advanced filtering

1.7.3.4.2 Advanced Filtering: Example 2


In this example, the document is the same as in "Advanced Filtering: Example 1" on page 64. The objective of this example
is the same as well: to use filter criteria to find antennas manufactured by Kathrein with a beamwidth between 50 and 100°.
The filter syntax is entered in the Advanced tab of the Filter dialogue (for information on the Advanced tab, see "Advanced
Data Filtering" on page 63), in this case, however, the entered filter syntax contains errors:
• As shown in Figure 1.41, the first criterion is all antennas made by a manufacturer with a name beginning with a
"K" ("=K*").
• The second criterion is all antennas with a beamwidth under 100° and over 50°.
The result of this advanced filter can be seen in the second pane of Figure 1.40.

Figure 1.41: Errors in filtering

As previously stated, the objective of this example was to use filter criteria to find antennas manufactured by Kathrein with
a beamwidth between 50 and 100°. However, because the second criterion (beamwidth under 100° and over 50°) is
malformed, with "> 50" placed under "< 100", it functioned as an OR condition and not as an AND condition. The resulting
filter searched for all antennas manufactured by Kathrein with a beamwidth under 100°, or all antennas over 50°; all anten-
nas are displayed.

1.7.3.4.3 Advanced Filtering: Example 3


In this example, the document is the same as in "Advanced Filtering: Example 1" on page 64. The objective of this example
is the same as well: to use filter criteria to find antennas manufactured by Kathrein with a beamwidth between 50 and 100°.
The filter syntax is entered in the Advanced tab of the Filter dialogue (for information on the Advanced tab, see "Advanced
Data Filtering" on page 63), in this case, however, the entered filter syntax contains errors:
• As shown in Figure 1.42, the first criterion is all antennas made by a manufacturer with a name beginning with a
"K" ("=K*").
• The second criterion is all antennas with a beamwidth under 100° and over 50°.
The result of this advanced filter can be seen in the second pane of Figure 1.40.

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Figure 1.42: Errors in filtering

As previously stated, the objective of this example was to use filter criteria to find antennas manufactured by Kathrein with
a beamwidth between 50 and 100°. However, because the second criterion is malformed, the filter only generates an error
message and no antennas are filtered out.

1.7.4 User Configurations


In Atoll, you can export many types of settings you have made in a user configuration and then import the settings in
another document. If you are working in a multiple-user environment with a central database, the information stored in a
user configuration, such as geographic data, is not stored in the database. You can create a user configuration file,
however, to ensure that all users in a large radio-planning project use the same settings.
The file extension of the user configuration file is CFG. If only the geographic data set or computation and focus zones are
being exported in the user configuration file, Atoll gives the file the extension "GEO." Because the file is in XML (eXtensible
Markup Language), you can open and edit it with any XML-capable text editor.
When you create a user configuration file, you can export the following information:
• Geographic data set: The complete path of imported geographic maps, map display settings (such as, the visi-
bility scale, transparency, tips text, etc.), clutter description (code, name, height, standard deviations, indoor loss,
orthogonality factor, the percentage of pilot finger of each clutter class, default standard deviations, and indoor
loss) and raster or user profile traffic map description. Vector maps must have the same coordinate system as the
raster maps.

Important: If you export the geographic data set in a user configuration file, the coordinate system of
any vector geographic data must be the same as that of the raster geographic data.

• Computation and Focus Zones: The computation and focus zone in the current document.
• Folder configurations: Sorting, grouping and filtering settings (those saved by the user and the current settings,
even if not saved), the filtering zone, and the display settings of radio data folders (including measurement display
settings).
• Microwave Link Parameters: The settings of microwave links.
• Macros: The complete path of any macros. Because a macro is linked to an Atoll session, and not to a specific
Atoll document, you can export the macros in a user configuration even if you do not have an Atoll document
open.
For a detailed description of the user configuration file, see the Administrator Manual.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Exporting a User Configuration" on page 67
• "Importing a User Configuration" on page 67.

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1.7.4.1 Exporting a User Configuration


You create a user configuration by exporting the selected settings to an external file.
To export a user configuration:
1. Select Tools > User Configuration > Export. The User Configuration dialogue appears (see Figure 1.43).

Figure 1.43: Exporting a user configuration

2. Select the check boxes of the information you want to export as part of the user configuration.
3. Click OK. The Save As dialogue appears.
4. Enter a File name for the user configuration file and click Save. The folder configuration has been saved.

1.7.4.2 Importing a User Configuration


You can import a user configuration that you or another user has created, as explained in "Exporting a User Configuration"
on page 67, it into your current Atoll document.
To import a user configuration:
1. Select Tools > User Configuration > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the user configuration file with the data you want to import.
3. Click Open. The User Configuration dialogue appears (see Figure 1.44).

Figure 1.44: Importing a user configuration

4. Select the check boxes of the information you want to import.


5. Click OK. The user configuration is imported.

1.7.5 Site Lists


In Atoll, you can create lists of sites. Once you have created a site list, you can modify the list and use it to filter data to
be able to work with a subset of data, or to facilitate working with large documents by reducing the amount of records
displayed.

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In a multi-user environment, site lists can be stored in the database. When you open a document from a database, you
can select the sites to load according to any defined site lists. In a large radio-planning project, this allows you to more
effectively manage your resources by reducing the unnecessary data you retrieve from the database.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Creating a Site List" on page 68
• "Adding a Site to a List from the Explorer Window" on page 68
• "Adding a Site to a List from the Map Window" on page 68
• "Adding Sites to a List Using a Zone" on page 68
• "Editing a Site List" on page 69
• "Filtering on a Site List" on page 69.

1.7.5.1 Creating a Site List


You can create lists of sites that you can then use to filter the data displayed.
To create a site list:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder where you want to create the list:
Site list: if you want to create a site list:
a. Right-click the Sites folder. The context menu appears.
b. Select Site Lists > Open Table from the context menu. The Site Lists table appears.

3. Enter the name of the new list in the row marked with the New Row icon ( ).

1.7.5.2 Adding a Site to a List from the Explorer Window


You can add a site to a list by selecting it from the Explorer window.
To add a site to a list:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of Sites folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the site you want to add to the list. The context menu appears.
Site list: if you want to add a site to a list:

- Select Add Site to a List from the context menu. A dialogue appears.
4. Select the name of the list from the dialogue.

Tip: You can create a new list by entering a name in the list instead of selecting the name
from the list. The selected site will be added to the new list.

5. Click OK. The site is added to the selected list.

Tip: You can quickly create a complete list by first filtering the contents of the Sites folder as
explained in "Filtering Data" on page 62. Then, by right-clicking the Sites folder and
selecting Site Lists > Add Sites to a List from the context menu, you can add the
filtered contents of folder to the list you select.

1.7.5.3 Adding a Site to a List from the Map Window


You can add a site to a list by selecting it from the map window.
To add a site to a list:
1. In the map window, right-click the site you want to add to a list.
Site list: if you want to add a site to a list:

- Select Add Site to a List from the context menu. A dialogue appears.
2. Select the name of the list from the dialogue.

Tip: You can create a new list by entering a name in the list instead of selecting the name
from the list. The selected site will be added to the new list.

3. Click OK. The site is added to the selected list.

1.7.5.4 Adding Sites to a List Using a Zone


You can add the sites contained in a zone to a site or transmitter list.

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To add the sites contained in a zone to a list:


1. Create a zone as explained in "Using Zones in the Map Window" on page 29 that contains the sites you want to
add to a list. You can use a filtering, computation, focus, printing, or geographic export zone.
2. On the Geo tab of the Explorer window, right-click the zone and select the following from the context menu:
- Add Sites to a List: Select Add Sites to a List to add the sites in the zone to a site list. A dialogue appears.
3. Select the name of the list from the dialogue.

Tip: You can create a new list by entering a name in the list instead of selecting the name
from the list. The selected site will be added to the new list.

4. Click OK. The sites contained in the zone are added to the selected list.

1.7.5.5 Editing a Site List


You can edit a site list using the Site List table.
To edit a site list:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder where you want to create the list:
Site list: if you want to edit a site list:
a. Right-click the Sites folder. The context menu appears.
b. Select Site Lists > Open Table from the context menu. The Site Lists table appears.
3. Select the name of the list you want to edit and click Properties. The Properties dialogue appears.
4. You can now edit the list:
To add a site to the list:

- Select the name of the site in the row marked with the New Row icon ( ).
To delete a site from the list:

a. Click in the left margin of the row containing the site to select it.
b. Press DEL to delete the site from the list.
5. Click OK when you have finished editing the site list.

1.7.5.6 Filtering on a Site List


You can use site or transmitter lists to filter the contents of Sites folder.
To filter folder contents using a site list:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder whose contents you want to filter. The context menu appears.
3. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
4. On the General tab of the Properties dialogue, click the Filter button. The Filter dialogue appears.
5. If you have created a list, there will be an additional tab:
- Sites: Click the Site Lists tab.
6. Select the check box of the list or lists that you want to display.
7. Click OK to close the Filter dialogue.
8. Click OK to close the Properties dialogue. Only sites that belong to the selected list are now displayed in the Data
tab of the Explorer window and in the map window.

1.7.6 Folder Configurations


In Atoll, the parameters defining how data contained in a folder are grouped, sorted, or filtered are referred to as a folder
configuration. You can define folder configurations and save them, allowing you to consistently apply the same grouping,
filtering, or sorting criteria.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Creating a Folder Configuration" on page 70
• "Applying a Saved Folder Configuration" on page 70
• "Reapplying the Current Folder Configuration" on page 70
• "Exporting a Folder Configuration" on page 70
• "Importing a Folder Configuration" on page 70
• "Deleting a Folder Configuration" on page 71.

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1.7.6.1 Creating a Folder Configuration


In Atoll, you can save the parameters defining how data contained in a folder are grouped, filtered, or sorted as a folder
configuration.
To create a configuration:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder whose settings you want to save.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the General tab in the Properties dialogue.
5. If you have not yet done so, set the following parameters as desired:
- Group By (see "Grouping Data Objects" on page 56)
- Sort (see "Sorting Data" on page 60)
- Filter (see "Filtering Data" on page 62).
6. Under Configuration, click Save.
7. Enter the name of the configuration in the Save Configuration dialogue.
8. Click OK to save the configuration and click OK to close the Properties dialogue.
The saved folder configuration is only available for the current folder and can be reapplied to the folder by selecting it from
the Configurations submenu on the folder’s context menu.

1.7.6.2 Applying a Saved Folder Configuration


You can apply a configuration that has been created and saved for the present folder.
To apply a saved folder configuration:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder to which you want to apply a configuration. The context menu appears.
3. On the Configurations submenu, select the name of the configuration you want to apply. The folder configuration
is applied to the current folder.

1.7.6.3 Reapplying the Current Folder Configuration


If you have grouped, filtered, or sorted a data folder, you have created and applied a folder configuration. If you then add
or modify data, the properties of these may not match the folder configuration you previously made on the data folder. In
this case, you can reapply the same filter or sort settings to the new or modified data.
To reapply the folder configuration:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder whose folder configuration you want to reapply.
3. Select Apply Current Configuration from the context menu. The previously configured folder configuration is
reapplied to the data.

1.7.6.4 Exporting a Folder Configuration


When you create a folder configuration, you save it to the current ATL document. However, you can export it as part of a
user configuration to an external file, so that it can be used in other documents.
To export a folder configuration:
1. Select Tools > User Configuration > Export. The User Configuration dialogue appears (see Figure 1.43 on
page 67).
2. Select the Folder Configuration check box.
If you want to export other configurations at the same time, select those check boxes as well.

3. Click OK. The Save As dialogue appears.


4. Enter a File name for the CFG file and click Save. The folder configuration has been saved.

1.7.6.5 Importing a Folder Configuration


Once you have exported a folder configuration as explained in "Exporting a Folder Configuration" on page 70, you can
import it into your current document.
To import a folder configuration:
1. Select Tools > User Configuration > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the CFG file with the folder configuration you want to import.
3. Click Open. The User Configuration dialogue appears (see Figure 1.44 on page 67).
4. Select the Folder Configuration check box.

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If you want to import other configurations at the same time, select those check boxes as well.

5. Click OK. The folder configuration is imported.

1.7.6.6 Deleting a Folder Configuration


You can delete a folder configuration from the Atoll document when you no longer need it.
To delete a folder configuration:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder with the folder configuration you want to delete.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the General tab in the Properties dialogue.
5. Under Configuration, select the name of the configuration from the list.
6. Click Delete. The folder configuration is deleted.

Caution: When you delete a folder configuration, Atoll will not ask for confirmation; it is deleted
immediately.

1.7.7 Creating and Comparing Subfolders


You can compare the effects of different grouping, sorting, or filtering settings by creating subfolders of object folders in
the Data tab and applying different settings to each subfolder. Each subfolder contains a copy of the data in the object
folder in which it was created.
To create a subfolder of a folder:
1. In the Data tab of the Explorer window, right-click the folder you want to create a subfolder of.
2. Select Create a Subfolder from the context menu. A subfolder is created containing a copy of the original folder
content.
You can now perform the following actions on the subfolder:
• Grouping (see "Grouping Data Objects" on page 56)
• Sorting (see "Sorting Data" on page 60)
• Filtering (see "Filtering Data" on page 62).

Tip: If you have created several subfolders, you can rename each one to give it a more
descriptive name. For information on renaming an object, see "Renaming an Object" on
page 17.

Once you have performed the actions on each subfolder, you can compare the differences, by displaying in turn each
subfolder, with its grouping, sorting, or filtering settings, on the map. For more information on display properties, see
"Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
To compare subfolders:
1. In the Data tab of the Explorer window, clear the check boxes to the left of each subfolder. The data objects are
not displayed on the map.
2. Select the check box of one of the subfolders, leaving the check boxes of the other subfolders cleared. The data
objects of the selected subfolder, with its associated grouping, sorting, or filtering settings, are displayed on the
map.
3. Clear this check box and select the check box of a different subfolder. How the objects are displayed on the map
will change, depending on the different grouping, sorting, or filtering settings of the selected subfolder.
You can remove subfolders by deleting them. When you delete a subfolder, the data contained are not deleted. When you
delete the last subfolder, the data reappear under the initial folder.
To delete a subfolder:
• Right-click the subfolder to be deleted and select Delete from the context menu.

Tip: If, after deleting the last subfolder, the data do not reappear under the initial folder, you
can refresh the display by right-clicking the folder and selecting Group By > None from
the context menu.

1.7.8 Filtering Data Using a Filtering Zone


In Atoll, you can simplify your calculations by using a polygon on the map to limit the amount of data considered in calcu-
lations. By limiting the number of sites, you can reduce the time and cost of calculations and make visualisation of data

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objects on the map clearer. You can select a pre-existing computation or focus zone as a filter zone or you can draw a
new filtering zone.
The data objects filtered by the polygon are reflected on the map and in the data tables. On the Data tab of the Explorer
window, any folder whose content is affected by the filtering zone appears with a special icon ( ), to indicate that the
folder contents have been filtered.
When you have applied a polygon filter, you can perform the following actions on the filtered data:
• Grouping (see "Grouping Data Objects" on page 56)
• Sorting (see "Sorting Data" on page 60)
• Filtering (see "Filtering Data" on page 62).
For more information on creating and editing a filtering zone, see "Using a Filtering Zone" on page 29.

1.8 Tips and Tricks


In this section, you will learn a few shortcuts and tricks to help you work more efficiently with Atoll:
• "Undoing and Redoing" on page 72
• "Refreshing Maps and Folders" on page 72
• "Searching for Objects on the Map" on page 72
• "Using the Status Bar to Get Information" on page 73
• "Saving Information Displayed in the Event Viewer" on page 74
• "Using Icons from the Toolbar" on page 74
• "Using Shortcuts in Atoll" on page 75.

1.8.1 Undoing and Redoing


You can undo or redo most actions in Atoll, up to a maximum of 10 actions. If you perform an action that can not be
undone, for example, a simulation, the Undo and Redo histories are erased.
For example, you can undo or redo:
• Most modifications in the workspace: such as creating, deleting, and moving a site, a station or a group of sta-
tions, modifying the antenna azimuth, moving a transmitter, or deleting a transmitter,
• Tasks performed in the Explorer: such as creating and deleting objects (sites, transmitters, antennas, repeaters
or remote antennas, links, groups of hexagons, measurement paths, coverage predictions, maps, propagation
models, etc.).
• Tasks performed in tables: such as adding or deleting records, pasting in tables.
To undo an action:
• Select Edit > Undo.
To redo an action that you have undone:
• Select Edit > Redo.

1.8.2 Refreshing Maps and Folders


Under certain circumstances, for example, when you add data that is inconsistent with an applied filter, the data displayed
on the map or in the Explorer window, may not be actual. You can refresh the display to get Atoll to reload the data and
reapply the current configurations to folders.
To refresh the display of the Explorer window and the map:

• Click the Refresh button ( ) on the toolbar or press F5.

1.8.3 Searching for Objects on the Map


Atoll provides several tools for finding data objects on the map. You can search for some objects (sites, transmitters,
repeaters, or links) by their name, using the Find toolbar. By using the Location Finder, you can search for a site, a micro-
wave link, or a vector by any text field. You can also use the Location Finder to search for a point on the map by its x and
y coordinates.
This section explains:
• "Searching for a Map Object by Its Name" on page 72
• "Searching for a Map Object using Any Text Property" on page 73
• "Searching for a Point on the Map" on page 73.

1.8.3.1 Searching for a Map Object by Its Name


You can use the Find toolbar to search for the following map objects by name:
• sites
• microwave links.

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

To search for a map object by name using the Find toolbar:


1. Select View > Find Toolbar to display the Find toolbar.

Note: You can change the Find toolbar to a floating window by double-clicking it.

2. From the Find list, choose the map object you are searching for:
- Site
- Link
3. Enter the name of the object in the Named box. You can use an asterisk ("*")as a wild card in the following ways:
- *X* names which contain X
- X* names which start with X
- *X names which end with X
4. Press ENTER. Atoll selects the object and centres it in the map window.

Note: You can also search for a map object by its name by using the Location Finder. For
information, see "Searching for a Map Object using Any Text Property" on page 73.

1.8.3.2 Searching for a Map Object using Any Text Property


You can use the Location Finder to search for the following map object using any text (i.e., non-numeric) property:
• sites
• microwave links
• vectors.
To search for a map object by a text property using the Location Finder:

1. Click the Location Finder button ( ) on the toolbar. The Location Finder dialogue appears.
2. From the Find list, choose the map object you are searching for:
- Site
- Link
- Vector
3. If you wish to search all the sites in the search, including sites that are presently filtered out, select the Include all
the sites in the search (filtered or not) check box.
4. Under Criteria, select a Field to be searched and enter the value of the field. You can use an asterisk as a wild
card in the following ways:
- *X* text objects which contain X
- X* text objects which start with X
5. Click OK. Atoll selects the site and centres it in the map window.

1.8.3.3 Searching for a Point on the Map


You can search for a point by entering its x and y coordinates in the Location Finder.
To search on the map for a point using the Location Finder:

1. Click the Location Finder button ( ) on the toolbar. The Location Finder dialogue appears.
2. From the Find list, choose Point.
3. Enter the x and y coordinates of the point, using the same units as defined under Display on the Coordinates tab
of the Options dialogue (see "Projection and Display Coordinate Systems" on page 81).

4. Click OK. Atoll marks the point ( ) and centres it in the map window.

Note: To remove the point icon ( ), select it and then select Delete from the context menu.

1.8.4 Using the Status Bar to Get Information


Atoll displays the following information, if available, about the current position of the mouse pointer in right side of the
status bar (see Figure 1.45):
• the current X-Y coordinates (according to the defined display coordinate system)
• the altitude (as defined in the DTM)
• the clutter class (as defined in the clutter classes properties)
• the clutter height (as defined in the clutter height file, or in the clutter classes).

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Atoll User Manual

X-Y coordinates Altitude Clutter class


(from DTM)

Figure 1.45: Information displayed in the status bar

1.8.5 Saving Information Displayed in the Event Viewer


Atoll displays information about the current document in the Event Viewer. The Event Viewer displays information ( ),
warning ( ), and error ( ) messages, as well as the progress of calculations. You can save the information displayed
in the Event Viewer in a log file.
To save events in the Event Viewer in a log file:
1. If the Event Viewer is not displayed, select View > Event Viewer to display it.
2. Click the event in the Event Viewer to select it. Click and drag to select several events.
3. Right-click the select event(s). The context menu appears.
4. Select Save As. The Save As dialogue appears.
5. In the Save As dialogue, select a destination folder, enter a File name, and select a file type from the Save as
type list.
6. Click OK. The selected events are saved in the text file.
You can also automatically generate log files for each Atoll session and select the level of information displayed in the
Event viewer. For more information about these settings, see the Administrator Manual.

1.8.6 Using Icons from the Toolbar


You can access many commands in Atoll by clicking its icon on the toolbar. Some of them are also linked to shortcut keys
(see "Using Shortcuts in Atoll" on page 75).
The different icons located in the toolbar are listed below:
• In the Standard toolbar

Open the Project Templates dialogue (CTRL+N)

Open the Open dialogue (CTRL+O)

Save the current document (CTRL+S)

Cut the selected data (CTRL+X)

Copy the selected data (CTRL+C)

Paste the content of the clipboard (CTRL+V)

Undo the last modification (CTRL + Z)

Redo the previous undone modification (CTRL + Y)

Print the current window (table or map) (CTRL+P)

Preview the current window before printing (table or map) (CTRL+P)

Open the About Atoll dialogue

• In the Map toolbar

Select area

Refresh display of map and folders (F5)

Disable zooming and panning tools.

Move the map window (CTRL+D)

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Chapter 1: The Working Environment

Map scale currently used

Previous/Next view (zoom and location)

Zoom in on the map and centre on the cursor location (CTRL+A) and zoom out on the map and centre on the
cursor location (CTRL+R)

Define a zoom area on the map (CTRL+W)

Turn on tool tips

Measure distances on the map

Location finder

Display a point-to-point profile

• In the Microwave link toolbar

Create a new microwave link.

Create a new multi-hop microwave link.

Create a new multipoint microwave link.

Currently selected microwave link model

Activate the microwave link profile analysis window

Show or hide victim and interferer links

Show or hide site parities

Stop the calculations in progress

• In the Search toolbar

Centre site in the map window.


• In the Vector Edition toolbar

Create a new vector layer (in either the Geo or the Data tab)

Select the vector layer to edit

Draw a new polygon

Draw a new rectangle

Draw a new line

Draw points

Merge several vector polygons

Cut out areas in polygons

Create new polygon from overlapping areas

Split one polygon along the drawn lines.

Note: When you place the cursor over an icon, a tool tip appears, giving a short description.

1.8.7 Using Shortcuts in Atoll


Atoll provides many shortcuts that enable you to access commonly used tools and commands more quickly.
The shortcuts available are listed below (some of the same commands can be accessed using a toolbar icon; see "Using
Icons from the Toolbar" on page 74):

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Atoll User Manual

• Using the CTRL key:

- CTRL++: Zoom in on the map (in the toolbar, click and click the map)

- CTRL+–: Zoom out on the map (in the toolbar, click and right-click the map)
- CTRL+A: Select all records in a table

- CTRL+C: Copy the selected data (in the toolbar, click )


- CTRL+D:
- In tables: Copy the first cell of a selection down into all selected cells
- In the map window: Move the map window (in the toolbar, click )
- CTRL+E: Export the table of the selected Sites, Links, Multi-Hops, or Point to Multipoint folder or subfolder
to a text file. For more information, see "Exporting Tables to Text Files" on page 49.
- CTRL+F: Open the Find dialogue in a table
- CTRL+I: Import the table of the selected Sites, Links, Multi-Hops, or Point to Multipoint folder or subfolder
from a text file. For more information, see "Importing Tables from Text Files" on page 50.

- CTRL+N: Open the Project Templates dialogue (in the toolbar, click )
- CTRL+SHIFT+N: Create a new document from an existing database

- CTRL+O: Open the Open dialogue (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+P: Print the current window (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+Q: Select Zoom In/Out tool (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+S: Save the current active document (in the toolbar, click )
- CTRL+U: Copy the last cell of a selection up into all selected cells

- CTRL+V: Paste the content of the clipboard (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+W: Define a zoom area on the map (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+X: Cut the selected data (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+Y: Redo the previous undone modification (in the toolbar, click )

- CTRL+Z: Undo the last modification (in the toolbar, click )


• Using the ALT key:

- ALT+ ←: Previous zoom and location on the map (in the toolbar, click )

- ALT+ →: Next zoom and location on the map (in the toolbar, click )
- ALT+F8: Open the Add-ins and Macros dialogue
• Using the Function Keys
- F3: Select the Find Site tool.

- F5: Refresh display of map and folders (toolbar: select )

Tip: Menus and commands can be also accessed by pressing the ALT key and typing the
underlined letter in the menu or command name.

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Chapter 2
Starting an Atoll Project
Atoll User Manual

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Chapter 2: Starting an Atoll Project

2 Starting an Atoll Project


When you want to start a new project, you base it on a template that has the data and folder structure necessary for the
technology you are using. Once you have started your new Atoll project, you can modify the network parameters to meet
your particular needs. Several templates are supplied with Atoll: GPS GPRS EGPRS, CDMA200 1xRTT 1xEV-DO, micro-
wave radio links, UMTS HSPA, WiMAX, and LTE. The actual templates supplied depend on the modules included with
your Atoll installation. You can also create your own templates by opening an existing template, making the changes
necessary to meet your own needs and then saving it as a new template.
When you open an existing project, you can select it from the File menu if it is one of the last projects you have worked
on, or you can open it from the Open dialogue. Because Atoll can work with linked geographic data files, it may happen
that one of the linked files was moved or renamed since the last time you worked on that project. Atoll enables you to find
the file and repair the link.
In this chapter, the following are explained:
• "Before Starting a Microwave-Planning Project" on page 79
• "Creating an Atoll Document" on page 79.

2.1 Before Starting a Microwave-Planning Project


For every microwave-planning project you must assemble the information necessary:
• Microwave equipment: sites, antennas, and other equipment. For more information on equipment, see the tech-
nology-specific chapters.
• Microwave data: frequency bands, technology-specific parameters, coordinate systems, etc. For more informa-
tion onmicrowave data, see the technology-specific chapters.
• Geographic data: clutter classes, clutter heights, DTM, population maps, etc. For more information on geographic
data, see "Chapter 2: Starting an Atoll Project".
Once the necessary data have been assembled, you can create the Atoll document.

2.2 Creating an Atoll Document


Whatever the radio technology you will be modelling, you create an Atoll document in one of two ways:
• From a document template: You can create a new Atoll document from a template. Atoll is delivered with a
template for each technology you will be planning for. For information on creating a document from a template,
see "Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template" on page 79.
You can also create your own template by basing it on an existing document that you have already customised
with, for example, certain geo data or antennas.
• From an existing database: When you create a new Atoll document from a database, the database you connect
to has been created with the technology and data you need. Working with a database allows several users to share
the same data while at the same time managing data consistency. The exact procedure for creating a new Atoll
document from a database differs, depending on the database containing the data. Atoll can work with several
common databases. For information on starting a document from a database, see "Creating a New Atoll Document
from a Database" on page 84.

2.2.1 Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template


You can create a new Atoll document from a template. Atoll has a template for each technology you will be planning for.
Each template provides data and a data structure suitable for the technology. For example, the tabs in the transmitter
Properties dialogue as well as the radio parameters available differ according to the project. As well, the objects that are
available are appropriate for the technology. For example, UMTS cells are only available in UMTS documents and TRX
are only available in GSM-TDMA documents.
Once you have selected the appropriate template for your microwave-planning project, you configure the basic parameters
of the Atoll document (see "Defining a New Atoll Document" on page 81).
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Templates Available" on page 79
• "Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template" on page 80
• "Defining a New Atoll Document" on page 81

2.2.1.1 Templates Available


Depending on your configuration of Atoll, the following templates are available:
• Microwave Radio Links: Atoll allows you to model microwave radio links, as part of a complete mobile telecom-
munications network, from any technology template. However, this template is provided to enable you to create a
project of only microwave radio links.
• TD-SCDMATD-SCDMATD-SCDMA

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Atoll User Manual

2.2.1.2 Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template


To create a new document from a template:
1. Select File > New > From a Document Template. The Project Templates dialogue appears.
2. Select the template on which you want to base your document and click OK. Atoll creates a new document based
on the template selected.
Figure 2.46 shows a new Atoll document based on the UMTS HSPA HSPA template. The Data tab of the Explorer
window now has a folder structure suitable for a UMTS HSPA HSPA radio-planning project, with, among other
UMTSUMTS-specific elements, folders for UMTS HSPA HSPA parameters and UMTS HSPA HSPA simulations. The
Antennas folder is expanded to show the UMTSUMTS-compatible antennas suggested by Atoll. These can be modified
or replaced. Figure 2.47 and Figure 2.48 show the contents of the Geo and Modules tabs of the new document, respec-
tively.

Figure 2.46: New Atoll document based on a template

Figure 2.47: New Atoll document — Geo tab Figure 2.48: New Atoll document — Modules tab

When you create an Atoll document from a template, the document is not connected to a database.
To verify whether the document is connected to a database:
• Select File > Database > Connection Properties. The dialogue in Figure 2.49 appears.

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Chapter 2: Starting an Atoll Project

Figure 2.49: An Atoll document based on a template is not connected to a database

2.2.1.3 Defining a New Atoll Document


Once you have created a new Atoll document as explained in "Creating a New Atoll Document from a Template" on
page 80, you configure the basic parameters of the Atoll document. You can accept the default values for some param-
eters, such as basic measurement units, but you must set projection and display coordinate systems.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Projection and Display Coordinate Systems" on page 81
• "Setting a Coordinate System" on page 82
• "Setting Measurement Units" on page 82

2.2.1.3.1 Projection and Display Coordinate Systems


In Atoll, you define the two coordinate systems for each Atoll document: the projection coordinate system and the display
coordinate system. By default, the same coordinate system is used for both.
A projection is a method for producing all or part of a round body on a flat sheet. This projection cannot be done without
distortion, thus the cartographer must choose the characteristic (distance, direction, scale, area or shape) which is to be
shown appropriately at the expense of the other characteristics, or he must compromise on several characteristics1. The
projected zones are referenced using cartographic coordinates (meter, yard, etc.).
Two projection systems are widely used:
• The Lambert Conformal-Conic projection: a portion of the earth is mathematically projected on a cone concep-
tually secant at one or two standard parallels. This projection type is useful for representing countries or regions
that lay primarily east to west.
• The Universal Transverse Mercator projection (UTM): a portion of the earth is mathematically projected on a
cylinder tangent to a meridian (which is transverse or crosswise to the equator). This projection type is useful for
mapping large areas that are oriented north-south.
A geographic system is not a projection, but a representation of a location on the earth's surface from geographic coordi-
nates (degree-minute-second or grade) giving the latitude and longitude in relation to the origin meridian (Paris for NTF
system and Greenwich for ED50 system). The locations in the geographic system can be converted into other projections.
Atoll has databases including more than 980 international coordinate system references, a database based on the Euro-
pean Petroleum Survey Group and another one regrouping only France's coordinate systems. Atoll distinguishes the
cartographic coordinate systems for projection and either cartographic or geographic coordinate systems for display.
The maps displayed in the workspace are referenced with the same projection system as the imported geographic data
files; thus, the projection system depends on the imported geographic file. By choosing a specific display system, you can
see (using the rulers or status bars) the location of sites on the map in a coordinate system different from the projection
coordinate system. You can also position on the map sites referenced in the display system: the coordinates are automat-
ically converted from the projection system to the display system and the site is displayed on the map.
In Figure 2.50, the French Riviera geographic data file has been imported. The map shows the French Riviera projected
using the cartographic NTF (Paris)/France II étendue system (coordinates in metres). On the other hand, site coordinates
are stated in the geographic WGS 72 system (coordinates in degrees-minutes-seconds).

1. Snyder, John. P., Map Projections Used by the US Geological Survey, 2nd Edition, United States Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 313 pages, 1982.

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Atoll User Manual

Figure 2.50: NTF (Paris)/France II étendue system used with WGS 72 system

Notes: All imported raster geographic files must be use the same cartographic system. If not, you
must convert them to a single cartographic system.

2.2.1.3.2 Setting a Coordinate System


Because you are working with maps, you must set a coordinate system for your Atoll document. By default, projection and
display coordinate systems are the same, but you can choose a different display coordinate system if you wish.
To define the coordinate system:
1. Select Tools > Options. The Options dialogue appears.

2. On the Coordinates tab, click the Browse button ( ) to the right of the Projection field. The Coordinate Sys-
tems dialogue appears.
3. In the Coordinate Systems dialogue, select a catalogue from the Find in list. For the projection system, only car-
tographic systems (identified by the symbol) are available.
4. Select a coordinate system from the list.

Tip: If you frequently use a particular coordinate system you can add it to a catalogue of
favourites by clicking Add to Favourites.

5. Click OK. The selected coordinate system appears in the Projection field and, by default, in the Display field as
well.

6. If you wish to set a different coordinate system for the display, click the Browse button ( ) to the right of the
Display field and repeat step 3. to step 5. For the display system, both cartographic systems (identified by the
symbol) and geographic systems (identified by the symbol) are available.

2.2.1.3.3 Selecting the Degree Display Format


Atoll can display longitude and latitude in four different formats. For example:
• 26°56’29.9’’N
• 26d56m29.9sN
• 26.93914N
• +26.93914
To change the degree display format:
1. Select Tools > Options. The Options dialogue appears.
2. On the Coordinates tab, select the format from the Degree Format list.
3. Click OK.

Note: The degree format options apply only to the geographic coordinate systems.

2.2.1.3.4 Setting Measurement Units


When you create a new Atoll document, Atoll sets certain measurement units for reception, transmission, distance,
height, and offset to internal defaults. You can accept these default measurement units, or you can change them using the
Options dialogue.

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To set the measurement units:


1. Select Tools > Options. The Options dialogue appears.
2. On the Units tab, select the desired unit for the following measurements:
- Reception
- Transmission
- Distance
- Height and offset
3. Click OK.

2.2.2 Working in a Multi-User Environment


A multi-user environment is one where a number of users, or groups of users, work simultaneously on given parts of a
single, large (may be nation-wide) network. Different user groups may be working on regional or smaller sections of the
network. This section describes the different components of multi-user environments and outlines their purpose.
When you create a new Atoll document from a database, Atoll loads the data to which you have rights from database into
your new document and then disconnects it from the database. The connection to the reference database is reactivated
only when necessary, thus ensuring access to the database by other users.
When you work on a document created from a database, you are working on data that you are sharing with other users.
Consequently, there are issues related to sharing data that do not arise when you are working on a stand-alone document.
For example, when you archive your changes to the database, the changes you have made may occasionally interfere
with changes other users have made and you will need to resolve this conflict.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "The Atoll Multi-User Environment" on page 83
• "Creating a New Atoll Document from a Database" on page 84
• "Working With a Document on a Database" on page 85
• "Refreshing an Atoll Document from the Database" on page 86
• "Archiving the Modifications of an Atoll Document in the Database" on page 87.

2.2.2.1 The Atoll Multi-User Environment


An Atoll multi-user environment consists of the following elements, connected over a network:
• A central Atoll project: The central Atoll project can only be accessed, modified, and updated by the Atoll
administrator. Through this central Atoll project, the Atoll administrator can manage all the data shared by all the
individual Atoll users or groups of users.
• Shared data: Shared data are initially set up by the administrator using the central Atoll project and are then
accessed, modified, worked on, and updated by the Atoll users and the administrator. The shared data are mainly
of the following three types:
- The central database: The central database stores all the radio data of all the Atoll user documents. It is
initiated through the central Atoll project by the administrator, and is then subdivided into sections on which
users or groups of users can work simultaneously. Once the database is in place, users can modify their
projects, refresh their projects from the data stored in the database, and archive their modifications in the data-
base. The use of a database means that potential data conflicts due to modifications from other users, modi-
fied or deleted records, for example, can be detected and resolved.
- Shared geographic data: Shared geographic data files are usually stored on a common file server with a fast
access connection. Since geographic data files are usually large, they are usually linked to an Atoll file, i.e.,
they are stored externally, so as to minimise the size of the Atoll file. Users who modify geographic data
locally, for example, editing edit clutter or traffic in their respective projects, usually store these modifications
locally, since these modifications rarely have an impact on other users.
• User Documents: Individual user documents are initialised by the administrator but are later worked upon and
managed by each user. User documents are Atoll files which are connected to the central database, load only the
required part of the geographic data (as defined by the CFG file, for example), and have access to the shared path
loss matrices folder.

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Figure 2.51: Components of Multi-user Environments

Note: For information on creating and maintaining the database, see the Administrator Manual.

2.2.2.2 Creating a New Atoll Document from a Database


When you create a new document from a database, you must connect to the database. Once connected, Atoll loads the
database into a new Atoll document. Then the connected is interrupted. A new connection with the database will be
created only when necessary, in order to allow other users access to the database.
The exact procedure of connecting with the database differs from one database to another. Atoll can work with the follow-
ing databases:
• Microsoft Access
• Microsoft SQL Server
• Oracle
• Sybase
• Microsoft Data Link files
The following sections give examples of connecting to two different databases and loading data:
• "Connecting to a Database" on page 84.
• "Selecting the Data to Load From the Database" on page 85.
An example of a new Atoll document created from a database is shown in:
• "Working With a Document on a Database" on page 85

2.2.2.2.1 Connecting to a Database


To create a new document from a database:
1. Select File > New > From an Existing Database. The Open from a Database dialogue appears.
2. In the Files of type list, select the option corresponding to the type of your database. Depending on the type of
the database, a dialogue may appear where you can enter your User Name, Password, and Server.

Note: Additional dialogues may open asking you to choose which project in the database to load
or which site list to load.

3. Click OK. The Data to Load dialogue appears, allowing you to select the data to load into Atoll as a new document
(see "Selecting the Data to Load From the Database" on page 85).

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2.2.2.2.2 Selecting the Data to Load From the Database


When you create a new document from a database, you can select the data to be loaded from the database to create the
document in the Data to load dialogue. You can select which Project, Site List, Custom Fields Groups, and Neighbour
to load. If you load the intra-technology or the inter-technology neighbour list, Atoll will also load the associated excep-
tional pairs table.

Figure 2.52: Selecting the data to load

2.2.2.3 Working With a Document on a Database


Figure 2.53 shows a new Atoll document based created from a database. The Data tab of the Explorer window now has
a folder structure suitable for a UMTS radio-planning project. The Sites folder is expanded to show that a document
created from a database can have additional data, such as sites, unlike a document created from a template. These can
be modified or replaced. Figure 2.54 and Figure 2.55 show the contents of the Geo and Modules tabs of the new docu-
ment, respectively.

Figure 2.53: New Atoll document opened from a database

Note: The new document may open with no site displayed in the map window. This is because
the north-west point of the project is by default the axis origin. You can re-centre the
document on the data displayed in the Data tab by expanding the Sites folder, right-
clicking on any site, and selecting Centre in the map window from the context menu.

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Figure 2.54: New Atoll document — Geo tab Figure 2.55: New Atoll document — Modules tab

When you create an Atoll document from a database, you can view the characteristics of the database connection.
To view the characteristics of the database connection:
1. Select File > Database > Connection Properties. The Database Connection dialogue appears (see
Figure 2.56).
2. You can now:
- Disconnect your document from the database.

Caution: If you disconnect your document from the database, it will be become a stand-alone
document and you will not be able to reconnect it to the database.

- Modify your connection to the database.

Figure 2.56: The Database Connection dialogue

2.2.2.4 Refreshing an Atoll Document from the Database


As you are working on your document, other users who have access to the database may have modified some of the data.
You can ensure that you have the most recent data in your document by refreshing the information from the database.
How frequently you refresh the document depends on how frequently the database is updated. If the database is updated
frequently, you should refresh your document frequently as well, in order to continue working with the most up-to-date data.
To refresh an Atoll document from the database:
1. Select File > Database > Refresh From the Database. The Refresh dialogue appears.
2. In the dialogue, you can do one of the following if you have modified your document but have not yet saved those
changes in the database:
- Archive your changes in the database: This option allows you to archive your changes to the server instead
of refreshing your document from the server.
- Refresh unmodified data only: This option allows you to refresh from the database only those items that you
have not modified in your document.
- Cancel your changes and reload database: This option allows you to cancel any changes you have made
and start over from the point of the last archive to the database.

Notes:
• If you chose Refresh unmodified data only or Cancel your changes and reload database,
Atoll proceeds without asking for confirmation.
• If you chose Archive your changes in the database, the Archive dialogue appears. For infor-
mation on using the Archive dialogue, see "Archiving the Modifications of an Atoll Document
in the Database" on page 87.

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3. Under Take into account, you can select the neighbour lists, Intra-technology Neighbours and Inter-tech-
nology Neighbours, to refresh.
4. Under Modifications Since the Last Refresh, you can generate a report for the refresh process.
5. Click OK. The document is refreshed according to the selected options.
If you selected to generate a report, Atoll creates a text file in CSV (Comma Separated Values) format in the temporary
files system folder, and opens it. You can then rename the file and save it where you wish. The report lists all the modifi-
cations (deletions, additions, and updates) that were stored in the database since the last time you refreshed or opened
your document.

2.2.2.5 Archiving the Modifications of an Atoll Document in the Database


When you are working on an Atoll document that is attached to a database, you should from time to time archive the modi-
fications you have made to the data on the database. How frequently you should archive your document depends on
several factors: the amount and size of changes you make, the number of other users using the database who may benefit
from your modifications, etc. What you can archive depends on the user rights the database administrator has given to
you. For example, you can have read access to the antennas table, allowing you to create a new Atoll document with the
given antennas. However, because only the administrator can modify the properties of the antennas, you will not be able
to archive any changes you make to the antennas without write access to the table.
The Atoll archiving process is flexible. You can archive all your modifications or only the site-related modifications. As well,
when you are archiving, Atoll shows you all modifications that will be archived and, if you wish, you can archive only some
of them or even undo modifications you have made locally. Occasionally, other users might have modified some of the
same data and, when you archive your changes, Atoll will inform you of the possible conflicts and help you resolve them.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Archiving All Modifications in the Database" on page 87
• "Archiving Only Site-Related Data in the Database" on page 87
• "Resolving Data Conflicts" on page 88.

2.2.2.5.1 Archiving All Modifications in the Database


To archive all your modifications in the database:
1. Select File > Database > Archive to the Database. The Archive dialogue appears (see Figure 2.57).
2. In the Archive dialogue, you can do the following:
- Click Run All to archive all your changes to the database.
- Select one item under Pending Changes and click Run to archive the selected modification to the database
- Select one item under Pending Changes and click Differences to view the differences between the local item
and the item on the database.
- Select one item under Pending Changes and click Undo to refresh the modification with the original data from
the database.

Figure 2.57: The Archive dialogue

3. If some of the data has been modified on the database since you last refreshed, Atoll stops the archiving process
and asks you to resolve the conflict. For information on managing conflicts, see "Resolving Data Conflicts" on
page 88.
4. When you are finished archiving, click Close.

2.2.2.5.2 Archiving Only Site-Related Data in the Database


Atoll allows you to archive only site-related data if you wish. Which data is archived depends on the radio technology you
are working with. For example, in a UMTS HSPA radio planning project, the site-related data are: sites, transmitters, cells,
and neighbours.

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To archive only the site-related data in the database:


1. Select File > Database > Archive to the Database. The Archive dialogue appears.
2. In the Archive dialogue, you can do the following:
- Click Run All to archive all your changes to the database.
- Select one item under Pending Changes and click Run to archive the selected modification to the database
- Select one item under Pending Changes and click Differences to view the differences between the local item
and the item on the database.
- Select one item under Pending Changes and click Undo to refresh the modification with the original data from
the database.
3. If some of the data has been modified on the database since you last refreshed, Atoll stops the archiving process
and asks you to resolve the conflict. For information on managing conflicts, see "Resolving Data Conflicts" on
page 88.
4. When you are finished archiving, click Close.

2.2.2.5.3 Resolving Data Conflicts


Atoll enables several users to use the same database by allowing user to load the data and then freeing the database for
other users. However, this also creates the possibility of two users modifying the same data. When the second user
attempts to archive his changes, Atoll warns him that the data have been changed since he last refreshed the data and
that there is a conflict.
Atoll allows you to resolve data conflicts. When Atoll finds a conflict, it displays the warning shown in Figure 2.58.

Figure 2.58: Conflict warning

You have three options:


• Ignore: If you click Ignore, Atoll ignores items causing conflicts in the table being archived, archives all other
modifications in the table, and continues with the next table. You can resolve the conflicts after the archiving
process has ended. However, if conflicts are found in other tables, Atoll will warn you with the Database Transfer
Error dialogue again.
• Ignore All: If you click Ignore All, Atoll ignores all items causing conflicts in all tables being archived, and
archives all other modifications. You can resolve the conflicts after the archiving process has ended.
• Abort: If you click Abort, the archiving process stops. You can attempt to resolve conflicts before restarting the
archiving process.
Whether you abort the archive process to resolve the conflict immediately, or wait until the end of the archive process, the
procedure to resolve the conflict is the same.
To resolve data conflicts one by one:
1. In the Pending Changes pane of the Archive dialogue, select the conflict you want to resolve and click Resolve.
There are two different types of data conflicts:
- On a modified record: You are in the process of archiving your modifications on the database and another
user has modified the same data since you last archived or refreshed your data. A conflict is caused only by
differences in the same field of the same record between the database and the current Atoll document.
The Conflict in Changes dialogue appears, with the fields in conflict highlighted (see Figure 2.59). In the
Conflict in Changes dialogue, you can see the value of the field in the database in the Database values col-
umn, as well as the value of the same field in your document in the Current values column.

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Figure 2.59: The Conflict in Changes dialogue

- If you want to overwrite the database value with the value of the same field in your document, select the
check box next to the highlighted change and click Archive. Your modification will be written to the data-
base, overwriting the value there.
- If you want to accept the value of the field in the database, clear the check box next to the highlighted
change and click Archive. Your modification will be lost and the value in the database will remain un-
changed.
- On a deleted record: You are in the process of archiving your modifications on the database and another
user has deleted a record since you last archived or refreshed your data. For information, see "Resolving Data
Conflicts" on page 88.
Atoll displays a message explaining that the record you are trying to update has been deleted from the data-
base (see Figure 2.60). Select one of the following:

Figure 2.60: Conflict on a deleted record

- Yes: Select Yes to store your modifications in the database, thereby recreating the deleted record.
- No: Select No to abandon your modifications to this record and delete this record from your document.
- Cancel: Select Cancel to cancel.
2. Click Close to close the Archive dialogue.
To resolve all the data conflicts:
1. In the Pending Changes pane of the Archive dialogue, select any conflict and click Resolve All. Atoll displays
a message explaining how Resolve All works (see Figure 2.61). Select one of the following:

Figure 2.61: Resolving all the data conflicts simultaneously

- Yes: Select Yes to accept all the modifications made by other users in the database and update your docu-
ment with values from the database.
- No: Select No to overwrite the modifications made by other users in the database with the values from your
document.
- Cancel: Select Cancel to cancel.
2. Click Close to close the Archive dialogue.

Important: You should only resolve all the data conflicts when you are certain about the
modifications.

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2.3 Making a Backup of Your Document


Atoll can create and automatically update backups of documents you are working on. Once you have saved the document,
Atoll creates a backup of the original document and updates it at a defined interval. For example, for a document named
"filename.atl," Atoll will create a backup file called "filename.atl.bak" in the same folder as the original document. You can
define the update interval each time you start Atoll.
You can also configure Atoll to create automatic backups of external path loss matrices (LOS files) by setting an option
in the atoll.ini file. For more information, see the Administrator Manual.
When you have activated automatic backup, Atoll automatically creates a backup for every document open. Conse-
quently, if you have a lot of documents open, this operation can take a long time. However, you can optimise the process
by opening large documents in separate Atoll sessions, instead of in the same Atoll session. This also improves memory
management because each instance of Atoll has its own 2 GB (under 32-bit operating systems; 4 GB under 64-bit oper-
ating systems) memory allocation. If you open two large documents in the same Atoll session, these documents will use
the same 2 GB memory pool. If you open them in two different Atoll sessions, each document will have its own 2 GB allo-
cated memory.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Configuring Automatic Backup" on page 90
• "Recovering a Backup" on page 91.

2.3.1 Configuring Automatic Backup


You can set up automatic backup for each Atoll session.
To configure automatic backup:
1. Select File > Configure Automatic Backup. The Automatic Backup Configuration dialogue appears (see
Figure 2.62).

Figure 2.62: Automatic backup configuration dialogue

2. Select the Activate automatic backup check box.


3. Select the Prompt before starting automatic backup check box if you want Atoll to ask you before saving the
back up of your file every time (see Figure 2.63).
4. Enter a time interval, in minutes, between consecutive backups in the Automatically save backups every text
box.

Note: It can take a long time to back up large documents. Therefore, you should set a
correspondingly larger interval between backups when working with large documents in
order to optimise the process.

5. Click OK.
If you selected the Prompt before starting automatic backup check box, Atoll prompts you each time before backing
up the document. If you click OK, Atoll proceeds to back up all open documents. If you click Cancel, Atoll skips the
backup once.

Figure 2.63: Automatic backup prompt

The automatic backup timer is stopped while the prompt is displayed. Atoll displays a message in the Event Viewer every
time a backup file is updated. If you are performing calculations, i.e., coverage predictions or simulations, the automatic
backup is delayed until the calculations have ended. The timer starts again once the calculations are over. If you save the
original document manually, the timer is reset to 0.

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2.3.2 Recovering a Backup


You can easily recover your backup document and open it in Atoll just like any other Atoll document.
To recover your backup document:
1. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder containing your original Atoll document and its backup.
2. If the original document was named "filename.atl," the backup document will be in the same folder and will be
called "filename.atl.bak". Rename the document and remove the BAK extension. For example, you could change
the name to "filename-backup.atl."

Important: If you just remove the BAK extension, your backup file will have the same file name as
the original file and Windows will not allow you to rename the file. Therefore, it is safer to
give a new name to the backup file and keep the original file until you are sure which
version is most recent.

3. Open the renamed backup document in Atoll. You will be able to recover all the work up to the last time the backup
was saved.

2.4 Making and Sharing Portable Atoll Projects


You can create portable Atoll documents in two ways:
• by embedding all the geographic data in the ATL file, or
• by creating a compressed archive (ZIP file) containing the ATL file and all geographic data linked to the Atoll doc-
ument.
In most working environments, geographic data files are stored on a common file server and are linked to the ATL docu-
ments of different users over a network. Often these geographic data files are quite large, and it is not feasible to embed
these files in an ATL file due to file size, memory consumption, and performance reasons. It is, therefore, more useful to
make a project portable by creating an archive that contains the ATL and all geographic data files.
Atoll lets you make an archive containing the ATL file and all geographic data directly from the File menu.
To make an archive containing the ATL file and all linked geographic data files:
1. Select File > Save to Zip. The Save As dialogue appears.
2. Select the folder where the created archive is to be stored, enter a File name for the archive to be created, and
select "Zip Files (*.zip)" from the Save as type list.
Atoll creates a ZIP file containing:
- A copy of the ATL file with the same name as the name of the archive (ZIP file).
The ATL file added to the archive contains all the data that might be embedded in it (path loss matrices, geo-
graphic data, coverage predictions, simulation results, measurement data, etc.).

- A ".losses" folder containing a pathloss.dbf file and a LowRes subfolder which contains the pathloss.dbf file
corresponding to the extended path loss matrices.
Externally stored path loss matrices are not added to the archive because they are not necessary for making
a portable document because they can be recalculated based on the network and geographic data in the ATL
file. The pathloss.dbf files are stored in the archive because they are needed when reopening the archive in
Atoll.

- A "Geo" folder with all the linked geographic data available on the Geo tab of the Explorer window for the
Atoll document.
This folder contains subfolders with the same names as the folders on the Geo tab. Geographic data that are
found outside folders on the Geo tab are stored in files under the Geo folder, and data present within folders
on the Geo tab are stored inside their respective folders. If the geographic data files linked to the document
are located on a remote computer, such as a file server over a network, they are first copied to the local com-
puter in the Windows’ temporary files folder and then added to the archive.

Once the portable archive is created, you can open it directly from Atoll without first having to extract it using another tool.
To open an archive containing an ATL file and all linked geographic data files:
1. Select File > Open from Zip. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the ZIP file that contains the ATL file and linked geographic data files.
3. Click Open. The Browse For Folder dialogue appears.
4. Select the folder where you want to extract the contents of the ZIP file.
5. Click OK. Atoll extracts all the files from the archive to the selected folder. If necessary, it creates the subfolders
required for extracting the contents of the Geo folder. Once Atoll has finished extracting files from the archive, it
opens the extracted ATL file. Geographic data extracted from the archive are linked to the ATL file.

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Notes:
• You do not need to have a compression utility, such as WinZip or WinRAR, installed on the
computer for this feature.
• The highest compression level is used when creating the archive.

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Chapter 3
Managing Geographic Data
Atoll User Manual

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Chapter 3: Managing Geographic Data

3 Managing Geographic Data


Several different geographic data types are used in an Atoll document. For example: the Digital Terrain Model (DTM),
clutter classes, clutter heights, scanned images, and traffic data maps are types of the geographic data that you can import
or create. Some data types, such as clutter classes, can be used to give more realistic calculations. Other types such as
scanned images, are used to create a more realistic display of the region under study.
You can import a wide variety of both vector and raster-format geo data files. When you import a geo data file into Atoll,
you can decide in which folder it goes. The Geo tab of the Atoll Explorer window has folders for the commonly used data
types. Therefore, choosing a folder is choosing what the file will be used for. You can also create your own data type by
importing a file and defining what data is to be used.
Once you have imported a file into the Atoll document, you can edit the data, define how the geo data will be displayed.
Atoll also allows you to manage multiple files for a single data type, deciding the priority of data files with different infor-
mation or different resolutions. You can also display geo data over items on the Data tab, either by transferring them to
the Data tab, or by importing them directly to the Data tab.
You can also create and edit geographic data. You can add a vector layer to certain data types to which you can add
contours, lines, or points, create new geographic data, or modify existing data. You can also create raster-based
geographic data such as traffic maps or clutter classes.
You can export most geo data objects (for example, DTM, clutter classes, clutter heights, raster polygons, or vector layers)
for use in other Atoll documents or in other applications. Atoll also allows you to save changes you make to geo data
objects back to the original files. This enables you to update the original files and, through the process of saving them,
recompact the file.
This chapter explains the following topics:
• "Geographic Data Types" on page 95
• "Supported Geographic Data Formats" on page 96
• "Importing Geo Data Files" on page 96
• "Clutter Classes" on page 103
• "Clutter Heights" on page 106
• "Digital Terrain Models" on page 103
• "Contours, Lines, and Points" on page 106
• "Scanned Images" on page 107
• "Geoclimatic Maps" on page 108
• "Setting the Priority of Geo Data" on page 109
• "Editing Geographic Data" on page 113
• "Saving Geographic Data" on page 116.

3.1 Geographic Data Types


An Atoll document can contain several different geographic data types. Atoll supports a wide range of file formats for
geographic data files. The different geographic data types play different roles in the Atoll document:
• Geographic data used in propagation calculation:
- Digital terrain model
- Clutter classes
- Clutter heights
• Geographic data used for display purposes:
- Scanned maps
- Images from web map services (WMS)
- Contours, lines, and points representing, for example, roads, railways, or regions.
In this section, the following data types are described:
• "Digital Terrain Model" on page 95
• "Clutter Classes" on page 95
• "Clutter Heights" on page 96
• "Contours, Lines, and Points" on page 96
• "Scanned Images" on page 96
• "Geoclimatic Maps" on page 96

Digital Terrain Model

The DTM describes the elevation of the ground over sea level. You can display the DTM in different ways: by single value,
discrete values, or by value intervals (see "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21).
The DTM is automatically taken into account by the propagation model during computations.

Clutter Classes

The clutter class geo data file describes land cover or land use. Clutter classes are taken into account by the propagation
model during computations.

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Each pixel in a clutter class file contains a code (from a maximum of 256 possible classes) which corresponds to a clutter
class, or in other words to a certain type of ground use or cover. The height per class can be defined as part of the clutter
class, however, the height will be defined as an average height for each clutter class. For information on defining the height
per clutter class, see "Defining Clutter Class Properties" on page 104. Clutter heights can also be defined by a separate
clutter heights file (see "Clutter Heights" on page 96). A clutter height map can represent height much more accurately
because it allows a different height to be assigned for each pixel of the map.

Clutter Heights

Clutter height maps describe the altitude of clutter over the DTM with one altitude defined per pixel. Clutter height maps
can offer more precise information than defining an altitude per clutter class because, in a clutter height file, it is possible
to have different heights within a single clutter class.
When clutter altitude is defined both in clutter classes and in a clutter height map, clutter altitude is taken from the clutter
height map.
You can display the clutter height map in different ways: by single value, discrete values, or by value intervals (see "Display
Properties of Objects" on page 21).

Note: The only propagation models that can take clutter heights into account in calculations are
the Standard Propagation Model and WLL model.

Contours, Lines, and Points

Atoll supports contours, lines, and points to represent polygons such as regions, or lines such as roads or coastlines, or
points. They are used for display only and have no effect on computations. Contours can also be used to create filtering
polygons or computation or focus zones.

Scanned Images

Scanned images are geographic data files which represent the actual physical surroundings, for example, road maps or
satellite images. They are used to provide a precise background for other objects or for less precise maps and are used
only for display; they have no effect on calculations.

Geoclimatic Maps

Geoclimatic maps are vector files containing information on climatic conditions such as rain density, vapour density,
temperature, and refractivity. Geoclimatic maps are used in microwave link documents to calculate radio wave attenuation.

Traffic Data Maps

Traffic data maps contain information on capacity and service use per geographic area. Traffic data maps are used for
network capacity analyses.

3.2 Supported Geographic Data Formats


Atoll supports the following geographic data formats:
• DTM files in the following formats: TIF (8 or 16-bit), JPEG 2000 (8 to 16-bit), BIL (8 or 16-bit), IST (8 or 16-bit),
Planet, BMP (8-bit), GRD/GRC Vertical Mapper (8 or 16-bit), and Erdas Imagine (8 or 16-bit)
• Clutter height files in the following formats: TIF (8 or 16-bit), JPEG 2000 (8 to 16-bit), BIL (8 or 16-bit), IST (8 or
16-bit), Planet, BMP (8-bit),, GRC Vertical Mapper (8 or 16-bit), and Erdas Imagine (8 or 16-bit)
• Clutter class and traffic files in the following formats: TIF (8-bit), JPEG 2000 (8-bit), BIL (8-bit), IST (8-bit), BMP
(8-bit), Planet, GRC Vertical Mapper (8-bit), and Erdas Imagine (8-bit)
• Vector data files in the following formats: AGD, DFX, Planet, SHP, MIF, and TAB.
• Vector traffic files in the following formats: AGD, DFX, Planet, SHP, MIF, and TAB.
• Scanned image files in the following formats: TIF (1 to 24-bit), JPEG 2000 (1 to 24-bit), BIL (1 to 24-bit), IST (1 to
24-bit), BMP (1 to 24-bit), Planet, Erdas Imagine (1 to 24-bit), GRC Vertical Mapper (1 to 24-bit), and ECW (8 or
24-bit)
• JPEG 2000 (16-bit), Geoclimatic files in the following formats: AGD, DXF, SHP, MIF, and TAB.
• Other data in the following formats: TIF (16-bit), JPEG 2000 (16-bit), BIL (16-bit), IST (16-bit), Planet, BMP (16-bit),
Erdas Imagine (16-bit), GRD/GRC Vertical Mapper (16-bit), AGD, DXF, SHP, MIF, and TAB.

Caution: All raster maps imported must have the same projection coordinate system.

3.3 Importing Geo Data Files


You can import the geographic data you need into the current Atoll document. As explained in "Supported Geographic
Data Formats" on page 96, Atoll supports a variety of both raster and vector file formats. When you import a new geo data
file, Atoll recognises the file format and suggests the appropriate folder on the Geo tab of the Explorer window. You can

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embed geo data files in the Atoll document while you are importing them or afterwards (see "Embedding Geographic
Data" on page 102).
You can share the paths of imported maps and display settings with other users by using Atoll’s user configuration files.
For information on exporting the paths of your document’s files or to import the path from another document using user
configuration files, see "Geographic Data Sets" on page 112.
This section explains the following:
• "Importing a Raster-format Geo Data File" on page 97
• "Importing a Vector-format Geo Data File" on page 98
• "Importing MSI Planet® Geo Data" on page 99
• "Importing a WMS Raster-format Geo Data File" on page 101
• "Grouping Geo Data Files in Folders" on page 102
• "Embedding Geographic Data" on page 102.

Tip: You can use the drag-and-drop feature to import geo data files into a document. The
format is automatically recognized and Atoll presents you with the appropriate dialogue.

3.3.1 Importing a Raster-format Geo Data File


All raster geo data files must be represented in the same projection coordinate system as the Atoll document itself.
To import a geographic data file in a raster format:
1. Select File > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the geo data file you want to import.
You can import more than one geo data file at the same time, providing that the geo data files are of the same
type. You can select contiguous files by clicking the first file, pressing SHIFT and clicking the last file you want to
import. You can select non-contiguous files by pressing CTRL and clicking each file.

3. Click Open. The File Import dialogue appears (see Figure 3.64).

Note: If the Vector Import dialogue appears, go to "Importing a Vector-format Geo Data File"
on page 98.

Depending on the type of geo data file you are importing, choose one of the following options:

- DTM: Select Altitudes (DTM) from the Data Type list.


- Clutter Classes: Select Clutter Classes from the Data Type list.
- Clutter Heights: Select Clutter Heights from the Data Type list.
- Scanned Images: Select Image or Scan from the Data Type list.
4. By default, the imported file is linked to the Atoll document. To embed the data file in the Atoll document, select
the Embed in Document check box. For information on embedding files, see "Embedding Geographic Data" on
page 102.
5. Click Import. The geo data file is imported and listed in the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
When you import a traffic data map, the traffic map’s Properties dialogue appears:

a. Under Terminals (%), enter the percentage of each type of terminal used in the map. The total percentages
must equal 100.
b. Under Mobilities (%), enter the percentage of each mobility type used in the map. The total percentages must
equal 100.
c. Under Services (%), enter the percentage of each service type used in the map. The total percentages must
equal 100.
d. Under Clutter Distribution, enter for each clutter class the percentage of indoor users.
An additional loss will be counted for indoor users during the Monte-Carlo simulations. You do not have to
define a clutter weighting for traffic density maps because the traffic is provided in terms of user density per
pixel.

e. For UMTS and CDMA, select whether the users are active in the Uplink/Downlink, only in the Downlink, or
only in the Uplink.
f. Click OK.

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Figure 3.64: Importing a clutter class file

3.3.2 Importing a Vector-format Geo Data File


When you import geo data files in vector format, their geographic system can be converted to the system used by the Atoll
document.
To import a vector-format geographic data file:
1. Select File > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the geo data file you want to import.
You can import more than one geo data file at the same time, providing that the geo data files are of the same
type. You can select contiguous files by clicking the first file, pressing SHIFT and clicking the last file you want to
import. You can select non-contiguous files by pressing CTRL and clicking each file.

3. Click Open. The Vector Import dialogue appears (see Figure 3.67).

Note: If the File Import dialogue appears, go to "Importing a Raster-format Geo Data File" on
page 97.

Depending on the type of geo data file you are importing, choose one of the following options:

- Vector Data:
- Select Geo from the Import to list.
- Population:
i. Select Population from the Import to list.
ii. Under Fields to be imported, the first list contains the attributes of the population vector data file that you
are importing, and the second list lets you select whether the attribute corresponds to population density
or to a number of inhabitants.
iii. Select from the first list which field is to be imported and from the second list whether the imported field is
a Density (number of inhabitants per square kilometre for polygons, or number of inhabitants per kilome-
tre for lines) or a Value (number of inhabitants) (see Figure 3.65 and Figure 3.66).

Figure 3.65: Population density (number of inhabitants/km²)

Figure 3.66: Population values (number of inhabitants per item – polygon/road/point)

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- Geoclimatic File:
i. Select Geoclimatic Parameters from the Import to list.
ii. Under Fields to be imported, select from the first list which field is to be imported and select Value from
the second list.
4. By default, the imported file is linked to the Atoll document. To embed the data file in the Atoll document, select
the Embed in Document check box. For information on embedding files, see "Embedding Geographic Data" on
page 102.
5. Click Import. The geo data file is imported and listed in the Geo tab of the Explorer window.

Figure 3.67: Vector Import dialogue

Notes:
• You can import ellipses and arcs from MapInfo files (MIF and TAB). Rectangles are interpreted
as polygons.
• You can define mappings between the coordinate system used for the MapInfo/ESRI vector
files, defined in the corresponding MIF/PRJ files, and Atoll. This way, when you import a vector
file, Atoll can detect the correct coordinate system automatically. For more information about
defining the mapping between coordinate systems, please refer to the Administrator Manual.

3.3.3 Importing MSI Planet® Geo Data


MSI Planet® geo data are contained in a series of files described in index files. The index file is in ASCII text format and
contains the information necessary to identify and properly interpret each geo data file. When you import MSI Planet® geo
data, you can import each type of geo data separately, by importing the corresponding index file, or you can import several
MSI Planet® geo data files at the same time, by importing several index files.
This section explains the following:
• "Importing One MSI Planet® Geo Data Type" on page 99
• "Importing a MSI Planet® Geo Database" on page 100.

3.3.3.1 Importing One MSI Planet® Geo Data Type


When you want to import a certain type of MSI Planet® geo data, such as a DTM or clutter heights, you import the index
file containing the information necessary to import the set of files containing the geo data.
To import one type of MSI Planet® geo data:
1. Select File > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the index file you want to import and click Open. The Data Type dialogue appears (see Figure 3.68).

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Figure 3.68: Importing an MSI Planet® index file

3. Select the type of geo data you are importing and select the Embed check box if you want to embed the data in
the current Atoll document.
4. Click OK to import the geo data into the current Atoll document.

3.3.3.2 Importing a MSI Planet® Geo Database


You can import all available MSI Planet® geo data at the same time by importing all index files.
To import the MSI Planet® geo database:
1. Select File > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select "Planet® database" from the Files of Type list. The Planet Data to Be Imported dialogue appears (see
Figure 3.69).

Figure 3.69: Importing an MSI Planet® database

3. For each type of data that you want to import:


a. Select the corresponding check box
b. If you want to embed the data, select the Embed check box.

c. To locate the MSI Planet® index file, click . The Open dialogue appears.
d. Select the MSI Planet® index file and click Open. The path and name of the file appears in the corresponding
field of the Planet Data to Be Imported dialogue.
4. When you have selected all the types of data you want to import, click OK. The data is imported into the current
Atoll document.

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3.3.4 Importing a WMS Raster-format Geo Data File


You can import raster images from a Web Map Service (WMS) server into your Atoll document. The image must be in TIF
format. All images imported at the same time are imported as a single image. Before you import them, you can arrange
them by placing on top the image that is the most important, such as roads. Or, you can place the least transparent image
towards the bottom so that the other images imported at the same time remain visible.
The image will be referenced in the document; it can not be embedded. Only WMS data mapped with a projection system
(for example, the Lambert Conformal-Conic or the Universal Transverse Mercator projection) can be imported. Before
importing an image from a WMS server, you must ensure that the coordinate system used in your document is the same
projection system supported by the server. All raster geo data files must be represented in the same projection coordinate
system as that used by the Atoll document itself.
To import a geographic data file from a web map service:
1. Select File > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. From the Files of Type list, select Connection to a Web Map Services server. The Web Map Services Data
Import dialogue appears.
3. Select the URL of the WMS server from the Server URL list or enter it directly.

Note: The list of WMS servers that appears in the Server URL list are defined by entries in the
atoll.ini file. For information on defining these entries, see the Administrator Manual.

4. Click the Connect button. Atoll connects to the URL of the WMS server and displays the information available
along with a description of the service (Figure 3.70 on page 101).

Figure 3.70: The Web Map Services Data Import dialogue

5. In the left pane of the Web Map Services Data Import dialogue, navigate to the item you want to import by clicking
the Expand button ( ) to open each level.
6. Select either the image you want to import, or the image group, i.e., a group preceded by an Expand button ( ).

7. Click for each image you want to import. The files you want to import appear in the right pane of the Web Map
Services Data Import dialogue.

Note: You can remove an image or group of images from the images to be imported by
selecting it in the right pane and clicking .

8. Arrange the order in which you want the images to appear by selecting each image in the right pane and clicking

to move it towards the top or to move it toward the bottom. The images will be imported as a single object
and their appearance will depend on the order you define here.
9. The Web Map Import dialogue appears. The following information is given about the imported WMS data:
- Data Types: "Image or Scan" is selected.
- Geographic Coordinates: The geographic coordinates are the WMS data are given.
10. The Name suggested is the name of the lowest layer to be imported. If desired, you can modify this name.
11. Click Import. The image is imported by reference into the Atoll document. You can not embed a WMS image in
your document.

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If you had selected more than one image or an image group, Atoll imports the group as a single object. You can
not modify this object. If you want to remove one of the images or add another one you will go through the import
process again.

3.3.5 Grouping Geo Data Files in Folders


By default, when you import scanned images and contours, lines, and points, they appear directly on the Geo tab. Other
data files, such as clutter classes, are listed together in a single Clutter Classes folder. You can, however, group scanned
images and contours, lines, and points into folders as well.
Once grouped, these geo data files can be displayed or hidden and moved more easily. They retain, however, their own
individual display settings; the display settings cannot be managed at the folder level.
You create the folder when you import the first geo data file that will be imported into it. When you import the next geo data
file, either raster or vector, you can import it directly into the new folder.
To create a new geo data folder when importing:
1. Select File > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Select the geo data file and click Open. If the file to be imported is a raster file, the File Import dialogue appears
(see Figure 3.64). If the file to be imported is a vector file, the Vector Import dialogue appears (see Figure 3.67).
3. From the Data Type list (on the File Import dialogue) or the Import To list (on the Vector Import dialogue), select
New folder in Geo. The New Folder dialogue appears.

Note: If you want to import your file to the Data tab, you can select New folder in Data.

4. Enter a name for the folder in Folder Name box and click OK.
5. Click Import. Your file is imported into the newly created folder.
You can now import other geo data files into this folder by selecting it from the Data Type list (on the File Import dialogue)
or the Import To list (on the Vector Import dialogue) when you import.

Note: You can transfer geo data that has been imported from the Geo tab to the Data tab, or
vice versa. Right-click the data in the Explorer window and select Transfer to Data or
Transfer to Geo.

3.3.6 Embedding Geographic Data


By default, when you import a geo data file, Atoll creates a link to the file. You can, however, choose to embed the geo
data file in your Atoll document, either when you import it or later. When Atoll is linked to a geo data file, the geo data file
remains separate and modifying or saving the Atoll document has no effect on the geo data file. When the geo data file
is embedded in the Atoll document, it is saved as part of the document.
Both linking and embedding present advantages and disadvantages. For more information, see the Administrator Manual.

Important: If you are using distributed calculations, you must link your geo data files. Distributed
calculations can not work with embedded geo data files. For information, see the
Administrator Manual.

To embed a geo data file in the current Atoll document while you are importing:
• Select the Embed in Document check box on the File Import or Vector Import dialogue box.
To embed a geo data file that is already linked to the current Atoll document:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the file you want to embed in the current document.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Click the General tab of the Properties dialogue.
5. Click Embed.
6. Click OK. The geo data file is now embedded in the current Atoll document.

3.3.7 Repairing a Broken Link to a Geo Data File


By default, when you import a geo data file, Atoll creates a link to the file; the geo data file remains separate and modifying
or saving the Atoll document has no effect on the geo data file. If, however, the geo data file is moved, the link will be
broken. The next time you open an Atoll document with the linked geo data file, Atoll cannot find the file and displays the
error message shown in Figure 3.71.

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Figure 3.71: Missing shortcut

To find the file yourself:


• When the Missing Shortcut dialogue (see Figure 3.71) appears, click the Browse button to locate the geo data
file.
Atoll automatically searches for the missing file as well. It searches for the nearest match, based on size, date, and type.
When it finds a possible match, it informs you with a message (see Figure 3.72).
If the file corresponds to the source file:
• Click Yes. The link will be corrected to point to the indicated file.

Figure 3.72: Problem with shortcut

You can also repair the link to the geo data file from within the Atoll document.
To repair a broken link from within the Atoll document:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
- If the geo data file is in a folder, such as the Clutter Classes, Traffic, or DTM folder, click to expand the
folder.
2. Right-click on the geo data file whose link you want to repair. The context menu appears.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. On the General tab of the Properties dialogue, click the Find button.
5. Browse to the geo data file, select it and click OK.

3.4 Digital Terrain Models


The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) is a geographic data file representing the elevation of the ground over sea level.
To manage the properties of the DTM:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Digital Terrain Model folder.
3. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
4. Click the Display tab to define the display properties for the DTM.
- For information on Display tab settings, see "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
5. Move the Relief slider towards Flat, if you want to display very few little relief or towards x6 if you want to empha-
sise the differences in altitude.
6. Click OK to close the Properties dialogue.

3.5 Clutter Classes


The clutter class geo data file describes land cover or land use.
Each pixel of a clutter class file contains a code (from a maximum of 256 possible classes) which corresponds to a clutter
class, or in other words to a certain type of ground use or cover. The height per class can be defined as part of the clutter
class, however this height is only an average per class. A clutter height map can represent height much more accurately
because it allows a different height to be assigned for each bin of the map. For information on clutter height maps, see
"Clutter Heights" on page 106.

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This section explains the following:


• "Assigning Names to Clutter Classes" on page 104
• "Defining Clutter Class Properties" on page 104
• "Adding a Clutter Class" on page 105
• "Refreshing the List of Clutter Classes" on page 105
• "Displaying Total Surface Area per Clutter Class" on page 105.

3.5.1 Assigning Names to Clutter Classes


The clutter class file identifies each clutter class with a code. To make it easier to work with clutter classes, you can assign
a descriptive name to each clutter class name. When a clutter class has a descriptive name, it is the name that appears
in tool tips and reports.
When you import a clutter class file in BIL, TIF, JPEG 2000, or IMP format, Atoll can automatically assign names to clutter
classes if the clutter class file has a corresponding MNU file. The MNU file contains a list with the clutter class codes and
their corresponding names. For more information on the MNU file format and on creating an MNU file, see the Technical
Reference Guide.
To assign names to clutter classes:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Click the Description tab of the Properties dialogue.
5. In the Name column, enter descriptive text for each class identified in the Code column.

3.5.2 Defining Clutter Class Properties


The parameters are applied in relation to the location of the receiver being studied and the clutter class of the receiver
location. These parameters can be set on the Properties dialogue:
To define clutter class properties:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Click the Description tab of the Properties dialogue.
5. Enter a Name and average Height (m) for each code.

Important: If the Height field is left blank, propagation models which use the height information of
clutter classes will assume a clutter height of "0" if there is no clutter height map.

6. If desired, you can enter a value for each of the following fields applicable to the current document:
- For all Atoll documents:
- Model Standard Deviation (dB): to calculate shadowing losses on the path loss, as related to a user-
defined cell edge coverage probability.
- Indoor Loss (dB): to be applied to the path loss and used in coverage predictions, point analysis, and
Monte Carlo simulations.

Note: Indoor penetration losses depend on the clutter types as well as the operating frequency.
You can define an additional indoor loss per frequency band used in the Frequency
bands table in GSM GPRS EGPRS, UMTS HSPA, CDMA2000 1xRTT 1xEV-DO, and
TD-SCDMA documents. This is an optional feature that must first be activated. For more
information, contact support.

- TD-SCDMA
7. Click the Default Values tab. Enter default values for each field. For information about each field, see the descrip-
tions in the previous step.
The values entered on the Default Values tab are used if no clutter map is available. Even if there is a clutter
classes map, you can select the Use default values only check box on the Default Values tab to make Atoll use
the values specified in this tab instead of the values defined per clutter class.

8. Click the Display tab to define the display properties for clutter classes. In addition to the Display tab options
described in "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21, each clutter class display type has a visibility check box.
By selecting or clearing the visibility check box, you can display or hide clutter class display types individually.

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Note: Selecting white as the colour for a clutter class value or value interval will cause that
clutter class value or value interval to be displayed as transparent.

9. Click OK.

Tip: You can copy the description table into a new Atoll document after importing the clutter
classes file. To copy the description table, select the entire table by clicking the cell in the
upper-left corner of the table and press CTRL+C. On the Description tab of the clutter
classes Properties dialogue in the new Atoll document, press CTRL+V to paste the
values in the table.

3.5.3 Adding a Clutter Class


You can add a new clutter class to your document.
To add a new clutter class to the your document:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the Description tab from the Properties dialogue.

5. In the blank row marked with at the bottom of the table, enter an unused number from 1 to 255 in the Code
column.
6. Fill in the remainder of the fields as described in step 5. and step 6. of "Defining Clutter Class Properties" on
page 104.
7. Click OK.
You can now use the new clutter class when modifying the clutter class map. For information on modifying the clutter class
map, see "Creating a Clutter Polygon" on page 114.

3.5.4 Refreshing the List of Clutter Classes


Under certain circumstances, it can happen that the list of clutter classes on the Description tab of the clutter classes Prop-
erties dialogue contains unused clutter classes. For example, if you have imported two clutter class files and then deleted
one of them, the list of clutter classes will still contain the clutter classes of the deleted file, even if they are not used in the
remaining file. Whenever you want to ensure that the list of clutter classes is accurate and current, you can refresh the list.
To refresh the list of the clutter classes:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder.
3. Select Properties from the context menu.
4. Select the Description tab from the Properties dialogue.
5. Click Refresh. Atoll removes the unused clutter classes from the list.
6. Click OK.

3.5.5 Displaying Total Surface Area per Clutter Class


You can display the total surface area covered by each clutter class in the document. Atoll displays the surface area
covered by each clutter class in the focus zone if there is one, in the computation zone if there is no focus zone and, if
there is no focus or computation zone, Atoll displays the total surface area covered by each clutter class in the entire docu-
ment. This information is also available in prediction reports.
To display the surface area covered by each clutter class:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder.
3. Select Statistics from the context menu.
The Statistics dialogue appears, displaying the surface area (Si in km²) of each clutter class (i) and its percentage
(% of i) in the computation zone or focus zone, if one exists.

Si
% of I = --------------  100
 Sk
k

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3.6 Clutter Heights


Clutter height maps describe the altitude of clutter over the DTM. Clutter height files allow for a higher degree of accuracy
because they allow more than one height per clutter class. In a clutter height file, a height is given for each point on the
map. If you define clutter height as a property of clutter classes, the height is given as an average per clutter class.
When a clutter height file is available, Atoll uses its clutter height information for calculations using certain propagation
models (the Standard Propagation Model and WLL model), for display (in tool tips and in the status line), and for CW meas-
urements and test mobile data paths. If no clutter height file exists, Atoll uses the average clutter height per clutter class
as defined in the clutter classes properties (see "Defining Clutter Class Properties" on page 104).
To manage the properties of clutter heights:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Heights folder.
3. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
4. Click the Display tab to define the display properties for clutter heights.
- For information on Display tab settings, see "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
5. Click OK to close the Properties dialogue.

The clutter height of the current pointer position as given in the clutter height file or in the clutter classes is displayed in the
status bar.

3.7 Contours, Lines, and Points


In Atoll, you can import or create vector objects such as contours, lines, and points. The imported or created vectors are
used primarily for display purposes, but polygons can be used as filters, or computation or focus zones.
In an Atoll document, vector objects such as contours, lines, and points are arranged in vector layers. When you import
a vector file, with, for example, roads, Atoll adds the file as a new vector layer containing all the vector objects in the file.
The vector object data can be managed in the vector layer table. For information on working with data tables, see "Working
with Data Tables" on page 41.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Managing the Display of a Vector Layer" on page 106
• "Managing the Properties of the Vector Layer" on page 106
• "Moving a Vector Layer to the Data Tab" on page 107.

3.7.1 Managing the Display of a Vector Layer


Imported geographic vector files can have different attributes depending on their file formats. Atoll can use additional infor-
mation related to vectors as display parameters. In addition, Atoll can read three-dimensional vector data.
To manage the display of a vector layer:
1. Click the Data or Geo tab in the Explorer window on which the vector layer is located.
2. Right-click the vector layer. The context menu appears.
3. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
4. Select the Display tab of the Properties dialogue. For information on using the display tab, see "Display Properties
of Objects" on page 21.

Note: You can manage the display of an individual vector object by right-clicking the vector
object in the vector layer folder and selecting Properties from the context menu.

3.7.2 Managing the Properties of the Vector Layer


The properties of the objects on the vector layer can be managed in two ways: either from a table containing all vectors
and their attributes or from the Properties dialogue.

Vector Layer Table

All the vector objects of a vector layer and their attributes are listed in the vector table.
To open the vector layer table:
1. On the Explorer window tab containing the vector layer, right-click the vector layer folder. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Open Table from the context menu. The vector table appears.

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You can edit the contents of this table using the commands from the context menu or from the Edit, Format, and Records
menus. For more information on editing tables in Atoll, see "Working with Data Tables" on page 41.

Vector Layer Properties Dialogue

The vector layer Properties dialogue has three tabs: a General tab, a Table tab, and a Display tab.
To open the Properties dialogue of a vector layer:
1. On the Explorer window tab containing the vector layer, right-click the vector layer folder. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Properties from the context menu.
3. Click the General tab. The following options are available:
- Name: The name of the vector layer. You can rename the vector layer using this field.
- Source File: The complete path of the vector layer file if the file is linked to the Atoll document; otherwise the
file is described as embedded.
- Find: Click the Find button to redefine the path when the file’s location has changed.
- Embed: Click the Embed button to embed a linked vector layer file in the Atoll document.
- Coordinate System: When a vector layer is linked, the coordinate system used is the file’s, as specified when
the file was imported. When the a vector layer is embedded, the coordinate system used is document’s, as
specified when the file was embedded.
- Change: Click the Change button to change the coordinate system of the vector layer.
- Sort: Click the Sort button to sort the data contained in the vector layer. For information on sorting, see
"Advanced Sorting" on page 61.
- Filter: Click the Filter button to filter the data contained in the vector layer. For information on filtering, see
"Advanced Data Filtering" on page 63.
4. Click the Table tab. You can use the Table tab to manage the vector layer table content. For information on the
Table tab, see "Adding, Deleting, and Editing Data Table Fields" on page 42.
5. Click the Display tab. You can use the Display tab to manage the vector layer display. For information on the Table
tab, see "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.

3.7.3 Moving a Vector Layer to the Data Tab


In Atoll, all objects on the Data tab, such as transmitters, antennas, and predictions, are displayed over all objects on the
Geo tab. You may wish, however, to ensure that certain geo data, for example, major geographical features, roads, etc.,
remain visible in the map window. You can do this by transferring the geo data from the Geo tab to the Data tab and placing
it above data such as predictions.
To transfer a vector layer to the Data tab of the Explorer window:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the vector layer you want to transfer. The context menu appears.
3. Select Transfer to Data tab from the context menu. The vector layer is transferred to the Data tab.

You can transfer the vector layer back to the Geo tab by right-clicking it in the Data tab and selecting Transfer to the Geo
tab from the context menu. For more information about display priority in Atoll, see "Setting the Priority of Geo Data" on
page 109.

3.8 Scanned Images


Scanned images are geographic data files which represent the actual physical surroundings, for example, road maps or
satellite images. They are used to provide a precise background for other objects or for less precise maps.They have no
effect on calculations.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Importing Several Scanned Images" on page 107
• "Defining the Display Properties of Scanned Images" on page 108.

3.8.1 Importing Several Scanned Images


You can import scanned images into the current Atoll document one at a time, as explained in "Importing Geo Data Files"
on page 96, or you can import a group of images by importing an index file listing the individual image files. The index file
is a text file with the information for each image file on a separate line.
Each line contains the following information, with the information separated by a space:
• File name: The name of the file, with its path relative to the current location of the index file.
• XMIN: The beginning X coordinate of the file.
• XMAX: The end X coordinate, calculated as XMIN + (number of horizontal bins x bin width).
• YMIN: The beginning Y coordinate of the file.

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• YMAX: The end Y coordinate, calculated as YMIN + (number of horizontal bins x bin width).
• 0: The zero character ends the sequence.

nice1.tif 984660 995380 1860900 1872280 0


nice2.tif 996240 1004900 1860980 1870700 0

File name XMIN XMAX YMIN YMAX 0

To import an index
1. Select File > Import.
2. Select the index file and click Open. The File Import dialogue appears (see Figure 3.64).
3. Select Image or Scan from the Data Type list.
4. Click Import. The image files imported and listed in the Geo tab of the Explorer window.

3.8.2 Defining the Display Properties of Scanned Images


Because imported images cannot be modified, they have fewer display parameters than other object types.
To define the display properties of a scanned image:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window
2. Right-click the scanned image. The context menu appears.
3. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears (see Figure 3.73).
4. Select the Display tab and set the following options:
- Colour: Select either Automatic, Shades of gray, or Watermark from the list.
- Transparent Colour: Select White from the list if you wish parts of the scanned image that are coloured white
to be transparent, allowing objects in lower layers to be visible.
- Lightness: Move the slider to lighten or darken the scanned image.
- Contrast: Move the slider to adjust the contrast.
- Visibility Scale: Enter a visibility scale minimum in the between 1: text box and maximum in the and 1: text
box. When the displayed or printed scale is outside this range, the scanned image is not displayed.
5. Click OK.

Figure 3.73: Scanned image Properties dialogue

3.9 Geoclimatic Maps


Geoclimatic maps are vector files containing information on climatic conditions such as rain density, vapour density,
temperature, and refractivity. Geoclimatic maps are used in microwave link documents to calculate radio wave attenuation.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Managing Geoclimatic Map Properties" on page 109
• "Displaying Geoclimatic Statistics" on page 109.

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3.9.1 Managing Geoclimatic Map Properties


To manage the properties of a geoclimatic map:
1. Right-click the Geoclimatic Parameters folder on the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Select Properties from the context menu.
3. The following tabs are available:
- Data Mapping: The Data Mapping tab enables you to select which value from each imported vector file is part
of the geoclimatic map. The imported vector files are listed in the Name column, with the relevant data
selected in the Field column. You can select the parameter it corresponds to from the Parameters column.
- Display: The Display tab enables you to define how the geoclimatic map appears in the map window. Value
interval is the only available display type.
For information on using the display tab, see "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.

4. Click to expand the Geoclimatic Parameters folder.


5. Right-click any geoclimatic file in the Geoclimatic Parameters folder.
6. Select Properties from the context menu.
7. Click the Table tab. The Table tab enables you to manage the contents of the class table. For information on
working with the Table tab, see "Adding, Deleting, and Editing Data Table Fields" on page 42.

3.9.2 Displaying Geoclimatic Statistics


You can display the relative and absolute distribution of each value interval according to the defined value intervals in the
display properties (for information on defining value intervals, see "Defining the Display Type" on page 22) of a geoclimatic
map. Atoll displays the statistics for the focus zone if there is one, for the computation zone if there is no focus zone and,
if there is no focus or computation zone, Atoll displays the statistics for the entire document.
To display the statistics of the geoclimatic data:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Geoclimatic Parameters folder.
3. Select Statistics from the context menu. The Statistics window appears with the distributions of each value
interval.

Note: Statistics are displayed only for visible data. See "Displaying or Hiding Objects on the
Map Using the Explorer" on page 16.

3.10 Setting the Priority of Geo Data


Atoll lists the imported DTM, clutter class or traffic objects in their respective folders and creates a separate folder for each
imported vector data file and scanned image. Each object is placed on a separate layer. Thus, there are as many layers
as imported objects. The layers are arranged from top to bottom in the map window as they appear on the Geo tab of the
Explorer window.
It is important to remember that all objects on the Data tab, such as transmitters, antennas, and predictions, are displayed
over all objects on the Geo tab.

3.10.1 Setting the Display Priority of Geo Data


There are several factors that influence the visibility of geo data:
• The display check box: The check box immediately to the left of the object name in the Geo tab controls whether
or not the object is displayed on the map. If the check box is selected ( ), the object is displayed; if the check
box is cleared ( ), the object is not displayed. If the check box, is selected but shaded ( ), not all objects in the
folder are displayed. For more information, see "Displaying or Hiding Objects on the Map Using the Explorer" on
page 16.
• The order of the layers: The layer at the top of the Geo tab is on top of all other layers in the map window. Data
on layers below is only visible where there is no data on the top layer or if you adjust the transparency of the objects
on the top layer. You can use drag and drop to change the order of layers by dragging a layer on the Geo tab of
the Explorer window towards the top or the bottom of the tab.

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Note: All objects on the Data tab, such as transmitters, antennas, and predictions, are displayed
over all objects on the Geo tab. Vector geo data, however, can be transferred to the Data
tab, where they can be placed over data such as predictions. In this way, you can ensure
that certain vector geo data, for example, major geographical features, roads, etc., remain
visible in the map window For more information, see "Moving a Vector Layer to the Data
Tab" on page 107.

• The transparency of objects: You can change the transparency of some objects, such as predictions, and some
object types, such as clutter classes, to allow objects on lower layers to be visible on the map. For more informa-
tion, see "Defining the Transparency of Objects and Object Types" on page 23.
• The visibility range of objects: You can define a visibility range for object types. An object is visible only in the
map window if the scale, as displayed on the zoom toolbar, is within this range. For more information, see "Defining
the Visibility Scale" on page 23.
In Figure 3.74, vector data (including the linear vectors HIGHWAYS, COASTLINE, RIVERLAKE, MAJORROADS,
MAJORSTREETS, RAILWAYS and AIRPORT), clutter classes, DTM and scanned image have been imported and a
UMTS environment traffic map has been edited inside the computation zone. In the map window, the linear objects
(ROADS, RIVERLAKE, etc.) are visible both inside and outside the computation zone. The clutter class layer is visible in
the area where there is no traffic data (outside the computation zone). On the other hand, the DTM layer which is beneath
the clutter class layer and the scanned map which is beneath the DTM layer, are not visible.

Figure 3.74: Displaying Geo data layers

3.10.2 Setting the Priority of Geo Data in Calculations


The priority of geo data in calculations is determined in much the same way as it is for display.
When you make calculations in Atoll, the data taken into account in each folder (Clutter Classes, DTM, etc.) is the data
from the top down. In other words, Atoll takes the object on top and objects below only where there is no data in higher
levels; what is used is what is seen.

Note: The visibility in the context of calculations must not be confused with the display check
box ( ). Even if the display check box of an object is cleared ( ), so that the object is
not displayed on the map, it will still be taken into consideration for calculations. The only
cases where clearing the display check box means that the data will not be used are for
population data in reports, and for custom geo data maps.

Object folders, for example, the DTM, clutter classes, clutter heights, and traffic density folders, can contain more than one
data object. These objects can represent different areas of the map or the same parts of the map with the same or different
resolutions. Therefore for each folder, you should place the objects with the best data at the top. These are normally the
objects which cover the least area but have the highest resolution. For example, when calculating coverage in an urban
area, you might have two clutter class files: one with a higher resolution for the downtown core, where the density of users
is higher, and one with a lower resolution but covering the entire area. In this case, by placing the clutter class file for the
downtown core over the file with the lower resolution, Atoll can base its calculations for the downtown core on the clutter
class file with the higher resolution, using the second file for all other calculations.
Population maps and custom geo data maps, both of which can be used in prediction reports follow the same rules of
calculation priority.

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The following sections give several examples to better illustrate how data are used in Atoll:
• "Example 1: Two DTM Maps Representing Different Areas" on page 111
• "Example 2: Clutter Classes and DTM Maps Representing the Same Area" on page 111
• "Example 3: Two Clutter Class Maps Representing a Common Area" on page 111.

3.10.2.1 Example 1: Two DTM Maps Representing Different Areas


In this example, there are two imported DTM files:
• "DTM 1” represents a given area and has a resolution of 50 m.
• “DTM 2” represents a different area and has a resolution of 20 m.
In this example, the file order of the DTM files in the Explorer window does not matter because they do not overlap; in
both Case 1 and Case 2, Atoll will take all the data from both "DTM 1” and "DTM 2” into account.

Explorer window Work space

Case 1

DTM
• DTM 2 (20m)
• DTM 1 (50m)

Case 2

DTM
• DTM 1 (50m)
• DTM 2 (20m)

Figure 3.75: Multi-layer management in calculations – two DTM maps representing different areas

3.10.2.2 Example 2: Clutter Classes and DTM Maps Representing the Same Area
In this example, there are two imported maps:
• A clutter class map called “Clutter.”
• A DTM map called “DTM”.
Independently of the order of the two maps in the Explorer window, Atoll uses both the clutter and DTM data in calcula-
tions. In Case 1, the clutter class map is on top of the DTM map. In Case 2, the DTM map is on top of the clutter class
map. In both Case 1 and Case 2, Atoll will use both the clutter and DTM data in calculations.

Explorer window Work space


Case 1

Clutter classes
• Clutter
DTM
• DTM

Case 2

DTM
• DTM
Clutter classes
• Clutter

Figure 3.76: Multi-layer management in calculations – Clutter and DTM maps representing the same area

3.10.2.3 Example 3: Two Clutter Class Maps Representing a Common Area


In this example, there are two imported clutter classes maps:
• "Clutter 1" represents a large area with a resolution of 50 m.
• "Clutter 2" represents a smaller area with a resolution of 20 m. This area is also covered by "Clutter 1"
In the case of two clutter class maps, Atoll uses the order of the maps in the Clutter Classes folder on the Geo tab of the
Explorer window to decide which data to use. In Case 1, "Clutter 2" is on top of "Clutter 1". Atoll will therefore use the
data in "Clutter 2" where it is available, and the data from "Clutter 1" everywhere that is covered by "Clutter 1" but not by

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"Clutter 2." In Case 2, "Clutter 1" is on top and completely covers "Clutter 2." Therefore, Atoll will only use the data from
"Clutter 1."

Explorer window Work space

Case 1

Clutter classes
• Clutter 2 (20m)
• Clutter 1 (50m)

Case 2

Clutter classes
• Clutter 2 (50m)
• Clutter 1 (20m)

Figure 3.77: Multi-layer management in calculations – two clutter maps representing the same area

3.11 Displaying Information About Geo Data


You can display information about a geo data map by using tooltips. For information on how to display information in tool-
tips, see "Defining the Object Type Tip Text" on page 24.
To display information about the geo data in a tool tip:
• Hold the pointer over the geo data until the tool tip appears. The surface area is only given for closed polygons.

Note: Tool tips only appear when the Display Tips button ( ) on the toolbar has been
selected.

3.12 Geographic Data Sets


In Atoll, once you have imported geographic data and defined their parameters, you can save much of this information in
a user configuration file. Then, another user, working on a similar Atoll document, can import the configuration file contain-
ing the paths to the imported geographic data and many of the defined parameters.
When you export the geographic data set, you export:
• the paths of imported geographic maps
• map display settings (visibility scale, transparency, tips text, etc.)
• clutter description (code, name, height, standard deviations, indoor loss, orthogonality factor, percentage pilot
finger of each clutter class, default standard deviations, and indoor loss)
• raster or user profile traffic map description.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Exporting a Geo Data Set" on page 112
• "Importing a Geo Data Set" on page 113.

Note: You can export and import other types of information with user configuration files as well.
For information, see the Administrator Manual.

3.12.1 Exporting a Geo Data Set


When you export a geo data set in a user configuration file, the information listed in "Geographic Data Sets" on page 112
is saved into an external file.

Important: Vectors must be in the same coordinate system as the raster maps.

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To export a geo data set in a user configuration file:


1. Select Tools > User Configuration > Export. The User Configuration dialogue appears (see Figure 3.78).
2. In the User Configuration dialogue, select the Geographic Data Set check box.

Figure 3.78: The User Configuration dialogue

3. Click OK, The Save As dialogue appears.


4. In the Save As dialogue, browse to the folder where you want to save the file and enter a File name.
5. Click OK.

3.12.2 Importing a Geo Data Set


When you import a user configuration file containing a geo data set, the information listed in "Geographic Data Sets" on
page 112 is imported into your current Atoll document.
To import a user configuration file containing a geo data set:
1. Select Tools > User Configuration > Import. The Open dialogue appears.
2. Browse to the user configuration file, select it and click Open.
3. The User Configuration dialogue appears.
When you import a user configuration file including a geographic data set, Atoll checks if there are already
geographic data in the current Atoll document. If so, the option Delete existing geo data appears with other
options in the User Configuration dialogue.

4. In the User Configuration dialogue, select the check boxes of the items you want to import.
5. If you already have geographic data in your current Atoll document and would like to replace it with any imported
data, select the Delete existing geo data check box.
If you do not want to replace existing geo data with imported data, clear the Delete existing geo data check box.

6. Click OK.

Note: You can automatically start Atoll with a user configuration file by naming the file "atoll.cfg"
and placing it in the same folder as the Atoll executable. You can also edit the Windows
shortcut to Atoll and add "-cfg <.cfg_file>" where is the complete path to the user
configuration file.

3.13 Editing Geographic Data


In Atoll, you can edit geo data that you have imported or you can create geo data by, for example, adding a vector layer
to the Population folder and then adding polygons.
The following types of geographic data can be edited:
• Clutter classes (for more information, "Editing Clutter Class Maps" on page 114)
• Contours, lines, and points (for more information, "Editing Polygons, Lines, and Points" on page 34)
• Population maps (if they are in vector format, i.e., Erdas Imagine (16-bit), AGD, DXF, SHP, MIF, or TAB format)
(for more information, "Editing Geoclimatic Maps" on page 115)
• Geoclimatic maps (for more information, "Editing Geoclimatic Maps" on page 115)
• Traffic data maps
• Custom data maps (for more information, "Editing Geoclimatic Maps" on page 115).

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3.13.1 Editing Clutter Class Maps


Clutter class maps and certain traffic maps are raster maps. You can edit these maps by creating or modifying polygons.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Creating a Clutter Polygon" on page 114
• "Editing Clutter Polygons" on page 114
• "Displaying the Coordinates of Clutter Polygons" on page 115.
• "Deleting Clutter Polygons" on page 115

3.13.1.1 Creating a Clutter Polygon


In Atoll, you can modify imported clutter class maps or create your own maps by adding data in the form of polygons. You
can later edit and export the polygons you have created. All modifications you make to clutter class maps are taken into
account by propagation model calculations.
To create a polygon:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Edit from the context menu. The Editor toolbar appears with a clutter or traffic list, a polygon drawing tool

, a polygon deletion tool , and a Close button (see Figure 3.79).

Figure 3.79: Editor toolbar

4. From the list, select the clutter class for the polygon you want to create.

Note: Clutter classes are defined on the Descriptions tab of the clutter classes Properties
dialogue.

5. Click the polygon drawing button ( ). The pointer changes to a pencil ( ).


6. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the polygon.
7. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the polygon.
8. Double-click to close the polygon.

Note: You can copy the exact coordinates of a closed polygon by right-clicking it on the map and
selecting Properties from the context menu.

3.13.1.2 Editing Clutter Polygons


You can edit clutter polygons by moving existing points of the polygon or by adding or deleting points.
To edit clutter polygons:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Edit from the context menu. The Editor toolbar appears (see Figure 3.79).
4. Select the polygon. You can now edit the clutter polygon by:
- Moving a point:

i. Position the pointer over the point you want to move. The pointer changes ( ).
ii. Drag the point to its new position.
- Adding a point:

i. Position the pointer over the polygon border where you want to add a point. The pointer changes ( ).
ii. Right-click and select Insert Point from the context menu. A point is added to the border at the position
of the pointer.
- Deleting a point:

i. Position the pointer over the point you want to delete. The pointer changes ( ).
ii. Right-click and select Delete Point from the context menu. The point is deleted.

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3.13.1.3 Displaying the Coordinates of Clutter Polygons


To display the coordinates of the points defining the polygon area:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Edit from the context menu. The Editor toolbar appears (see Figure 3.79).
4. Right-click the polygon and select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears with the
coordinates of the points defining the polygon and the total area.

Note: You can select and copy the coordinates displayed in the Properties dialogue of the
polygon.

3.13.1.4 Deleting Clutter Polygons


You can delete clutter polygons.
To delete a clutter polygon:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Edit from the context menu. The Editor toolbar appears (see Figure 3.79).

4. Click the polygon deletion tool ( ). The pointer changes ( ).


5. Click the polygon you want to delete. The polygon is deleted.

3.13.2 Editing Geoclimatic Maps


Some geographic data maps, for example, geoclimatic maps, are made up of individual vector objects. You can modify
and create these geo data maps by adding a vector layer and then adding vector objects (contours, lines, and points) to
this layer.
To create a vector layer and vector objects on a geo data map:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the geo data object, the Geoclimatic Parameters, folder, to which you want to add a vector layer.
3. Select Add Vector Layer from the context menu. A new data object called "Vectors" is created in the selected
geo data object folder.
4. Right-click the new vector layer. The context menu appears.
5. Select Edit from the context menu. The vector tools on the Vector Edition toolbar are activated.

Tip: You can also activate the vector tools by selecting the vector layer to edit from the Vector
Edition toolbar list. Because Atoll names all new vector layers "Vectors" by default, it
might be difficult to know which Vectors folder you are selecting. By renaming each
vectors folder, you can ensure that you select the correct folder. For information on
renaming objects, see "Renaming an Object" on page 17.

6. To draw a polygon, click the New Polygon button ( ) on the Vector Edition toolbar:
a. Click once on the map where you want to begin drawing the contour.
b. Click each time you change angles on the border defining the outside of the contour.
c. Double-click to close the contour.

7. To draw a rectangle, click the New Rectangle button ( ) on the Vector Edition toolbar:
a. Click the point on the map that will be one corner of the rectangle.
b. Drag to the opposite corner of the rectangle.
c. Release the mouse to create the rectangle defined by the two corners.
8. Right-click the new polygon or rectangle and select Properties from the context menu.
9. Enter a value:
- Geoclimatic Parameters: Enter a value in the Rain Intensity field to indicate the intensity of rainfall for the
polygon.

10. Press ESC to deselect the New Polygon ( ) or the New Rectangle ( ) button on the Vector Edition toolbar.
11. For Atoll to consider the new vector layer as part of the data map, you must map the vector layer. Right-click the
the Geoclimatic Parameters, folder. The context menu appears.

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12. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
13. Click the Data Mapping tab. For the following geo data:
- Geoclimatic Parameters:
- In the Field column, "Rain" is selected by default.
You can edit the vector objects as explained in "Editing Polygons, Lines, and Points" on page 34.

3.14 Saving Geographic Data


Atoll allows you to save your geographic data files separately from saving the Atoll document. Atoll supports a variety of
both raster and vector file formats (for more information, see "Supported Geographic Data Formats" on page 96). Saving
a geographic file separately from saving the Atoll document enables you to:
• Save modifications you have made to an external file: If you have made modifications to geo data, you can
export them to a new external file.
• Update the source file with modifications you have made: If you have made modifications to a geo data type
in Atoll, you can save these changes to the source file.
• Combine several files into one file: If you have several smaller files in one folder of the Geo tab, you can save
them as one file.
• Export an embedded file to be used in another Atoll document or in another application: You can save a
file to an external file, in the same format or in another one.
• Create a new file from part of a larger one: You can select part of certain geo data types and then save the
selected part as a new file.
This section explains the following:
• "Saving Modifications to an External File" on page 116
• "Updating the Source File" on page 117
• "Combining Several Files into One File" on page 118
• "Exporting an Embedded File" on page 118
• "Creating a New File from a Larger File" on page 119

3.14.1 Saving Modifications to an External File


In Atoll, you can save your modifications to an external file.
This section explains the following:
• "Exporting an Edited Clutter Class Map in a Raster-Format File" on page 116
• "Exporting an Edited Vector Layer in Vector-Format File" on page 117.

3.14.1.1 Exporting an Edited Clutter Class Map in a Raster-Format File


You can export clutter class modifications in a raster-format file, either in the same format as used in the current Atoll
document, or in a different raster format. You can also choose to export the entire clutter class geo data, the part containing
the computation zone, or just your modifications to the geo data.
When you have made modifications to a raster-format geo data file, exporting either the entire geo data or just your modi-
fications allows you to save those modifications to an external file.
To export clutter class modifications in a raster-format file:
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Clutter Classes folder.
3. Select Save As from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
4. In the Save As dialogue, browse to the folder where you want to save the file, enter a name for the file, and select
the file format from the Save as type list. You can select from one of the following file formats:
- BMP: When you select bitmap format, Atoll automatically creates the corresponding BPW file containing the
georeference information.
- TXT: The ArcView text format is intended only for export; no corresponding geo-reference file is created.
- TIF: When you select tagged image file format, Atoll automatically creates the corresponding TFW file con-
taining the georeference information.
- BIL: When you select the BIL format, Atoll automatically creates the corresponding HDR file containing the
georeference information. When exporting in BIL format, Atoll allows you to export files larger than 2 Gb.
- JPEG 2000: When you select the JPEG 2000 format, no corresponding geo-reference file is created.
- GRC or GRD: Files with the extension GRC or GRD are Vertical Mapper files. When exporting in GRD or GRC
formats, Atoll allows you to export files larger than 2 Gb.
5. Click Save. The Export dialogue appears (see Figure 3.80).

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Figure 3.80: Export dialogue

6. Under Region, select one of the following:


- The Entire Project Area: This option allows you to export the entire clutter class geo data file, including any
modifications you have made to the geo data. The exported geo data file will replace the geo data file in the
current Atoll document.
- Only Pending Changes: This option allows you to export a rectangle containing any modifications you have
made to the clutter classes. The exported geo data file will be added as a new object to the Clutter Classes
geo data folder.
- The Computation Zone: This option allows you to export the clutter class geo data contained by a rectangle
encompassing the computation zone, whether or not the computation zone is visible. The exported geo data
file will be added as a new object to the selected geo data folder.
7. Define a Resolution in Metres. The resolution must be an integer and the minimum resolution allowed is 1. The
suggested resolution value is defined by the following criteria:
- If one object has been modified, the suggested resolution is the resolution of the modified object.
- If several objects have been modified, the suggested resolution is the highest resolution of the modified
objects.
- If there is no initial clutter class object, the resolution will equal the highest resolution of the DTM maps.
- If the Atoll document in which you created the clutter class file has no DTM, no other clutter class geo data
file, or traffic objects, the suggested resolution is 100 m.
8. Click OK. The selected data is saved in an external file.

3.14.1.2 Exporting an Edited Vector Layer in Vector-Format File


You can export an edited vector layer as a vector format file. A vector layer can contain contours, lines, and points. Along
with vector layers you have added to the Geo tab, the following maps can be exported as vector format files:
• Vector-format population maps
• Vector-format geoclimatic maps
• Vector-format custom maps.
Once you save a vector layer, the exported file replaces the vector layer as a linked file. You can embed the file afterwards
(see "Embedding Geographic Data" on page 102).
To export a vector layer:
1. On the Explorer window tab containing the vector layer, right-click the vector layer folder. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Save As from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
3. In the Save As dialogue, browse to the folder where you want to save the file, enter a name for the file, and select
the file format from the Save as type list. You can select from one of the following file formats:
- AGD: The Atoll Geographic Data format is an Atoll-specific format. As a format created for Atoll, Atoll can
read AGD files faster than the other supported vector formats.
- SHP: The ArcView vector format should be used for vector layers containing only polygons; it cannot save
vectors made of lines or points. If you have a vector layer with vector lines or points, use either the AGD, the
MIF or the TAB format.
- MIF and TAB: MapInfo formats.
4. Click Save in the Save As dialogue. The Vector Export dialogue appears, displaying the current coordinate
system and allowing you to change the coordinate system by clicking Change.
5. Click Export. The vector layer is saved in the format and with the name you specified and the exported file
replaces the vector layer in the current document as a linked file.

3.14.2 Updating the Source File


While working on an Atoll document, you may make changes to geo data. If the geo data file is embedded in the Atoll
document, Atoll saves the changes automatically when you save the document. If the geo data file is linked, Atoll prompts
you to save the changes when you close the document.

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To update the source file of a linked geo data file:


1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder containing geo data file whose source file you want to update. The context menu appears.
3. Select Save from the context menu. The linked file is updated.

Caution: You will not be warned that you are replacing the current file. Therefore, ensure that you
want to replace the current file before proceeding to the following step. If you do not want
to replace the current file, you can save your changes to an external file ("Exporting an
Edited Vector Layer in Vector-Format File" on page 117).

3.14.3 Combining Several Files into One File


In certain circumstances, for example, after importing an MSI Planet® index file, you may have several geo data files of
the same type. You can combine these separate files to create one single file. The files will be combined according to their
order from the top down in the folder on the Geo tab of the Explorer window. If the files overlap on the map, the combined
file will show the file on the top.
You can create a one file from a section of the following geo data types:
• Digital terrain model
• Clutter classes
• Clutter heights
• Scanned maps
To combine individual files into a new file:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder of the geo data files you want to combine into one file. The context menu appears.
3. Select Save As from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
4. Enter a File name and select a file type from the Save as type list.
5. Click OK. The Export dialogue appears (see Figure 3.81).
6. Under Region, select The Entire Project Area. This option allows you to save the entire area covered by the geo
data files, including any modifications you have made to the geo data.
7. Define a Resolution in Metres. The resolution must be an integer and the minimum resolution allowed is 1. The
suggested resolution value is the highest resolution of all objects.
8. Click OK. The selected data is saved as a new file.

3.14.4 Exporting an Embedded File


You can export an embedded geo data file to be used in a different Atoll document, or in a different application. When you
export an embedded file, Atoll replaces the embedded file in the current Atoll document with the newly exported file.
To export an embedded geo data file:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder of the embedded geo data file you want to export. The context menu appears.
3. Select Save As from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
4. Enter a File name and select a file type from the Save as type list.
5. Click OK.
If the geo data file is a vector file, the Vector Export dialogue appears (see Figure 3.81).

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Chapter 3: Managing Geographic Data

Figure 3.81: The Vector Export dialogue

a. The Vector Export dialogue displays the coordinate system of the file. To change the coordinate system used
for the exported file, click Change. The Coordinate Systems dialogue appears. For information on the Co-
ordinate Systems dialogue, see "Setting a Coordinate System" on page 82.
b. Click Export. The geo data file is exported with the selected coordinate system.
If the geo data file is a raster file, the Export dialogue appears (see Figure 3.82).

Figure 3.82: Export dialogue

a. Under Region, select one of the following:


- The Entire Project Area: This option allows you to export the entire raster-format geo data file, including
any modifications you have made to the geo data. The exported file will replace the embedded file in the
Geo data tab.
- Only Pending Changes: This option allows you to export a rectangle containing any modifications you
have made to the geo data. The exported file will be added as an object in the geo data folder.
- The Computation Zone: This option allows you to export the geo data contained by a rectangle encom-
passing the computation zone, whether or not the computation zone is visible. The exported file will be
added as an object in the geo data folder.
b. Define a Resolution in Metres. The resolution must be an integer and the minimum resolution allowed is 1.
c. Click OK. The selected data is saved in an external file.

3.14.5 Creating a New File from a Larger File


You can create a new file from a section of a larger file. You can use this new file in the same Atoll document, or in a new
Atoll document. To create a new file, you must first define the area by creating a computation zone.
You can create a new file from a section of the following geo data types:
• Digital terrain model
• Clutter classes
• Clutter heights
• Scanned maps
• Population
• Geoclimatic maps
To create a new file from a section of a larger file:
1. Click the Geo tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the folder of the embedded geo data file you want to export. The context menu appears.
3. Select Save As from the context menu. The Save As dialogue appears.
4. Enter a File name and select a file type from the Save as type list.
5. Click OK. The Export dialogue appears (see Figure 3.81).

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6. Under Region, select The Computation Zone. This option allows you to export the geo data contained by a rec-
tangle encompassing the computation zone, whether or not the computation zone is visible. The exported geo
data file will be added as a new object to the selected geo data folder.
7. Define a Resolution in Metres. The resolution must be an integer and the minimum resolution allowed is 1.
8. Click OK. The selected data is saved as a new file.

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Chapter 4
Antennas and Equipment
Chapter 4: Antennas and Equipment

4 Antennas and Equipment


In Atoll, the equipment used to create a network is modelled, along with the characteristics which have a bearing on
network performance.
This chapter explains working with antennas as well as equipment such as waveguides and cables:
• "Defining the List of Manufacturers" on page 123
• "Defining Antennas" on page 123
• "Microwave Equipment" on page 127
• "Microwave Waveguides and Cables" on page 137
• "Microwave Antenna/Equipment/Waveguide Compatibility" on page 138.

4.1 Defining the List of Manufacturers


In Atoll, the manufacturers of microwave radio equipment, waveguides, and antennas are listed in the Manufacturers
table.
To create or modify an entry in the Manufacturers table:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Manufacturers > Open table from the context menu. The Manufacturers table appears.
5. To create an entry in the Manufacturers table, enter the following in the row marked with the New Row icon
( ):
- Name: The name of the manufacturer.
- Comments: Any comments.
6. To modify an entry in the Manufacturers table, modify any of the entries in the corresponding row.

4.2 Defining Antennas


In Atoll, each microwave antenna is identified by a name, and defined by the operating frequency band, manufacturer
name, horizontal and vertical antenna patterns, gain, and antenna diameter.
The operating frequency band and manufacturer-related information are used as filtering criteria when defining compatible
antenna/equipment sets.
Four different antenna pattern diagrams are used in microwave antennas, i.e., horizontal and vertical plane diagrams for
horizontal and vertical polarization. Each of these patterns can have both co-polar and cross-polar patterns defined.
Because an antenna can be horizontally and vertically polarized, Atoll uses the relevant antenna pattern diagrams when
determining propagation.
In this section the following are described:
• "Creating an Antenna" on page 123
• "Importing Microwave Antennas" on page 125
• "Editing Microwave Antenna Patterns" on page 125
• "Printing Microwave Antenna Patterns" on page 126.

4.2.1 Creating an Antenna


The microwave antenna is used to radiate or receive electromagnetic energy in the form of high-frequency radio waves.
Atoll models microwave antennas and provides default microwave antennas. As well, Atoll enables you to create new
antennas and set the parameters of each (i.e., name, manufacturer, gain, horizontal pattern, vertical pattern, and diame-
ter).

Tip: When you create a new antenna, you can copy the horizontal and vertical antenna
patterns from a spreadsheet or word processor.

To create an antenna:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Antennas > New from the context menu. The MW Antennas New Element Properties dialogue appears.
5. Click the General tab. You can enter information in the following fields:

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- Name: Atoll automatically enters a default name for each new antenna. You can modify the name Atoll enters
if you wish.
- Manufacturer: The name of the antenna manufacturer.
- Frequency Band: The frequency band that this antenna will be used with.
- Gain: The antenna’s isotropic gain.
- Diameter: The diameter of the antenna.
- Under Cross Polar Discrimination (XPD), displays the cross polar discriminations for horizontal and vertical
polarisations.
- Horizontal: The ratio of power received in the cross-polar section to the power received in the co-polar
section, for the horizontal polarisation.
- Vertical: The ratio of power received in the cross-polar section to the power received in the co-polar
section, for the vertical polarisation.
- Comments: Any additional information on the antenna.
6. Define the co-polar and cross-polar sections for each plane of the antenna.
A microwave antenna is defined by 8 radiation patterns. On each of the four tabs of the antenna properties
dialogue, you can define the co-polar and cross-polar sections for each plane of the antenna:

- Horizontal polarisation - Horizontal plane:


- Co-polar section: Horizontal polarised port response to a horizontally polarised signal in the horizontal
plane.
- Cross-polar section: Vertical polarised port response to a horizontally polarised signal in the horizontal
plane.
- Horizontal polarisation - Vertical plane:
- Co-polar section: Horizontal polarised port response to a horizontally polarised signal in the vertical plane.
- Cross-polar section: Vertical polarised port response to a horizontally polarised signal in the vertical plane.
- Vertical polarisation - Horizontal plane:
- Co-polar section: Vertical polarised port response to a vertically polarised signal in the horizontal plane.
- Cross-polar section: Horizontal polarised port response to a vertically polarised signal in the horizontal
plane.
- Vertical polarisation - Vertical plane:
- Co-polar section: Vertical polarised port response to a vertically polarised signal in the vertical plane.
- Cross-polar section: Horizontal polarised port response to a vertically polarised signal in the vertical plane.
a. Switch to the document containing the horizontal pattern.
b. Select the columns containing the angles and attenuation values of the horizontal pattern.
c. Copy the selected data.

Figure 4.83: Copying horizontal pattern values

d. Switch to Atoll.
e. Click the upper-left cell of the horizontal pattern.
f. Paste the data in the table.
- If there are some blank rows in the data sheet, Atoll will interpolate the values in order to obtain a complete
and realistic pattern.
- When performing a calculation along an angle for which no data is available, Atoll calculates a linear inter-
polation from the existing pattern values.
g. Click Apply to display the pattern.
7. Click OK.
If some values are missing in the data sheet, Atoll interpolates the values in order to obtain a complete and realistic pattern
around the antenna. When you paste the data into the MW Antennas New Element Properties dialogue, Atoll removes
blank rows in the pattern table when you press the Apply button. When you calculate along an angle for which no data is
available, Atoll calculates a linear interpolation from existing pattern values.

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Chapter 4: Antennas and Equipment

4.2.2 Importing Microwave Antennas


Atoll enables you to import antenna files in the Planet microwave antenna format or in standard NSMA (National Spectrum
Managers Association) formats defined by recommendations WG16.89.003 and WG16.99.0501.
To import antenna files:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Antennas > Import from the context menu. The Data Import dialogue appears.
5. In the Data Import dialogue, choose one of the following options:
- One file only: Choose this option if you only want to import one file.
- Entire folder: Choose this option if you want to import all the files in a folder.

6. Click the Browse button ( ) to navigate to the file or the folder to be imported.
7. Select the file or folder to be imported and click Open.
8. Click Import. The file or folders are imported.
Atoll does not stop the import process if an error occurs. Atoll continues until all files are imported and then displays how
many files have been successfully and unsuccessfully imported in the Events viewer.
Atoll automatically calculates the antenna diameter from the antenna gain and average operating frequency. The average
operating frequency is calculated as (Maximum Frequency - Minimum Frequency)/2. The antenna diameter is calculated
using the following equation for a radiation efficiency of 55 %:

Gain  dBi  = 20  Log  Diametre  m   + 20   Frequency  MHz   – 42.2 , which gives:

 Gain  dBi  + 2.11 – Log  Max Frequency – Min Frequency- 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 ----------------------------
20  2 
Diametre  m  = 10
For more information on antenna file formats, see the Technical Reference Guide.

4.2.3 Editing Microwave Antenna Patterns


In Atoll, you can modify antenna patterns by editing them individually or you can copy the antenna patterns of one antenna
and replace the antenna patterns of another antenna:
• "Editing a Single Radiation Pattern" on page 125
• "Copying an Antenna Pattern to One or More Antennas" on page 126.

Editing a Single Radiation Pattern

You can edit the horizontal or vertical patterns of an antenna.


To edit the horizontal or vertical patterns of an antenna:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Antennas > Open Table from the context menu. The MW Antennas table appears.
5. Right-click the antenna in the Antennas table whose horizontal or vertical pattern you want to edit. The context
menu appears.
6. Select Record Properties from the context menu. The antenna’s Properties dialogue appears.
7. Select the tab of the pattern you want to edit (for information on the tabs of the antenna’s Properties dialogue,
see "Creating an Antenna" on page 123).
8. Edit the antenna pattern by entering new values in the table.

Note: You can display antenna patterns with either linear or logarithmic axes. You can define
the display by right-clicking the pattern window and choosing the either Linear display or
Logarithmic display from the context menu.

1. For further information about the standard NSMA format (recommendation WG16.99.050), see the following web
site:
http://www.fcc.gov/oet/info/software/nsma/nsma-intrp.html.

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Copying an Antenna Pattern to One or More Antennas

Atoll enables you to copy antenna patterns in the MW Antennas table. By copying and pasting patterns in the MW Anten-
nas table you can assign the antenna patterns of one antenna to another.
To open the MW Antennas table:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Antennas > Open Table from the context menu. The MW Antennas table appears.
By resizing row height and column width, you can view all antenna patterns in order to be able to compare them
(see Figure 4.84).

Figure 4.84: MW Antennas table

5. In the row of the antenna with the pattern you want to copy, select the cell with the pattern.
6. Select Edit > Copy to copy the cell.
7. In the row of the antenna you want to copy the pattern to, select the cell with the pattern.
8. Select Edit > Paste to paste the antenna pattern.
Atoll replaces the old pattern with the new one in the MW Antennas table.

Notes:
• You can also copy an antenna pattern by right-clicking the pattern on the tab of the antenna’s
Properties dialogue and selecting Copy from the context menu.
• Patterns are displayed in the MW Antennas table with either linear or logarithmic axes as
defined in the Properties dialogue of an individual antenna. You can define the display by
right-clicking the pattern of an antenna and choosing either Linear display or Logarithmic
display from the context menu.

4.2.4 Printing Microwave Antenna Patterns


To print the pattern of a microwave antenna:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Antennas > Open Table from the context menu. The MW Antennas table appears.
5. Right-click the antenna whose pattern you want to print.
6. Select Record Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
7. Select the tab with the antenna pattern you want to print:
- H Polar. - H Plane: Horizontal polarization - horizontal plane
- H Polar. - V Plane: Horizontal polarization - vertical plane
- V Polar. - H Plane: Vertical polarization - horizontal plane
- V Polar. - V Plane: Vertical polarization - vertical plane
8. Right-click the antenna pattern and select Linear or Logarithmic from the context menu.

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Chapter 4: Antennas and Equipment

9. Right-click the antenna pattern and select Print from the context menu.

4.3 Microwave Equipment


Microwave radio equipment are the elements used to convert the initial data to microwave frequency signals that can then
be transmitted over a given microwave link and to the elements used to convert microwave frequency signals received to
data. The microwave radio system, as well as the equipment that constitute it, is composed of three main sub-systems:
• Indoor unit (IDU)
• Outdoor unit (ODU)
• Antenna

Figure 4.85: Radio system components

Indoor Unit (IDU)

The IDU is the termination point of the end-user equipment that generates the data to be carried by the microwave link. It
consists of the following components:
• The radio modem that converts the digital signal into a form suitable for modulation on the radio carrier signal
• The power supply for the Outdoor Unit (ODU)

Outdoor Unit (ODU)

The ODU converts the modulated signal from its low frequency form to a high frequency radio signal in the appropriate
radio band and channel for radio transmission.

Antenna

The antenna is the part of the microwave link that transmits electromagnetic energy from transmission lines into the air
and receives transmitted electromagnetic energy from the air to be then sent on transmission lines. The antenna can be
in one of many different shapes (for example, horn, parabolic, flat or planar, lens, yagi, or array) to achieve its specific
objectives.
The main characteristics of the microwave antenna are the following:
• Directivity: In practical terms, directivity is defined as:
- The ability to send the transmitted power in only the desired direction
- The ability to reject undesired signals coming from other directions.
• Gain: The gain is the amount of power radiated in a given direction using only the RF power at the input terminals
of the antenna.
• Front-to-Back Ratio (FBR): The FBR is the ratio of the power radiated in the desired direction to the power radi-
ated in the opposite direction, typically between 35 and 50 dB. In general, the higher the gain of the antenna, the
higher the FBR.
• Radiation pattern: The radiation pattern is a diagram showing the direction of the radiated power. The portion of
the pattern where the maximum gain occurs is often referred to as the main lobe of the pattern
• Polarisation: Polarisation is the ability to transmit only one of the two electromagnetic vector components of the
wave (either the horizontal component or the vertical component). Using polarisation enables the same radio fre-
quency to be used by different radio systems in physical proximity to one another.

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Vertical polarisation Horizontal polarisation

Figure 4.86: Polarisation

• Cross Polarisation Discrimination (XPD): The XPD is the ratio of power received in the desired polarisation to
the power received in undesired polarisation. XPD is a design parameter that is maximized in the main lobe of the
antenna pattern.
For more information on antennas, see "Defining Antennas" on page 123.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Modelling the IDU and ODU in Atoll" on page 128
• "Importing Microwave Equipment" on page 132
• "Advanced Configuration" on page 132.

4.3.1 Modelling the IDU and ODU in Atoll


In Atoll, the IDU and ODU are combined and modelled as microwave equipment. Microwave transceiver equipment is
used to manage output power, power control, modulation and demodulation of signals to be transmitted and signals
received at the antenna, to describe the system configuration in terms of channels and to define supported bit rates using
trunk types with defined digital hierarchy.
The defining parameters of each piece of microwave equipment are stored in the MW Equipment table. You can create
a new piece of microwave equipment using the MW Equipment table, and then define its parameters using its Properties
dialogue.
To create a piece of microwave equipment:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > New from the context menu. The MW Equipment New Element Properties dialogue
appears.
5. On the General tab of Properties dialogue, set the following parameters:
- Enter the Model or descriptive name of the equipment.
- Enter the Frequency Band that this equipment will use.
- Enter the Number of States and select the modulation from the Modulation list.
128 QAM modulation is modelled as shown below:

4 PSK (QPSK) modulation is modelled as shown below:

- Enter the maximum power (Max Power) and the Noise Figure.
- Enter the power range reserved for Adaptive Transmission Power Control (Max ATPC) and the maximum
improvement factor reserved for cross-polarisation reduction (XPIF).
The Max ATPC is used by the transmitter to adjust power by increasing or reducing it in order to maintain sig-
nal quality in case of multipath or rain fading that temporarily attenuates the received signal. Max ATPC also
enables the transmitter to respond to increased interference levels resulting from ATPC on other links. The
Max ATPC can be optionally taken into consideration during calculations.

The maximum improvement factor reserved for cross-polarisation reduction (XPIF) is used only when an XPIC
(cross-polarized interference canceller) is present. It is used to reduce the scattering of interference from the
undesired polarisation into the desired polarisation due to rain fading by increasing the cross-polarisation dis-
crimination factor (XPD). XPIF is generally within the range of 15-20 dB.

- Specify the System Configuration (i.e., the equipment protection configuration). The system configuration is
defined in the form of "n + m" where "n" is the number of active channels and "m" is the number of standby
channels. Standby channels are inactive and used only when active channels fail. Switching to the standby
channel in case of failure can be automatic and is then referred to a "hot" standby system. If the system must
be manually switched to the standby channel, the system is called a "cold" standby system. If a hot standby
system is available, you must select the Hot Standby Available check box. For a hot standby system, the
standby channel frequency must be the same as one of the active channels. For cold standby systems, the

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Chapter 4: Antennas and Equipment

standby channel frequency can be different from active channels. Frequencies allocated to active and standby
channels are defined in the microwave link properties dialogue.
1 + 1 redundancy mode is modelled as shown below:

In this system configuration, only the main equipment is active and on. The other equipment, which will serve
as a back-up in case the main equipment fails, is not turned on.

1 + 1 redundancy mode with monitored hot standby (Hot Standby Available) is modelled as shown below:

In this system configuration, both the main and standby equipment are on, but only the main equipment is ac-
tive. The standby equipment will be automatically put into service immediately if the main equipment fails.

- Under Radio Signature, choose the method to be used to predict outage times (dispersive fade margin) due
to multipath fading.

Note: The radio signature parameters are not used by all types of receiver equipment.

This method will characterise the ability of a receiving equipment to perform successfully (i.e., produce accept-
able errors rates) in the presence of frequency-selective fading.

This information is available from the manufacturer.

Figure 4.87: Defining the method to be used to predict outage times

- Normalised: For a normalised signature, select Normalised and enter a value for the Kn Parameter. The
Kn parameter is mostly dependant on the modulation used.

Modulation Kn
64-QAM 15.4

16-QAM 5.5

8-PSK 7

4-PSK 1

Kn values (without adaptive equalization)

- Rummler Model: If you want to use the Rummler model to predict outage times, select Rummler model,
and define the frequency shift (Width) and Depth for both minimum and non-minimum phases. For more
information, see studies by C.W. Lundgren and W.D. Rummler2 and the ITU P.530 recommendation.
6. On the Hierarchy and Rate tab of Properties dialogue, set the following parameters:
- Under Digital Hierarchy, select the digital hierarchy type (SDH/SONET or PDH).

- Under Rate, select the Capacity (i.e., the number of trunks) and the trunk type from the list.

2. C.W. Lundgren and W.D. Rummler, "Digital radio outage due to selective fading- observation vs. prediction from
laboratory simulations," Bell System Technical Journal, pp. 1073-1100, May-June 1979.
W.D. Rummler, "Characterizing the effects of multipath dispersion on digital radios," IEEE Globecom Proceedings, pp.
1727-1732, 1988.

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The rate is calculated by the capacity per trunk multiplied by the number of trunks:

The minimal and standardised channel bandwidth resulting from the parameters defined on the Hierarchy and
Rate tab is displayed under Channel Bandwidth. You can enter the channel bandwidth defined by the man-
ufacturer in the From manufacturer text box.

7. On the Sensitivity tab of Properties dialogue, set the following parameters:


- Under Calculation of the Thermal Fade Margin (TFM), define the (BER-Sensitivity) pairs. Enter the
receiver signal level (threshold) at which the radio runs continuous errors at a specified rate (BER). This will
be used to calculate the thermal fade margin.
- Under Signal Enhancements Margin Calculation (E), define the Overflow Threshold. The overflow
threshold is the maximum receiver sensitivity before saturation. It is used to calculate the margin against
enhancements.
- Under Cross-polar Discrimination Reduction Calculation (MXPD), you can define how the MXPD is cal-
culated:
- Calculated C/I min.: If you want to use a calculated minimum C⁄I, select Calculated C/I min., and define
an interference margin in the For a Margin Against Interference Of text box. Atoll will calculates the re-
quired quality based on the user-defined interference margin.

- User-defined C/I min.: If you want to define a minimum C⁄I, select User-defined C/I min., and define an
interference margin in the For a Margin Against Interference Of text box, as well as the quality required
for a BER of 10-3 and 10-6 in the For a BER of 1e-3 and the For a BER of 1e-3 text boxes.

8. On the Losses tab of Properties dialogue, set the following parameters:


- Enter the losses due to the use of filters on transmission (Transmission Filter) and reception (Reception
Filter):

- For each circulator present on this piece of equipment, set the Port it is attached to, and define the losses on
Transmission and Reception.

9. On the Outages tab of Properties dialogue, set the following parameters:


- Enter the Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF). The MTBF is used to define the reliability of the equipment and
corresponds to the average length of time that the equipment functions without failing. The MTBF is available
from the equipment manufacturer.
- Enter the Hot Standby Commutation Delay. The Hot Standby Commutation Delay is the maximum
amount of time it would take to switch to backup equipment if the main equipment fails. The Hot Standby

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Commutation Delay is used only if Hot Standby Available is selected on the General tab of this Properties
dialogue. Furthermore, when you define the properties for a link, you must indicate which channel will be used
as a backup in case of main equipment failure. For more information on defining link properties, see "Definition
of a Microwave Link" on page 185.

10. On the Transmitter Mask tab of Properties dialogue, define the transmitter spectral mask either by clicking the
Initialise from standard graphs button, to let Atoll create the mask from standard values, or by defining an atten-
uation in dB (Att.) for each frequency shift in MHz (Delta F). This information is provided by the equipment man-
ufacturer.
The resulting transmitter mask is displayed in the graph window on the right.

11. On the Receiver Mask tab of Properties dialogue, define a receiver mask either by clicking the Initialise from
standard graphs button, to let Atoll create the mask from standard values, or by defining an attenuation in dB
(Att.) for each frequency shift in MHz (Delta F). This information is provided by the equipment manufacturer.
The resulting receiver mask is displayed in the graph window on the right.

12. On the T⁄I Graph tab of Properties dialogue, define a threshold-to-interference (T⁄I) graph either by clicking the
Initialise from standard graphs button, to let Atoll create the graph from standard values, or by defining an atten-
uation in dB (Att.) for each frequency shift in MHz (Delta F). This information is provided by the equipment man-
ufacturer.
The threshold-to-interference (T/I) ratio is used to calculate the interference fade margin (IFM) which defines the
vulnerability to co-channel and adjacent channel interference. It is provided by the manufacturer. The T/I graph
defines the graph of maximum interfering power levels for different frequency separations between the transmitter
and victim receivers. For each interfering transmitter, the received power level in dB is compared to the maximum
power level to determine whether the interference is acceptable. This is done instead of calculating C/I values and
comparing them to the published objectives.

The resulting T⁄I graph is displayed in the graph window on the right.
13. Click OK to create the new piece of equipment.
You can edit the properties of microwave transceiver equipment through the properties dialogues.
To edit the properties of microwave transceiver equipment:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > Open Table from the context menu. The Equipment table appears.
5. Right-click the record whose properties you want to edit. The context menu appears.
6. Select Record Properties from the context menu. The microwave transceiver equipment’s Properties dialogue
appears.
7. Edit the properties as previously explained in this section.

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4.3.2 Importing Microwave Equipment


Atoll enables you to import equipment files that are in standard NSMA (National Spectrum Managers Association) format
defined by the recommendation WG 21.99.051 or in Pathloss format (version 4.0).
NSMA-format equipment files are ASCII files with the extension NSM. Pathloss-format equipment files are ASCII files with
the extension RAF. Each equipment file can contain several T/I graphs for different pairs of modulations. In this case, the
T/I graph defined for identical modulations is imported into the T/I Graph tab while the others are imported into the theo-
retical graphs table. For more information on the theoretical graphs, see "Theoretical Graphs" on page 136.
For further information about the NSMA and Pathloss file formats, see the Technical Reference Guide.
To import equipment files:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > Import Manufacturer Data from the context menu. The Data Import dialogue appears.
5. In the Data Import dialogue, choose one of the following options:
- One file only: Choose this option if you only want to import one file.
- Entire folder: Choose this option if you want to import all the files in a folder.

6. Click the Browse button ( ) to navigate to the file or the folder to be imported.
7. Select the file or folder to be imported and click Open.
8. Click Import. The file or folders are imported.

Notes: Atoll does not stop the import process when an error occurs. It continues until all the files
have been imported and then displays in the Events viewer how many files have been
successfully and unsuccessfully imported.

4.3.3 Advanced Configuration


Atoll offers several advanced configuration options:
• "Digital Hierarchies" on page 132
• "Interference Reduction Factor" on page 133
• "Theoretical Graphs" on page 136.

4.3.3.1 Digital Hierarchies


Atoll models PDH as well as SDH digital hierarchies.
The plesiochronous digital hierarchy (PDH) is a technology used to transport large quantities of data over digital transport
equipment such as fibre optic and microwave radio. PDH networks have data streams with the same nominal frequency
but are not synchronised with each other; in other words, the rising and falling edges of the pulses in each data streams
do not coincide.
The European and American versions of PDH systems differ slightly in their data rates, but the basic principles of multi-
plexing are the same.
The synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) refers to the group or layers of transmission rates or standards that can transport
digital data of different capacities through high bandwidth mediums such as optical fibres or radio waves. Due to the
synchronous nature of the SDH, the average frequency of all slave clocks in the system is the same.
The European (SDH) and American (SONET) versions of SDH systems differ slightly. The frame formats and thus the data
rates of both systems are not the same but are compatible due to their synchronous nature.
In Atoll, digital hierarchies are modelled as trunk types. Each defined trunk type defines a supported bit rate and is a
parameter of microwave equipment. A microwave link inherits the capacity of the trunk type through its assigned equip-
ment. For example, a microwave link that has a capacity of 2 with an assigned trunk type of E1 will be capable of trans-
ferring data at twice the E1 standard bit rate.
The following section describes creating and modifying trunk types to model digital hierarchies.

Creating a Microwave Trunk Type

Atoll has a set of default trunk type definitions available, but you can create new trunk types and set their parameters.

Note: If you are creating a large number of different trunk types from manufacturers data, it can
take a long time. However, if you have the data available in tabular format, you can copy it
from the spreadsheet or word processor and paste the data into the Trunk Type table.

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To create a microwave trunk type:


1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder
3. Right-click on the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > Digital Hierarchies from the context menu. The Trunk Types table appears (see
Figure 4.88).

Figure 4.88: Trunk Types table

5. For each trunk type you define, add the following data:
- Trunk Type: The name of the trunk type that will model the digital hierarchy.
- SDH/SONET: If the check box is selected ( ), the digital hierarchy being modelled is SDH or SONET. If the
check box is not selected ( ), the digital hierarchy being modelled is PDH.
- Binary Rate (Mbit/s): The binary rate is the gross data rate of the frame if all the bits are used for traffic.
- Binary Rate Supported (Mbit/s): The binary rate supported is the payload rate (i.e., the rate of the useful bits
not including the overheads bits).
- No. Bits/Block: The number of bits per block corresponds to the number of bits per frame (i.e., the useful bits
plus the overheads bits).
- BERses: BERses corresponds to Bit Error Rate (BER) as documented in Annex 2, Table 2) of the ITU-R
P.530-8 recommendation.
You can also define the properties of a trunk type in its Properties dialogue.
To open a trunk type’s Properties dialogue:
• Double-click the trunk type in the left margin of the Trunk Types table. The trunk type’s Properties dialogue
appears (see Figure 4.89).

Figure 4.89: Trunk type Properties dialogue

4.3.3.2 Interference Reduction Factor


As the name indicates, the interference reduction factor (IRF) is a method of reducing interference on the received signal.
The IRF is a function of the difference between the central frequencies of the interfered signal and the interfering signal.
You can define a protection level for each victim–interferer microwave transceiver equipment pair by defining the protec-
tion levels (in dB) for each delta frequency (in MHz).

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The IRF graphs defined in the IRF table are used during the calculation of interference. When studying the interference
between transmission equipment and reception equipment, Atoll first verifies whether an IRF graph is defined for the
transmission equipment-reception equipment pair in the IRF table. If so, Atoll uses it. Otherwise, Atoll determines the IRF
graph during the process of calculating interference. Atoll proceeds as follows:
1. Atoll verifies that the transmission equipment and the reception equipment have the same manufacturer, capacity
and modulation. If so, Atoll uses T⁄I graphs to determine the IRF graph. Atoll uses either the graphs defined for
the equipment if available, or the theoretical "T⁄I" graphs if not (for more information on the theoretical graphs, see
"Theoretical Graphs" on page 136).
2. If the equipment manufacturer, capacity, or modulation are not the same, Atoll merges the transmitter mask and
the receiver mask of equipment in order to determine the IRF graph. Atoll uses either the graphs defined for the
equipment if available, or the theoretical graphs if not.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Defining IRF Graphs Manually" on page 134
• "Defining IRF Graphs with the Assistant" on page 135.
The following sections describe the modelling of IRF in Atoll.

Defining IRF Graphs Manually

You can define IRF graphs using the IRF table. These IRF graphs will be used to reduce the interference between victim
and interferer microwave equipment when calculating interference.
To create or modify an IRF graph:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder
3. Right-click on the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > IRF > Open Table from the context menu. The Trunk Types table appears (see
Figure 4.90).

Figure 4.90: IRF table

5. Select the name of the Victim equipment from the list.


6. Select the name of the Interferer equipment from the list.

Note: If you are creating a new IRF graph, use the row marked with the New Row icon ( )

7. Double-click in the left margin of the record to open its Properties dialogue (see Figure 4.91).

Figure 4.91: IRF record Properties dialogue

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8. Under Protection values in the Properties dialogue, enter a protection level (in dB) for each delta frequency (in
MHz). The resulting graph is displayed on the right of the Properties dialogue.
9. Click OK.

Defining IRF Graphs with the Assistant

Atoll provides an assistant to allow you to define IRFs between transmission and reception transceiver equipment. When
you select a frequency band and the equipment manufacturers with equipment that operate in the same frequency band,
Atoll presents the entries where the transmission and reception equipment present the possibility of interference.
To use the assistant to define IRFs:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder
3. Right-click on the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > IRF > Edit Grid from the context menu. The IRF Setting dialogue appears (see Figure 4.90).

Figure 4.92: IRF Setting dialogue

5. Select the Frequency Band from the menu. Only equipment operating in the selected frequency band is displayed
in the grid.
6. Select the TX Equipment Manufacturer from the menu. Only equipment manufactured by the selected manufac-
turer are displayed in the grid.
7. Select the RX Equipment Manufacturer from the menu. Only equipment manufactured by the selected manufac-
turer are displayed in the grid.
8. You can now define an IRF graph, delete an IRF graph, or create an IRF graph using equipment graphs or theo-
retical graphs:

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To define an IRF graph between the transmission and reception equipment:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Add Record from the context menu. A dialogue appears.
c. Under Enter graph values, enter a protection level (in dB) for each delta frequency (in MHz). The resulting
graph is displayed on the right of the dialogue.
d. Click OK.
To delete an IRF graph between the transmission and reception equipment:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Delete from the context menu.
To create an IRF graph between the transmission and reception equipment using equipment graphs or theoretical
graphs:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Calculate from Masks from the context menu. The IRF Calculation dialogue appears.
c. Under Transmitter Filter, select either "As Equipment" to use the transmission spectrum graph defined for
the equipment, or select a theoretical "transmission spectrum" graph compatible with the operating frequency
band of the transmission equipment.
d. Under Reception Filter, select either "As Equipment" to use the receiver selectivity graph defined for the
equipment, or select a theoretical "receiver selectivity" graph compatible with the operating frequency band of
the reception equipment.
e. Define the calculation step stated in frequency spacing (MHz).
f. Click Run to calculate the IRF graph.
g. Click OK.
9. Click OK to close the IRF Setting dialogue.

4.3.3.3 Theoretical Graphs


Atoll allows you to define theoretical graphs that you can use when the equipment description is not complete (i.e., when
information about the transmitter mask, the receiver mask, or T/I graph is missing). These theoretical graphs can describe
either the transmitter mask, or the receiver mask, or T/I graph for a certain manufacturer, frequency band, bandwidth, rate,
and modulation. They can be used to initialise equipment properties (the transmitter mask, the receiver mask, the T/I
graph) and calculate IRF graphs when no IRF is defined in the IRF table. Default theoretical graphs are available for differ-
ent frequency bands and bandwidths.3

Creating Theoretical Graphs

A theoretical graph contains information on the behaviour of microwave transceiver equipment under different conditions
of C/I. It represents the changes in the Bit Error Rate as a function of the level of interference.
To create a theoretical graph:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Equipment > Theoretical Graphs from the context menu. The Theoretical Graphs table appears.
5. Right-click the theoretical graph you want to modify. The context menu appears.
6. Select Record Properties from the context menu. The theoretical graph’s Properties dialogue appears.

Note: You can create a new theoretical graph by entering a name in the row marked with the
New Row icon ( ) and pressing ENTER.

7. Click the General tab and define the following parameters:


- Name: The name of the theoretical graph.
- Type of Graph: The type of theoretical graph you define. It can be either a transmitter mask, or a receiver
mask, or a T/I graph.
- Manufacturer: The manufacturer for which the graph is valid.
- Frequency Band: The frequency band for which the graph is valid.
- Channel Width: The bandwidth for which the graph is valid.
- Rate: The rate for which the graph is valid.
- Modulation: The modulation for which the graph is valid.

3. T/I graphs have been found at the web address http://www.radio.gov.uk and transmitter and receiver masks have
been found at http:\\www.ero.dk.

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Chapter 4: Antennas and Equipment

8. Click the Values tab and define the corresponding graph.


- If the graph describes the transmitter mask, define the attenuation of the main transmitted signal (in dB) as a
function of the frequency spacing (in MHz).
- If the graph describes the receiver mask, define the attenuation of the main received signal (in dB) as a func-
tion of the frequency spacing (in MHz).
- If the graph is a T/I graph, define the variation of the T/I (in dB) as a function of the frequency spacing (in MHz).
9. Click OK.

4.4 Microwave Waveguides and Cables


Waveguides and cables are both used to transfer the RF signal from the transmission module of the microwave equipment
to the microwave antenna.
Microwave energy can be guided in a metallic tube, called a waveguide, with very low attenuation. The waveguide is
designed for a specific wavelength. Hence, the operating frequency is a very important characteristic for a waveguide. The
electric and magnetic fields are contained within the guide, and therefore there is no radiation loss. Since the dielectric is
air, the dielectric losses are also negligible. A waveguide operates between two limiting frequencies, called the cut-off
frequency.
Cables, on the other hand, have a metallic inner core with a dielectric material separating the outer metallic conductor.
The cable is covered with a plastic jacket for protection. The dielectric material is usually air or foam. These are quite robust
and therefore easy to install. Cable loss is a function of cross-sectional area; the thicker the cable, the lower the loss. Cable
loss is measured in terms of decibels per 100m.
The following sections describe the modelling of waveguides and cables in Atoll:
• "Defining Microwave Waveguides and Cables" on page 137
• "Modifying a Microwave Waveguide or Cable" on page 138.

4.4.1 Defining Microwave Waveguides and Cables


In Atoll, microwave waveguides and cables are characterised by the loss a signal undergoes per 100m of their length.
Once a microwave waveguide or cable has been defined, you can assign it to a microwave link for both transmission and
reception.

Note: If you are creating a large number of waveguides and cables based on manufacturers
data, it can take a long time. However, if you have the data available in tabular format, you
can copy it from the spreadsheet or word processor and paste the data into the
MWGuides table. For information on the MWGuides table, see "Modifying a Microwave
Waveguide or Cable" on page 138.

To create a microwave waveguide or cable:


1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Waveguides and Cables > New from the context menu. The MWGuides New Element Properties dia-
logue appears (see Figure 4.93).

Figure 4.93: MWGuides New Element Properties dialogue

5. For the new waveguide or cable, define the following parameters:


- Name: The name of the waveguide or cable.
- Frequency Band: Select the frequency band from the list. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Prop-
erties dialogue of the selected frequency band.

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- Manufacturer: Select the manufacturer from the list. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties
dialogue of the selected manufacturer.
- Signal Loss: Enter the signal loss in dB per 100 m.
- Type: Select the type of waveguide or cable. You can select from Cable, Circular, Elliptic, Other, or Rectan-
gular.
6. Click OK.

4.4.2 Modifying a Microwave Waveguide or Cable


In Atoll, you can access and modify any defined microwave waveguide or cable using the MWGuides table.
To modify a microwave waveguide or cable:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Waveguides and Cables > Open Table from the context menu. The Waveguides and Cables table
appears.
5. Right-click the record in the Waveguides and Cables table that you want to modify. The context menu appears.
6. Select Record Properties from the context menu. The record’s Properties dialogue appears.
7. For the waveguide or cable, you can modify the following parameters:
- Name: The name of the waveguide or cable.
- Frequency Band: Select the frequency band from the list. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Prop-
erties dialogue of the selected frequency band.
- Manufacturer: Select the manufacturer from the list. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties
dialogue of the selected manufacturer.
- Signal Loss: Enter the signal loss in dB per 100 m.
- Type: Select the type of waveguide or cable. You can select from Cable, Circular, Elliptic, Other, or Rectan-
gular.
8. Click OK.

4.5 Microwave Antenna/Equipment/Waveguide


Compatibility
Atoll allows you to define compatibility between antennas, equipment, and waveguides. The defined compatible antenna/
equipment/waveguide sets can be then selected when you define the properties of a microwave link. You can define
compatibility directly in the Antenna/Equipment Compatibility and Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility tables or you
can use the assistants available in Atoll to define compatibility.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Defining Compatibility Manually" on page 138
• "Using Assistants to Define Compatibility" on page 139.

4.5.1 Defining Compatibility Manually


In Atoll, you can use the Antenna/Equipment Compatibility and Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility tables to define
which microwave antennas are compatible with which waveguides and which microwave antennas are compatible with
which equipment.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Using the Microwave Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility Table" on page 138
• "Using the Microwave Antenna/Equipment Compatibility Table" on page 139

4.5.1.1 Using the Microwave Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility Table


You can use the Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility table to list compatible microwave antennas and waveguides. When
you define the properties (i.e., antennas, equipment, and waveguides) of a microwave link, these compatibility definitions
can be used to display only compatible antennas, equipment, and waveguides as options in lists.
To define antenna/equipment compatibility using the Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility table:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.

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4. Select Compatibility > Antenna/Waveguide > Open Table from the context menu. The Antenna/Guides Com-
patibility table appears.
5. Create a new antenna/waveguide compatibility pair by selecting an Antenna and a Guide from the lists in the row
marked with the New Row icon ( ). The values in the Antenna and Guide lists are taken from the MW
Antennas table and the MWGuides table, respectively. You can also, if desired, enter a Comment by double-
clicking the Comment field to open the record’s Properties dialogue.

Note: If you have a large number of antenna/equipment compatibility pairs to enter, you can
import them by right-clicking on the table and selecting Import from the context menu, or
you can paste them into the Antenna/Guides Compatibility table.

4.5.1.2 Using the Microwave Antenna/Equipment Compatibility Table


You can use the Antenna/Equipment Compatibility table to list compatible microwave antennas and equipment. If you
have previously defined compatible antenna/waveguide pairs, these are taken into account and, by default, a piece of
equipment compatible with an antenna will be compatible with the waveguides compatible with this antenna. When you
define the properties (i.e., antennas, equipment, and waveguides) of a microwave link, these compatibility definitions can
be used in order to display only compatible antennas, equipment, and waveguides as options in lists.
To define antenna/equipment compatibility using the Antenna/Equipment Compatibility table:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Compatibility > Antenna/Equipment > Open Table from the context menu. The Antenna/Equipment
Compatibility table appears.
5. Create a new antenna/equipment compatibility pair by selecting an Antenna and Equipment from the lists in the
row marked with the New Row icon ( ). The values in the Antenna and Equipment lists are taken from the
MW Antennas table and the MW Equipment table, respectively. You can also, if desired, enter a Comment by
double-clicking the Comment field to open the record’s Properties dialogue.

Note: If you have a large number of antenna/equipment compatibility pairs to enter, you can
import them by right-clicking on the table and selecting Import from the context menu, or
you can paste them into the Antenna/Equipment Compatibility table.

4.5.2 Using Assistants to Define Compatibility


Atoll provides assistants to help you define which microwave antennas are compatible with which waveguides and which
microwave antennas are compatible with which equipment.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Using the Assistant to Define Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility" on page 139
• "Using the Assistant to Define Antenna/Equipment Compatibility" on page 140.

4.5.2.1 Using the Assistant to Define Antenna/Waveguide Compatibility


Atoll provides an assistant to allow you to define compatible pairs of antennas and waveguides. The assistant gives you
an overview of antennas and waveguides that operate in the same frequency band.
To use the assistant to define compatible pairs of antennas and waveguides:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder
3. Right-click on the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Compatibility > Antenna/Waveguide > Edit Grid from the context menu. A dialogue appears.
5. Select the Frequency Band from the list. Only antennas and waveguides operating in the selected frequency
band are displayed in the table. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected
frequency band.
6. Select the Antenna Manufacturer from the list. Only antennas manufactured by the selected manufacturer are
displayed in the table. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected manufac-
turer.
7. Select the Guide Manufacturer from the list. Only waveguides manufactured by the selected manufacturer is dis-
played in the table. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected manufac-
turer.

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8. You can now define the compatibility between an antenna and a waveguide or delete a defined compatible
antenna-waveguide pair:

To define the compatibility between an antenna and a waveguide:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Add Record from the context menu. The cell is marked in green to indicate that the antenna and
waveguide are compatible.
To delete a defined compatible antenna-waveguide pair:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Delete from the context menu. The cell is no longer marked in green.
9. Click OK.
You can use the Fill (Up, Down, Right, Left) and the Copy and Paste commands to create or delete compatible antenna-
waveguide pairs.

4.5.2.2 Using the Assistant to Define Antenna/Equipment Compatibility


Atoll provides an assistant to allow you to define compatible pairs of antennas and equipment. The assistant gives you
an overview of antennas and equipment that operate in the same frequency band.
To use the assistant to define compatible pairs of antennas and equipment:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder
3. Right-click on the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Compatibility > Antenna/Equipment > Edit Grid from the context menu. A dialogue appears.
5. Select the Frequency Band from the list. Only antennas and waveguides operating in the selected frequency
band are displayed in the table. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected
frequency band.
6. Select the Antenna Manufacturer from the list. Only antennas manufactured by the selected manufacturer are
displayed in the table. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected manufac-
turer.
7. Select the Equipment Manufacturer from the list. Only equipment manufactured by the selected manufacturer is
displayed in the table. Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected manufac-
turer.

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8. You can now define the compatibility between an antenna and equipment, delete a defined compatible antenna-
equipment pair, or define compatibility with an antenna, a piece of equipment, and waveguides:

To define the compatibility between an antenna and equipment:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Add Record from the context menu. The cell is marked in green to indicate that the antenna and equip-
ment are compatible.
To delete a defined compatible antenna-equipment pair:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with both entries. The context menu appears.
b. Select Delete from the context menu. The cell is no longer marked in green.
To define compatibility with an antenna, a piece of equipment, and waveguides:

a. Right-click on the cell of the grid that coincides with the entries for the antenna and the equipment. The context
menu appears.
b. Select Add Record from the context menu. The cell is marked in green to indicate that the antenna and equip-
ment are compatible.
c. Right-click on the square and select Record Properties from the context menu. The properties dialogue
opens.
d. In the properties dialogue, under List of the Compatible Guides, select the waveguides that you want to
make compatible with this antenna/equipment pair. If you have previously defined compatible antenna/
waveguide pairs, these are taken into account and, by default, the waveguides compatible with the corre-
sponding antenna are selected.
e. Click OK to close the properties dialogue.
9. Click OK.
You can use the Fill (Up, Down, Right, Left) and the Copy and Paste commands to create or delete compatible antenna-
equipment pairs.

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Chapter 5
Managing Frequency Bands and Sub-bands
Atoll User Manual

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Chapter 5: Managing Frequency Bands and Sub-bands

5 Managing Frequency Bands and Sub-bands


When planning a microwave link network, Atoll enables you to define frequency bands and sub-bands. By defining
frequency bands you can determine the operational limits of a microwave link network. Each frequency band is in turn
divided into a number of frequency sub-bands. Frequency sub-bands are standardised, ITU-compliant divisions of a
frequency band, breaking it into channels.
In this chapter, managing frequency bands and sub-bands is explained:
• "Microwave Frequency Bands" on page 145
• "Defining Microwave Link Frequency Bands" on page 146
• "Defining Microwave Link Frequency Sub-bands" on page 147.

5.1 Microwave Frequency Bands


Microwave links operate within a high frequency range (2-58 GHz). The length of a microwave length is dependent upon
the frequency: as the frequency increases, the length of the microwave link decreases. The characteristics of microwave
frequency bands are different depending on the frequency.
The default frequency bands supplied with Atoll are based on the F-series ITU-R recommendations:

ITU-R Recommendation Frequency Band

ITU-R F.385-7 7 GHz

ITU-R F.386-6 8 GHz

ITU-R F.747-0 10 GHz

ITU-R F.636-3 15 GHz

ITU-R F.497-6 13 GHz

ITU-R F.595-8 18 GHz

ITU-R F.637-3 23 GHz

ITU-R F.748-4 28 GHz

ITU-R F.749-2 38 GHz

Usually the frequency bands can be divided into three types:


• "Long-Haul Frequency Band" on page 145
• "Medium-Haul Frequency Band" on page 146
• "Short-Haul Frequency Band" on page 146.

5.1.1 Long-Haul Frequency Band


A long-haul frequency band operates within a range of 2 to 10 GHz and can cover a distance from 45 to 80 km. Long-haul
frequency bands suffer from attenuation due to multipath fading.
The following table gives details of long-haul frequency bands.

Frequency
Maximum Path Attenuation Antenna Diameters and Gain Polarization Used
Band

2 GHz 80 km Multipath fading Up to 370 cm for a 36 dB gain Horizontal and vertical

7 GHz 50 km Multipath fading Up to 370 cm for a 46.8 dB gain Horizontal and vertical

10 GHz 45 km Multipath fading From 60 to 120 cm for a 34-40 dB gain Horizontal and vertical

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5.1.2 Medium-Haul Frequency Band


A medium-haul frequency band operates within a range of 11 to 20 GHz and can cover a distance from 20 to 40 km.
Medium-haul frequency bands suffer from attenuation due to multipath fading.
The following table gives details of medium-haul frequency bands.

Frequency
Maximum Path Attenuation Antenna Diameters and Gain Polarization Used
Band

From 60 to 120 cm for a gain of


13 GHz 40 km Multipath fading Horizontal and vertical
36.4-42.4 dB

15 GHz 35 km Multipath fading From 60-120 cm for a gain of 38-44 dB Horizontal and vertical

Rain and multipath


18 GHza 20 km
fading
From 60-180 cm for a gain of 39-49 dB Horizontal and vertical

a. At 18 GHz, the frequency band experiences atmospheric attenuation of 0.1 dB per km. and attenuation due
to rain of approximately 1 dB per km. for rain of 20 mm per hour as well as multipath fading.

5.1.3 Short-Haul Frequency Band


A short-haul frequency band operates within a range of 23 to 58 GHz and can cover a distance up to 18 km. Short-haul
frequency bands suffer from attenuation due to multipath fading as well as rain fading (for the lower frequencies in the
band).
The following table gives details of short-haul frequency bands.

Frequency
Maximum Path Attenuation Antenna Diameters and Gain Polarization Used
Band

Rain and multipath From 30 to 120 cm for a gain of


23 GHza 18 km
fading 35.5-47.3 dB
Horizontal and vertical

26 GHz and
15 km Rain fading From 30 to 60 cm Horizontal and vertical
27 GHza

38 GHzb 10 km Rain fading 30 cm for a gain of 39.66 dB Vertical

55 GHzc A few kilometers Rain fading 15 cm Vertical

58 GHzd A few kilometers Rain fading 15 cm Vertical

a. At 23 GHz, 26 GHz, and 27 GHz, there is atmospheric attenuation of 0.1 dB per km. and attenuation due
to rain of approximately 3 dB per km. for rain of 20 mm per hour. At 23 GHz, there is multipath fading as
well.
b. At 38 GHz, there is atmospheric attenuation of 0.1 dB per km. and attenuation due to rain of approximately
3 dB per km. for rain of 20 mm per hour.
c. At 55 GHz, there is atmospheric attenuation of 5 dB per km. and attenuation due to rain of approximately
7 dB per km. for rain of 20 mm per hour.
d. At 58 GHz, there is atmospheric attenuation of 12 dB per km. and attenuation due to rain of approximately
7 dB per km. for rain of 20 mm per hour.

5.2 Defining Microwave Link Frequency Bands


Microwave frequency bands are implemented in Atoll. There must be at least one frequency band that can be assigned
to microwave links that are created. By default, Atoll includes several pre-defined, ITU-compliant frequency bands.
To create or modify a frequency band:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Microwave Radio Links folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Frequencies > Frequency Bands from the context menu. The Frequency Bands table appears (see
Figure 5.94).

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Chapter 5: Managing Frequency Bands and Sub-bands

Figure 5.94: The Frequency Bands table

4. To create a frequency band, enter the following in the row marked with the New Row icon ( ):
- Name: The name of the frequency band.
- Min. Frequency (MHz): The minimum frequency of the frequency band (in MHz).
- Max. Frequency (MHz): The maximum frequency of the frequency band (in MHz).
- Comments: Any comments.

Note: The information necessary to define a frequency band can be found in the F-series ITU-R
recommendations.

5. To modify a frequency band, modify any of the entries in the corresponding row.

5.3 Defining Microwave Link Frequency Sub-bands


Frequency bands can be divided into a frequency sub-bands. Frequency sub-bands are standardised, ITU-compliant divi-
sions of a frequency band, breaking it into channels. ITU-compliant divisions can have more than one frequency sub-band
defined for a single frequency band.
A frequency sub-band has two half-bands. A duplex link usually uses one of these half-bands in one direction and the other
half-band in the other direction. These half-bands are referred to as upper and lower half-bands.
You can define a channelisation plan for the lower and upper half-band of each sub-band. Atoll automatically generates
a channelisation plan or channel-to-frequency map using the information entered for the frequency sub-bands.
To create or modify a frequency sub-band:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Microwave Radio Links folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Frequencies > Frequency Sub-Bands from the context menu. The Frequency Sub-Bands table appears
(see Figure 5.95).

Figure 5.95: The Frequency Sub-Bands table

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4. To create a frequency sub-band, enter the following in the row marked with the New Row icon ( ):
- Name: The name of the frequency sub-band.
- Frequency band: The name of the frequency band to which the sub-band belongs.
- Reference Frequency (MHz): The reference frequency (in MHz).
- Lower Half-Band Shift (MHz): The lower half-band shift of the sub-band (in MHz).
- Upper Half-Band Shift (MHz): The upper half-band shift of the sub-band (in MHz).
- First Channel: The first channel of the sub-band.
- Last Channel: The last channel of the sub-band.
- Step: The step between channels.

Note: The information necessary to define a frequency sub-band can be found in the F-series
ITU-R recommendations.

5. To modify a frequency sub-band, modify any of the entries in the corresponding row.

5.3.1 Example of Creating a Frequency Sub-band


You can find the information necessary to create a frequency sub-band in the appropriate ITU-R recommendation. In this
example, the recommendation R F.747-0 (for 10 GHz) is used.
On the first page of ITU-R F.747-0 (see Figure 5.96), you see that the recommendation is for Frequency Band 10 GHz.

Figure 5.96: First page of Recommendation ITU-R F.747

On page 2, you see the information in Figure 5.97:

Figure 5.97: Second page of Recommendation ITU-R F.747

The information on page 2 of Recommendation ITU-R F.747 gives you the following values:
• Reference Frequency (MHz): 11 701 MHz (the reference frequency is the central frequency of the sub-band).
• Lower Half-Band Shift (MHz): -1204 MHz
• Upper Half-Band Shift (MHz): -1113 MHz

Important: Remember to include the negative sign ("-") when defining the lower and upper half-band
shifts.

• Inter-Channel Space (MHz): 7 MHz (as indicated by "+ 7m")


• First Channel: 1 (as indicated by "from 1 to 12")
• Last Channel: 12 (as indicated by "from 1 to 12")
• Step: 1 (as indicated by "The 12 values of m from 1 to 12)

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Chapter 6
Managing Calculations in Atoll
Atoll User Manual

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Chapter 6: Managing Calculations in Atoll

6 Managing Calculations in Atoll


Once you have created microwave links, you can make predictions to study how well your network functions:
• "Using Propagation Models in Microwave Projects" on page 151
• "Defining Microwave Link Classes and Performance Objectives" on page 154
• "Defining Calculation Parameters" on page 156.

6.1 Using Propagation Models in Microwave Projects


The following propagation models are available in Atoll for use in microwave projects:
• Microwave Propagation Model: The Microwave Propagation Model is used to calculate the fade margin and to
determine the link profile. For more information, see "Working with the Microwave Propagation Model" on
page 151.
• Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model: The Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model is used to calculate interference. For more
information, see "Working with the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model" on page 153.

6.1.1 Working with the Microwave Propagation Model


The Microwave Propagation Model is used to calculate the fade margin and to determine the link profile. When calculating
attenuation, the Microwave Propagation Model takes free space path losses, atmospheric losses, attenuation due to
diffraction, and tropospheric losses into account. If you want to analyse a microwave link, a propagation model must be
assigned to it, as explained in "Link Parameters" on page 159.
The parameters of the propagation model, including some of its coefficients, can be modified using the Microwave Prop-
agation Model Properties dialogue.
To define the parameters of the Microwave Propagation Model:
1. Click the Modules tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Propagation Models folder.
3. Right-click the Microwave Propagation Model. The context menu appears.
4. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
5. Click the Parameters tab (see Figure 6.102).

Figure 6.98: Microwave Propagation Model Properties - Parameters tab

Under Heights, you can set the following parameter:


- Clutter Taken into Account in Diffraction: Select "1 - Yes" to have Atoll take clutter height information into
account when calculating diffraction. Otherwise, select "0 - No". If you choose to take clutter height into
account, Atoll uses the clutter height information in the clutter heights file if available. Otherwise, it uses
average clutter height specified for each clutter class in the clutter classes.
Under LOS Attenuation, you can set the following parameters:

- K1, K2, and K3: Enter the K1, K2, and K3 values that will be used to calculate free space losses.
Under Diffraction, you can set the following parameters:

- Method: Select the method that will be used to calculate diffraction.

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- Deygout
- Epstein-Peterson
- Deygout with correction
- Millington
- ITU 452-11
- Full Deygout
- K4: Enter the K4 value that will be used to calculate diffraction.
Under Tropospheric Scatter, you can set the following parameters:

- Method: Select the method that will be used to calculate tropospheric scattering:
- No attenuation: No attenuation will be calculated.
- ITU-R P617-1: Attenuation will be calculated according to the ITU-R P617-1 recommendations for 50%,
90%, or 99.99% of the time.
- ITU-R P452: Attenuation will be calculated according to the ITU-R P452 recommendations.
- Simplified Method: Attenuation will be estimated using an Atoll-specific equation.
- N0: Enter the value for N0, which is the surface refractivity of the centre of the path.
- Ktropo: Enter the value for the weight factor. Atoll multiplies the loss given by the selected method to calcu-
late the tropospheric scatter loss.
Under Vegetation, you can set the following parameters:

- Method: Select the method that will be used to calculate attenuation due to vegetation:
- No attenuation: No attenuation will be calculated.
- ITU-R P.833-4: Attenuation will be calculated according to ITU-R P.833-4 recommendations.
- A1: Enter the value of the A1 coefficient.
- Alpha: Enter the value of the Alpha coefficient. A1 and Alpha coefficients are used to calculate the maximum
attenuation experienced by a transmitter or a receiver site located within a vegetation area. The maximum
attenuation is taken into consideration to calculate the attenuation due to vegetation.
The attenuation due to vegetation is calculated and displayed in link budget and interference reports for informa-
tion only. It is not taken into account when calculating the total attenuation.

6. Click the Clutter tab (see Figure 6.99).

Figure 6.99: Microwave Propagation Model Properties - Clutter tab

Under Clutter Consideration, you can set the following parameters for each clutter class:

- Clearance per clutter class: Define a clearance (in metres) around each transmitter and each receiver site
for each clutter class. The clearance information is used when clutter is taken into account in diffraction. Both
ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole profile except over a specific distance
around the transmitter and the receiver sites (i.e., the clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on
the DTM.
7. Clutter categories: Select a clutter category for each clutter class. Clutter categories are taken into consideration
when studying reflections and must be defined in order to analyse reflections along the profile. Clutter categories
are ITU-standardised clutter classes. For information on clutter categories, see "Global Parameters" on
page 156.Click OK.
For more information on the parameters of the Microwave Propagation Model, see the Technical Reference Guide.

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6.1.2 Working with the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model


The Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model is used to calculate interference. It is an empirical model, but it takes more physical
characteristics into consideration than the Microwave Propagation Model, which is why it is recommended for calculating
interference.
Assigning the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model to a microwave link is explained in in "Link Parameters" on page 159.
The parameters of the propagation model, including some of its coefficients, can be modified using the Microwave ITU-R
P.452 Model Properties dialogue.
To define the parameters of the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model:
1. Click the Modules tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Propagation Models folder.
3. Right-click the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model. The context menu appears.
4. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
5. Click the Parameters tab (see Figure 6.102).

Figure 6.100: Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model Properties - Parameters tab

Under Heights, you can set the following parameter:


- Clutter Taken into Account in Diffraction: Select "1 - Yes" to have Atoll take clutter height information into
account when calculating diffraction. Otherwise, select "0 - No". If you choose to take clutter height into
account, Atoll uses the clutter height information in the clutter heights file if available. Otherwise, it uses
average clutter height specified for each clutter class in the clutter classes.
Under Reference attenuation not exceeded during the average year, you can set the following parameter:

- Required Time Percentage: Enter the percentage of time during which the global attenuation is not
exceeded.
Under Rec. ITU-R P452 version, you can set the following parameter:

- Method: Select the method that will be used to calculate the global attenuation (dB) between an interfering
transmitter and an interfered (victim) receiver:
- ITU-R P.452-12
- Simplified ITU-R P.452-8
6. Click the Clutter tab (see Figure 6.101).

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Figure 6.101: Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model Properties - Clutter tab

Under Clutter Consideration, you can set the following parameters for each clutter class:

- Clearance per clutter class: Define a clearance (in metres) around each transmitter and each receiver site
for each clutter class. The clearance information is used when clutter is taken into account in diffraction. Both
ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole profile except over a specific distance
around the transmitter and the receiver sites (i.e., the clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on
the DTM.
7. Click OK.
For more information on the parameters of the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model, see the Technical Reference Guide.

6.2 Defining Microwave Link Classes and Performance


Objectives
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Microwave Link Classes" on page 154
• "Defining Performance Objectives" on page 154.

6.2.1 Microwave Link Classes


Microwave link classes are used to differentiate microwave link types. Different link classes can use different performance
objectives. By assigning microwave links to microwave link classes, you can assign the link classes targe parameters and
usage limitations to the selected microwave links.
To create or modify a microwave link class:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Microwave Radio Links folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Link Classes from the context menu. The Link Classes table appears.
4. Enter or modify the values in the table columns to create or modify a link class.
Each link class has the following parameters:

- Name: The name of the link class


- Type: The type of link class (International or National)
- Sub-Class: The sub-class (Long Haul, Short Haul, Access, Intermediate country, etc.)
- Min and Max. L (M): The minimum and maximum length (in metres) for this link class.
The Atoll microwave module includes some pre-defined microwave links classes that are compliant with ITU G.821 and
G.826 recommendations.

6.2.2 Defining Performance Objectives


The ITU G.821 recommendation defines microwave performance parameters as functions of microwave performance
events. As outlined in the ITU recommendations, error events can occur in link paths or in connections; some error

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performance events are applicable to both while others are specific to the path or connection. These microwave error
performance parameters are fully modelled in Atoll and include:
• ESR
• SESR
• BBER
These error performance parameters are based on measurements of microwave error performance events. Error perform-
ance events and error performance parameters are briefly described in the following sections:
• "Microwave Error Performance Events" on page 155
• "Microwave Error Performance Parameters" on page 155
• "The Purpose of Microwave Error Performance Objectives" on page 155.

Microwave Error Performance Events

Microwave error performance parameters are based on the following events:


• Errored Block (EB): The EB is a block of data with one or more erroneous bits.
• Errored Second (ES): The ES is a one-second period with one or more errored blocks or at least one defect.
• Severely Errored Second (SES): The SES is a one-second period with 30% errored blocks or at least one defect.
SES is a subset of ES.

Note: Consecutive Severely Errored Seconds can result in periods of unavailability, especially
when there are no backup or standby procedures. Periods of consecutive Severely
Errored Seconds persisting for T seconds, where 2 = T < 10 (sometimes referred to as
"failures"), can have a severe impact on service, leading to the disconnection of switched
services. The frequency of these events can be limited by limiting the SESR.

• Background Block Error (BBE): The BBE is an errored block not occurring as part of an SES.

Microwave Error Performance Parameters

The total observation time (Stotal) is split into two parts, namely, the time for which the connection is deemed to be available
(Savail) and the time when it is unavailable (Sunavail). Error performance should only be evaluated while the connection is
in the available state. The parameters are:
• Errored Second Ratio (ESR): The ESR is the ratio of ES to total seconds in available time during a fixed meas-
urement interval.
• Severely Errored Second Ratio (SESR): The SESR is the ratio of SES to total seconds in available time during
a fixed measurement interval.
• Background Block Error Ratio (BBER): The BBER is the ratio of Background Block Errors (BBE) to total blocks
in available time during a fixed measurement interval. The count of total blocks excludes all blocks during SESs.
In Atoll, you can define microwave link classes and performance objectives based on these error performance parame-
ters. Atoll also includes default lists of microwave link classes and performance objectives based on the ITU G.821 and
G.826 recommendations.

The Purpose of Microwave Error Performance Objectives

The performance objectives serve two main goals:


• Performance objectives give the user of national and international digital networks an indication of the expected
error performance under real operating conditions, thereby facilitating service planning and terminal equipment
design.
• Performance objectives form the basis upon which performance standards are based for transmission equipment
and systems in an ISDN connection.
Performance objectives represent a compromise between meeting service requirements and designing a practically feasi-
ble network, taking economic and technical constraints into consideration. The performance objectives, although
expressed to suit the needs of different services, are intended to represent a single level of transmission quality.

6.2.2.1 Defining Quality Objectives


Using different parameters (BBER, ESR, and SESR), you can define one or more quality objectives for each link class in
Atoll. Each quality objective is characterised by a performance objective equation that defines the limitation of the relevant
quality objective parameter (BBER, ESR, SESR). The performance objective equations define the behaviour of the quality
parameter as a function of the length (L) of the microwave link. The length of a microwave link is, in turn, limited by the
minimum and maximum lengths defined in the microwave link class. Each quality objective is also characterised by its
minimum and maximum bit rates.
Atoll includes by default the quality objectives defined in the ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 recommendations. You can also
define customised quality objectives.
To modify the pre-defined ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 quality objectives or to create a new quality objective:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Microwave Radio Links folder. The context menu appears.

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3. Select Performance Targets > Quality from the context menu. The Quality Objectives dialogue appears.
You can either edit a default ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 quality objective or create a new quality objective.
- To edit a ITU G.821 or ITU G.826 quality objective: Select the appropriate tab (ITU G.821 or ITU G.826)
and modify the properties of the quality objective.
- To create a new customised quality objective: Select the Customised tab and enter the parameters in the
row marked with the New Row icon ( ).
4. Click OK.

6.2.2.2 Defining Availability Objectives


Using different parameters (BBER, ESR, and SESR), you can define one or more quality objectives for each link class
inAtoll. Each availability objective is characterised by a performance objective equation that defines the limitation of the
relevant availability objective parameter (BBER, ESR, SESR). The availability objective equations define the behaviour of
the availability parameter as a function of the length (L) of the microwave link. The length of a microwave link is, in turn,
limited by the minimum and maximum lengths defined in the microwave link class. Each availability objective is also char-
acterised by its minimum and maximum bit rates.

Note: The availability objectives are global objectives. They consist of three partial objectives as
microwave link unavailability can be either due to rain, due to equipment failure, or
random.

Atoll includes by default the availability objectives defined in the ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 recommendations. You can
also define customised availability objectives.
To modify pre-defined ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 availability objectives or to create a new availability objective:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Microwave Radio Links folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Performance Targets > Availability from the context menu. The Availability Objectives dialogue
appears.
You can either edit a default ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 availability objective or create a new availability objective.

- To edit a ITU G.821 and ITU G.826 availability objective: Select the appropriate tab (ITU G.821 or ITU
G.826) and modify the properties of the availability objective.
- To create a new customised quality objective: Select the Customised tab and enter the parameters in the
row marked with the New Row icon ( ).
4. Click OK.

6.3 Defining Calculation Parameters


In a microwave project, parameters that affect calculations can be divided into:
• Global parameters: Global parameters are defined for all microwave links and affect all links. For information on
setting global parameters, see "Global Parameters" on page 156.
• Link parameters: Link parameters are defined per link and affect individual links. For information on setting link
parameters, see "Link Parameters" on page 159.
As well, any parameters set for the propagation model affect calculations:
• Microwave Propagation Model: For information on setting Microwave Propagation Model parameters, see
"Working with the Microwave Propagation Model" on page 151.
• Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model: For information on setting Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model parameters, see
"Working with the Microwave ITU-R P.452 Model" on page 153.

6.3.1 Global Parameters


The global properties of a microwave links project are defined for all microwave links in the Properties of the Microwave
Radio Links folder. The global parameters are those used for:
• Quality and availability analysis
• Objective selection
• Interference calculation.
To define the global parameters for microwave links: for quality and availability analysis, objective selection, and interfer-
ence calculation:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Microwave Radio Links folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Properties from the context menu. The Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue appears.

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4. Click the General tab. On the General tab, the parameters you define are valid for all types of analyses: quality
and availability analysis, objective selection, and interference calculation.
Under Calculation Parameters, you can define the following parameters:

- K factor: Select the K factor (the earth curvature factor) to be used in link analyses:
- Median value for each link: If you select this option, a median value for the K factor will be used for each
link in link analyses.
- Same value for all links: If you select this option, the value you enter will be used as the K factor for all
links in link analyses.
- Power control on the useful signal: Select the Power control on the useful signal check box if power control
on the transmitted signal is to be considered.
Under Results, you can define the following parameters:

- The link direction to be analysed: Select the link direction to be analysed: either A >> B, B >> A, or both.
- Calculated Port: Under Calculated Port, select which channel should be displayed the results of a link
analysis:
- All: If you select All, Atoll performs the link analysis and displays the results for all channels.
- Worst channel engineering: If you select Worst channel engineering, Atoll performs the link analysis
for each channel and displays the results for the worst channel in terms of margin (i.e., the channel with
the lowest margin).
- Specific port engineering: If you select Specific port engineering, Atoll performs the link analysis and
displays the result for the channel specified individually for Site A and Site B.
Under BER, you can define the following options:

- Calculate BER1: Select Calculate BER1 if you want Atoll to perform link analysis for the BER1 value.
- Calculate BER2: Select Calculate BER2 if you want Atoll to perform link analysis for the BER2 value.
- Values defined for each link: If you select Values defined for each link, Atoll performs the link analysis
using the values for BER1 and BER2 defined in the properties of each link.
- Same value for all links: If you select Same value for all links, you can define a value for BER 1 and BER 2
that Atoll will use for all links.
5. Click the Interference tab. On the Interference tab, the parameters you define will be used for interference calcu-
lation.
Under Interferer Filtering, you can define the following parameters:

- Max. Distance: Enter the maximum distance in metres that Atoll will search around each site to find poten-
tially interfering sites.
- Interfered Bandwidth: Define which sites are to be considered as interferers. You can choose from the fol-
lowing options:
- Co-channel Only: Only co-channel sites are considered as interferer sites. Atoll considers co-channel
interference when the difference between the interfering and interfered frequencies does not exceed the
interfered bandwidth.
- User-defined Percentage: If you select this option, you can enter the percentage of the interfered band-
width that Atoll should consider when searching for interferers. Therefore, if you keep the default value of
250%, a site will be considered as an interferer when the difference between the interfering and interfered
frequencies does not exceed 2.5 times the interfered bandwidth.
- No Filter: There is no filter and all sites within the maximum distance are considered as interferers.

Note: No IRF graph is taken into account when the Co-channel Only option is selected.

- Interference via repeaters: Select how interference caused by repeaters should be taken into consideration.
- Ignore interference between channels of a same link: Select this option if you want Atoll to ignore inter-
ference generated by channels of the same link on each other. This option is useful if you have links with 2+0
configuration (i.e., links with two channels). It also applies to parallel links. In this context, parallel links are
referred to as links sharing the same link extremities (e.g., two links between the same two sites).
Under Calculation Parameters, you can define the following parameters:

- Power Control: Define whether automatic transmission power control is to be considered always on, always
off or is to be calculated according to geometric correlation.
- Correlation Area: Enter the surface in km2 of the correlation area.
- Ignore decoupling reduction when cross polarisation is not defined at the receiver: Select this option if
you want Atoll to ignore decoupling reduction when cross polarisation is not defined at the receiver.
Under Result filtering, you can define the following parameters:
- Min. Threshold Degradation: Enter the minimum degradation threshold. Results that do not meet the
threshold will not be displayed.
- Calculation Details: Select the interference to be displayed in the results: none, on the uplink or downlink, or
on both the uplink and downlink.
6. Click the Models tab. On the Models tab, the parameters you define will be used for quality and availability
analysis.

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Under Availability, you can define the following parameters:

- Method: Select the method to be used to calculate availability. Six availability analysis methods (Crane and
those based on different implemented ITU recommendations, 530-5, 530-8, 530-10, 530-11 and 530-12) are
available.
- Rain Model: Select the model to be used to calculate rain attentuation. Two attenuation models for rain (ITU
recommendations, 838-1 and 838-3) are available.
Under Quality, you can define the following parameters:

- Method: Select the method to be used to calculate quality: Vigants-Barnett, K.Q factor, ITU-R P.530-5, ITU-R
P.530-8, ITU-R P.530-10, ITU-R P.530-11, or ITU-R P.530-12.
If you select a method based on one of the ITU-R P.530 recommendations, you can set further parameters
under ITU-R P.530.

- Multipath Occurence: If you select recommendation ITU-R P.530-10, ITU-R P.530-11, or ITU-R P.530-12,
you can use either a simplified method or a method taking roughness into account to calculate the geoclimatic
factor (K). If you select Vigants-Barnett, you can either enter the geoclimatic factor (K) value or use a simplified
method or use a method taking roughness into account to calculate the geoclimatic factor (K).
- ITU-R P.530: If you selected a method based on one of the ITU-R P.530 recommendations under Method,
you can set the following parameters:
Multi-Path Propagation: Under Multi-Path Propagation, select the Ignore Signal Enhancements check
box if you want to ignore signal enhancements and XPD reduction in multi-path propagation. Reduction of
XPD is taken into consideration when calculating unavailability due to multi-path and unavailability due to rain
whereas signal enhancements have an impact on unavailability due to multi-path only.

Selective Fadings: Under Selective Fadings you can define reference delay values for the secondary signal
t (tau) for minimum and non minimum phase conditions.

Erroneous Blocks: Under Erroneous Blocks you can define athe network level consideration values for the
Residual Bit Error Rate (RBER), number of errors per burst for Bit Error Rate between 10-3 and BERSES and
for Bit Error Rate between BERSES and RBER.
- K.Q. Method: If you selected K.Q. method based under Method, you can set the following parameters:
Frequency Exponent: Under K.Q. Method, define the exponent of the frequency.
Distance: Under K.Q. Method, define the distance.

7. Click the Objectives tab. On the Objectives tab, the parameters you define will select objectives.
Under Performance Objectives Selection, you can define how quality and availability objectives are selected.
The objectives can be selected according to the microwave link rate and the type of the objective (from ITU-T

G.821 or ITU-T G.826 recommendations or a customised objective). Clicking the Browse button ( ) beside
the Quality or Availability field opens a dialogue where you can define a priority for each selection criterion.

Under Availability Objectives Apportionment, you can define the ratio between the different objectives consid-
ered in the global availability objective. Microwave link unavailability can be due either to rain (with its impact on
propagation), to equipment failure, or it can be random. Therefore, the global availability objective consists of three
partial objectives for which you can define a weight. These weights are taken into consideration when calculating
the performance objectives to be considered when analysing the microwave link unavailability due to rain and the
unavailability due to equipment failures.

8. Click the Clutter Categories tab. On the Clutter Categories tab, the parameters you define will be used to analyse
reflection and calculate vegetation losses.
This tab lists all clutter categories defined in Rec. ITU-R P.1058-2 and their characteristics. For each clutter cate-
gory, you can define the following parameters:

- Reflective: Select the Reflective check box if you want Atoll to consider all clutter classes with this clutter
category as relection areas.
- Vegetation with leaves: Select the Vegetation with leaves check box if you want Atoll to consider all clutter
classes with this clutter category as vegetation zones with foliage.
- Vegetation without leaves: Select the Vegetation without leaves check box if you want Atoll to consider
all clutter classes with this clutter category as vegetation zones without foliage.
- Soil type: Select the type of ground as defined in Rec. ITU-R P. 527-3. The type of ground is used to deter-
mine permittivity and conductivity values taken into account in reflection analysis. The following are the avail-
able types of ground:
- A: sea water (average salinity), 20°C
- B: wet ground
- C: fresh water, 20°C
- D: medium dry ground
- E: very dry ground
- F: pure water, 20°C
- G: ice (fresh water)
9. Click OK.

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6.3.2 Link Parameters


The link parameters which affect calculations are the following:
• Geoclimatic parameters: The geoclimatic parameters define the environment and the climatic zone in which the
link is operating, including climatic factor, rain intensity (exceeding 0.01% of time), PL percentage, temperature,
water vapour density, earth curvature factor (k), effective earth curvature factor (ke) and the geoclimatic factor K.
• Reliability parameters: The reliability parameters define the quality and availability of the microwave link. Under
ideal circumstances a microwave link should be completely reliable 100% of the time. In practice, this performance
level is never achieved due to continuously changing propagation conditions and possible problems with the
equipment.
• Propagation parameters: A propagation can optionally be defined to calculate the useful signal and the inter-
fering signal. The margin calculated by the propagation model defined for the useful signal is also used to calculate
the quality and availability of the microwave link. If no propagation model is defined for the useful link, the target
values for quality and availability as defined in the link class are used.
• Link class: Each link class can have different performance objectives. By assigning the link class with the appro-
priate performance objectives, you assign the performance objectives to the link. For information on creating a link
class, see "Microwave Link Classes" on page 154.
The link parameters which affect calculations can be defined for a single microwave link and then applied to all microwave
links or to a group of microwave links that share the same characteristics. Defining calculation parameters is explained in
the following sections:
• "Defining Calculation Parameters for a Single Microwave Link" on page 159
• "Defining Calculation Parameters for All Microwave Links" on page 163
• "Defining Calculation Parameters for a Group of Microwave Links" on page 165.

6.3.2.1 Defining Calculation Parameters for a Single Microwave Link


You set the calculation parameters for a microwave link on three tabs of the link’s Properties dialogue: the Geoclimatic
tab, the Reliability tab, and the Propagation tab.
To define the calculation parameters for a single microwave link:
1. Click the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Links folder.
4. Right-click the link for which you want to set the calculation parameters. The context menu appears.
5. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.

Note: You can also access a link’s Properties dialogue by right-clicking the transmitter on the
map and selecting Properties from the context menu.

The microwave link Properties dialogue has several tabs: General, Radio, Connections, Geoclimatic, Reliability,
Propagation, and Display. The link settings that affect calculations are on the Geoclimatic, Reliability, and Propa-
gation tabs and are described here. For an explanation of the options available on the General, Radio, Connec-
tions, and Display tabs, see "Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management".

6. Click the Geoclimatic tab (see Figure 6.102).

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Figure 6.102: Microwave link Properties dialogue - Geoclimatic tab

7. On the Geoclimatic tab, you can define climate-related settings affecting the microwave link:
Current Methods: Under Current Methods, you can see the calculation methods used to analyse the micro-
wave link quality and availability. The methods displayed are those set on the Models tab of the Microwave
Radio Links Properties dialogue. The geoclimatic parameters available depend on the selected quality and
availability methods. To access all geoclimatic parameters independently of the methods you have selected,
click the Display All button under Current Methods.

- Atmospheric and Climatic Conditions: Under Atmospheric and Climatic Conditions, you can define the
conditions under which the microwave operates:
- Climatic Zone: Select the climatic zone that best describes the climate in which the microwave link oper-
ates. The climatic zones available depend on the calculation methods selected on the Models tab of the
Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue.
When using Crane as the availability calculation method, you can select the following climatic zones:

Climatic Zone Type Crane Global Rain Zone


Polar (Dry) A
Polar (Moderate) B
Cold (Dry) Dry B1
Temperate Continental (Dry) D1
Subtropical Arid (Dry) F
Cold (Moderate) B2
Continental
Temperate Continental (Moderate) D2
Temperate Continental (Wet) Continental humid D3
Temperate Maritime C
Subtropical Wet E
Humid
Tropical Moderate G
Tropical H

When using Vigants-Barnett as quality calculation method, you can choose between Warm and Humid,
Temperate and Dry.

- Temperature: Set the average temperature of the zone in which the microwave link operates. Clicking the

button ( ) beside the Temperature text box opens a dialogue where you can select the temperature

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based on Rec. ITU-R P.1510-0, ITU-R P.835-3 (and select a season), or the temperature set in the geocli-
matic file.
- Rec. ITU-R P.530: The parameters found under Rec. ITU-R P.530 are those recommended by ITU-R
P.530 to calculate the quality of the microwave link:

Water Vapour Density: Set the water vapour density in grams per cubic metre. Clicking the button ( )
beside the Water Vapour Density text box opens a dialogue where you can select the water vapour den-
sity based on Rec. ITU-R P.836-3 (and select the percentage of the average year where the defined water
vapour density is exceeded), or based on Rec. ITU-R P.835-3 (and select a season), or the water vapour
density set in the geoclimatic file. The dialogue also displays the water vapour pressure in hectopascals
(hPa) calculated using your data and based on Rec. ITU-R P.836-3.

Rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the average year: Set the rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the average year (or,

in other words, the rainfall observed 99.99% of the average year). Clicking the button ( ) beside the
Rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the average year text box opens a dialogue where you can select the rainfall
exceeded 0.01% of the average year based on Rec. ITU-R P.837-4 or the rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the
average year set in the geoclimatic file.

Atmospheric Pressure: Set the atmospheric pressure in grams per cubic metre. Clicking the button

( ) beside the Atmospheric Pressure text box opens a dialogue where you can select the atmospher-
ic pressure based on Rec. ITU-R P.835-3 (and select a season), or the atmospheric pressure set in the
geoclimatic file.

Relative Humidity: The Relative Humidity displayed is calculated using the defined water vapour den-
sity.

Rec. ITU-R P.530-12: Under ITU-R P.530-12, you can enter the Rain Height (0°C Isotherm) in metres.
The rain height is the height of the top of the rain column above mean sea level from the 0°C isotherm.

Clicking the button ( ) beside the Rain Height text box opens a dialogue where you can select the rain
height based on Rec. ITU-R P.839-3 (and select a season), or the rain height set in the geoclimatic file.

- Refractivity: Under Refractivity, you can define the Refractivity gradient near the earth’s surface in

N-units per km. Clicking the button ( ) beside the Refractivity gradient near the earth’s surface text box
opens a dialogue where you can select the refractivity gradient based on Rec. ITU-R P.453-9, using a user-
defined reference altitude, or the refractivity gradient for less than 65 m., as well as the percentage of the year
that N is not exceeded, or the refractivity gradient set in the geoclimatic file.
Under Refractivity, the k factor median value, calculated using the set parameters, is displayed.
- Geoclimatic Factor: The parameters under Geoclimatic Factor are used to calculate the quality of the
microwave link and are broken down by calculation method. Under Geoclimatic Factor, you can set the fol-
lowing parameters:
- ITU-R P.530-5, -8 and Vigants-Barnett: Under ITU-R P.530-5, -8 and Vigants-Barnett, you can select
the Terrain Type. The terrain types available depend on the calculation methods selected on the Models
tab of the Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue. If you are using ITU-R P.530-5 or 530-8 meth-
ods, you can choose between "Plain Zone" for terrestrial microwave links where the height of the lowest
antenna in the link is lower than 700 m; "Mountain" for terrestrial microwave links where the height of the
lowest antenna in the link is higher than 700 m; "Lake" for microwave links over an expanse of water; or
"Overwater" for microwave links over an extended expanse of water. If you are using using the Vigants-
Barnett method, you can choose between "Flat Terrain", "Average Terrain" and "Montainous Terrain".
- ITU-R P.530-5, -8: Under ITU-R P.530-5, -8, you can define the PL factor. PL is the percent of time the
relative refractivity gradient is less than -100 N⁄Km. The PL factor can be found on the ITU-R maps.
This parameter is taken into account when using ITU-R P.530-5 and ITU-R P.530-8 calculation methods.

- K.Q. Method: Under K.Q. Method, you can define K.Q. for the K.Q method. K models geo-climatic and
terrain effects on climate while Q is the factor for variables other than those dependent on distance and
frequency.
- ITU-R P.530: Under ITU-R P.530, you can define the K factor. K models geo-climatic and terrain effects

on climate. Clicking the button ( ) beside the K text box opens a dialogue where you can select the K
factor based on Rec. ITU-R P. 530-5 or Rec. ITU-R P. 530-8 (and select a terrain type and enter a value
for C0 and for the percentage of time the refractivity gradient (< 100 m.) is less than -100 N-units⁄km for
the worst average month) or based on Rec. ITU-R P. 530-10 and above (and select the simplified method
where you also define the refractivity gradient (< 65 m.) not exceeded during 1% of the average year or
select the method with terrain roughness taken into account where you define the refractivity gradient and
the terrain roughness).
- Vigants-Barnett: Factor C: Parameters available under Vigants-Barnett depend on the option selected
on the Models tab of the Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue. If you select User-defined under
Multipath Occurence, you can enter the C factor value, the propagation condition factor for the Vigants-
Barnett method. If you select Simplified Method, Atoll displays the C factor value corresponding to the
defined climate zone. Finally, if you select Terrain-based Method, Atoll displays the C factor value cor-
responding to the defined climate zone and lets you select whether you want to take the terrain rough-
ness into account.

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8. Click the Reliability tab (see Figure 6.103).

Figure 6.103: Microwave link Properties dialogue - Reliability tab

9. On the Reliability tab, you can define reliability-related parameters:


- Link Class: Under Link Class, you can select the link class. Each link class can have different performance
objectives. By assigning the link class with the appropriate performance objectives, you assign the perform-
ance objectives to the link. For information on creating a link class, see "Microwave Link Classes" on
page 154.

Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected link class.

Clicking the Objectives button opens a dialogue where you can view and modify the performance objectives
of the selected link class.

- Bit Error Rate: Under Bit Error Rate, you can set the values for BER 1 and BER 2. Atolldisplays the resulting
sensitivity for each BER.
If the value for BER that you enter is not defined in the properties of the equipment, Atoll will interpolate to
determine the corresponding sensitivity.

- Availability: Under Availability, you can set the MTTR (mean time to repair). The MTTR is taken into account
when calculating unavailability due to failures if the microwave link is not equipped with a hot standby channel
system.
10. Click the Propagation tab (see Figure 6.104).

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Figure 6.104: Microwave link Properties dialogue- Propagation tab

11. On the Propagation tab, you can define propagation-related parameters:


- Model used for the useful signal: Under Model used for the useful signal, you can select the propagation
model that will be used to calculate the path loss as well as the margin required for quality and availability for
the microwave link. If no propagation model is selected, the quality and availability of the link will be defined
by the respective target values defined in the link class.
- Model used for the interfering signal: Under Model used for the interfering signal, you can select the
propagation model that will be used to calculate interference.
12. Click OK.

6.3.2.2 Defining Calculation Parameters for All Microwave Links


Under certain circumstances, for example, in a highly homogeneous network, you will want to set the same calculation
parameters for all microwave links. You can set the same calculation parameters for all microwave links at the same time
by first defining the calculation parameters for a single microwave link and then copying the calculation parameters to all
microwave links.
To define the calculation parameters for all microwave links:
1. Define the calculation parameters for a single microwave link, as described in "Defining Calculation Parameters
for a Single Microwave Link" on page 159.
2. Copy the defined calculation parameters to all microwave links.
To copy the defined calculation parameters to all microwave links:
1. Click the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Open Table from the context menu. The Links Table appears.
5. Locate the row in the Links Table with the microwave link whose calculation parameters you just updated.
In the Links Table, the column names corresponding to the calculation parameters on the tabs of the microwave
link’s Properties dialogue are:

- Geoclimatic tab:
- Environment Type
- R001 (mm/h)
- Geoclimatic Factor (K)

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- PL (%)
- Water Vapour (g/m3)
- Temperature (°C)
- Factor K.Q
- Rain Height (m)
- Atmospheric Pressure (hPa)
- Refractivity
- Factor C
- Climatic Zone
- Reliability tab:
- Class (EPO)
- Hot Standby
- BER
- 2nd BER
- MTTR (h)
- Propagation tab:
- Propagation Model
- Interference Model
6. For each cell with a calculation parameter that you have already modified, copy the values into all cells above the
modified cell:

a. Click the modified cell.

b. Drag upwards to select the cells into which you want to copy the data.

c. Select Edit > Fill > Up.

The contents of the modified cell are copied into all cells selected.

7. Repeat the procedure to copy the modified values into the remaining cells above the modified microwave link.
8. For each cell with a calculation parameter that you have already modified, copy the values into the cells below the
modified cell:

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Chapter 6: Managing Calculations in Atoll

a. Click the modified cell.

b. Drag downwards to select the cells into which you want to copy the
data.

c. Select Edit > Fill > Down.

The contents of the modified cell are copied into all cells selected.

9. Repeat the procedure to copy the modified values into the remaining cells below the modified microwave link.

6.3.2.3 Defining Calculation Parameters for a Group of Microwave Links


Under certain circumstances, for example, in a network that spans a great distance, you will want to set the same calcu-
lation parameters for defined groups of microwave links but not for all links. You can set the same calculation parameters
for defined groups of microwave links by first defining the calculation parameters for a single microwave link, sorting the
microwave links according to their common attributes, and then copying the calculation parameters to all microwave links
in that group.
To define the calculation parameters for a group of microwave links:
1. Define the calculation parameters for a single microwave link, as described in "Defining Calculation Parameters
for a Single Microwave Link" on page 159.
2. Select the microwave links to which you want to copy the calculation parameters by:
- Grouping the microwave links (see "Grouping Microwave Links" on page 165)
- Sorting the microwave links (see "Sorting Microwave Links" on page 166)
- Filtering the microwave links (see "Filtering Microwave Links" on page 168)
3. Copy the defined calculation parameters to the selected group of microwave links.

Grouping Microwave Links

To select the microwave links to which you want to copy the calculation parameters by grouping:
1. Click the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. From the Group By submenu, select the property by which you want to group the microwave links. Ensure that
you chose a property that all the microwave links you want to modify and the link with the modified calculation
parameters have in common.
The microwave links in the folder are grouped in separate folders by that property.

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Note: If the range of properties available in the Group By submenu has been configured as
explained in "Configuring the Group By Submenu" on page 57, you can select additional
properties by selecting More Fields from the Group By submenu. For information on
using the dialogue that appears, see "Configuring the Group By Submenu" on page 57.

5. Right-click the folder with the grouped microwave links. The context menu appears.
6. Select Open Table from the context menu. The Links Table appears.
7. Copy the calculation parameters from the modified microwave link to the other microwave links in the group as
explained in "Defining Calculation Parameters for All Microwave Links" on page 163.
Once you have finished copying the calculation parameters, you can ungroup the links by right-clicking the Links folder
and selecting Group By > None from the context menu.

Sorting Microwave Links

To sort the microwave links to which you want to copy the calculation parameters:
1. Click the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Open Table from the context menu. The Links Table appears.
5. Right-click the table column with the parameter you want to sort on. The context menu appears.
6. Select either Sort Ascending or Sort Descending from the context menu.
7. Locate the row in the Links Table with the microwave link whose calculation parameters you just updated.
In the Links Table, the column names corresponding to the calculation parameters on the tabs of the microwave
link’s Properties dialogue are:

- Geoclimatic tab:
- Environment Type
- R001 (mm/h)
- Geoclimatic Factor (K)
- PL (%)
- Water Vapour (g/m3)
- Temperature (°C)
- Factor K.Q
- Rain Height (m)
- Atmospheric Pressure (hPa)
- Refractivity
- Factor C
- Climatic Zone
- Reliability tab:
- Class (EPO)
- Hot Standby
- BER
- 2nd BER
- MTTR (h)
- Propagation tab:
- Propagation Model
- Interference Model
8. For each cell with a calculation parameter that you have already modified, copy the values into all cells in the group
above the modified cell:

a. Click the modified cell.

b. Drag upwards to select the cells into which you want to copy the data.

Important: Ensure that you only select the cells of the microwave links you want to modify.

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Chapter 6: Managing Calculations in Atoll

c. Select Edit > Fill > Up.

The contents of the modified cell are copied into all cells selected.

9. Repeat the procedure to copy the modified values into the remaining cells in the group above the modified micro-
wave link.
10. For each cell with a calculation parameter that you have already modified, copy the values into the cells in the
group below the modified cell:

a. Click the modified cell.

b. Drag downwards to select the cells into which you want to copy the data.

Important: Ensure that you only select the cells of the microwave links you want to modify.

c. Drag downwards to select the cells into which you want to copy the
data.

d. Select Edit > Fill > Down.

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The contents of the modified cell are copied into all cells selected.

Filtering Microwave Links

To filter the microwave links to which you want to copy the calculation parameters:
1. Click the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
4. Select Open Table from the context menu. The Links Table appears.
You can now filter on a value in the table. You can either use a value that all microwave links to which you want
to copy calculation parameters have in common with the microwave link you previously modified, or you can use
a value these microwave links do not have.

5. Select the value to filter on. To select more than one value, press CTRL as you click the other values.
6. Right-click the cell and select one of the following from the context menu:
- Filter by Selection: All microwave links with the selected value or values are displayed. You can now modify
these microwave links as you would normally do with the entire Links table (see Figure 6.105 on page 168).
- Filter Excluding Selection: All microwave links without the selected value or values are displayed. You can
now modify these records or make calculations on them as you would normally do with the entire Links
table(see Figure 6.106 on page 169).

Figure 6.105: Filtering by selection (Sub-Band A>> B: 18 GHz, 220 MHz)

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Figure 6.106: Filtering excluding selection (Sub-Band A>> B: 18 GHz, 220 MHz)

Note: You can use advanced data filtering to combine several criteria in different fields to create
complex filters. For more information on advanced filtering, see "Advanced Data Filtering"
on page 63.

7. Copy the calculation parameters from the modified microwave link to the other microwave links in the group as
explained in "Defining Calculation Parameters for All Microwave Links" on page 163.

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Chapter 7
Microwave Link Project Management
Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

7 Microwave Link Project Management


The microwave links module enables you to plan, design, and analyse microwave link networks. Using Atoll's microwave
links module, microwave link networks can be designed and analysed in separate Atoll projects as well as within 2G
(GMS/GPRS/EGPRS) and 3G (CDMA2000/UMTS/WCDMA) mobile network projects.
Using Atoll's microwave links module, you can define and model frequency bands and sub-bands, antennas, radio equip-
ment, feeder equipment, passive repeaters, simple, multi-hop, and point-to-multipoint links. You can define and set target
performance objectives in terms of link classes and performance objectives, defining the quality and availability targets.
You can determine link budgets over a single link, over multiple connected links (multi-hop links), or over a hub with several
links (point-to-multipoint links). You can also carry out end-to-end reliability analyses, interference analyses, and frequency
planning. Atoll also enables you to design your microwave link networks while taking future growth and enhancements
into consideration.
Comprehensive analysis features in the Atoll microwave link module enable the study of simple, multi-hop, and point-to-
multipoint microwave links in any network. Any microwave link is considered operational when it globally satisfies the
required quality and availability criteria set by the operator. Any microwave link is assessed generally in terms of the link's
robustness, i.e., the data transmission should undergo the least possible errors, the link should suffer the least number of
failures (usually measured per year) and the duration of these failures should also be as short as possible. All these criteria
are described in detail in the ITU standards and recommendations. Atoll follows these standards and enables the user to
set in-depth quality and availability targets for the network being designed.
Furthermore, it is fundamental to the correct performance of a microwave radio link that line-of-sight be available, i.e., that
there be a clear transmission path between the two nodes of the link. The electromagnetic signal disperses as it moves
away from source, and therefore the line-of-sight clearance must take this dispersion into account and attention should be
paid to objects near the direct signal path to ensure the required signal levels reach the receiving antenna. This is referred
to as "Fresnel Zone" clearance. Atoll's profile analysis feature permits allows you to view the line of sight, Fresnel zone
clearance, and reflective surfaces along the link's profile.
Real-life microwave links do not operate in ideal environments. As it is not always possible to have a direct line-of-sight
connection between two extremities, repeaters are employed as a workaround in order to create a pseudo-direct link. Atoll
fully models the design and use of microwave repeaters, and allows two repeaters to be inserted within a microwave link.
Performance improvement techniques such as frequency and space diversity at reception are also modelled.
Since several links can share their extremities (start or end), the description of a microwave links network in Atoll is divided
into two folders on the Data tab of the Explorer window:
• The Sites folder, which contains the set of points that can be used as extremities for links. This folder can also
contain sites for 2G and 3G mobile network projects in the case of incorporated mobile/microwave projects.
• The Microwave Radio Links folder, which contains the definitions of links, multi-hop links, point-to-multipoint
links, the quality targets and performance objectives, etc. Each link refers to at least two separate sites in the Sites
folder.

7.1 Designing a Microwave Link Network


Figure 7.107 depicts the process of creating and planning a microwave link network. The steps involved in planning a
microwave link network are described below. The numbers refer to Figure 7.107.

1. Open an existing microwave link document or create a new one ( 1 ).


- You can open an existing Atoll document by selecting File > Open.
- You can create a new Atoll document as explained in "Chapter 2: Starting an Atoll Project".

2. Configure the microwave link network by defining network parameters ( 2 ).


- You can define the equipment such as antennas, waveguides, and cables used in the network (see "Chapter
4: Antennas and Equipment")
- You define and modify microwave frequency bands (see "Chapter 5: Managing Frequency Bands and Sub-
bands").
3. Add sites and carry out basic evaluations of the candidate sites and locate more suitable locations for candidate
sites ( 3 ).
- You can add sites or modify existing ones (see "Creating or Modifying a Site" on page 175).
- You can evaluate the location of existing sites (see "Site Survey Tools" on page 176) and search for new can-
didate sites (see "Search Tools for New Sites" on page 184).

4. Create microwave links between sites ( 4 ).


- You can create a microwave link (see "Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link" on page 188) based on a link
template. If necessary , you can modify the template on which new links are based (see "Managing Microwave
Link Templates" on page 190).
- If necessary, you can create repeaters along microwave links between sites.
- You can create multi-hop microwave links ("Creating Multi-hops" on page 208).

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5. Analyse the microwave network.


- You can analyse the path profile (see "Analysing the Path Profile" on page 193), adding passive repeaters if
necessary (see "Adding a Microwave Passive Repeater" on page 201) ( 5 ).
- You can analyse the quality and reliability of the network (see "Analysing Microwave Link Reliability" on
page 203) ( 6 ).
- You can study reflection along the microwave link profile (see "Studying Reflection" on page 210) ( 7 ).
- You can interference along the microwave link profile (see "Analysing Interference" on page 221) ( 8 ).

6. Plan link channels ( 9 )


- "Planning Microwave Link Channels" on page 216.
Optimisation and analysis are iterative steps. In some cases, the last four steps can be repeated in order to achieve the
optimum solution for the network.

7. If necessary, modify network parameters to study the network with a different frequency plan ( 10 ). After modifying
the network’s frequency plan, you must perform steps 7 and 8 again.

Figure 7.107: Planning a microwave link network - workflow

7.2 Planning and Optimising Microwave Sites


As described in "Chapter 2: Starting an Atoll Project", you can start an Atoll document from a template, with no sites, or
from a database with a set of sites. As you work on your Atoll document, you will still need to create sites and modify
existing ones.
In Atoll, a site is defined as a geographical point supporting one or more microwave links. Atoll enables you to verify the
characteristics of each candidate in order to chose the best site. Additionally, Atoll has tools that allow you to search for
new locations for sites.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Creating Sites" on page 174
• "Site Survey Tools" on page 176
• "Search Tools for New Sites" on page 184.

7.2.1 Creating Sites


When you create a microwave site, you create only the geographical point. The created site can then support one or more
microwave links.
In this section, the following are described:
• "Site Description" on page 175
• "Creating or Modifying a Site" on page 175.

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7.2.1.1 Site Description


The parameters of a site can be found in the site’s Properties dialogue. The Properties dialogue has two tabs:
• The General tab (see Figure 7.108):

Figure 7.108: New Site dialogue

- Name: Atoll enters a default name for each new site. You can modify the default name. If you want to
change the default name that Atoll gives to new sites, see the Administrator Manual.
- Position: By default, Atoll places the new site at the centre of the map window. You can modify the loca-
tion of the site.
- Altitude: The altitude, as defined by the DTM for the location specified under Position, is given here. You
can specify the actual altitude under Real, if you want. If an altitude is specified here, Atoll will use this
value for calculations.
- Comments: You can enter comments in this field if you want.
- The Pylon tab:
- Pylon Height: You can define the height of the structure on which you can install antennas. Atoll can use
this height in several analyses (site analysis, antenna height optimisation, etc.).
- Support Type: You can describe the nature of site. This field is for information only.

7.2.1.2 Creating or Modifying a Site


You can modify an existing site or you can create a new site. You can access the properties of a site, described in "Site
Description" on page 175, through the site’s Properties dialogue. How you access the Properties dialogue depends on
whether you are creating a new site or modifying an existing site.
To create or modify a site:
1. If you are creating a new site:
a. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
b. Right-click the Sites folder. The context menu appears.
c. Select New from the context menu. The Sites New Element Properties dialogue appears (see Figure 7.108
on page 175).
2. If you are modifying the properties of an existing site:
a. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
b. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Sites folder.
c. Right-click the site you want to modify. The context menu appears.
d. Select Properties from the context menu. The site’s Properties dialogue appears.
3. Modify the parameters described in "Site Description" on page 175.
4. Click OK.

Tip: If you are creating several sites at the same time, or modifying several existing sites, you
can do it quickly by editing or pasting the data directly in the Sites table. You can open
the Sites table by right-clicking the Sites folder on the Data tab of the Explorer window
and selecting Open Table from the context menu. For information on copying and
pasting data, see "Copying and Pasting in Tables" on page 47.

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7.2.2 Site Survey Tools


Atoll provides several tools to enable you to evaluate the line of sight around a site or between candidate sites.
In this section, the following are explained.
• "Displaying the Line of Sight Area Around One Site" on page 176
• "Analysing the Line of Sight Between Candidate Sites" on page 176
• "Finding the Best Route Between Two Sites" on page 179
• "Displaying the Terrain Profile Between Candidate Sites" on page 180
• "Displaying a 360° View Around One Site" on page 181

7.2.2.1 Displaying the Line of Sight Area Around One Site


Atoll allows you to display the line-of-sight area around a site in the map window.
To display the line-of-sight area around a site:
1. Right-click the site either on the map, or in the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Line of Sight Area from the context menu. The Line of Sight Area dialogue appears.
3. Under Calculation Parameters, define the following parameters:
- Max Distance: Enter the maximum distance around the selected site that should be taken into consideration.
- Site Height: Enter the transmitter site height, taking into consideration, for example, building height.
- Receiver Height: Enter the receiver site height, taking into consideration, for example, building height.
- Factor k: Enter a value for the earth curvature factor.
4. Select one of the following:
- Line of Sight Clearance: Select Line of Sight Clearance if you want to study the line of sight between the
transmitter and receiver sites.
- Ellipsoid Clearance: Select Ellipsoid Clearance if you want to study the percentage of clearance of the
Fresnel ellipsoid and define the following:
- Frequency: Enter the operating frequency you want to study.
- Clearance: Enter the percentage of clearance of the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid.
5. Under View, define the display parameters of the line-of-sight area:
- To set the transparency of the displayed line-of-sight area, move the slider.
- To define a colour for the displayed line-of-sight area, click the Colour button and select a colour from the
palette that appears.
6. Click OK. Atoll calculates and displays the line-of-sight area around the selected site.
To delete the line-of-sight area around a site:
1. Right-click the site either on the map, or in the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Delete Line of Sight Area from the context menu.

7.2.2.2 Analysing the Line of Sight Between Candidate Sites


In Atoll, you can analyse the line of sight (LOS) between candidate sites. The analysis can be done for one particular site
if one extremity of the microwave link is already locked or for all sites. In the analysis, Atoll considers the selected site(s)
and all sites located within the focus zone; if no focus zone is defined, Atoll will use the computation zone. For information
on the focus zone, see "Using a Focus Zone" on page 31 and for information on the computation zone, see "Using a
Computation Zone" on page 30.
To calculate a LOS report for one particular site:
1. Right-click the site either on the map or in the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab. The context menu
appears.
2. Select Line of Sight Report from the context menu. The Line of Sight Parameters dialogue appears (see
Figure 7.109).

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

Figure 7.109: Setting the calculation parameters for a line of sight report

3. Click the Calculation Parameters tab.


4. Under Height - Transmitter Side and Height - Receiver Side you can select how pylon height will be defined on
the transmitter and receiver side of the microwave link. Select one of the following to define the pylon height for
the transmitter and the receiver:
- Use the pylon height defined by site: If you select Use the pylon height defined by site, Atoll will use the
pylon height defined by site for each line of sight.
- Use the default height: If you select Use the default height, Atoll will use the pylon height you define in the
Default Height box.
5. Define the Maximum Distance around the selected site to be considered in the line of sight analysis.
6. Under Earth Curvature Factors, define two k factor values.
7. Under Penetration Condition, define the following parameters:
- Take clutter into account in diffraction: Select the Take clutter into account in diffraction check box if
you want to use clutter information when calculating diffraction in the line of sight.
- Frequency Band: Select the frequency band to be used when calculating the line of sight from the list. The
average frequency of the selected frequency band is displayed in the Frequency box.
8. Click the Clutter tab. On the Clutter tab you can set clutter-related parameters that will be used to calculate the
line of sight. The settings on the Clutter tab are independent from any clutter parameters you might have set for
the propagation model. For each clutter class, you can set the following:
- Receiver Height: You can define a receiver height for each clutter class. It is not used when calculating the
line of sight between existing sites.
- Clearance: If you want, you can define a clearance around each site for each clutter class. The clearance is
used when calculating diffraction. Both ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole pro-
file except over a specific distance around the sites (clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on the
DTM.
9. Click the Table tab. On the Table tab you can define the content of the report. Atoll displays a default set of fields
and lets you select other information to be included in the report.
a. Click Add. The Field Selection dialogue appears.
b. In the Field Selection dialogue, select the fields that you want to display in the report. You can select contig-
uous fields by clicking the first field, pressing SHIFT and clicking the last field. You can select non-contiguous
fields by pressing CTRL and clicking each fields separately.
- To select a field to be included in the report, select the field in the Available Fields list and click

to move it to the Selected Fields list.


- To remove a field from the list of Selected Fields, select the field in the Selected Fields list and click

to remove it.

- To change the order of the fields, select a field and click or to move it up or down in the list. The
objects will be displayed in the order of the fields in the Selected Fields list, from top to bottom.
c. Click OK to return to the Table tab.
10. Click OK. Atoll displays the selected results in the Line of Sight Report table for each site in the focus zone if
available and computation zone if there is no focus zone. As well, Atoll displays a terrain section on the map
between each pair of sites (see "Displaying the Terrain Profile Between Candidate Sites" on page 180).

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The Line of Sight Report table contains the following default information for each pair of sites. Site1 is the studied site
and Site2 a candidate site within the focus zone if available and computation zone if there is no focus zone.
- Site1: Site1 is the transmitting site of the pair of sites.
- Site2: Site2 is the receiving site of the pair of sites.
- Distance (m): The distance between the sites.
- Line of Sight (k1) (%): The clearance or penetration of the Fresnel ellipsoid in percentage for the first k factor
value. The result can be between -100 and 100%. A value from -100 to 0% corresponds to the percentage of
penetration of the upper half of the Fresnel ellipsoid. A value from 0 to 100% corresponds to the percentage
of clearance of the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid (see Figure 7.110).
- Line of Sight (k2) (%): The clearance or penetration of the Fresnel ellipsoid in percentage for the second k
factor value.
- Antenna 1 Height (m): The height of the transmitting antenna.
- Antenna 2 Height (m):The height of the receiving antenna.
- Frequency (MHz): The mean frequency used to calculate the line of sight between the transmitting site and
the receiving site.
- Direction (°): The angle from Site1 to Site2 in the horizontal plane.

Figure 7.110: Line of sight clearance

Tip: If you double-click one terrain section in the Line of Sight Report table, Atoll will
automatically center it in the map and will display its profile in the Terrain Section tab of
the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window.

You can remove the line-of-sight sections by selecting Delete Line of Sight Lines from the site’s context menu.
To calculate a LOS report for all sites:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Sites folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Line of Sight Report from the context menu. The Line of Sight Parameters dialogue appears.
4. Click the Calculation Parameters tab.
5. Under Height - Transmitter Side and Height - Receiver Side you can select how pylon height will be defined on
the transmitter and receiver side of the microwave link, respectively. Select one of the following to define the pylon
height for the transmitter and the receiver:
- Use the pylon height defined by site: If you select Use the pylon height defined by site, Atoll will use the
pylon height defined by site for each line of sight.
- Use the default height: If you select Use the default height, Atoll will use the pylon height you define in the
Default Height box.
6. Define the Maximum Distance around the selected site to be considered in the line-of-sight analysis.
7. Under Earth Curvature Factors, define two k factor values.
8. Under Penetration Condition, define the following parameters:
- Take clutter into account in diffraction: Select the Take clutter into account in diffraction check box if
you want to use clutter information when calculating diffraction in the line of sight.
- Frequency Band: Select the frequency band to be used when calculating the line of sight from the list. The
average frequency of the selected frequency band is displayed in the Frequency box.
9. Click the Clutter tab. On the Clutter tab you can set clutter-related parameters that will be used to calculate the
line of sight. The settings on the Clutter tab are independent from any clutter parameters you might have set for
the propagation model. For each clutter class, you can set the following:
- Receiver Height: You can define a receiver height for each clutter class. It is not used when calculating the
line of sight between sites.
- Clearance: If you want, you can define a clearance around each site for each clutter class. The clearance is
used when calculating diffraction. Both ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole pro-
file except over a specific distance around the sites (clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on the
DTM.

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

10. Click the Table tab. On the Table tab you can define the content of the report. Atoll displays a default set of fields
and lets you select other information to be included in the report.
a. Click Add. The Field Selection dialogue appears.
b. In the Field Selection dialogue, select the fields that you want to display in the report. You can select contig-
uous fields by clicking the first field, pressing SHIFT and clicking the last field. You can select non-contiguous
fields by pressing CTRL and clicking each fields separately.
- To select a field to be included in the report, select the field in the Available Fields list and click

to move it to the Selected Fields list.


- To remove a field from the list of Selected Fields, select the field in the Selected Fields list and click

to remove it.

- To change the order of the fields, select a field and click or to move it up or down in the list. The
objects will be displayed in the order of the fields in the Selected Fields list, from top to bottom.
c. Click OK to return to the Table tab.
11. Click OK. Atoll displays the results in the Line of Sight Report table for each site in the focus zone if available
and computation zone if there is no focus zone. As well, Atoll displays a terrain section on the map between each
pair of sites (see "Displaying the Terrain Profile Between Candidate Sites" on page 180).
The Line of Sight Report table contains the following default information for each pair of sites. Site1 is the studied site
and Site2 a candidate site within the focus zone if available and computation zone if there is no focus zone.
- Site1: Site1 is the transmitting site of the pair of sites.
- Site2: Site2 is the receiving site of the pair of sites.
- Distance: The distance between the sites.
- Line of Sight (k1) (%): The clearance or penetration of the Fresnel ellipsoid in percentage for the first k factor
value. The result can be between -100 and 100%. A value from -100 to 0% corresponds to the percentage of
penetration of the upper half of the Fresnel ellipsoid. A value from 0 to 100% corresponds to the percentage
of clearance of the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid (see Figure 7.110).
- Line of Sight (k2) (%): The clearance or penetration of the Fresnel ellipsoid in percentage for the second k
factor value.
- Antenna 1 Height: The height of the transmitting antenna.
- Antenna 2 Height: The height of the receiving antenna.
- Frequency: The mean frequency used to calculate the line of sight between the transmitting site and the
receiving site.
You can remove the line-of-sight lines by selecting Delete Line of Sight Lines from the context menu of the Sites folder
of the Explorer window’s Data tab.

7.2.2.3 Finding the Best Route Between Two Sites


Atoll allows you to find all routes between two sites fulfilling line-of-sight criteria. The routes can consist of several hops
and have different lengths. If you want, Atoll can display the route with the least of hops or the shortest route. In the anal-
ysis, Atoll considers the selected sites and all sites located within the focus zone; if no focus zone is defined, Atoll will
use the computation zone. For information on the focus zone, see "Using a Focus Zone" on page 31 and for information
on the computation zone, see "Using a Computation Zone" on page 30.
To find the best route between two sites:
1. Right-click the target site either on the map, or in the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab. The context
menu appears.
2. Select Routing from the context menu. The Line of Sight Parameters dialogue appears.
3. On the Routing Options tab, define the following parameters:
- Source Site: The starting site. Atolllists all sites in the focus zone if available and computation zone if there
is no focus zone (for information on the focus zone, see "Using a Focus Zone" on page 31 and for information
on the computation zone, see "Using a Computation Zone" on page 30).
- Maximum Number of Hops: The maximum number of hops allowed between starting and target sites.
- Minimise the number of hops to reach the target: Select this option if you want Atollto display the best
solution in terms of number of hops, i.e. the path containing the least of hops.
- Minimise the total path length: Select this option if you want Atollto display the best solution in terms of
distance, i.e. the shortest path.
4. Click the Calculation Parameters tab.
5. Under Height - Transmitter Side and Height - Receiver Side you can select how pylon height will be defined on
the transmitter and receiver side of the microwave link. Select one of the following to define the pylon height for
the transmitter and the receiver:
- Use the pylon height defined by site: If you select Use the pylon height defined by site, Atoll will use the
pylon height defined by site for each line of sight.
- Use the default height: If you select Use the default height, Atoll will use the pylon height you define in the
Default Height box.
6. Define the Maximum Distance around the selected site to be considered in the line-of-sight analysis.
7. Under Earth Curvature Factors, define the first k factor value.

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8. Under Penetration Condition, define the following parameters:


a. Select the Take clutter into account in diffraction check box if you want to use clutter information when cal-
culating diffraction in the line of sight.
b. Select one of the following:
- Line of Sight Clearance: Select Line of Sight Clearance if you want to study the line of sight between
the transmitter and receiver sites.
- Ellipsoid Clearance: Select Ellipsoid Clearance if you want to study the percentage of clearance of the
Fresnel ellipsoid. Then, define the percentage of Clearance of the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid and
select the Frequency band to be considered when calculating the line of sight (the average frequency of
the selected frequency band is displayed in the Frequency box).
9. Click the Clutter tab. On the Clutter tab you can set clutter-related parameters that will be used to calculate the
line of sight. The settings on the Clutter tab are independent from any clutter parameters you might have set for
the propagation model. For each clutter class, you can set the following:
- Receiver Height: You can define a receiver height for each clutter class. It is not used when calculating the
line of sight between existing sites.
- Clearance: If you want, you can define a clearance around each site for each clutter class. The clearance is
used when calculating diffraction. Both ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole pro-
file except over a specific distance around the sites (clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on the
DTM.
10. Click OK. Atoll displays the results in the Routing to Site table.
The Routing to Site table contains the following information for each route.

- Node1: The name of the source site selected in the Routing Options tab.
- Node#: The name of sites been through by the route and the name of the target site.
- Distance: The length of the route.
The number of columns named "Node#" displayed in the Routing to Site table depends on the maximum number
of hops defined in the Routing Options tab.

In addition, Atoll displays terrain sections on the map between each site of routes (see "Displaying the Terrain
Profile Between Candidate Sites" on page 180). You can remove the line of sight lines by selecting Delete Line
of Sight Lines from the context menu of the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab.

7.2.2.4 Displaying the Terrain Profile Between Candidate Sites


In Atoll, you can check the terrain profile between two microwave sites.
To study the terrain profile between two microwave sites:
1. Select how pylon height will be defined on both sites of the microwave link by clicking the arrow next to the Height
Profile button ( ) on the toolbar and selecting one of the following:
- Antenna Height Defined by Site: If you select Antenna Height Defined by Site, Atoll will use the pylon
height defined on each site.
- Antenna Height Defined per Clutter Class: If you select Antenna Height Defined per Clutter Class, Atoll
will use the receiver height defined per clutter class on the Clutter tab of the Line of Sight Parameters dia-
logue.
- Default Antenna Height: If you select Default Antenna Height, Atoll will use the pylon height you define in
the Default Height box of the Line of Sight Parameters dialogue.

Note: You can set further options using the Line of Sight Parameters dialogue. You can open
the Line of Sight Parameters dialogue by clicking the arrow next to the Height Profile
button ( ) on the toolbar and selecting Properties. For a description of the options
available in the Line of Sight Parameters dialogue, see "Analysing the Line of Sight
Between Candidate Sites" on page 176.

2. Click the Height Profile button ( ) on the toolbar.


3. Move the pointer to the site on the map. When the frame appears around the site, indicating it is selected, click to
create the first analysis point.
4. Move the pointer to another site on the map. When the frame appears around the site, indicating it is selected,
click to create the second analysis point.
5. The profile between both sites appears on the Terrain Section tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window.
Atoll displays the terrain height along the profile as well as clutter classes and clutter heights when the visibility
box of the Clutter Classes folder on the Geo tab is selected. A blue ellipsoid indicates the Fresnel zone between
both sites. By default, Atoll considers the pylon heights defined for the selected sites to determine the profile. You
can modify them as well as the studied frequency in the Terrain Section Properties dialogue. If you do not want
to display the clutter along the profile, you can clear the visibility check box of the Clutter Classes folder on the
Geo tab.
6. Right-click the Terrain Section tab. The context menu appears.

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7. Select Properties. The Terrain Section Properties dialogue appears.


8. In the Terrain Section Properties dialogue, you have the following parameters:
- Id: The terrain section reference number.
- Line of Sight (%): The percentage of clearance/penetration of the Fresnel zone. The value can vary between
-100 and 100%. A value from -100 to 0% corresponds to the percentage of penetration of the upper half of the
Fresnel ellipsoid. A value from 0 to 100% corresponds to the percentage of clearance of the lower half of the
Fresnel ellipsoid.
- Site1: The Site1 name.
- Site2: The Site2 name.
- Distance (m): The distance between Site1 and Site2.
- Pylon 1 Height (m): The pylon height on Site1 to be considered.
- Pylon 2 Height (m): The pylon height on Site2 to be considered.
- Frequency (MHz): The frequency to be considered.
9. Click OK to close the dialogue and apply the parameters.
If you have previously calculated a LOS report on a site or a group of sites (see "Analysing the Line of Sight Between
Candidate Sites" on page 176), proceed as follows:
1. On the map, click the terrain section you want to analyse.

2. Click the Height Profile button ( ) on the toolbar.


3. Atoll opens the Terrain Section tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window. It displays a Fresnel ellipsoid
between both sites, and terrain height and clutter along the profile. In order to calculate the Fresnel ellipsoid, Atoll
uses the site heights, the k factor value and the frequency used for the LOS report calculation.
If you have several terrain sections displayed on the map, you can colour them according to the percentage of clearance/
penetration of the Fresnel zone.
1. Click the Geo tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Terrain Sections folder and select Properties from the context menu. The Terrain Section Prop-
erties dialogue appears.
3. Select the Display tab and define the following parameters:
- Under Display Type, select "Value Intervals."
- Under Field, select "Visibility".
- You can change the value intervals and their displayed colour. For information on changing display properties,
see "Display Properties of Objects" on page 21.
4. Click OK.
Then, you can use any terrain section to create a microwave link.
1. On the map, right-click the terrain section you want to use for the microwave link design.
2. Choose the Create Link command in the context menu. Atoll adds the new microwave link in the Links folder;
its properties are based on the selected link template.

7.2.2.5 Displaying a 360° View Around One Site


You can display a 360° view around each site. Displaying 360° view around a site helps you to determine if the site is a
good candidate and if it is visible from the other sites.
To perform a 360° view at any site:
1. Right-click the site either directly on the map or in the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab. The context
menu appears.
2. Select 360° View from the context menu. The 360° View tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window opens
(see Figure 7.111):

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Figure 7.111: 360° View Tool

The 360° View tab shows the points of highest elevations in every direction around the selected site. The altitude
(in metres) is reported on the vertical axis and the direction (in °) on the horizontal axis. The height of the studied
site is indicated by a blue dotted line. Two purple markers on both sides of the 360° View tab show the pylon height
(i.e. the maximum height not to be exceeded if you install an antenna on the site) defined for the studied site.
Neighbour sites around the studied one are displayed according to their directions. Each neighbour site is indi-
cated by a vertical red line and its symbol. The line position on the vertical axis depends on the site altitude which
includes the Earth curvature. The line lengths and the symbol position on the line depend on the receiver height
defined in the 360° View Properties dialogue. If the site is entirely visible from the studied site, the line is solid. If
it is entirely hidden by an obstable, the line is dotted. Finally, if a site is partly visible from the studied site, the visible
part is represented by a solid line whereas the hidden part is indicated by a dotted line. This representation helps
you select a receiver site among neighbours and determine at which height you should install an antenna on the
receiver site. Atoll displays the terrain height along the profile as well as clutter classes and clutter heights when
the visibility box of the Clutter Classes folder on the Geo tab is selected.

Note: The 360° View tab does not display any depth of field.

The 360° View tab provides you with the following options:
- To center the receiver site in the map window: Click the site in the 360° View tab. The site is automatically
selected and centered in the map window.
- To get information about a receiver site: Place the mouse cursor on the site in the 360° View tab. Atoll
displays a tool tip with the following information:
- The site coordinates (in the display coordinate system),
- Its distance from the studied site (in m),
- The direction (in °),
- The altitude (in m),
- The curvature of the Earth (in m),
- The pylon height (in m).
- To display the terrain profile between the studied site and the receiver site: Right-click the site in the
360° View tab and select See Terrain Section from the context menu. The Terrain Section tab of the Micro-
wave Link Analysis Tool window opens.
- To return from the Terrain Section tab to the 360° View tab: Click the 360° View tab in the Microwave
Link Analysis Tool window.
- To view the exact location of a high elevation point in the map window: Click a point on the line indicating
the highest elevation points in the 360° View tab. A special pointer ( ) pinpoints the location of the current
point in the map window.
- To get information about a high elevation point: Place the mouse cursor on a point on the line indicating
the highest elevation points in the 360° View tab. Atoll displays a tool tip with the following information:
- The point coordinates (in the display coordinate system),
- The distance from the studied site (in m),
- The direction (in °),

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

- The altitude (in m),


- The curvature of the Earth (in m),
- The clutter height at the point (in m).
- To configure the 360° view calculation parameters and display options: Right-click the 360° View tab and
select 360° View Properties from the context menu. For information on parameters which can be changed,
see “Changing the Calculation and Display Parameters” on page 183.
- To change the angle of view and the azimuth of the studied site: Click the following buttons available on
both sides of the 360° View tab.

- : Increase the angle of view on the left.

- : Decrease the angle of view on the left.

- : Rotate the angle of view on the left.

- : Increase the angle of view on the right.

- : Decrease the angle of view on the right

- : Rotate the angle of view on the right.

Changing the Calculation and Display Parameters

1. Right-click the 360° view tab. The context menu appears.


2. Select 360° View Properties from the context menu. The Line of Sight Parameters dialogue appears.
3. Click the Calculation Parameters tab.
4. Under Height - Transmitter Side and Height - Receiver Side you can select how pylon height will be defined on
the transmitter and receiver side of the microwave link, respectively. Select one of the following to define the pylon
height for the transmitter and the receiver:
- Use the pylon height defined by site: If you select Use the pylon height defined by site, Atoll will use the
pylon height defined by site for each line of sight.
- Use the default height: If you select Use the default height, Atoll will use the pylon height you define in the
Default Height box.
5. Define the Maximum Distance around the selected site.
6. Under Earth Curvature Factors, define the first k factor value.
7. Under Penetration Condition, define the following parameters:
a. Select the Take clutter into account in diffraction check box if you want to use clutter information when cal-
culating diffraction in the line of sight.
b. Select one of the following:
- Line of Sight Clearance: Select Line of Sight Clearance if you want to study the line of sight between
the transmitter and receiver sites.
- Ellipsoid Clearance: Select Ellipsoid Clearance if you want to study the percentage of clearance of the
Fresnel ellipsoid. Then, define the percentage of Clearance of the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid and
select the Frequency band to be considered when calculating the line of sight (the average frequency of
the selected frequency band is displayed in the Frequency box).
8. Click the Clutter tab. On the Clutter tab you can set clutter-related parameters that will be used to calculate the
line of sight. The settings on the Clutter tab are independent from any clutter parameters you might have set for
the propagation model. For each clutter class, you can set the following:
- Receiver Height: You can define a receiver height for each clutter class. It is not used when calculating the
line of sight between existing sites.
- Clearance: If you want, you can define a clearance around each site for each clutter class. The clearance is
used when calculating diffraction. Both ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole pro-
file except over a specific distance around the sites (clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on the
DTM.
9. On the Display tab, you can define the following parameters:
- Pylon Height: When you select this option, Atoll displays two markers on both sides of the window to repre-
sent the pylon height defined for the studied site. They are displayed in purple by default.
- Height of the Selected Site: When you select this option, Atoll displays a horizontal line (a blue dotted line
by default) to indicate the height of the selected site.
- Position of the Other Sites: When you select this option, Atoll displays the position of other sites within the
view. Each site is indicated by a vertical line (red by default).
- Azimuth: Enter the azimuth of the selected site.
- Beamwidth: Enter the angle of view to be considered. If you enter a beamwidth of 90° and an azimuth of 0°,
Atoll will display the view between -45° and 45°.
10. Click OK.

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Atoll User Manual

7.2.3 Search Tools for New Sites


Atoll provides different tools to find new microwave site locations. You can improve the location of a site, in terms of recep-
tion and transmission, by letting Atoll find a higher location for it, as explained in "Moving a Site to a Higher Location" on
page 19. You can also let Atoll display the mutually visible areas of multiple sites so as to find good places to create new
sites.

Displaying the Mutually Visible Areas of Multiple Sites

Atoll allows you to calculate the line-of-sight areas for several sites and display their intersection. The intersection of line-
of-sight areas will be calculated for sites in the computation zone (for information on the computation zone, see "Using a
Computation Zone" on page 30).
To display the line-of-sight areas of several sites and display their intersection:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Sites folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Line of Sight Report from the context menu. The Line of Sight Parameters dialogue appears.
4. Click the Calculation Parameters tab.
5. Under Height - Transmitter Side, you can select how pylon height will be defined on the transmitter side of each
microwave link:
- Use the pylon height defined by site: If you select Use the pylon height defined by site, Atoll will use the
pylon height defined by site.
- Use the default height: If you select Use the default height, Atoll will use the pylon height you define in the
Default Height box.
6. Under Height - Receiver Side, you can select how receiver height will be defined at the far edge of the LOS area:
- Use heights defined per clutter class: If you select Use heights defined per clutter class, Atoll will use
the receiver height defined per clutter class on the Clutter tab of the Line of Sight Parameters dialogue.
- Use the default height: If you select Use the default height, Atoll will use the receiver height you define in
the Default Height box.
7. Define the Maximum Distance around the selected site to be considered in the line-of-sight analysis.
8. Under Earth Curvature Factors, define the first k factor value.
9. Under Penetration Condition, define the following parameters:
a. Take clutter into account in diffraction: Select the Take clutter into account in diffraction check box if
you want to use clutter information when calculating diffraction in the line of sight.
b. Define the type of clearance that will be calculated by selecting one of the following:
- Line of Sight Clearance: Select Line of Sight Clearance if you want to study the line of sight between
the transmitter and receiver sites.
- Ellipsoid Clearance: Select Ellipsoid Clearance if you want to study the percentage of clearance of the
Fresnel ellipsoid and enter the percentage of clearance of the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid.
c. Frequency Band: Select the frequency band to be used when calculating the line of sight from the list. The
average frequency of the selected frequency band is displayed in the Frequency box.
10. Click the Clutter tab. On the Clutter tab you can set clutter-related parameters that will be used to calculate the
line-of-sight area. The settings on the Clutter tab are independent from any clutter parameters you might have set
for the propagation model. For each clutter class, you can set the following:
- Receiver Height: If you want, you can define a receiver height for each clutter class. This is the value that will
be taken into consideration if you selected Use heights defined per clutter class under Height - Receiver
Side on the Calculation Parameters tab.
- Clearance: If you want, you can define a clearance around each site for each clutter class. The clearance is
used when calculating diffraction. Both ground altitude and clutter height are considered along the whole pro-
file except over a specific distance around the sites (clearance), where Atoll bases its calculations only on the
DTM.
11. Click the Display tab. On the Display tab, you can define how the line-of-sight areas will be displayed on the map.
You can select one of the following display options:
- One Area per Site: Select One Area per Site to display a line-of-sight area for each site and then define the
colour the line-of-sight areas will be displayed in:
- Automatic Colour: If you select Automatic Colour, Atoll will automatically assign a different colour to
each line-of-sight area, and you will be able to distinguish the line-of-sight areas for each site.
- Unique Colour: If you select Unique Colour, selecting a colour from the palette, Atoll with display all
line-of-sight areas in the same colour, and the resulting display will show the cumulative line-of-sight
areas.
Set the transparency of the displayed line-of-sight area, by moving the slider.

- Overlapping: Select Overlapping to display the line-of-sight areas with coverage from the defined number
of sites:

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

- Areas covered by at least 2 sites: Check the Areas covered by at least 2 sites check box if you want
Atoll to display all areas covered by at least 2 sites in the colour selected from the palette.
- Areas covered by at least 3 sites: Check the Areas covered by at least 3 sites check box if you want
Atoll to display all areas covered by at least 3 sites in the colour selected from the palette.
- Areas covered by all sites: Check the Areas covered by all sites check box if you want Atoll to display
all areas covered by all sites in the colour selected from the palette.
12. Select the Add to Legend check box to add the options defined on the Display tab to the Legend. For information
on the Legend window, see "Displaying the Map Legend" on page 29.
13. Click OK. Atoll displays results on the map.
To delete the line-of-sight areas:
1. Right-click the Sites folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab. The context menu appears.
2. Select Delete Line of Sight Areas from the context menu.

7.3 Creating Microwave Links


A microwave radio link, in Atoll, is a point-to-point fixed radio frequency link operating in either simplex or in duplex mode.
Duplex operation means that each radio frequency channel consists of a pair of frequencies, one for transmission and one
for reception. The baseband signal, containing the user data, occupies a limited bandwidth depending on the modulation
scheme used. This baseband signal is modulated onto a radio frequency carrier at the transmission end, and is transmitted
over the air as an electromagnetic wavefront. Microwave radio links are designed to operate between 300 MHz and
60 GHz.
A microwave link comprises two transmission/reception ends with antennas, transceiver equipment, etc., installed at both.
Atoll enables you to manage the microwave link parameters and their activity status globally or individually. A site can
support one or more microwave links or passive repeaters. Atoll enables you to create new microwave links by basing
them on templates or by setting all the parameters for each new link.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Definition of a Microwave Link" on page 185.
• "Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link" on page 188.
• "Defining Port Parameters" on page 189.
• "Placing a New Microwave Link Using the Microwave Link Template" on page 190.
• "Managing Microwave Link Templates" on page 190.
• "Modifying Microwave Sites and Microwave Links Directly on the Map" on page 191.
• "Display Tips for Microwave Sites and Links" on page 192.
• "Checking Data Consistency" on page 192.
• "Setting the Working Area of an Atoll Document" on page 192.

7.3.1 Definition of a Microwave Link


The parameters of a microwave link can be found in the microwave link’s Properties dialogue. The Properties dialogue
has seven tabs:
• The General tab:
- Name: The name of the microwave link.
- Under Site A: you can set the name of the site defining one extremity of the link. If the extremity of the link is
not located exactly on the site, you can modify its position under Antenna Position:
- Relative to Site: Select this option if you want to enter the antenna position as offsets with respect to the
site location, and then enter the x-axis and y-axis offsets, Dx and Dy, respectively.
- Coordinates: Select this option if you want to enter the coordinates of the antenna position, and then
enter the x-axis and y-axis coordinates, X and Y, respectively.
- Under Site B: you can set the name of the site defining the other extremity of the link. If the extremity of the
link is not located exactly on the site, you can modify its position under Antenna Position:
- Relative to Site: Select this option if you want to enter the antenna positions as offsets with respect to the
site location, and then enter the x-axis and y-axis offsets, Dx and Dy, respectively.
- Coordinates: Select this option if you want to enter the coordinates of the antenna positions, and then
enter the x-axis and y-axis coordinates, X and Y, respectively.
In Atoll, "A" is the site of departure and "B" is the site of arrival.

- Frequency band: The working frequency band of the microwave link.


- Length: The calculated length.
- Repeater P: The name of a passive repeater on the link.
- Repeater Q: The name of a second passive repeater on the link.
- Activity: The microwave link activity status. Only active microwave links are considered in reliability and inter-
ference analysis.
- Comments: Any comment about the microwave link.
• The Radio tab:

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Atoll User Manual

- A>>B and B>>A: The direction of the microwave link (A>>B: transmission from Site A to Site B, B>>A: trans-
mission from Site B to Site A). Select both options to make the microwave link bidirectional (i.e., to allow com-
munication in both ways).
- Under Antennas, you can define antennas and characteristics for the both sites of the link
- Model: The antenna model. By default, Atoll lists antennas that operate in the frequency band defined for

the microwave link. If you want, you can apply an additional filter by clicking the button ( ) beside the

antenna model field. When the filter is active, the appearance of the button changes ( ). In this case,
Atoll proposes in the list antennas compatible with the selected equipment as defined in the Antenna/
Equipment Compatibility table.
- Height/Ground: The antenna height with respect to the ground (in metres).
- Polarisation: The polarisation of the antenna to be used. This parameter helps Atoll determine which
antenna pattern diagrams to use for calculations.
- Az./Direct Ray: The azimuth with respect to the direct ray between the both extremities.
- Tilt./Direct Ray: The tilt with respect to the direct ray between the both extremities.
- Diversity Ant: You can define if a diversity antenna is used at either site to improve reception.
- Separation: The distance between the main and the diversity antennas when space diversity is used on
the site.
- Under Equipment, you can define equipment related parameters for the both sites of the link:
- Model: You can select a piece of equipment. By default, Atoll lists equipment that operates in the frequen-
cy band defined for the microwave link. If you want, you can apply an additional filter by clicking the button

( ) beside the antenna model field. When the filter is active, the appearance of the button changes

( ). In this case, Atoll proposes in the list equipment compatible with the selected antenna as defined
in the Antenna/Equipment Compatibility table.
- Maximum Power: The maximum power that the equipment can transmit. This parameter is taken from
the equipment properties.
- Tuning: Define a value different from 0 dB if you do not want to transmit at maximum power.
- Nominal power: The output power after tuning.
- ATPC: The power reserve used to increase the transmitted signal when it rains. This parameter can be
defined for biderectional links only. The value cannot exceed the Max ATPC value defined for the equip-
ment. ATPC value is considered in reliability and interference analysis only if power control is on. For infor-
mation on taking power control into consideration, see "Global Parameters" on page 156.
- Coordinated Power: The output power taken into account in calculations when power control is on.
- XPIC System: Select this option if the microwave link uses XPIC (Cross Polarisation Interference Cancel-
ler).
- Under Frequencies, you can define the following parameters:
- Sub-Band: The frequency sub-band. By default, Atoll lists all frequency sub-bands available for the mi-

crowave link frequency band. If you want, you can apply an additional filter by clicking the button ( )
beside the frequency sub-band field. When the filter is active, the appearance of the button changes

( ). In this case, Atoll provides in the list the sub-band, whose frequency spacing corresponds to the
standardised channel bandwidth calculated for the installed equipment.
- Frequency: The frequency on which the signal is transmitted. This value is used when no sub-band is
defined. By default, it equals the central frequency of the frequency band.
- Half-band: Define which half-band (either the upper or the lower half-band) is assigned to the site.
- Channels: The channel(s) allocated to the site. The corresponding frequency is indicated in brackets.
Channel(s) can be selected only after choosing a frequency sub-band.
- Port Settings: Click the Port Settings button to configure channel(s) in detail. The Ports Definition
dialogue appears. You can configure the channels, transmission and reception port numbers, values for
transmission and reception attenuation, the polarisation and the channel port status. The number of ports
you can define depends on the system configuration of the selected equipment and cannot exceed n+m
(where "n" is the number of channels in normal use and "m" is the number of channels available as
standby channels).
For further information on port settings, see "Defining Port Parameters" on page 189.

Note: Ports have to be configured if you use dual polarized antennas, radio equipment with 1+1
configuration and hot standby, or frequency diversity. For other configurations, port
settings is not mandatory; you can define either the frequency or the sub-band and
channels.

• The Connections tab:


- Under Waveguides and Cables, you can select up to two waveguides. For each of them, you can define if it
is used either for transmission or reception only, or for both transmission and reception directions and select
the waveguide model. By default, Atoll lists waveguides that operate in the frequency band defined for the

microwave link. If you want, you can apply an additional filter by clicking the button ( ) beside the antenna

model field. When the filter is active, the appearance of the button changes ( ). In this case, Atoll proposes

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

in the list, waveguides compatible with the selected antenna and equipment as defined in the Antenna/
Waveguide Compatibility and Antenna/Equipment Compatibility tables. You can also enter the length of
each waveguide. Atoll displays the attenuation.
- Under Connection Losses, you can define additional losses to be taken into account on transmission, recep-
tion, or on both transmission and reception. You can also add a Shielding Factor.
• The Geoclimatic tab:
- Current Methods: Under Current Methods, you can see the calculation methods used to analyse the micro-
wave link quality and availability. The methods displayed are those set on the Models tab of the Microwave
Radio Links Properties dialogue. For more information, see "Global Parameters" on page 156.
The geoclimatic parameters available depend on the selected quality and availability methods. To access all
geoclimatic parameters whatever the methods you have selected, click the Display All button available under
Current Methods.

The different geoclimatic parameters are described below:

- Atmospheric and Climatic Conditions: Under Atmospheric and Climatic Conditions, you can define the
conditions under which the microwave operates:
- Climatic Zone: Select the climatic zone that best describes the climate in which the microwave link oper-
ates. The climatic zones available depend on the calculation methods selected in the Models tab of the
Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue.
When using Crane as the availability calculation method, you can select the following climatic zones:

Climatic Zone Type Crane Global Rain Zone


Polar (Dry) A
Polar (Moderate) B
Cold (Dry) Dry B1
Temperate Continental (Dry) D1
Subtropical Arid (Dry) F
Cold (Moderate) B2
Continental
Temperate Continental (Moderate) D2
Temperate Continental (Wet) Continental humid D3
Temperate Maritime C
Subtropical Wet E
Humid
Tropical Moderate G
Tropical H

When using Vigants-Barnett as the quality calculation method, you can choose between Warm and Hu-
mid, Temperate and Dry.
- Temperature: Set the average temperature of the zone in which the microwave link operates. Clicking the

button ( ) beside the Temperature text box opens a dialogue where you can select the temperature
based on Rec. ITU-R P.1510-0, ITU-R P.835-3 (and select a season), or the temperature set in the geocli-
matic file. For more information on the geoclimatic file, see "Geoclimatic Maps" on page 108.
- Rec. ITU-R P.530: The parameters found under Rec. ITU-R P.530 are those recommended by ITU-R
P.530 to calculate the quality of the microwave link:

Water Vapour Density: Set the water vapour density in grams per cubic metre. Clicking the button ( )
beside the Water Vapour Density text box opens a dialogue where you can select the water vapour den-
sity based on Rec. ITU-R P.836-3 (and select the percentage of the average year where the defined water
vapour density is exceeded), or based on Rec. ITU-R P.835-3 (and select a season), or the water vapour
density set in the geoclimatic file. For more information on the geoclimatic file, see "Geoclimatic Maps" on
page 108. The dialogue also displays the water vapour pressure in hectopascals (hPa) calculated using
your data and based on Rec. ITU-R P.836-3.

Rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the average year: Set the rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the average year (or,

in other words, the rainfall observed 99.99% of the average year). Clicking the button ( ) beside the
Rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the average year text box opens a dialogue where you can select the rainfall
exceeded 0.01% of the average year based on Rec. ITU-R P.837-4 or the rainfall exceeded 0.01% of the
average year set in the geoclimatic file. For more information on the geoclimatic file, see "Geoclimatic
Maps" on page 108.

Atmospheric Pressure: Set the atmospheric pressure in grams per cubic metre. Clicking the button

( ) beside the Atmospheric Pressure text box opens a dialogue where you can select the atmospher-
ic pressure based on Rec. ITU-R P.835-3 (and select a season), or the atmospheric pressure set in the
geoclimatic file. For more information on the geoclimatic file, see "Geoclimatic Maps" on page 108.

Relative Humidity: The Relative Humidity displayed is calculated using the defined water vapour den-
sity.

Rec. ITU-R P.530-12: Under ITU-R P.530-12, you can enter the Rain Height (0°C Isotherm) in metres.
The rain height is the height of the top of the rain column above mean sea level from the 0°C isotherm.

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Atoll User Manual

Clicking the button ( ) beside the Rain Height text box opens a dialogue where you can select the rain
height based on Rec. ITU-R P.839-3 (and select a season), or the rain height set in the geoclimatic file.
For more information on the geoclimatic file, see "Geoclimatic Maps" on page 108.

- Refractivity: Under Refractivity, you can define the Refractivity gradient near the earth’s surface in

N-units per km. Clicking the button ( ) beside the Refractivity gradient near the earth’s surface text box
opens a dialogue where you can select the refractivity gradient based on Rec. ITU-R P.453-9, using a user-
defined reference altitude, or the refractivity gradient for less than 65 m., as well as the percentage of the year
that N is not exceeded, or the refractivity gradient set in the geoclimatic file. For more information on the geo-
climatic file, see "Geoclimatic Maps" on page 108.
Under Refractivity, the k factor median value, calculated using the set parameters, is displayed.

- Geoclimatic Factor: The parameters under Geoclimatic Factor are used to calculate the quality of the
microwave link and are broken down by calculation method. Under Geoclimatic Factor, you can set the fol-
lowing parameters:
- ITU-R P.530-5, -8 and Vigants-Barnett: Under ITU-R P.530-5, -8 and Vigants-Barnett, you can select
the Terrain Type. The terrain types available depend on the calculation methods selected on the Models
tab of the Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue. If you are using ITU-R P.530-5 or 530-8 meth-
ods, you can choose between "Open Areas" for terrestrial microwave links where the height of the lowest
antenna in the link is lower than 700 m, "Mountain" for terrestrial microwave links where the height of the
lowest antenna in the link is higher than 700 m, "Lake" for microwave links over an expanse of water and
"Overwater" for microwave links over an extended expanse of water. If you are using using the Vigants-
Barnett method, you can choose between "Flat Terrain", "Average Terrain" and "Montainous Terrain".
- ITU-R P.530-5, -8: Under ITU-R P.530-5, -8, you can define the PL factor. PL is the percent of time the
relative refractivity gradient is less than -100 N⁄Km. The PL factor can be found on the ITU-R maps.
- K.Q. Method: Under K.Q. Method, you can define K.Q. for the K.Q method. K models geo-climatic and
terrain effects on climate while Q is the factor for variables other than those dependent on distance and
frequency.
- ITU-R P.530: Under ITU-R P.530, you can define the K factor. K models geo-climatic and terrain effects

on climate. Clicking the button ( ) beside the K text box opens a dialogue where you can select the K
factor based on Rec. ITU-R P. 530-5 or Rec. ITU-R P. 530-8 (and select a terrain type and enter a value
for C0 and for the percentage of time the refractivity gradient (< 100 m.) is less than -100 N-units⁄km for
the worst average month) or based on Rec. ITU-R P. 530-10 and above (and select the simplified method
where you also define the refractivity gradient (< 65 m.) not exceeded during 1% of the average year or
select the method with terrain roughness taken into account where you define the refractivity gradient and
the terrain roughness).
- Vigants-Barnett: Parameters available under Vigants-Barnett depend on the option selected on the
Models tab of the Microwave Radio Links Properties dialogue. If you select the User-defined option
under Multipath Occurence, you can enter the C factor value, the propagation condition factor for Vi-
gants-Barnett method. If you select the Simplified Method option, Atolldisplays the C factor value corre-
sponding to the defined climate zone. If you select the Terrain-based Method option, Atoll displays the
C factor value corresponding to the defined climate zone and lets you define whether you want to take the
terrain roughness into account.
• The Reliability tab:
- Link Class: Under Link Class, you can select the link class. Each link class can have different performance
objectives. By assigning the link class with the appropriate performance objectives, you assign the perform-
ance objectives to the link. For information on creating a link class, see "Microwave Link Classes" on
page 154.

Clicking the Browse button ( ) opens the Properties dialogue of the selected link class.

Clicking the Objectives button opens a dialogue where you can view and modify the performance objectives
of the selected link class.

- Bit Error Rate: Under Bit Error Rate, you can set the values for BER 1 and BER 2. Atoll displays the
resulting sensitivity for each BER.
• The Propagation tab, you can define propagation-related parameters:
- Model used for the useful signal: Under Model used for the useful signal, you can select the propagation
model that will be used to calculate the path loss as well as the margin required for quality and availability for
the microwave link. If no propagation model is selected, the quality and availability of the link will be defined
by the respective target values defined in the link class.
- Model used for the interfering signal: Under Model used for the interfering signal, you can select the
propagation model that will be used to calculate interference.
• The Display tab, you can define the appearance of the microwave link and its extremities.

7.3.2 Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link


You can modify an existing microwave link or you can create a new microwave link. You can access the properties of a
microwave link, described in "Definition of a Microwave Link" on page 185, through the microwave link’s Properties

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

dialogue. How you access the Properties dialogue depends on whether you are creating a new microwave link or modi-
fying an existing microwave link.
To create or modify a microwave link:
1. If you are creating a new microwave link:
a. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
b. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
c. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
d. Select New from the context menu. The Links New Element Properties dialogue appears.
2. If you are modifying the properties of an existing site:
a. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
b. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
c. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Links folder.
d. Right-click the microwave link you want to modify. The context menu appears.
e. Select Properties from the context menu. The microwave link’s Properties dialogue appears.
3. Modify the parameters described in "Definition of a Microwave Link" on page 185.
4. Click OK.

7.3.3 Defining Port Parameters


In Atoll, ports are used to configure channel(s) in detail. They have to be defined if you use dual polarized antennas, radio
equipment with 1+1 configuration and hot standby, or frequency diversity. For other configurations, port settings is not
mandatory; you can define either a frequency or the channels used. You can configure port parameters for an individual
microwave link or for all microwave links.
To define port parameters for a single microwave link:
1. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
2. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Microwave Radio Links folder.
3. Click the Expand button ( ) to expand the Links folder.
4. Right-click the microwave link whose port parameters you want to define. The context menu appears.
5. Select Properties from the context menu. The Properties dialogue appears.
6. Select the Radio tab.
7. Under Frequencies, select a Sub-Band for the SiteA of the microwave link.
8. Click Apply. Additional parameters appear.
9. Defined the Half-band used on SiteA.
10. Click the Port Parameter Settings button. The Ports Definition dialogue appears.
11. Define the following parameters for each channel transmitted in one direction:
- Channel: The channel number. The corresponding frequency is indicated in brackets.
- Tx port: The port number for the transmitting equipment. The number must be from 1 to 10.
- Rx port: The port number for the receiving equipment. The number must be from 1 to 10.
- Transmission Attenuation: The transmission attenuation in dB.
- Reception Attenuation: The reception attenuation in dB.
- Polarisation: The signal polarisation.
- Status: Either select "Main" if the channel is active (channel "n"), "Standby" for a standby channel (channel
"m"), "Diversity" if it is used for frequency diversity. In case of frequency diversity, two channels with diversity
status are required.
The number of ports you can define depends on the system configuration of the selected equipment and cannot
exceed n+m.

After defining the configuration for one direction, you can define the opposite direction by clicking the Initialise
Symmetrically button.

12. Click OK. The Ports Definition dialogue closes.


13. Click OK.
To define port parameters for all microwave links:
1. Select the Data tab of the Explorer window.
2. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
3. Select Ports > Open table. The table opens.
Define the following parameters:

- Link: the name of the microwave link.

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- Way: the link direction (AB or BA).


- Channel: the channel number. The corresponding frequency is indicated in brackets.
- Tx port: the port number for the transmitting equipment. The number must be from 1 to 10.
- Rx port: the port number for the receiving equipment. The number must be from 1 to 10.
- Transmission Attenuation: the transmission attenuation in dB.
- Reception Attenuation: the reception losses attenuation in dB.
- Polarisation: the signal polarisation.
- Status: Either select "Main" if the channel is active (channel "n"), "Standby" for a standby channel (channel
"m"), "Diversity" if it is used for frequency diversity. In case of frequency diversity, two channels with diversity
status are required.

7.3.4 Placing a New Microwave Link Using the Microwave Link


Template
With Atoll, you can create new microwave links based on link templates. This allows you to build your network quickly with
consistent parameters.
You can create a microwave link in the following ways:
• Directly on the map between new or existing sites using a link template,
• On two existing sites using a link template,
To place a microwave link directly on the map using a link template:
1. In the Microwave toolbar, select a link template from the list.

2. Click the arrow next to New Link button ( ) on the Microwave toolbar.

3. Select Using The Mouse On The Map from the menu. The pointer changes ( ).
The sites that define the extremities of a microwave link can be already existing sites or Atoll will create new sites
automatically at the location you clicked on the map. Each site in Atoll can support several microwave links, trans-
mitters, and passive repeaters.

4. If you are placing a new microwave link on two new sites:

a. Click once on the map to indicate the location of the first end of the link. The pointer now changes ( ).
b. Click again on the map to indicate the location of the other end of the link.
5. If you are placing a new microwave link on two existing sites:
a. In the map window, click the site that you would like to use as one extremity of the microwave link. The site is
now one extremity of the microwave link. The pointer now changes ( ).
b. Move the pointer to the site that you would like to use as the other extremity of the microwave link and click it.
The microwave link is now created between the two sites.
To create a microwave link on two existing sites using a link template:
1. In the Microwave toolbar, select a link template from the list.

2. Click the arrow next to New Link button ( ) on the Microwave toolbar.
3. Select Between Sites from the menu. The Link Creation dialogue appears.
4. In the Link Creation dialogue, define the following parameters:
- Model: the link template you want to use in order to create the microwave link.
- Site A: the name of the site defining one extremity of the link.
- Site B: the name of the site defining the other extremity of the link.
5. Click OK.
By default, Atoll names the newly created microwave links in the following manner: SiteX – SiteY, where SiteX is the name
of the start site (existing or newly created) and SiteY is the name of the end site (existing or newly created).

7.3.5 Managing Microwave Link Templates


Atoll comes with microwave link templates, but you can also create and modify microwave link templates. The tools for
working with microwave link templates can be found on the Microwave toolbar (see Figure 7.112).

Figure 7.112: The Microwave toolbar

In this section, the following are explained:


• "Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link Template" on page 191
• "Adding a Field to a Microwave Link Template" on page 191

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• "Deleting a Microwave Link Template" on page 191

7.3.5.1 Creating or Modifying a Microwave Link Template


You can create a link template based on an existing microwave link.
To create a link template based on an existing microwave link
1. Right-click the microwave link you want to use as template in the Map window. The context menu appears.
2. Select Save As A Template from the context menu.
The new link template has the same parameters as the microwave link it is based on. It is available in the list of
the Microwave toolbar.

You can also create a link template based on a link template selected in the Link Template Properties dialogue. The new
link template has the same parameters as the one it is based on. Therefore, by selecting the existing link template that
most closely resembles the link template you want to create, you can create a new template by only modifying the param-
eters that differ.
As well, you can modify the properties of any link template.
To create a link template based on an existing link template or modify a link template:
1. In the Microwave toolbar, click the arrow to the right of the list.
2. Select Manage Templates from the list. The Link Template Properties dialogue appears.
3. You can now create a new link template or modify an existing one:
- To create a new link template: Under Available Templates, select the link template that most closely resem-
bles the link template you want to create and click Add. The Properties dialogue appears.
- To modify an existing link template: Under Available Templates, select the link template whose properties
you want to modify and click Properties. The Properties dialogue appears.
4. For information on the fields available in the open window, see "Modifying Microwave Sites and Microwave Links
Directly on the Map" on page 191.
5. Click OK.
The new link template will be available in the template menu.

7.3.5.2 Adding a Field to a Microwave Link Template


To add, modify or delete a field in the link templates:
1. In the Radio toolbar, click the arrow to the right of the list.
2. Select Manage Templates from the list. The Link Template Properties dialogue appears.
3. Click the Fields button.
4. In the dialogue that appears, click the Add button to add a field, the Properties button to modify properties, or the
Delete button to delete a user-defined field.
5. Click OK.

Note: If you add a field to the link templates, you must add an equivalent field to the Sites table
or the field will not be taken into account.

7.3.5.3 Deleting a Microwave Link Template


To delete a link template:
1. In the Radio toolbar, click the arrow to the right of the list.
2. Select Manage Templates from the list. The Link Template Properties dialogue appears.
3. Under Available Templates, select the template you want to delete.
4. Click the Delete button. The link template is deleted.
5. Click OK.

7.3.6 Modifying Microwave Sites and Microwave Links Directly on


the Map
In Atoll, you can access the Properties dialogue of a site or link using the context menu on the Data tab of the Explorer
window. However, in a complex radio-planning project, it can be difficult to find the data object on the Data tab, although
it might be visible in the map window. Atoll lets you access the Properties dialogue of sites and links directly from the
map. If there is more than one link between the same sites or if there are two sites in close proximity, clicking them in the
map window opens a context menu allowing you to select one link or site. You can also change the position of the site by
dragging it, or by letting Atoll find a higher location for it.

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Modifying sites and links directly on the map is explained in detail in "Chapter 1: The Working Environment":
• "Displaying the Properties of an Object" on page 18
• "Selecting One of Several Microwave Links" on page 19
• "Moving a Site Using the Mouse" on page 19
• "Moving a Site to a Higher Location" on page 19
• "Changing the Azimuth of the Antenna Using the Mouse" on page 19
• "Changing the Antenna Position Relative to the Site Using the Mouse" on page 20
• "Selecting Another Site for the Link Extremity Using the Mouse" on page 20.

7.3.7 Display Tips for Microwave Sites and Links


Atoll allows to you to display information about microwave links in a number of different ways. This enables you not only
to display selected information, but also to distinguish microwave links at a glance.
The following tools can be used to display information about microwave links:
• Label: You can display information about each object, such as each site or microwave link, in the form of a label
that is displayed with the object. You can display information from every field in that object type’s data table,
including from fields that you add. The label is always displayed, so you should choose information that you would
want to always be visible; too much information will lead to a cluttered display. For information on defining the
label, see "Defining the Object Type Label" on page 23.
• Tooltips: You can display information about each object, such as each site or microwave link, in the form of a
tooltip that is only visible when you move the pointer over the object. You can choose to display more information
than in the label, because the information is only displayed when you move the pointer over the object. You can
display information from every field in that object type’s data table, including from fields that you add. For informa-
tion on defining the tooltips, see "Defining the Object Type Tip Text" on page 24.
• Microwave link colour: You can set the microwave link colour to display information about the microwave link.
For example, you can select "Discrete Values" to distinguish microwave links by frequency bands, or to distinguish
inactive from active microwave links. For information on defining the microwave link colour, see "Defining the Dis-
play Type" on page 22.

7.3.8 Checking Data Consistency


You can perform an audit of the microwave link network. The audit allows you to verify the consistency and validity of some
data.
To perform an audit of the microwave link network:
1. Select Tools > Data Audit > Microwave Data Check from the context menu. The Microwave Data Check
dialogue appears.
2. In the Microwave Data Check dialogue, define the parameters of the audit:
- Frequency Consistency: Select this check box if you want the audit to verify:
- Frequency band definition: The minimum frequency must be lower than the maximum frequency.
- Frequency sub-band definition: The frequency band must be defined, excluded channels must belong to
the list of channels and at least one channel must be available.
- Link definition: at least one direction must be selected, the frequency defined must be within the frequency
band limits, the number of channels must not exceed the number of channels allowed by the equipment,
the channels must belong to the selected frequency sub-band, the frequency band of antennas, equip-
ment, waveguides and frequency sub-band must be the same as the link frequency band and, the antenna
vertical and horizontal patterns must be correctly aligned at the extremities (Antenna patterns are correctly
aligned when the horizontal pattern attenuation at 0° is the same as the vertical pattern attenuation at the
pattern electrical tilt angle, and when the horizontal pattern attenuation at 180° is the same as the vertical
pattern attenuation at the 180° less the pattern electrical tilt angle. Pattern attenuations are considered the
same if they differ less than 1 dB.)
- Undefined Records: Select this check box if you want the audit to verify if there are undefined multi-hops (i.e.,
multi-hops with no link), undefined point-to-multipoints (i.e., point-to-multipoints with no link), or unused
repeaters.
- Other (XPIC, Antenna Separation, etc.): Select this check box if you want the audit to verify that:
- XPIFvalue of the equipment is a non-zero value when XPIC system is used on a link.
- Antenna separation is a non-zero value when space diversity is used on a link.
- List All Verifications: Select this check box if you want to display all verifications performed in addition to
detected inconsistencies.
3. Click OK to perform the audit. Atoll displays the results of the audit in the Events Viewer.

7.3.9 Setting the Working Area of an Atoll Document


When you load project data from a database, you will probably only modify the data in the region for which you are respon-
sible. For example, a complex microwave link planning project may cover an entire region or even an entire country. You,
however, might be responsible for the planning for only one city. In such a situation, doing engineering and interference
studies that calculate the entire network would not only take a lot of time, it is not necessary. Consequently, you can restrict

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

engineering and interference studies to the sites and microwave links that you are interested in and generate only the
results you need.
In Atoll, there are two ways of restricting the number of sites and microwave links studied, each with its own advantages:
• Filtering the desired sites and microwave links
You can simplify the selection of sites and microwave links to be studied by using a filter. You can filter sites and
microwave links according to one or more fields, or you can create an advanced filter by combining several criteria
in several fields. You can create a graphic filter by either using an existing vector polygon or creating a new vector
polygon. For information on graphic filters, see "Filtering Data Using a Filtering Zone" on page 71. This enables
you to keep only the sites and microwave links with the characteristics you want to study.

For information on filtering, see "Filtering Data" on page 62.

• Setting a computation zone


Drawing a computation zone to encompass the sites and microwave links to be studied, limits the number of sites
and microwave links to be calculated, which in turn reduces the time necessary for calculations.

For information on computation zones, see "Using a Computation Zone" on page 30.

You can combine a computation zone and a filter, in order to create a very precise selection of the sites and microwave
links to be studied.
In addition, it is possible to set a focus zone in order to filter the results displayed in reports (link budgets, interference).
For information on focus zones, see "Using a Focus Zone" on page 31.

7.4 Analysing the Path Profile


Microwave links can be analysed in terms of the terrain and clutter profile between the two extremities in Atoll. In this
section, the following are explained:
• "Displaying the Path Profile" on page 193.
• "Determining Microwave Link Antenna Heights" on page 200.
• "Adding a Microwave Passive Repeater" on page 201.

7.4.1 Displaying the Path Profile


In this section, the following are explained:
• "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on page 193.
• "Studying Microwave Link Clearance" on page 194.
• "Managing Microwave Link Profile Display Options" on page 194.
• "Zooming In on the Profile" on page 194.
• "Printing a Microwave Link Profile" on page 195.
• "Displaying Microwave Link Clearance Values Along the Profile" on page 195.
• "Modifying Microwave Link Profile Values" on page 197

7.4.1.1 Viewing a Microwave Link Profile


In Atoll, you can make a profile analysis of a microwave link. Before studying a microwave link, you must configure its
antennas, equipment, its frequency band, and the propagation model you want to use. You can make a microwave link
profile analysis using the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window.
To open the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window:
1. Right-click the microwave link either directly on the map, or from the Links folder of the Explorer window’s Data
tab. The context menu appears.
2. Select Engineering > Profile Analysis from the context menu.

You can also open Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window using the Profile Analysis button ( ) in
the toolbar.
The Profile tab provides an interactive real-time display of the microwave link profile from site A to site B or vice versa. It
includes any passive repeaters composing the link. The altitude (in metres) is reported on the vertical axis and the distance
on the horizontal axis. A blue ellipsoid indicates the Fresnel zone between the transmitter and the receiver sites, with a
green line indicating the line of sight (LOS). Atoll displays the terrain height along the profile as well as clutter classes and
clutter heights when the visibility check box of the Clutter Classes folder on the Geo tab is selected. If you do not want to
display the clutter along the profile, you can clear the visibility check box of the Clutter Classes folder on the Geo tab.
Along the profile, if the signal meets an obstacle, this causes attenuation with diffraction displayed by a black vertical line
(if the propagation model used takes diffraction into account). The main peak is the one that intersects the Fresnel ellipsoid
the most. The diffraction attenuation is displayed above the peak.
When a repeater is inserted on the link, it is displayed in the profile tab by a vertical line in the profile. At the top of the
Microwave Link Analysis Tool window, you can select which part of the profile you want to display:
• Site A ==> Site P
• Site P ==> Site B
• Site B ==> Site P

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• Site P ==> Site A


• Site A ==> Site B (profile "broken" at Site P)
• Site B ==> Site A (profile "broken" at Site P)
When a second repeater (Q) is inserted on the link, the profile display options include Site Q as well.
You can left-click the Link button in the Profile tab and choose from the context menu:
• Properties to open the microwave link property dialogue.

7.4.1.2 Studying Microwave Link Clearance


The Profile tab allows you to display the clearance along the entire link profile. When displaying the clearance, you can
hide or display the Fresnel zones between the two extremities of the microwave link.
To hide or display the Fresnel zones:
1. Open the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on
page 193.
2. Select the microwave link to analyse.
3. Right-click the window where the profile is displayed. The context menu appears.
4. Select Display Fresnel ellipsoids from the context menu.
You can view the microwave link profile with two different values of the earth curvature factor (k factor). These values can

be set through the advanced options available by clicking the button ( ) opposite the Link list. Atoll displays the clear-
ance (%) and the penetration of the Fresnel zone for each value of k. In addition, it indicates the tilts/direct ray, the
azimuths, and the angles of incidence for both antennas.
The first Fresnel ellipsoid corresponding to the first k value is shown in blue, while the second related to the second k value
is shown in red. You can also display another Fresnel ellipsoid when a secondary antenna is installed at the receiver. If
there are obstructions in the path of the microwave link that introduce losses, a green coloured line is drawn from the trans-
mitter to the first obstacle’s highest point. A perpendicular from the horizontal axis is also drawn to mark the obstacle that
introduces the highest loss in the link, and the loss from this obstacle is displayed on the top of this perpendicular.
A common mode of operation would be to display the first Fresnel zone at 100% and the second at 60% so as to depict
the minimum clearance requirement directly on the profile. To manage the display of Fresnel ellipsoids, both first and
second, you have to access the Display options dialogue for the profile and modify these parameters.
Here, it is also possible to modify the antenna heights at both extremities manually and automatically, this feature is
described in detail in the Optimising microwave link antenna heights section.

Note: When 100% of the Fresnel ellipsoid is displayed, the clearance is referred to as F, F1 for
the first k factor value and F2 for the second one. When the percentage of the Fresnel
ellipsoid is different from 100%, the clearance is referred to as F’, F’1 for the first k factor
value and F’2 for the second one.

7.4.1.3 Managing Microwave Link Profile Display Options


The Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool enables you to manage parameters that affect the display of the
profile.
To open the microwave link profile display options window:
1. Open the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on
page 193.
2. Select the microwave link to analyse.
3. Right-click the window where the profile is displayed. The context menu appears.
4. Select Display Options from the context menu. The Profile Display Options dialogue appears.
5. On the Display tab, you can manage the horizontal and vertical axes graduations and the manner in which the
curvature of the Earth is displayed.
6. On the Ellipsoid and Antenna Beamwidth tab, you can define the percentages of the first and second Fresnel ellip-
soids to be shown, and whether you want to display the antenna beamwidths for transmitter and receiver sites.
7. On the Reflection tab, you can define whether the reflections should be displayed or not, and reflection paths you
want to display, either the unobstructed reflection paths only or both obstructed and unobstructed ones.
8. Click OK.

7.4.1.4 Zooming In on the Profile


Atoll enables you to zoom in on the profile.

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

To zoom in on the Profile:


1. Open the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on
page 193.
2. Select the microwave link to analyse.
3. Right-click the window where the profile is displayed. The context menu appears.
4. Select Zoom In from the context menu.
5. Click in the profile on one of the four corners of the area you want to select.
6. Drag to the opposite corner. When you release the mouse button, Atoll zooms in on the selected area.
To restore the initial profile:
1. Open the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on
page 193.
2. Select the microwave link to analyse.
3. Right-click the window where the profile is displayed. The context menu appears.
4. Select Actual Size (1:1) from the context menu.

7.4.1.5 Printing a Microwave Link Profile


You can print a microwave link profile.
To print the content of the Profile tab:
1. Open the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on
page 193.
2. Select the microwave link to analyse.
3. Right-click the window where the profile is displayed. The context menu appears.
4. Select Print from the context menu.
5. Click OK to print.

7.4.1.6 Displaying Microwave Link Clearance Values Along the Profile


You can display the clearance values of a microwave link using either the Profile tab or the Values tab of the Microwave
Link Analysis Tool.
In this section, the following are described:
• "Using the Profile Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 195
• "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196

7.4.1.6.1 Using the Profile Tab to Display Data of Each Point


You can use the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool to display details on each point along the microwave
link profile. Atoll displays the details in a separate window.
To display the details on a point of a microwave link profile:
1. Open the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link
Profile" on page 193.
2. Select the microwave link to analyse.
3. Right-click the window where the profile is displayed to open its context menu.
4. Select Display the current point information from the context menu. A separate window opens displaying
details of the selected point. (see Figure 7.113).
5. Move the pointer along the profile.
The window displays the following information for each selected point along the profile:

- Distance: The distance from the transmitting site.


- Total Height: The altitude of the ground level more the clutter height.
- Distance up to Optical Path: The clearance of the Fresnel ellipsoid for the first k factor value. This value is
relative to the line of sight and corresponds to the difference of height between the line of sight and the current
point.
- Fresnel Ellipsoid Radius: The radius of the Fresnel ellipsoid for the first k factor value.
- Pointer Altitude (z): The altitude of the pointer.

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Figure 7.113: Microwave Link Analysis window – Profile tab

As as you drag the pointer along the profile in the Microwave Link Analysis window, the pointer changes ( )
to indicate the location of the current point along the profile in the map window. When you place the pointer on this
special cursor, the following information appears in a tool tip:

- Coordinates: The cursor coordinates given in the display coordinate system.


- Distance: The distance from the transmitting site,
- Total Height: The altitude of the ground level more the clutter height,
- Clearance: The clearance of the Fresnel ellipsoid for the first k factor value. This value is relative to the line
of sight and corresponds to the difference of height between the line of sight and the current point,
- Fresnel Ellipsoid Radius: The radius of the Fresnel ellipsoid for the first k factor value,
- Pointer Altitude (z): The altitude of the pointer

7.4.1.6.2 Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point


You can use the Values tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool to view all the profile analysis data for each selected
point along the microwave link profile.
Values tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool to display details on each point along the microwave link profile. Atoll
displays the details in a separate window.
To display the profile data using the Values tab:
1. Right-click the microwave link either directly on the map, or from the Links folder of the Explorer window’s Data
tab. The context menu appears.
2. Select Engineering > Values from the context menu.
You can also access the Values tab by opening the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window and clicking the
Values tab.

The Values tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window displays the following values for each point along the
profile:

- Distance (m): the distance from the transmitting site,


- Height (m): the altitude of the ground level (from DTM files),
- Clutter: the clutter class,
- Clutter Height (m): the clutter height from clutter height files if available or from clutter class file,
- Category: the clutter category assigned to each clutter class when configuring the propagation model,
- Fresnel Radius (m): the radius of the Fresnel ellipsoid for the first k factor value
- Clearance (m): the clearance of the Fresnel ellipsoid for the first k factor value. This value is relative to the
line of sight and corresponds to the difference of height between the line of sight and the current point,
- Ellipsoid Penetration (%): the penetration of the current point in the lower half of the Fresnel ellipsoid (per-
centage of the ellipsoid radius penetrated by the current point). This value is relative to the bottom of the
Fresnel ellipsoid and is given for the first k factor value.

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

Figure 7.114: Penetration and clearance values on the Values tab

7.4.1.7 Modifying Microwave Link Profile Values


The geographic details provided on the Values tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool are stored in a table. The reso-
lution of the information given depends on the resolution of the geographic data: information is given every X metres,
where X is the highest resolution of clutter class and DTM maps.
You can modify some profile values at any point along the profile and immediately check the impact of these modifications
in the Profile tab.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Editing Profile Values" on page 197
• "Displaying Reflection and Vegetation Zones" on page 198
• "Copying and Pasting Profile Values" on page 199
• "Exporting Profile Values" on page 199
• "Importing Profile Values" on page 199
• "Saving the Edited Profile Values" on page 199
• "Refreshing the Profile Values" on page 199

7.4.1.7.1 Editing Profile Values


Some values (e.g., the altitude, the clutter class, the clutter height and the clutter category) can be edited in the table or
using the mouse.
To edit the profile values in the table:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Edit the content of the table by entering the value directly in the field. You can edit the following columns:
- Altitude: The altitude (DTM)
- Clutter: The clutter class
- Clutter Height: The clutter height
- Category: The clutter category.
3. Click elsewhere in the table when you have finished updating the table.
To edit profile values using the mouse:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).

Figure 7.115: The Values tab when editing.

3. Right-click the profile view.

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Atoll User Manual

4. Select Zoom In from the context menu.


5. In the profile, click one of the four corners of the area you want to select.
6. Drag to the opposite corner and release the mouse button. Atoll zooms in on the selected area.
7. Select one of the following columns in the table:
- Altitude: Select Altitude if you want to edit ground altitudes (see Figure 7.116).

Figure 7.116: Ground in edit mode.

i. Click the point you want to edit. The pointer changes ( ).


ii. Drag the point to its new altitude.
- Clutter Height: Select Clutter Height if you want to edit clutter heights (see Figure 7.117).

Figure 7.117: Clutter heights in edit mode.

i. Click the point you want to edit. The pointer changes ( ).


ii. Drag the point to its new clutter height.
- Clutter: Select Clutter if you want to edit clutter classes (see Figure 7.118). The clutter classes are displayed
with lines separating the clutter classes if clutter heights are defined or with points if clutter heights are not
defined.

Figure 7.118: Clutter classes in edit mode.

i. Click the line or point. The pointer changes ( ).


ii. Drag the line or point to change the area with the corresponding clutter class.
- Category: Select Category if you want to edit clutter categories (see Figure 7.119). You can see lines sepa-
rating the clutter categories.

Figure 7.119: Clutter categories in edit mode.

i. Click the line. The pointer changes ( ).


ii. Drag the line to change the area with the corresponding clutter category.

7.4.1.7.2 Displaying Reflection and Vegetation Zones


When you are editing the profile as explained in "Editing Profile Values" on page 197, you can view reflection areas and
vegetation zones.

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

To display reflection areas and vegetation zones:


1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).
3. Right-click the profile view and select one of the following options from the context menu:
- Display Reflection Areas: Select Display Reflection Areas to view reflection areas taken into account in
the reflection analysis and reflecting paths. Reflection areas are displayed with a pattern ( ).
- Display Slopes: Select Display Slopes to view the slope of the selected reflection area. You must already
have selected Display Reflection Areas if you want to Display Slopes.
- Display Vegetation Zones with Foliage: Select Display Vegetation Zones with Foliage to view zones with
foliage that Atolltakes into account when calculating vegetation losses. Zones with foliage are displayed with
with a pattern ( ).
- Display Vegetation Zones without Foliage: Select Display Vegetation Zones without Foliage to view
vegetation zones without foliage that Atolltakes into account when calculating vegetation losses. Vegetation
zones without foliage are displayed with with a pattern ( ).
- Hide Zones: Select Hide Zones to hide reflection areas and vegetation zones.

7.4.1.7.3 Copying and Pasting Profile Values


You can copy and paste some profile values such as altitude, clutter classes, clutter heights, and clutter categories in the
table.
To copy and paste profile values in the table:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).
3. Click the cell with the data you want to copy and drag to select the cells into which you want to copy the data.
4. Copy into the selected cells:
- To copy the contents of the clipboard into the selected cells, click the Actions button and select Paste.
- To copy the contents of the top cell of the selection into the other cells, press CTRL+D.
- To copy the contents of the bottom cell of the selection into the other cells, press CTRL+U.

7.4.1.7.4 Importing Profile Values


You can import data in the form of ASCII text files (in TXT and CSV formats) into the table of the Values tab. Only editable
values (i.e., altitude, clutter classes, clutter heights, and clutter categories) can be imported.
To import data into the table:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).
3. Click the Actions button and select Import. The Import dialogue appears.
4. Define import settings as explained in "Importing Tables from Text Files" on page 50.

7.4.1.7.5 Exporting Profile Values


You can export the entire table or selected columns to ASCII text files (in TXT or CSV formats) and MS Excel files.
To export profile values:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).
3. Click the Actions button and select Export. The Export dialogue appears.
4. Define export settings as explained in "Exporting Tables to Text Files" on page 49.

7.4.1.7.6 Saving the Edited Profile Values


When you edit the data in the profile table, the changes are not automatically saved and will be lost if you select another
link or if you close the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window. If you want, you can save them in the link properties.
To save the edited profile values:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).
3. Click the Actions button and select Commit Values to Link.

7.4.1.7.7 Refreshing the Profile Values


You can restore the original link profile values from the geographic data diles and replace the edited values.
To restore the original link profile values:
1. Open the Values tab as explained in "Using the Values Tab to Display Data of Each Point" on page 196.
2. Click the Edit button. The Value tab displays a table and a profile view (see Figure 7.115).

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3. Click the Actions button and select Refresh Geo Data.

7.4.2 Determining Microwave Link Antenna Heights


When designing a microwave link network, you should define the antenna height to avoid any obstruction of the line-of-
sight signal and reflections.
In Atoll, you can modify or optimise microwave links antenna heights. Using the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Anal-
ysis Tool window, you can modify antenna heights using the mouse or enter new values and see the clearance and pene-
tration parameters displayed.
Atoll allows you to calculate and adjust the microwave link antenna heights at the two extremities to their optimum values.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Defining Microwave Antenna Heights" on page 200
• "Defining Microwave Antenna Heights" on page 200
• "Automatically Optimising Microwave Antenna Heights" on page 200.

7.4.2.1 Adjusting Microwave Antenna Heights Using the Mouse


You can use the mouse to modify the antenna height of the extremity of a microwave link on the Profile tab of the Micro-
wave Link Analysis Tool window.
To modify antenna heights using the mouse:
1. Open the Profile tab as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on page 193.

2. Click the antenna height pointer ( ) (the pointer changes ) and drag it up or down to modify the antenna
height.
3. Right-click the antenna height pointer ( ). The context menu appears.
4. Select Save Hx and Tilt, where "x" is either "a" or "b" depending on the site, from the context menu. Atoll saves
the current antenna height and tilt in the microwave link.

Note: You can specify a maximum pylon height for the receiving and transmitting sites not to be
exceeded. This parameter can be defined on the Other Properties tab of the Properties
dialogue for each site. When defined, these height limits are displayed on the Profile tab.

7.4.2.2 Defining Microwave Antenna Heights


You can enter a new height for the antenna of the extremity of a microwave link on the Profile tab of the Microwave Link
Analysis Tool window.
To modify the antenna height:
1. Open the Profile tab as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on page 193.

2. Click the button beside the microwave links list ( ) and enter the exact antenna height.
3. Right-click the antenna height pointer ( ). The context menu appears.
4. Select Save Hx and Tilt, where "x" is either "a" or "b" depending on the site, from the context menu. Atoll saves
the current antenna height and tilt in the microwave link.

Note: You can specify a maximum pylon height for the receiving and transmitting sites not to be
exceeded. This parameter can be defined on the Other Properties tab of the Properties
dialogue for each site. When defined, these height limits are displayed on the Profile tab.

7.4.2.3 Automatically Optimising Microwave Antenna Heights


Atoll enables you to automatically calculate antenna heights in order to avoid reflections and profile obstructions.
To perform an automatic optimisation for an antenna:
1. Open the Profile tab as explained in "Viewing a Microwave Link Profile" on page 193.
2. Right-click the antenna height pointer ( ). The context menu appears.
3. Select Optimisation Method from the context menu. The Height Optimisation dialogue appears.
4. Select the optimisation method:
- Clearance Condition Method: The Clearance Condition Method is based on the clearance of the Fresnel
ellipsoid. You can enter one or two values of the k factor and define for each of them a target clearance. Atoll
will determine antenna heights in order to fulfil the highest constraint.

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If you have out-of-date clutter class maps, you can estimate the growth of vegetation (Projected tree or foli-
age growth). Atoll takes this value into account for clutter categories from 6 to 14 and adds it to the clutter
height.

- Minimum Diffraction Loss Method: Atoll determines antenna heights to minimise diffraction losses due to
the main obstacle (i.e., it calculates antenna heights to get a clearance of 60% of the first Fresnel zone).
5. Select the Take into account the reflection areas check box and define the range of k factor values (kmin and
kmax) to be used during the antenna height optimisation if you want to take reflection into consideration.
6. Click OK.
7. Right-click the the antenna height pointer ( ) for the site whose antenna height you want to optimise.The context
menu appears.
8. Choose Optimise to calculate the optimum antenna heights for both extremities.
You can also use the context menu to lock the antenna height. This enables you to prevent the antenna height
from being modified during the optimisation process. Only the height of the other antenna (assuming it is not loced
as well) will be calculated to optimise the link. Furthermore, you can always restore the last antenna height value
by selecting Restore from the same menu.

9. Right-click the antenna height pointer ( ). The context menu appears.


10. Select Save Ha, Hb and Tilts from the context menu to save the current antenna heights and tilts in the microwave
link.
This feature is only available for unbroken microwave link profiles, i.e., it is not accessible for microwave link
profiles involving one or more repeaters. It enables you to calculate optimum antenna heights for two-site micro-
wave link profiles (e.g., Site Site B or Repeater P Site B).

Note: You can specify a maximum pylon height for the receiving and transmitting sites not to be
exceeded. This parameter can be defined in each site properties dialogue (Other
Properties tab). If defined, these height limits are represented on the Profile tab.

7.4.3 Adding a Microwave Passive Repeater


Passive repeaters are normally used to redirect the microwave signal around an obstruction. Passive repeaters divide the
radio path into two branches, each traversing different type terrain, normally having different lengths and different inclina-
tions. This implies different propagation conditions for these two branches concerning fading, distortions and rain etc. Due
to this property of passive repeaters they are also referred to as "beam benders".
Passive repeaters have the following advantages over active sites:
• No power is required
• No regular road access is required
• No equipment housing is needed
• They are environmentally friendly
• Little or no maintenance is required.
These advantages mean that passive repeaters can be placed in relatively inaccessible areas.
There are two main types of passive repeaters. The first type is where two antennas are placed back to back connected
by a short feeder cable; these are called back-to-back antenna passive repeaters. The second type is a plane reflector
type passive repeater where a flat metal reflector is used to redirect the signal; these are often called passive reflectors
or plane reflectors.
Atoll can model both types of passive repeaters and provide you with access to all the relevant parameters. The following
sections explain how Atoll models passive repeaters.
In Atoll, a "repeater" is always a "passive repeater."
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Description of a Passive Repeater" on page 201.
• "Creating or Modifying a Passive Repeater" on page 202.
• "Placing a Passive Microwave Repeater on the Map Using the Mouse" on page 202.

7.4.3.1 Description of a Passive Repeater


The parameters of a passive repeater can be found in the passive repeater’s Properties dialogue. The Properties
dialogue has two tabs:
• The General tab
- Name: The passive repeater name.
- Site: The site where the repeater is located (from the Sites table).
- Antenna Position: You can modify the Antenna Position, if you wish.
- Relative to Site: Select this option if you want to enter the antenna position as offsets with respect to the
site location, and then enter the x-axis and y-axis offsets, Dx and Dy, respectively.
- Coordinates: Select this option if you want to enter the coordinates of the antenna position, and then
enter the x-axis and y-axis coordinates, X and Y, respectively.

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- Frequency Band: The operating frequency band of the passive repeater and its position relative to the site.

You can access the Properties of the selected site and frequency band by clicking the Browse button ( ) next
to the corresponding item.

• The Type tab


- Type: Define whether the passive repeater is a reflector type or back-to-back antenna type repeater.
- For a reflector type repeater, define these parameters:
- Surface: The surface area for the repeater.
- Height: The reflector height.
- Azimuth: The azimuth towards the site of transmission.
- Tilt: The tilt angle towards the site of transmission.

You can click the Calculate button ( ) to automatically calculate azimuth and tilt angles.
- For a back-to-back antenna type repeater, define the following parameters:
- Under Antenna1, you can choose the antenna, define the antenna height, the azimuth and tilt angles to-
wards the site of transmission.
- Under Antenna2, you can choose the antenna, define the antenna height, the azimuth and tilt angles to-
wards the site of reception, and specify whether the antennas have a crossed polarisation.
- Under Waveguide, you can choose the waveguide and define the length. By default, Atoll lists
waveguides that operate in the frequency band defined for the repeater. If you want, you can apply an

additional filter by clicking the button ( ) beside the model field. When the filter is active, the appear-

ance of the button changes ( ). In this case, Atoll proposes in the list waveguides compatible with the
selected antennas as defined in the Antenna/Guides Compatibility table.

You can click the Calculate button ( ) to automatically calculate azimuth and tilt angles.

7.4.3.2 Creating or Modifying a Passive Repeater


You can modify an existing passive repeater or you can create a new passive repeater. You can access the properties of
a passive repeater, described in "Description of a Passive Repeater" on page 201, through the passive repeater’s Prop-
erties dialogue. How you access the Properties dialogue depends on whether you are creating a new passive repeater
or modifying an existing passive repeater.
To create or modify a passive repeater:
1. If you are creating a new passive repeater:
a. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
b. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
c. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
d. Select Passive Repeaters > New from the context menu. The Passive Repeaters New Element Properties
dialogue appears.
2. If you are modifying the properties of an existing site:
a. Click the Data tab in the Explorer window.
b. Click the Expand button ( ) to the left of the Microwave Radio Links folder to expand the folder.
c. Right-click the Links folder. The context menu appears.
d. Select Passive Repeaters > Open Table from the context menu. The Passive Repeaters table appears.
e. Right-click the passive repeater in the Passive Repeaters table. The context menu appears.
f. Select Record Properties from the context menu. The passive repeater’s Properties dialogue appears.
3. Modify the parameters described in "Description of a Passive Repeater" on page 201.
4. Click OK.

Tip: If you are creating several passive repeaters at the same time, or modifying several
existing passive repeaters, you can do it quickly by editing or pasting the data directly in
the Passive Repeaters table. You can open the Passive Repeaters table by right-
clicking the Links folder on the Data tab of the Explorer window and selecting Passive
Repeaters > Open Table from the context menu. For information on copying and pasting
data, see "Copying and Pasting in Tables" on page 47.

7.4.3.3 Placing a Passive Microwave Repeater on the Map Using the Mouse
In Atoll, you can create a passive microwave repeater and place it using the mouse. When you create a passive micro-
wave repeater, you can add it to an existing site, or have Atoll automatically create a new site.

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Atoll permits a maximum of 2 passive repeaters in a single microwave link. The following terms are used in Atoll for
passive repeaters and related parameters:
• Passive repeaters (maximum 2) along a microwave link are named repeater P and repeater Q respectively.
• A part of the link is called a "Section." A section can be:
- One of the directions of a bi-directional link.
- One of the trajectories towards a repeater (if any).
- For example:
- Unidirectional link without repeater: 1 section, Site A Site B
- Bi-directional link without repeater: 2 sections, Site A Site B and Site B Site A
- Bi-directional link with 2 repeaters: 6 sections, Site A Site P, Site P Site Q, Site Q Site B, Site B Site Q,
Site Q Site P, Site P Site A.
To create a passive microwave repeater and place it using the mouse:
1. Select the microwave link. You can select it from the Links folder of the Explorer window’s Data tab, or directly
on the map.

2. Click the arrow next to New Repeater button ( ) on the Microwave toolbar.

3. Select Panel Reflector or Back-to-back Antennas from the menu according to the type of passive repeater you
want to create.

4. Click the map to place the repeater. The repeater is placed on the map, represented by the site symbol ( ).
Atoll automatically creates a new repeater in the Passive Repeaters table and a new site in the Sites table that
is assigned to the newly created repeater. The operating frequency band of the repeater is the frequency band
assigned to the microwave link and azimuth(s) for the repeater antenna(s) are calculated according to the direc-
tions of the two sections of the microwave link.

For information on defining the properties of the new microwave passive repeater, see "Description of a Passive
Repeater" on page 201.

Note: You can also insert a repeater in a microwave link by selecting Insert Repeater from the
microwave link’s context menu and then clicking on the microwave link where you want to
insert the repeater.

7.5 Analysing Microwave Link Reliability


Reliability is the general term used to refer to the quality and availability of a microwave link obtained through assessing
its performance according to the criteria defined in the relevant performance objectives. Ideally, a microwave link should
be completely reliable 100% of the time. In practice, this performance level is never achieved over any microwave link due
the continuously changing propagation conditions and possible problems in the equipment.
The objective of carrying out reliability analyses is to estimate the non-availability or outage of a microwave link on annual
basis and to determine the quality of connection over worst case or average monthly scenarios. Reliability analysis takes
into consideration the parameters of fade margin, diffraction loss, average annual temperature, terrain roughness calcu-
lations, radio parameters, antenna parameters, transmission and reception parameters and other miscellaneous losses.
A microwave link reliability analysis determines whether a designed system will operate successfully.
In this section, the following are explained:
• "Analysing a Single Microwave Link" on page 203.
• "Analysing Microwave Links" on page 206.
• "Performing a End-to-End Reliability Analysis" on page 208.

7.5.1 Analysing a Single Microwave Link


When you create a microwave link, you can study it to test the effectiveness of the set parameters.
Before analysing the microwave link reliability, you must assign a propagation model, define the microwave link class and
related performance objectives and set the calculation parameters.
The propagation model takes the radio and geographic data into account and computes losses along the microwave link
path. This allows you to predict the received signal level and to calculate the thermal fade margin. You can assign a prop-
agation model to all microwave links at once, to a group of microwave links, or to a single microwave link. Assigning a
propagation model is explained in "Using Propagation Models in Microwave Projects" on page 151.
Microwave link classes are used to differentiate microwave link types and give target performance objectives to microwave
links. You can assign a link class to all microwave links at once, to a group of microwave links, or to a single microwave
link. Assigning a link class is explained in "Defining Microwave Link Classes and Performance Objectives" on page 154.
Calculation parameters include global parameters applied to all microwave links and link parameters such as geoclimatic
and reliability parameters defined per link. Defining global parameters is explained in "Global Parameters" on page 156.
Setting link parameters is explained in "Link Parameters" on page 159.

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In this section, the following are explained:


• "Calculating Microwave Link Required Margins" on page 204
• "Calculating a Microwave Link Budget" on page 204.
• "Modifying Microwave Link Calculation Parameters" on page 205.
• "Configuring the Link Budget Report Display" on page 206.
• "Printing and Exporting the Link Budget Report" on page 206

7.5.1.1 Calculating Microwave Link Required Margins


Atoll allows you to determine the margins required by the microwave link to meet the performance objectives defined in
the link class. The microwave link required margins are listed on the EPO tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool
window.
To calculate the microwave link required margins:
1. Right-click the microwave link either directly on the map, or from the Links folder of the Explorer window’s Data
tab. The context menu appears.
2. Choose Engineering > Required Margin from the context menu.
This will open the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window with the EPO tab displayed by default. This tab contains the
report generated after the calculation of required margins. This is a comprehensive report and can be configured as
described in the Configuring the performance objectives report display section.
Microwave link required margin results on the EPO tab include the following information:
• Link Specifications: Including the information about the sites at the two extremities of the link (name, location,
altitude and coordinate system), the equipment installed at each site (name, compatible digital hierarchy, modu-
lation used, capacity, rate, minimal channel bandwidth and the configuration), the operating frequency band of the
microwave link, its length and calculation parameters (propagation model, models for availability and quality cal-
culations, whether discrimination reduction and enhancements are taken into account).
• Performance Objectives taken into account: The performance objectives considered in the margin calcula-
tions, i.e., quality objectives (SESR, ESR, BBER) and availability objectives (SESR, ESR, BBER).
• Rx Level: The reception level information at the receiver including the Bit Error Rate and the receiver sensitivity.
• Quality (Clear-Air): The data related to the margin calculations and results (acquired margin against dispersive
fading, margin against enhancements, margin against discrimination reduction, calculated and required thermal
fade margins and calculated and required composite fade margins) and the required total margin.
• Availability (Rain): The data related to the margin calculations and results (the error performance parameters,
their relevant required error performance objective probabilities and required margins) and the total required
margin.
• Requirements: the required output power you can compare to the current output power displayed in brackets,
how much you have to decrease or increase the maximum power and the required antenna diameter.

7.5.1.2 Calculating a Microwave Link Budget


Atoll provides you with a detailed microwave link budget tool. This tool generates a comprehensive report for each studied
microwave link as detailed below.
Moreover, the results provided in this report are calculated in real-time. Therefore, it is possible to modify the properties
of the microwave link, or the calculation parameters, and immediately display the impact of the modifications in the Micro-
wave Link Analysis Tool window (both Profile and Report tabs). Furthermore, any modifications made to the profile of
the microwave link using the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window or any modifications in the geog-
raphy of the microwave link profile made through the Values tab are taken into account in the link budget on the Report tab.
To generate a microwave link budget for a single microwave link:
1. Right-click the microwave link either directly on the map, or from the Links folder of the Explorer window’s Data
tab. The context menu appears.
2. Select Engineering > Report from the context menu.
You can also open the Report tab by opening the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window and clicking the Report tab.
The Report tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window contains the link budget for the link being studied. Micro-
wave link budget results on the Report tab include the following information:
• Summary: Under Summary, you can read whether quality and availability objectives have been reached for both
directions of the link and the specified BER values, a global estimation of the cut off duration over an average year
taking into account both link quality and availability, a basic budget including the operating frequency band, the
link length, the thermal fade margin, the worst month quality (in % of time) and the average annual availability (in
% of time), a snapshot from the Profile tab of the Microwave Link Analysis Tool window in order to facilitate direct
visualisation and printing of the link profile with the link budget report and an extract of the map window showing
the studied link and the surrounding area.
• Link specifications: Information relating to the microwave link design; site names, locations, and altitudes for
both extremities, repeaters (if any), antennas used at both sites with their respective models, heights, azimuths,
tilts, gains, diameters and near fields, diversity antennas and repeater back-to-back antenna details such as the
models, heights, azimuths, tilts, gains and diameters, microwave transceiver equipment installed at both sites with
details such as the models, digital hierarchy employed, modulation used, data rates, minimal channel bandwidths,
capacities and configurations.
• Transmission parameters: Transmission related parameters for both extremities of the microwave link including
the EIRP, ATPC effects, transmitter powers, passive repeater gains (if any), total losses comprising filter losses,

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Chapter 7: Microwave Link Project Management

connection losses, shared losses, shielding losses, port connection losses, and waveguides and cable losses,
polarisation at both sites, and the port and the channel for which the calculations have been performed (maybe
the central frequency of the microwave link’s operating frequency band).
• Port Configuration: Port configuration related parameters for both directions, the channel, the corresponding fre-
quency, the polarisation, if it is a main channel or a standby channel or a channel for frequency diversity, the trans-
mission and reception port numbers, the port circulator and attenuator losses.
• Reception parameters: Reception related parameters for both ends of the microwave link including the bit error
ratios and sensitivities at the receivers, overflow thresholds, thermal noise, the required C/I and total losses at
reception comprising filter losses, connection losses, shared losses, shielding losses, port connection losses, and
waveguides and cable losses.
• Geoclimatic parameters: Information about the type of environment and the climatic zone in which the link is
operating, climatic factor, rain intensity (exceeding 0.01% of time), PL percentage, temperature, water vapour den-
sity, earth curvature factor (k), effective earth curvature factor (ke) and the geoclimatic factor K.
• Calculation parameters: Parameters according to which the calculations for the link budget have been performed
such as the calculation methods used (propagation model, quality model, availability model, interference, if
enhancements and discrimination reduction are ignored, space diversity and frequency diversity), quality objec-
tives (SESR, ESR, BBER), and availability objectives (SESR, ESR, BBER).
• Propagation: the nominal received signal level, propagation results for both directions of the microwave link
including total attenuation, free space loss, losses due to dry air, losses due to water vapour, diffraction losses,
vegetation attenuation (displayed for information only because it is taken into consideration in total attenuation),
antenna losses and tropospheric scattering, epsilon and the type of path (LOS or NLOS).
• Non-quality due to multi-path (Clear-Air): Results depicting the quality of the microwave link in both directions,
for specified BER values and when interference is not taken into account. These results include the outage prob-
ability, the non-outage probability and the outage period for the worst month, the outage probability, the non-
outage probability and the outage period for the average year, performance objectives (probabilities of SESR
(required), ESR (required), BBER (required)), details for the worst month (dispersive fading, selective fading,
fading due to discrimination reduction, enhancement forecast).
• Unavailability due to rain: Results depicting the unavailability of the microwave link due to rain in both direction,
for specified BER values and when interference is not taken into account. These results include the outage prob-
ability, the non-outage probability and the outage period for the worst month, the outage probability, the non-
outage probability and the outage period for the average year, performance objectives (probabilities of SESR
(required), ESR (required), BBER (required)), details for the average year (rain fading, rain attenuation, fading due
to discrimination reduction).
• Unavailability due to faults: Results depicting the unavailability of the microwave link due to equipment failure.
These results include availability of hot standby, outage probability due to faults for the average year and the
outage period for the average year and the performance objective.
This is a comprehensive report and can be configured as described in "Configuring the Link Budget Report Display" on
page 206.

7.5.1.3 Modifying Microwave Link Calculation Parameters


You can study the influence of some parameters on the microwave link engineering by changing some calculation options.
To modify analysis parameters for a link:
1. In the Report tab (or the EPO tab), click the Actions button. The context menu appears.
2. Select Analysis Parameters for the Hop. The Hop Analysis Parameters dialogue appears.
3. You can set the following options:
- Take Space Diversity Into Account: If you want to take space diversity into account, select the Take Space
Diversity into Account check box and define the following:
- Distance between antennas: Define the distance between main and diversity antennas.
- Gain difference between antennas: Define the difference of gain between both antennas.
- Take Frequency Diversity Into Account: If you want to take frequency diversity into account, select the Take
Frequency Diversity into Account check box and define the number of separation channels.
- Inverse Polarisation: Select the Inverse Polarisation check box if you want to take inverse polarisation into
account.
4. When you have finished modifying analysis parameters, click one of the following:
- Save in the Link: Click Save in the Link to save these changes in the microwave link properties and click
OK to close the dialogue.
- OK: Click OK without clicking Save in the Link to check the impact of the selected options on the report
without modifying the microwave link properties.
To modify calculation parameters for analysis:
1. In the Report tab (or the EPO tab), click the Actions button. The context menu appears.
2. Select Calculation Parameters. The M