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You are on page 1of 15

26, 53–67, 2010

A NEW RAIN ATTENUATION CONVERSION TECH-

NIQUE FOR TROPICAL REGIONS

A. Y. Abdulrahman, T. A. Rahman, S. K. A. Rahim

and M. R. Ul Islam

Wireless Communication Centre (WCC)

Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik

Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM)

81310, Skudai-Johor, Malaysia

Abstract—Rain attenuation is one of the most crucial factors to

be considered in the link budget estimation for microwave satellite

communication systems, operating at frequencies above 10 GHz. This

paper presents a mathematical model for converting terrestrial rain

attenuation data to be used for satellite applications at Ku-band.

In the proposed technique, the ITU-R P 618-9, together with a

combination of ITU-R P 530-12 and the revised Moupfouma model

have been adopted for satellite and terrestrial rain attenuation

predictions, respectively. The model has been used for transforming

the measured rain attenuation data of some DIGI MINI-LINKS

operating at 15 GHz in Malaysia, to be used for MEASAT 2

applications. It was found that the model predictions are fairly

reasonable when compared with direct beacon measurements in

Malaysia and similar tropical locations. The model will provide a

relatively accurate method for transforming the measured terrestrial

rain attenuation to be used for satellite applications; and therefore

substantially reduce the cost of implementing Earth-satellite links in

some tropical regions that have suﬃcient rain attenuation data for the

terrestrial links.

1. INTRODUCTION

In the design of Earth-space links for communication systems,

several factors must be put into consideration. These factors

include absorption in atmospheric gases; absorption, scattering and

Received 21 June 2010, Accepted 17 September 2010, Scheduled 27 September 2010

Corresponding author: A. Y. Abdulrahman (abdulrahman.yusuf@yahoo.com).

54 Abdulrahman et al.

depolarization by hydrometeors such as clouds and precipitation [1].

All these eﬀects must be considered as they are the causes of

signal impairment for both terrestrial and Earth-satellite systems;

with rainfall being the most crucial especially at frequencies above

10 GHz. The eﬀect of rainfall is more severe in tropical regions which

are characterized by heavy rainfall intensity and presence of large

raindrops [2, 3]. Raindrop size distribution changes with geographical

location and it can strongly inﬂuence rain speciﬁc attenuation and,

consequently, total rain attenuation.

The rain-attenuation analyses are important for the study of the

rain fade characteristics, which is a useful piece of information in the

link budget estimation for predicting the expected outage as a result of

rain attenuation on a microwave link [4, 5]. Long-term rain attenuation

data are usually available for the terrestrial links in most tropical

regions and so there is the need to convert them for use in satellite

applications. This has become imperative because of the fact that

these regions do not have suﬃcient earth-satellite data, which is useful

in the preliminary design of earth-satellite microwave links.

There are two broad classes of rain attenuation predictions on

any microwave link: The analytical models which are based on

physical laws governing electromagnetic wave propagation and which

attempt to reproduce the actual physical behavior in the attenuation

process; and the empirical models which are based on measurement

databases from stations in diﬀerent climatic zones within a given

region [6, 7]. The aim of this paper is to present a mathematical model

for converting the rain-induced attenuation data on the terrestrial links

to be used for satellite applications at Ku-band, based on the ITU-R

recommendations ITU-R 618 -9 [8], ITU-R 530-12 [9] and the revised

Moupfouma model [10]. The results may also be extrapolated to be

used in other tropical regions that have similar situation.

2. A HANDFUL OF SOME EXISTING CONVERSION

TECHNIQUES AND MODELS FOR RAIN

ATTENUATION

Various conversion methods have earlier been developed for diﬀerent

applications in rain attenuation predictions for both terrestrial and

satellite communication systems. These include the conversion

of rain rate integration time from higher time to a shorter one;

and the frequency scaling techniques for converting the measured

rain attenuation at one frequency to the equivalent value at other

frequencies for the same site.

However, no comprehensive research works have previously been

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 55

done on converting terrestrial rain attenuation data to be used

for satellite applications. The only published research works in

the literature are those of Singlair et al. [11, 19], who proposed a

transformation method for converting terrestrial rain attenuation time-

series into satellite attenuation time-series, based on terrestrial rain

attenuation measurement. The model is given by:

A

s

(t) =

k

s

L

s

1 +L

s

/d

0

_

A

T

(t)(1 +L

T

/d

0

)

k

T

L

T

_

α

s

α

T

(1)

where k

s

, k

T

, α

s

and α

T

are ITU-R recommended parameters whose

values depend on frequency band, polarization, temperature and

elevation, A

s

(t) is the transformed rain attenuation time series of the

satellite link, A

T

(t) is the measured rain attenuation time series of the

terrestrial link, L

s

and L

T

are the slant path and the physical length

of the satellite and terrestrial links, respectively; and d

0

is the ITU-R

reduction factor given by:

d

0

= 35e

(−0.015R

0.01

)

(2)

The major limit of the model being that the terrestrial rain

attenuation data were measured in Hungary, a temperate region

with rain rates less than 40 mm/h. This implies that the model

is unarguably unsuitable for tropical climates like Malaysia which

experiences heavy rain rates, as high as 120–130 mm/h. Rain rate is

the most crucial factor in any rain attenuation predictions. Therefore,

it has been considered as the principal input in the new proposed

conversion technique, as indicated in Equation (22). Also, the proposed

technique has been validated using the terrestrial rain attenuation data

measured in Malaysian tropical climate.

3. DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROPOSED RAIN

ATTENUATION CONVERSION TECHNIQUE

The development consists of three stages; ﬁrst is the calculation of rain

attenuation over the satellite link using the ITU-R P. 618-9 and second

is the prediction of terrestrial rain attenuation, using a combination of

ITU-R P. 530-12 and the revised Moupfouma model. The third stage

involves derivation of the proposed transformation method, by ﬁnding

the ratio of the two attenuation values at the same rain rate, since

both links are sited in the same location.

3.1. Calculation of Rain Attenuation for the Satellite Link

The step-by-step procedure for calculating rain attenuation cumulative

distribution function (CDF) over the satellite link is given below:

56 Abdulrahman et al.

Step 1: Freezing height during rain, H

R

(km) is calculated from

the absolute values of station’s latitude and longitude, both in degrees,

as follows [12]:

H

R

= 0.36 +h

0

(3)

where h

0

is the 0

◦

C isotherm height above mean sea level (km) and its

value can be obtained from the isotherm chats of the Recommendation

ITU-R P.839-3.

Step 2: The slant-path length, L

S

(km), below the rain height is

calculated as:

L

S

=

H

R

−H

S

sin θ

(4)

where H

S

is the station altitude, above the sea-level, in km and θ

(degrees) is the elevation angle.

Step 3: The horizontal projection of the slant path length, L

G

is

evaluated from:

L

G

= L

S

cos θ (5)

Step 4: The point rain rate, R

0.01

(mm/h), exceeded for 0.01% of

an average year may be obtained from one- minute integration rain rate

data, if it is available. An alternative method is by applying the Chebil

model, which makes use of long-term mean annual accumulation, M,

at the location under study; and is given by [13]:

R

0.01

= αM

β

(6)

where α and β are regression coeﬃcients. This model was shown to

provide good approximation of the measured data. The regression

coeﬃcients are deﬁned as:

α = 12.2903 and β = 0.2973 (7)

We have found that the recommendation ITU-R P.837-5 is not

suitable for estimating R

0.01

in tropical Malaysian climate, because

it substantially underestimates the measured rain rate values [14, 21].

For instance, the ITU-R P.837-5 has predicted a value of 105 mm/h

for R

0.01

at UTM; whereas both direct measurement and Chebil’s

approximation of Equation (6) have given a value of approximately

125 mm/h for the same location.

Step 5: The speciﬁc attenuation, γ

s 0.01

(dB/km), for 0.01% of

time is calculated from:

γ

s0.01

= k

s

R

α

s

0.01

(8)

The parameters k

s

and α

s

depend on frequency, rain temperature,

raindrop size distribution, and polarization. Their values can be

obtained from ITU-R P.838-3 [15].

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 57

Step 6: The horizontal path adjustment reduction factor, r

h0.01

,

for 0.01% of the time is also calculated as:

r

h0.01

=

1

1 + 0.78

_

L

G

γ

0.01

f

−0.38[1 −exp −2L

G

]

(9)

Therefore, the horizontally adjusted rainy slant path length is

calculated from:

L

h0.01

=

_

L

G

r

h0.01

/ cos θ, for ρ > θ

(H

R

−H

S

)/ sin θ, for ρ ≤ θ

(10)

where

ρ = tan

−1

_

H

R

−H

S

L

G

r

h0.01

_

(11)

Step 7: The vertical reduction factor, r

v0.01

, for 0.01% of the time

is also given by:

r

v0.01

=

1

1+

√

sin θ

_

31 (1−exp(−θ/[1+σ]))

√

L

G

γ

0.01

f

2

−0.45

_ (12)

where

σ =

_

36 −|ϕ|, for |ϕ| < 36

◦

0, for |ϕ| ≥ 36

◦

(13)

Step 8: The eﬀective path length through rain, L

eﬀ

(km) is ﬁnally

obtained by multiplying the horizontally adjusted slant path by the

vertical reduction factor of Equation (10); that is,

L

eﬀ

= L

h0.01

r

v0.01

(14)

Step 9: The predicted attenuation exceeded for 0.01% of an

average year is obtained from:

A

s0.01

= γ

s0.01

L

eﬀ

(15)

Step 10: The predicted attenuation to be exceeded for other

percentages, p of an average year may be calculated from the value

of A

s0.01

by using the following:

A

s%p

= 0.12 ∗ A

s0.01

∗ p

(−(0.546+0.043∗log 10(p)))

(16)

58 Abdulrahman et al.

3.2. Calculation of Rain Attenuation for the Terrestrial Link

Step 1: The speciﬁc attenuation for the terrestrial link is given by:

γ

T0.01

= k

T

R

α

T

0.01

(17)

Again, parameters k

T

and α

T

depend on frequency, rain temperature,

raindrop size distribution, and polarization. Their values can be

obtained from ITU-R P.838-3, as earlier mentioned in step 5 of

section 3.1.

Step 2: For the terrestrial link, path reduction factor is calculated

using the revised Moupfouma’s model given by [10]:

δ(R

0.01

, L

T

) = exp

_

−R

0.01

1 +ζ(L

T

) ∗ R

0.01

_

(18)

where δ(R

0.01

, L

T

) is the reduction factor for 0.01% of the time

observed on any terrestrial microwave radio path of length, L

T

(km),

such that the equivalent propagation path, L

eq

is:

L

eq

(R

0.01

, L

T

) =L

T

∗ exp

_

−R

0.01

1+ζ(L

T

) ∗ R

0.01

_

with ζ(L

T

) = −100 for any L

T

≤ 7 km (19a)

and

L

eq

(R

0.01

, L

T

) =L

T

∗ exp

_

−R

0.01

1+ζ(L

T

)∗ R

0.01

_

with ζ(L

T

)=

_

44.2

L

T

_

0.78

for any L

T

>7 km (19b)

Step 3: The predicted attenuation exceeded for an average year is

then obtained from the following:

A

T0.01

= γ

T0.01

L

T

δ(R

0.01

, L

T

) (20)

The predicted attenuation to be exceeded for other percentages,

p = 0.01%, of an average year may be calculated from the value of

A

T0.01

by using the Equation (16). In this paper we have deliberately

chosen not to use the ITU-R path reduction factor of Equation (2)

for the terrestrial link. This is due to its unsuitability for the tropical

regions.

3.3. Data Collection for Terrestrial Links

The received relative intermediate frequency (IF) rain attenuation

data, sampled every second, were collected from seven 15 GHz oper-

ational microwave links of DIGI Telecommunications. Meteorological

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 59

stations were installed at the particular locations of the investigated

links, in order to be able to determine the relationship between the

rain attenuation and rain intensity.

Four year precipitation data were collected at Universti Teknologi

Malaysia, (UTM), Malaysia, Skudai campus and the data have been

used to investigate the DIGI link located at Johor Bahru. The rain

rate data were collected from January 2003 to December 2006, using

Casella rain gauge and thirty months using OSK rain gauge. Both

gauges are tipping bucket type and having 0.5 mm sensitivity. Casella

records the total rainfall occurring in each minute without recording

non-rainy events; therefore the rain rate is recorded as an integral

multiple of 0.5 mm/min, or 30 mm/h. In contrast, OSK records the

actual tipping time up to decimal of seconds.

The campus is located at Johor, southern part of Malaysia

peninsula close to Singapore. Malaysia is located in the South-Eastern

part of Asia, and falls in the zone P of the ITU-R rainfall rate

climatic zone with annual average accumulation as high as 4184.3 mm.

The Malaysian climate is tropical, and is characterized by uniform

temperature, high humidity and heavy rainfall which arises mainly

from the maritime exposure of the country. The heaviest amounts of

rainfall are noted to occur in the last two months of the year; that

is November and December. The uniform periodic changes in the

wind ﬂow patterns result in seasons’ classiﬁcations as: The south-west

monsoon, the north-east monsoon and the two shorter inter-monsoon

seasons.

The speciﬁcations for the MINI-LINK are given in Table 1, while

the measured rain attenuation data at UTM, Johor Bahru are shown

in Table 2.

4. MATHEMATICAL DERIVATION OF THE

CONVERSION FACTOR

First it is logical to assume that the terrestrial rain attenuation

is greater than that of the satellite, under the same conditions of

rainfall intensity. This fact is justiﬁed as follows [15, 16]: Satellites in

geostationary orbit are 35,800 km above the earth, and since rain only

forms in the troposphere, which extends seven miles above the earth, a

signal traveling through a rain cell will experience attenuation during

only a small portion of its transmission path. Therefore, terrestrial

microwave transmissions are more susceptible to the eﬀects of rain

attenuation because their signal paths are entirely in the troposphere,

and the signal may pass through an entire rain cell.

60 Abdulrahman et al.

Table 1. Speciﬁcations of the 15 GHz DIGI MINI-LINKS.

Links

Location

Hop

Length

(km)

Frequency

Band

(GHz)

Maximu

m

Transmit

Power

(dBm)

BER

(2x2 Mbs)

Receive

Threshold

(dBm)

Antennas for both

Transmit & Receive Side

Size

(m)

Gain

(dBi)

Johor

Bahru

5.83

14.8

+18.0 −84.0 0.6

37.0

Kuala

Lumpur-I

3.96

14.8

+18.0

84.0

0.6

37.0

Taiping 3.48 14.8 +18.0 84.0 0.6 37.0

Butterworh 11.33 14.8 +18.0 84.0 0.6 37.0

Alor Star 4.85 15.3 +18.0 84.0 0.6 37.0

Temerloh 5.36 14.8 +18.0 84.0 0.6 37.0

Kuantan 1.45 14.8 +18.0 84.0 0.6 37.0

10

−6

−

−

−

−

−

−

Table 2. Measured rain attenuation of Johor Bahru MINI-LINK.

Percentage

of time (%)

0.001 0.003 0.01 0.03 0.1 0.3 1.0

Rain

attenuation

(dB)

111.22 79.25 51.90 33.65 19.87 11.72 6.24

Therefore, the conversion factor C

%p

is more conveniently

expressed as the ratio of terrestrial rain attenuation to that of the

satellite’s. Thus dividing Equation (20) by Equation (15) would yield

the following expression:

C

%p

=

A

T%p

A

S%p

(21)

which gives

C

%0.01

=

k

T

L

T

r

d0.01

k

s

L

eﬀ

[R

0.01

]

(α

T

−α

S

)

(22)

According to Equation (22), the conversion factor C

%p

is proportional

to R

0.01

since all other parameters are constant; and its variation over

diﬀerent rain rates, at 0.01% of the time, is presented in Figure 1.

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 61

It can be clearly seen from Figure 1 that the conversion factor

increases with an increasing rain rate. Also since the latter is a function

of p% of the time, further analyses have therefore revealed that the

former also is functionally related to p%, as presented in Figure 2.

It is glaring that the conversion factor is approximately 2.0159,

at 0.01%, which corresponds to a rain rate of 125 mm/h, as already

indicated in Figures 1 and 2. It is therefore evidently implied that

either the rain rate R

0.01

or the probability level p could be used as

the input in the proposed rain attenuation conversion factor C

%P

.

Figure 1. Variation of conversion factor with respect to rain rate.

Figure 2. Variation of conversion factor with p% of the time in an

average year.

62 Abdulrahman et al.

4.1. Applications of the Proposed Conversion Method

Equations (21) and (22) have been used for converting the predicted

and measured yearly rain attenuation for the 15 GHz DIGI MINI-

LINKS in Malaysia, to be used for MEASAT 2 applications.

The predictions are expected to provide a rough estimate of rain

attenuation to be expected on earth-satellite links in the Malaysian

tropical region. Figure 3 shows the comparison between predicted

satellite attenuation for both measured and predicted terrestrial rain

attenuation.

As clearly indicated in Figure 3, the corresponding satellite

attenuation values could be obtained from the measured terrestrial

rain attenuation, by direct application of the Equations (21) and (22).

For instance, the measured attenuations for the 15 GHz DIGI MINI-

LINK, at 0.01% and 0.1%, are nearly 52 dB and 20 dB, respectively;

whereas the corresponding satellite attenuation values are 25.8 dB and

9.9 dB, respectively.

However, if there are no terrestrial rain attenuation data, then the

predictions of Equation (20) may be used as the input in Equation (21)

for deriving the equivalent satellite values, as shown in Figure 3.

Although the weakness being that the inherent errors associated with

such predictions would naturally be inherited by the transformed

satellite values. According to Figure 3, the predicted values of

terrestrial rain attenuation, at 0.01% and 0.1%, are nearly 54.7 dB

and 21 dB, respectively; while the corresponding satellite attenuation

values are 27.1 dB and 10.4 dB, respectively.

Even though it is noted in both cases that the transformed values

for the satellite link are about 50% of the terrestrial rain attenuation

for all percentages, %p of the time, the terrestrial rain attenuation

predictions are a bit over estimated, compared to the actual measured

Figure 3. Comparison of terrestrial and satellite rain attenuation.

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 63

value. These prediction errors would naturally corrupt the transformed

satellite values. In this paper, the errors are generally insigniﬁcant (less

than 5%); and so they are overlooked. For instance, at 0.01% and 0.1%

of the time, the prediction errors in the terrestrial rain attenuation

are 2.7 dB and 1.0 dB, respectively; while the corresponding errors

inherited by the satellite attenuation values are 1.3 dB and 0.5 dB,

respectively.

Table 3 shows the site locations, propagation parameters and the

measured rain attenuation values, at 0.01% and 0.1% of the time, for

the earth-satellite links that were compared with the proposed model

predictions.

The comparison between the model’s estimates of Equations (21)

and (22) and measured Earth-satellite attenuation data (MEASAT

2 & SUPERBIRD-C [17]) are provided in terms of Complementary

Cumulative Distribution Functions (CCDFs) of attenuation as shown

in Figures 4 and 5.

The proposed model predictions appear to be in good agreement

with MEASAT 2 and SUPERBIRD-C at lower rain rates from 1.0% to

0.1%, when the rain attenuation of the terrestrial link is in the range of

6.0 dB to 21 dB. Also, the model predictions appear to be reasonable

at medium rain rates from 0.1% to 0.01%, which correspond to a range

of 21 dB to 54.7 dB of terrestrial attenuation. However, the predictions

generally overestimate the measured Earth-satellite attenuation data

at higher rain rates, from 0.01% to 0.001%.

4.2. Validation of the Model

According to Recommendations ITU-R P.311-13 [20], the rain

attenuation prediction models for Earth-satellite links are determined

for exceeding time percentages in the range 0.001% to 0.1%. Therefore

percentage errors between measured Earth-satellite attenuation data

A

m

(dB) and the model’s predictions A

p

(dB) are calculated for each

Table 3. Characteristics of the Earth-satellite measurement sites.

Earth-Station Altitude

(m)

Frequency

(GHz)

Elevation

(degrees)

Polari

zation

(mm/h)

Rain attenuation

(dB)

0.1 % 0.01 %

MEASAT 2

UTM-Johor, Malaysia

1.45 N, 103.75

0

E

1.0

12.594

70.0

V 125 9.8 25.0

SUPERBIRD-C

USM, Malaysia

51.7 N, 100.4 E

57.0

12.255

40.1

V 130 8.98 23.5

0

0

0

R

0.01

Locations

64 Abdulrahman et al.

exceeding time percentage of interest on the microwave radio link, as

follows:

E

i

=

A

p

i

−A

m

i

A

m

i

∗ 100% (i = 1 to N) (23a)

if: |A

p

i

−A

m

i

| < 1 then E

i

= 0 (23b)

The standard deviation, σ

e

i

of the error distribution can be deﬁned

from:

σ

e

i

=

¸

¸

¸

_

1

N

N

i=1

e

2

i

−(µ

e

i

)

2

(24)

where µ

e

i

is the mean square error for each exceedance time percentage;

and is given by:

µ

e

i

=

1

N

N

i=1

e

i

(25)

The mean square error and standard deviation are then used to

calculate the Root Mean Square, D

e

i

(RMS); which is deﬁned as

follows:

D

e

i

=

_

(µ

e

i

)

2

−(σ

e

i

)

2

¸

1/2

(26)

Table 4 compares parameters µ

e

i

, σ

e

i

and D

e

i

for the proposed

prediction model with measured Earth-satellite attenuation data

(MEASAT 2 and SUPERBIRD-C).

According to the evaluation procedures adopted by the Recom-

mendations ITU-R P.311-13, a lower standard deviation σ

e

i

and a lower

Figure 4. Comparison between measured and predicted attenuation

for MEASAT 2-UTM.

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 65

Figure 5. Comparison between measured and predicted attenuation

for SUPERBIRD-C, USM.

Table 4. Percentage errors and RMS comparison.

Parameters

Earth-satellite

links

Time Percentages ( p %)

0.001 0.003 0.01 0.03 0.1 0.3 1.0

Proposed model 18.46 13.16 8.62 5.59 3.30 1.95 1.04

ITU-R model −26.99 −19.23 −12.59 −8.16 −4.82 −2.84 −1.51

Proposed model 1.62 1.15 0.76 0.49 0.29 0.17 0.09

ITU-R model 3.42 2.44 1.60 1.04 0.61 0.36 0.19

Proposed model 18.53 13.20 8.65 5.61 3.31 1.95 1.04

ITU-R model 27.21 19.38 12.69 8.23 4.86 2.86 1.52

µ

σ

D

ei

ei

ei

RMS value D

e

i

for the whole range or for the majority of time per-

centages of interest suggest a high accuracy of the proposed model.

5. CONCLUSIONS

The conversion technique has been developed based on the ITU-R P

618-9, together with a combination of ITU-R P 530-12 and the revised

Moupfouma model, for the satellite and terrestrial rain attenuation

predictions, respectively.

The proposed method has been used for converting the measured

and predicted rain attenuation data exceeded for an average year for

15 GHz DIGI MINI-LINKS in Malaysia; and the results have been

found to be comparable with direct measurements taken in Malaysia

66 Abdulrahman et al.

and similar tropical climates like Singapore and Nigeria [2, 18].

The model is therefore recommended for converting terrestrial rain

attenuation data to be used for earth-satellite applications at Ku-

band in the Tropical Malaysian Peninsula and other climates that have

similar situations.

REFERENCES

1. Freeman, R. L., Radio System Design for Telecommunication, 3rd

edition, A Wiley Interscience Publication, John Wiley & Sons Inc.,

2007.

2. Ojo, J. S., M. O. Ajewole, and S. K. Sarkar, “Rain rate and

rain attenuation prediction for satellite communication in Ku and

Ka bands over nigeria,” Progress In Electromagnetics Research B,

Vol. 5, 207–223, 2008.

3. Moupfouma, F. and L. Martin, “Modelling of the rainfall rate

cumulative distribution for the design of satellite and terrestrial

communication systems,” Int. J. of Satellite Comm., Vol. 13,

No. 2, 105–115, 1995.

4. Ajayi, G. O., “Some aspects of tropical rainfall and their eﬀect

on microwave propagation,” International Journal of Satellite

Communications, Vol. 8, No. 3, 163–172, May–June 1990.

5. UI Islam, M. R., T. B. A. Rahman, S. K. B. A. Rahim, K. F. Al-

tabatbaie, and A. Y. Abdulrahman, “Fade margins prediction for

broadband ﬁxed wireless access (BFWA) from measurements in

tropics,” Progress In Electromagnetics Research C, Vol. 11, 199–

212, 2009.

6. Crane, R. K., “Rain attenuation models: Attenuation by clouds

and rain,” Propagation Handbook for Wireless Communication

System, 225–280, CRC Press, USA, 2003.

7. Ramachandran, V. and V. Kumar, “Invariance of accumulation

time factor of ku-band signals in the tropics,” Journal of

Electromagnetic Waves and Applications, Vol. 19, No. 11, 1501–

1509, 2005.

8. “Propagation data and prediction methods required for the design

of Earth-space telecommunications systems,” Recommendation

ITU-R P.618-9, ITU-R P Sers., August 2007.

9. “Propagation data and prediction methods required for the

design of terrestrial line-of-sight systems,” Recommendation ITU-

R P.530-12, ITU-R P Sers., February 2007.

10. Moupfouma, F., “Electromagnetic waves attenuation due to rain:

A prediction model for terrestrial or L.O.S SHF and EHF radio

Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 26, 2010 67

communication,” J. Infrared Milli Terahz Waves, Vol. 30, 622–

632, 2009.

11. Singliar, R. and J. Bito, “Comparison of satellite and terrestrial

rain attenuation statistics based on terrestrial measurement,” ESA

Propagation Workshop, Noordwiik, Netherlands, November 2005.

12. “Rain height model for prediction methods,” Recommendation

ITU-R P.839-3, ITU-R P Sers., Int. Telecomm. Union, Geneva,

2001.

13. Chebil, J. and T. A. Rahman, “Development of 1 min rain rate

contour maps for microwave applications in Malaysia peninsula,”

Electronics Letts., Vol. 35, 1712–1774, 1999.

14. Final Reports on Rain Attenuation Studies for Communication

Systems Operating in Tropical Regions, Wireless Communication

Research Laboratory, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, October 31,

2000.

15. “Speciﬁc attenuation model for rain for use in prediction

methods,” Recommendation ITU-R P.838-3, ITU-R P Sers.,

March 2005.

16. Matricciani, E. and A. Pawlina Botani, “Rain cell size statistics

inferred from long term point rain rate: Model and result,”

Proc. Third Ka Band Utilization Conf., 299–304, Sorrento, Italy,

September 15–18, 1997.

17. Mandeep, J. S. and J. E. Allnutt, “Rain attenuation predictions

at ku-band in south-east Asian countries,” Progress In Electro-

magnetics Research, Vol. 76, 65–74, 2007.

18. Lee, Y. H., J. X. Yeo, and J. T. Ong, “Rain attenuation on satellite

to ground link for beacon signal,” 27th International Symposium

on Space Technology and Science, Singapore, 2009.

19. Singliar, R., J. Bit´o, J. Din, and A. R. Tharek, “Comparison

of predicted attenuation of satellite rain attenuation distribution

in Malaysia and Hungary,” Proceedings of the 16th International

Czech-Slovakia Scientiﬁc Conference Radioelektronika, 246–249,

Brastislava, Solak Republic, April 25–26, 2006.

20. “Acquisition, presentation and analysis of data in studies of

tropospheric propagation,” Recommendation ITU-R P.311-13,

ITU-R P Sers., October 2009.

21. Mandeep, J. S., N. Y. Yann, and S. I. S. Hassan, “Case study

of the rain attenuation at Ka band,” Journal of Electromagnetic

Waves and Applications, Vol. 22, 1517–1525, 2008.

no comprehensive research works have previously been . These include the conversion of rain rate integration time from higher time to a shorter one. The results may also be extrapolated to be used in other tropical regions that have similar situation. However. and the frequency scaling techniques for converting the measured rain attenuation at one frequency to the equivalent value at other frequencies for the same site. The rain-attenuation analyses are important for the study of the rain fade characteristics. All these eﬀects must be considered as they are the causes of signal impairment for both terrestrial and Earth-satellite systems. which is useful in the preliminary design of earth-satellite microwave links. This has become imperative because of the fact that these regions do not have suﬃcient earth-satellite data. depolarization by hydrometeors such as clouds and precipitation [1]. The eﬀect of rainfall is more severe in tropical regions which are characterized by heavy rainfall intensity and presence of large raindrops [2. based on the ITU-R recommendations ITU-R 618 -9 [8]. 2. The aim of this paper is to present a mathematical model for converting the rain-induced attenuation data on the terrestrial links to be used for satellite applications at Ku-band. 5]. consequently.54 Abdulrahman et al. 3]. 7]. and the empirical models which are based on measurement databases from stations in diﬀerent climatic zones within a given region [6. which is a useful piece of information in the link budget estimation for predicting the expected outage as a result of rain attenuation on a microwave link [4. Long-term rain attenuation data are usually available for the terrestrial links in most tropical regions and so there is the need to convert them for use in satellite applications. Raindrop size distribution changes with geographical location and it can strongly inﬂuence rain speciﬁc attenuation and. with rainfall being the most crucial especially at frequencies above 10 GHz. total rain attenuation. A HANDFUL OF SOME EXISTING CONVERSION TECHNIQUES AND MODELS FOR RAIN ATTENUATION Various conversion methods have earlier been developed for diﬀerent applications in rain attenuation predictions for both terrestrial and satellite communication systems. ITU-R 530-12 [9] and the revised Moupfouma model [10]. There are two broad classes of rain attenuation predictions on any microwave link: The analytical models which are based on physical laws governing electromagnetic wave propagation and which attempt to reproduce the actual physical behavior in the attenuation process.

polarization. based on terrestrial rain attenuation measurement. 530-12 and the revised Moupfouma model. a temperate region with rain rates less than 40 mm/h. 19]. AT (t) is the measured rain attenuation time series of the terrestrial link. the proposed technique has been validated using the terrestrial rain attenuation data measured in Malaysian tropical climate. by ﬁnding the ratio of the two attenuation values at the same rain rate. who proposed a transformation method for converting terrestrial rain attenuation timeseries into satellite attenuation time-series. 3. 2010 55 done on converting terrestrial rain attenuation data to be used for satellite applications. Calculation of Rain Attenuation for the Satellite Link The step-by-step procedure for calculating rain attenuation cumulative distribution function (CDF) over the satellite link is given below: αs . The model is given by: ks Ls AT (t)(1 + LT /d0 ) αT (1) As (t) = 1 + Ls /d0 kT LT where ks . as high as 120–130 mm/h. Also. αs and αT are ITU-R recommended parameters whose values depend on frequency band. Vol. 618-9 and second is the prediction of terrestrial rain attenuation.Progress In Electromagnetics Research B. 3. The only published research works in the literature are those of Singlair et al.01 ) (2) The major limit of the model being that the terrestrial rain attenuation data were measured in Hungary.1. using a combination of ITU-R P.015R0. it has been considered as the principal input in the new proposed conversion technique. Ls and LT are the slant path and the physical length of the satellite and terrestrial links. respectively. This implies that the model is unarguably unsuitable for tropical climates like Malaysia which experiences heavy rain rates. and d0 is the ITU-R reduction factor given by: d0 = 35e(−0. 26. The third stage involves derivation of the proposed transformation method. [11. ﬁrst is the calculation of rain attenuation over the satellite link using the ITU-R P. Rain rate is the most crucial factor in any rain attenuation predictions. kT . as indicated in Equation (22). temperature and elevation. DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROPOSED RAIN ATTENUATION CONVERSION TECHNIQUE The development consists of three stages. since both links are sited in the same location. As (t) is the transformed rain attenuation time series of the satellite link. Therefore.

γs 0. Step 5: The speciﬁc attenuation. as follows [12]: HR = 0.839-3. both in degrees. in km and θ (degrees) is the elevation angle. below the rain height is calculated as: HR − HS LS = (4) sin θ where HS is the station altitude.36 + h0 (3) where h0 is the 0◦ C isotherm height above mean sea level (km) and its value can be obtained from the isotherm chats of the Recommendation ITU-R P.01 = αM β (6) where α and β are regression coeﬃcients. and is given by [13]: R0. and polarization.2973 (7) We have found that the recommendation ITU-R P.01 (mm/h).01 = ks R 0.01% of time is calculated from: αs γs0. which makes use of long-term mean annual accumulation.837-5 is not suitable for estimating R0. An alternative method is by applying the Chebil model. rain temperature. For instance. exceeded for 0. Step 3: The horizontal projection of the slant path length.838-3 [15].56 Abdulrahman et al.2903 and β = 0. M .01 at UTM.01 (8) The parameters ks and αs depend on frequency.01 in tropical Malaysian climate. above the sea-level. R0.837-5 has predicted a value of 105 mm/h for R0. Their values can be obtained from ITU-R P.01% of an average year may be obtained from one. whereas both direct measurement and Chebil’s approximation of Equation (6) have given a value of approximately 125 mm/h for the same location. Step 2: The slant-path length. the ITU-R P. at the location under study. Step 1: Freezing height during rain. LS (km). raindrop size distribution. . LG is evaluated from: LG = LS cos θ (5) Step 4: The point rain rate. The regression coeﬃcients are deﬁned as: α = 12. 21].01 (dB/km). HR (km) is calculated from the absolute values of station’s latitude and longitude. if it is available. This model was shown to provide good approximation of the measured data. because it substantially underestimates the measured rain rate values [14. for 0.minute integration rain rate data.

rh0.01 = √ LG γ0. 26. Leﬀ (km) is ﬁnally obtained by multiplying the horizontally adjusted slant path by the vertical reduction factor of Equation (10).01 .01% of an average year is obtained from: As0. for ρ > θ Lh0. for |ϕ| ≥ 36◦ (13) Step 8: The eﬀective path length through rain.01% of the time is also given by: 1 √ (12) rv0.01 1+ sin θ 31 (1−exp(−θ/[1+σ])) −0.12 ∗ As0.546+0.01% of the time is also calculated as: 1 (9) rh0.01 by using the following: As%p = 0. for 0. p of an average year may be calculated from the value of As0.01 = LG γ0.45 f2 where σ= 36 − |ϕ|.01 / cos θ. rv0. Leﬀ = Lh0. for 0. the horizontally adjusted rainy slant path length is calculated from: LG rh0.01 = γs0.78 − 0.01 1 + 0.01 = (10) (HR − HS )/ sin θ.01 ∗ p(−(0. Vol. for |ϕ| < 36◦ 0.01 Leﬀ (15) Step 10: The predicted attenuation to be exceeded for other percentages. that is.01 (11) Step 7: The vertical reduction factor.01 (14) Step 9: The predicted attenuation exceeded for 0. 2010 57 Step 6: The horizontal path adjustment reduction factor.043∗log 10(p))) (16) .01 rv0.Progress In Electromagnetics Research B.38[1 − exp −2LG ] f Therefore. for ρ ≤ θ where ρ = tan−1 HR − HS LG rh0.01 .

01 . Meteorological .2 with ζ(LT ) = LT for any LT > 7 km (19b) Step 3: The predicted attenuation exceeded for an average year is then obtained from the following: AT 0.01 (17) Again.01 . LT ) = exp −R0. In this paper we have deliberately chosen not to use the ITU-R path reduction factor of Equation (2) for the terrestrial link. and polarization.01 = γT 0. Their values can be obtained from ITU-R P.58 Abdulrahman et al.01%. This is due to its unsuitability for the tropical regions. were collected from seven 15 GHz operational microwave links of DIGI Telecommunications.01 .01 (18) where δ(R0.01 1 + ζ(LT ) ∗ R0.01 LT δ(R0. LT ) = LT ∗ exp −R0.78 (19a) and Leq (R0. LT ) is the reduction factor for 0.01 by using the Equation (16). such that the equivalent propagation path.01 0. parameters kT and αT depend on frequency.01 = kT R0.01% of the time observed on any terrestrial microwave radio path of length. sampled every second.838-3. raindrop size distribution. Calculation of Rain Attenuation for the Terrestrial Link Step 1: The speciﬁc attenuation for the terrestrial link is given by: αT γT 0. path reduction factor is calculated using the revised Moupfouma’s model given by [10]: δ(R0. 3. 3. Step 2: For the terrestrial link. LT (km). Data Collection for Terrestrial Links The received relative intermediate frequency (IF) rain attenuation data. rain temperature.01 1+ζ(LT )∗ R0. of an average year may be calculated from the value of AT 0.01 1+ζ(LT ) ∗ R0. Leq is: Leq (R0.2.01 . LT ) (20) The predicted attenuation to be exceeded for other percentages.1.3. p = 0.01 with ζ(LT ) = −100 for any LT ≤ 7 km −R0. as earlier mentioned in step 5 of section 3.01 . LT ) = LT ∗ exp 44.

800 km above the earth. terrestrial microwave transmissions are more susceptible to the eﬀects of rain attenuation because their signal paths are entirely in the troposphere. In contrast. and since rain only forms in the troposphere. under the same conditions of rainfall intensity. The campus is located at Johor. 2010 59 stations were installed at the particular locations of the investigated links. southern part of Malaysia peninsula close to Singapore.5 mm sensitivity. 4.5 mm/min. This fact is justiﬁed as follows [15. a signal traveling through a rain cell will experience attenuation during only a small portion of its transmission path. Vol.3 mm. The Malaysian climate is tropical.Progress In Electromagnetics Research B. Skudai campus and the data have been used to investigate the DIGI link located at Johor Bahru. therefore the rain rate is recorded as an integral multiple of 0. 16]: Satellites in geostationary orbit are 35. and falls in the zone P of the ITU-R rainfall rate climatic zone with annual average accumulation as high as 4184. high humidity and heavy rainfall which arises mainly from the maritime exposure of the country. Johor Bahru are shown in Table 2. (UTM). . Four year precipitation data were collected at Universti Teknologi Malaysia. The uniform periodic changes in the wind ﬂow patterns result in seasons’ classiﬁcations as: The south-west monsoon. that is November and December. Casella records the total rainfall occurring in each minute without recording non-rainy events. and is characterized by uniform temperature. using Casella rain gauge and thirty months using OSK rain gauge. the north-east monsoon and the two shorter inter-monsoon seasons. while the measured rain attenuation data at UTM. or 30 mm/h. Therefore. MATHEMATICAL DERIVATION OF THE CONVERSION FACTOR First it is logical to assume that the terrestrial rain attenuation is greater than that of the satellite. Both gauges are tipping bucket type and having 0. which extends seven miles above the earth. Malaysia is located in the South-Eastern part of Asia. The speciﬁcations for the MINI-LINK are given in Table 1. in order to be able to determine the relationship between the rain attenuation and rain intensity. The heaviest amounts of rainfall are noted to occur in the last two months of the year. 26. and the signal may pass through an entire rain cell. Malaysia. The rain rate data were collected from January 2003 to December 2006. OSK records the actual tipping time up to decimal of seconds.

001 0.01 [R0.45 14.0 − 84.0 37.01% of the time.90 33.6 0.0 − 84.87 11.6 0. the conversion factor C%p is proportional to R0.0 +18.01 = AT %p AS%p (21) kT LT rd0. at 0. is presented in Figure 1.8 15.0 − 84.01 since all other parameters are constant.01 ](αT −αS ) ks Leﬀ (22) According to Equation (22). Measured rain attenuation of Johor Bahru MINI-LINK.0 +18.0 +18.48 4.33 Table 2. and its variation over diﬀerent rain rates.6 0.8 14.003 0.6 0.65 19.0 − 84.0 +18.8 14. .6 0.72 6.0 111.01 0.83 3.0 37.60 Abdulrahman et al.0 37. the conversion factor C%p is more conveniently expressed as the ratio of terrestrial rain attenuation to that of the satellite’s. Speciﬁcations of the 15 GHz DIGI MINI-LINKS.0 − 84.3 14.03 0. Table 1.36 1. Thus dividing Equation (20) by Equation (15) would yield the following expression: C%p = which gives C%0.6 37.0 37.3 1.24 Therefore.25 51. Percentage of time (%) Rain attenuation (dB) 0.8 +18.0 37.96 3.8 14.0 − 84.22 79.0 37.8 14.0 0. −6 Antennas for both 10 BER Transmit & Receive Side Hop Frequency m Links (2x2 Mbs) Band Length Transmit Location Size Gain Receive (GHz) (km) Power (m) (dBi) Threshold (dBm) (dBm) Maximu Johor Bahru Kuala Lumpur-I Taiping Alor Star Temerloh Kuantan 5.0 − 84.0 Butterworh 11.6 0.0 +18.0 +18.1 0.85 5.

It is therefore evidently implied that either the rain rate R0. as presented in Figure 2. Figure 2. Also since the latter is a function of p% of the time.Progress In Electromagnetics Research B. Variation of conversion factor with p% of the time in an average year. It is glaring that the conversion factor is approximately 2. Vol. which corresponds to a rain rate of 125 mm/h. further analyses have therefore revealed that the former also is functionally related to p%.0159. Figure 1. Variation of conversion factor with respect to rain rate. as already indicated in Figures 1 and 2. 2010 61 It can be clearly seen from Figure 1 that the conversion factor increases with an increasing rain rate.01%.01 or the probability level p could be used as the input in the proposed rain attenuation conversion factor C%P . 26. . at 0.

According to Figure 3. Figure 3 shows the comparison between predicted satellite attenuation for both measured and predicted terrestrial rain attenuation. the corresponding satellite attenuation values could be obtained from the measured terrestrial rain attenuation. the measured attenuations for the 15 GHz DIGI MINILINK.01% and 0. .7 dB and 21 dB. if there are no terrestrial rain attenuation data. The predictions are expected to provide a rough estimate of rain attenuation to be expected on earth-satellite links in the Malaysian tropical region.1 dB and 10. 4. Comparison of terrestrial and satellite rain attenuation. as shown in Figure 3.4 dB. However.01% and 0. Applications of the Proposed Conversion Method Equations (21) and (22) have been used for converting the predicted and measured yearly rain attenuation for the 15 GHz DIGI MINILINKS in Malaysia. respectively. respectively. then the predictions of Equation (20) may be used as the input in Equation (21) for deriving the equivalent satellite values. while the corresponding satellite attenuation values are 27. %p of the time. the terrestrial rain attenuation predictions are a bit over estimated. respectively. Even though it is noted in both cases that the transformed values for the satellite link are about 50% of the terrestrial rain attenuation for all percentages. compared to the actual measured Figure 3.62 Abdulrahman et al. the predicted values of terrestrial rain attenuation. As clearly indicated in Figure 3.1%. whereas the corresponding satellite attenuation values are 25. to be used for MEASAT 2 applications. at 0. respectively.8 dB and 9. Although the weakness being that the inherent errors associated with such predictions would naturally be inherited by the transformed satellite values. by direct application of the Equations (21) and (22).1.9 dB. are nearly 54. are nearly 52 dB and 20 dB. For instance.1%. at 0.

respectively.1% of the time.7 dB of terrestrial attenuation. 103. These prediction errors would naturally corrupt the transformed satellite values. the model predictions appear to be reasonable at medium rain rates from 0. Malaysia 1.01 % 9. Characteristics of the Earth-satellite measurement sites.0% to 0.001% to 0.7 dB and 1. at 0.0 12. the predictions generally overestimate the measured Earth-satellite attenuation data at higher rain rates.5 dB. at 0. the errors are generally insigniﬁcant (less than 5%).0 57.1 V 130 8. Validation of the Model According to Recommendations ITU-R P. Malaysia 51. 2010 63 value. Table 3 shows the site locations. from 0.594 70.1 % 0.001%. while the corresponding errors inherited by the satellite attenuation values are 1.01% to 0.01% and 0. 26. propagation parameters and the measured rain attenuation values. Earth-Station Locations MEASAT 2 UTM-Johor. 100.4 0 E Altitude Frequency Elevation Polari R 0. In this paper.3 dB and 0. For instance. Vol.75 0 E SUPERBIRD-C USM.Progress In Electromagnetics Research B.5 . when the rain attenuation of the terrestrial link is in the range of 6.01% and 0.1% of the time.0 12. the rain attenuation prediction models for Earth-satellite links are determined for exceeding time percentages in the range 0. 4.1%.2.0 dB to 21 dB. The proposed model predictions appear to be in good agreement with MEASAT 2 and SUPERBIRD-C at lower rain rates from 1.255 40. which correspond to a range of 21 dB to 54.8 25. Also. However.0 V 125 Rain attenuation (dB) 0.01%. the prediction errors in the terrestrial rain attenuation are 2.98 23. and so they are overlooked. The comparison between the model’s estimates of Equations (21) and (22) and measured Earth-satellite attenuation data (MEASAT 2 & SUPERBIRD-C [17]) are provided in terms of Complementary Cumulative Distribution Functions (CCDFs) of attenuation as shown in Figures 4 and 5. Therefore percentage errors between measured Earth-satellite attenuation data Am (dB) and the model’s predictions Ap (dB) are calculated for each Table 3. respectively.1%.45 0 N.7 0 N.01 (m) (GHz) (degrees) zation (mm/h) 1.0 dB. for the earth-satellite links that were compared with the proposed model predictions.1% to 0.311-13 [20].

as follows: Api − Ami ∗ 100% (i = 1 to N ) (23a) Ei = Ami if: |Api − Ami | < 1 then Ei = 0 (23b) The standard deviation. σei of the error distribution can be deﬁned from: σei = 1 N N e2 − (µei )2 i i=1 (24) where µei is the mean square error for each exceedance time percentage. . Dei (RMS). and is given by: N 1 ei (25) µei = N i=1 The mean square error and standard deviation are then used to calculate the Root Mean Square.64 Abdulrahman et al. According to the evaluation procedures adopted by the Recommendations ITU-R P. σei and Dei for the proposed prediction model with measured Earth-satellite attenuation data (MEASAT 2 and SUPERBIRD-C). Comparison between measured and predicted attenuation for MEASAT 2-UTM. which is deﬁned as follows: 1/2 (26) Dei = (µei )2 − (σei )2 Table 4 compares parameters µei . a lower standard deviation σei and a lower Figure 4. exceeding time percentage of interest on the microwave radio link.311-13.

03 5. Comparison between measured and predicted attenuation for SUPERBIRD-C.19 1.61 8.01 8.30 0.04 1.09 0.003 0.16 −4.86 0. 5.04 5.21 19. 2010 65 Figure 5.3 1.59 −8.95 2.23 −12. USM. Table 4.38 12. Vol.23 0.69 RMS value Dei for the whole range or for the majority of time percentages of interest suggest a high accuracy of the proposed model.42 1.Progress In Electromagnetics Research B.001 0.62 3.15 2.44 0.0 1.86 0.29 0.60 8.62 0. and the results have been found to be comparable with direct measurements taken in Malaysia .61 3.49 1. together with a combination of ITU-R P 530-12 and the revised Moupfouma model.36 1.95 1.52 ITU-R model Proposed model 18.59 0.1 3.84 −1. 26.46 13.76 1.16 ITU-R model Proposed model σei Dei −26. CONCLUSIONS The conversion technique has been developed based on the ITU-R P 618-9. Parameters Earth-satellite links µ ei Time Percentages ( p %) 0.51 1.31 4.53 13. The proposed method has been used for converting the measured and predicted rain attenuation data exceeded for an average year for 15 GHz DIGI MINI-LINKS in Malaysia. Percentage errors and RMS comparison.65 0.17 0.82 −2.20 ITU-R model 27. respectively. for the satellite and terrestrial rain attenuation predictions.99 −19.04 Proposed model 18.

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