Assessment of multipath and shadowing effects on UHF band in built-up environments
AbstractUltra-high frequency (UHF) bands are radio frequencies in the range of 300 MHz and 3 GHz. These bands are used for television broadcasting, mobile cellular systems, Wi-Fi, satellite communications and many others. Effective communication link in the UHF band requires direct line of sight between the transmitters and receivers. However, this is not always the case in built-up areas where diverse obstacles such as large buildings, trees, moving objects and hills are present along the communication path. These obstacles result in signal degradation as a result of shadowing (blockages) and multi-path, which are two major causes of signal losses. Path loss models are used in predicting signal losses but, the accuracy of these models depend on the fitness between the model's predictions and measured loses. In this work, the multi-path and shadowing effects on signal impairment were investigated through the use of empirical and semi-empirical path loss models analysis in built-up environments. Electromagnetic field strength measurements were conducted using four television transmitters at UHF bands along four major routes of Osun State, Nigeria. Experimental and simulation results indicated that the empirical models provide a better fit than the semi-empirical models. It was also found that the poor performance of the Knife Edge Model which is a semi-empirical model was traced to the bases of its formulation, which assumed point like knife edge for all obstacles on the path of radio propagation. The work therefore recommends that network planners employ empirical models found suitable for their kind of terrain when faced with coverage planning and optimization.
Keywords: Path loss models, Radio propagation, Terrain features