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51 International Symposium ELMAR-2009, 28-30 September 2009, Zadar, Croatia

Monte-Carlo Based Interference Prediction from Earth Stations On-Board

Vessels (ESV) to Terrestrial Point-to-Point Microwave Links

Artras Medeišis
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Naugarduko 41, Office 210, Vilnius LT-03227, Lithuania
E-mail: arturas.medeisis@el.vgtu.lt

Abstract - This paper discusses new approach to modeling interference probability from in-motion ESV to
terrestrial Point-to-Point microwave links, both operating in C-band. Monte-Carlo-based statistical modeling is
proposed to be used as a complement to ITU’s Critical Contour Point method, as opposed to traditional
deterministic modeling that relied on Minimum Coupling Loss method.

Keywords - ESV, Critical Contour Point Method, Monte-Carlo Modeling, Point-to-Point Microwave Links


The problem of finding suitable modeling

methods for reliable prediction of interference from
Earth Stations onboard Vessels (ESV) into fixed
terrestrial Point-to-Point (PP) links has been
addressed for quite some time, first in the US [1],
and later internationally [2]. Open sea
Current state-of-the-art in this area is formalized
in a form of ITU-R recommendation in [2]. It Sea-lines delimiting
proposes using a so called Critical Contour Point port access routes
method in order to determine the potential Pier
location Deep-draft channel
interference points along the path of ESV-equipped in port area
vessel near a shore. This approach is endorsed by
national regulations, such as FCC’s ESV ruling in
- ESV-equipped ship - PP link terminal
[1], however leaving it up to the concerned parties to
work out the precise details of coordination
procedures. Fig. 1. ESV operating contour (based on [3])
It is in that area where this paper discusses the
inherent deficiencies of current coordination Once all the CCPs have been established, next
procedures and proposes an alternative mechanism, the coordination procedures are applied to establish
with the aim of more realistic statistical the interference potential for each CCP.
representation of temporal nature of ESV operation During coordination, each CCP is cleared by
through application of Monte-Carlo simulations. calculating interference resulting from a link budget
between antennas of ESV positioned at a given CCP
and respective PP terminal. This approach is known
2. CURRENT APPROACH as the Minimum Coupling Loss (MCL) method.
2.1. Critical Contour Point (CCP) method However, it is important to introduce some factor
that would account for transient nature of ESV
The CCP method [2] starts off by analyzing the operation in any given CCP. In [2] it is proposed to
contour enclosing an entire area of possible ESV- do so by, first, calculating the overall proportion of
equipped ship movements on approach routes to a time that ESVs are likely to be present in a given
harbor against the known positions of nearby PP position, and, second, using this as time probability
stations, see Fig. 1. In this figure, the ESV operating factor in path loss modeling. For example, Eq. 18 in
contour (solid line) delimits the area of possible [2] gives the following formula for calculating short
operation of ESV-equipped ship, compared against term interference:
the known set of locations of PP terminal stations.
As a result of such analysis, a set of CCPs is I ST , i pST PTx  GTx  GRx  LF  L452.i ( p Li ) . (1)
determined, where due to combination of distance
and mutual pointing of ESV and PP antennas the In this expression: pST is a percentage of time for
interference potential would be the highest (e.g. which the permissible power level may be exceeded
ESV bore sight and PP path intersection points, etc). at victim receiver for a given kind of interference

51 International Symposium ELMAR-2009, 28-30 September 2009, Zadar, Croatia

(ST for “short-term” interference). The other P L(0%)

parameters are usual static elements of output power
(PTx), antenna gains (GTx and GRx) and feeder loss
(LF), the component L452.i(pLi) is of importance to the
following discussion. It is defined in [2] as
propagation loss to the i-th CCP, as calculated using t L(50%)
ITU-R Recommendation P.452, that will be
exceeded for all but pLi% of the time, where i is a
CCP number.
Importantly the percentage of time, pLi, is then L(100%)
given by: L
pLi 100 ˜ ( pST / pESVi ) . (2) Fig. 2. Arbitrary example of RSL fading

An example of pST value could be 0.001% for With all other parameters (transmit power,
short-term interference objective. The pESVi is antenna gains) constant, the only phenomenon
percentage of time associated with the ESV having impact on RSL would be fading in
operation near the i-th CCP, and its expression propagation path loss, as shown on the scale at the
depends on the number of ESV passages per year on right-hand side in Fig. 2. Once the statistics of path
a given route fESV, vessel speed QESV (km/h), as well loss variability are established with the required time
as angular and distance parameters describing the probability of X%, the model then converts them
geometry of intersection of ESV route and PP beam into fixed estimates (representing solid line
at a given CCP. For example, for the case of ESV segments in Fig. 2) that are later used in interference
crossing main beam of PP terminal antenna, the pESVi calculation.
may be calculated as follows (Eq. 20 in [2]): This makes perfect sense for the stationary
locations of interferer and victim, where time
variability of propagation channel translates directly
f ESV M m r0
pESV 0 4 u 10 4 , (3) into time variability of interference. But in the
Q ESV sin T 0 considered case of in-motion ESV interferers, the
where: m, T0 and r0 are geometric parameters. appearance of an ESV-equipped ship at the
interference spot – a given CCP – would be a
Thus, equation (3) is used first to establish the random process, which is independent of the
overall proportion of time a year that an ESV might randomness in the fading intensity in radio channel
be physically positioned near a CCP. This between given CCP and victim location. In other
proportion is then scaled up via (2) to express the words, it would be highly unlikely that time
percentage of “CCP presence time” that would windows of appearance of the interferer would
correspond to an overall annual percentage of time overlap with the time windows of appearance of
that victim receiver may tolerate a given interference “propagation pikes” (typically a result of a so called
level. Finally, applying (1) one would get the “ducting” effect).
representative level of interfering power, which This is illustrated in the following Fig. 3.
could be compared against the objective.
Assumed RSL, derived from long term
P P.452 propagation statistics
2.2. Identified Deficiency of CCP method L(0%)

CCP calculations rely on the propagation path L(X%)

loss model defined in ITU-R Recommendation
P.452 [3]. An important element of this model is that
the P.452 model produces values of path loss “not to L(50%)
be exceeded for a certain percentage of time”. This
is similar to applying a given probability to derive
maximum value of the random parameter from its
Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF). Thus, L(100%)
once the probabilistic value has been established, it L
becomes the static representation that “hides” the Real received signal
Time windows of ESV
transient fading present in the propagation channel. passage through CCP due to natural fading
To understand this point better, consider Fig. 2
depicting an arbitrarily drawn example of time Fig. 3. Cont’d example of RSL fading
variability of Received Signal Level (RSL) when
both transceiver and receiver are stationary. It shows the same example of fading propagation
path loss as in Fig. 2, but with arbitrarily

51 International Symposium ELMAR-2009, 28-30 September 2009, Zadar, Croatia

superimposed time windows when an ESV-equipped 3. MERGING MONTE-CARLO AND CCP

ship is actually crossing a given CCP. Since both
fading and ESV movements are two independent To test the proposed concept, we used the
random processes, the example in Fig. 3 shows that Monte-Carlo based software tool for radio
very often the assumed interference levels will be interference analysis SEAMCAT [7].
excessive compared with real instant RSL values. To use a real example, a case of ESV-equipped
Therefore applying the long-term propagation ship nearing Port of Virginia in the US was
statistics directly to 100% time of ESV presence at considered as shown in Fig. 4, with interferer and
the CCPs (as it is done now in the CCP method), the victim antennas co-aligned in N-S direction (a
interference estimate would be based on overly typical worst case of interference with ESV antenna
pessimistic scenario. To substantiate this point, let us pointing towards a GEO satellite).
take a look at characteristics of fading over First we should apply (3) to establish the
comparable sea or mixed sea-land paths, as percentage of time that ESV will be operated near
discussed in the next section. given CCP. Let us assume that the number of ESV
passages per year on a given route fESV=400, vessel
2.3. Fading over sea or mixed sea-land paths speed QESV = 20 km/h, and other parameters: m=1o,
T0=90o and r0 = 30 km. Applying these values in (3)
Today there exist sufficient number of would return that annually ESVs are present
measurement results conducted over similar radio pESVi=0.24% of time at a given location.
channels, that demonstrate clearly discernible
diurnal and seasonal patterns of radio signal fading
particularly overwater and in the case of mixed paths
For instance, measurement results reported in [4]
for an overwater path in C-band show that the
overall annual fading statistics are heavily biased by
just several periods of severe fading, each such
period lasting in the order of hours. Broadly similar
observations were made also in [5] for another C-
band overwater link operated in temperate climate.
More recent measurement results over mixed
sea-land paths in the 8 GHz band [6] demonstrated
clear seasonal and diurnal pattern of fading events.
All these reports provide sufficient evidence to
the fact, that fading activity will display very high Fig. 4. An example of ESV ship near Port of
irregularity on the same scale as diurnal and Virginia, USA (map image Google Earth©)
seasonal movements of ESV ships.
Then let us consider that we wish to evaluate
2.4. Proposed outline for improving CCP method short-term interference potential, whereas
pST=0.001% and by applying (2), one obtains
Considering the above reasoning, it appears pLi=0.417%. Using P.452 one could obtain for
obvious that ESV movement and propagation considered example: L452.i(0.417%)= 131.4 dB.
conditions (such as fading and ducting over given For comparison, the complete half-range of path
interferer-victim radio path) have to be treated as loss variations would be from L452.i(0.001%)=123.6
two statistically independent random events. to L452.i(50%)=137.7 dB, or around 14 dB.
Thus occurrence of interference between ESV The proposed alteration of CCP method would
and PP links will be composite random event that involve random sequencing of path loss in its full
will be defined by a compound probability of dynamic range, whereas percentage of ESV presence
intersection of independent events of (a) ESV ship near given CCP (pESVi) could be factored in as
appearing at CCP point and (b) radio channel over activity factor, similar to duty cycle of a typical
interference path exhibiting appropriate propagation intermittently operating stationary transceiver. Thus
conditions. (1) could be modified as:
One suitable approach to modeling compound
probability of these independent events is by using
Iˆi (t i ) PˆTx  GTx ,i  G Rx,i  LFeeder  Lˆ (t i , d i ) , (4)
Monte-Carlo technique. It can provide a simple yet
efficient fix to the identified problem and can be where P̂Tx and L̂ are two random parameters
invoked as an add-on to the CCP method during its with appropriately defined distributions,
final stages. There Monte-Carlo technique could be corresponding to the real life scenario.
applied to provide successive sampling of the two Interferer power variable P̂Tx could be defined as
identified random events.
two-element discrete random parameter with

51 International Symposium ELMAR-2009, 28-30 September 2009, Zadar, Croatia

probabilities described as follows: 4. CONCLUSION

PˆTx ^P>P Tx PTxESV @ p ESVi ; P>PTx f@ 1  p ESVi `. (5)
The paper shows that the standard CCP method
To describe random path loss variations, it might used today for evaluating interference between ESV
be still possible to rely on ITU-R P.452 model [3], and terrestrial fixed PP links has certain
by extrapolating its predictions to over entire shortcomings. By aggregating worst case
dynamic range of the fading signal. assumptions and applying static simulations, the
For the described example of real interference transient nature of in-motion ESV is incompletely
link, the standard deviation could be estimated to be reflected in standard CCP method, which might be
in the order of 3.5 dB. Having Lmean and  values producing unduly high estimates of interference
will allow modeling the L̂ in (4) by using software potential.
generator of random normally distributed numbers, The paper suggests that the more correct way for
as the one realized in SEAMCAT software [7]. modeling transient interference effects from in-
Finally, (4) is used successively to generate a motion ESV would be to include Monte-Carlo
vector containing sufficiently large number of random sampling in the final stages of CCP method.
instant interfering power values, and the final
estimate of probability of interference could be
obtained by calculating the percentage of all Iˆi ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
instances when the maximum tolerable interference
power were exceeded. This is the procedure The author gratefully acknowledges assistance
routinely performed by SEAMCAT. from Robert Hanson of Seamobile Inc (USA).
To verify the concept, we used SEAMCAT to
generate sets of two vectors of path loss each
containing 216 random samples. First vector REFERENCES
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