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Micro Cell Path Loss Prediction through Hilly- Forest Terrain: A Case Study in South of Thailand

P. Phetsri and A. Sungkhapong

S. Phaiboon

Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University,15 Hatyai, Songkla 90112, Thailand Email: parataph@ais.co.th

Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University, 25/25 Salaya, Nakhorn Pathom 73170, Thailand Email:egspb@mahidol.ac.th

Abstract- This paper presents the path loss prediction using a modified hilly-forest model for micro cell environments in hilly suburban area. A location of received signal is chosen, where there is a problem in signal quality, which will be analyzed, and improved using the hybrid models called Lee-hilly model and modified COST 235 model. These models were evaluated with the realistic model parameters. The chosen location studied in this work consists of both the hilly and the rubber forest. The received signal strength was then improved by adjusting the base station parameter such as the height, transmitting power and angle of the antenna. The extensive drive test was performed to verify the modified model. The obtained results show that the modified path loss model can be used for microcell planning and signal quality improvement.

Keywords-Path loss; modified hilly-forest model; drive test measurement; improved signal

I.

INTRODUCTION

Mobile communication requires the high quality of received signal, however some receiving points still provide weak signal. This is due to the obstruction between the transmitter and the receiver such as the hilly terrain, trees and buildings. In network planning, the Hata path loss model is used for predicting the macro cell coverage area. However in micro cell environment, the path loss models are also very important in order to solve the receiving problem. Lee model for hilly terrain [1] is used for predicting and solving the problem of the receiving points. The effective heights of knife-edge obstructions are needed to obtain the path loss solution. Including the tree models such as COST 235 [2] and ITU-R [1] are also applied which require the tree parameters such as dimension of leaf, trunk and branch, leave density, etc. In hilly terrain, the effect of hilly knife-edge obstructions and attenuation from trees are significant. For forested environment, the propagation models have been the focus of much theoretical and experimental research over the years. In 1967, Tamir [3] examined the radio wave propagation in forest environments at the band of 1-100 MHz, the forest configuration was considered with a dissipative slab. The lateral wave propagated over large foliage depth. Subsequently, Tamir

extended the theoretical study on the propagation in forested environment with the consideration of the ground effects on

radio wave propagation in the frequency range of 2-200 MHz.

Weissberger’s modified exponential decay model [4]

where a

ray path was blocked by dense, dry, in-leaf trees found in temperate climates. It is applicable in situations where propagation is likely to occur through a grove of trees rather than by diffraction over the tree top. ITU Recommendation (ITU-R) was developed from measurement carried out mainly at UHF, and was proposed for cases where either the transmitting or the receiving antenna is near to a small grove of trees so that the majority of the signal propagates through the trees. This model is commonly used for frequencies between 200 MHz to 95 GHz In the COST 235 model, measurements were performed over two seasons, firstly when the trees are in-leaf and secondly when they are out of leaf. This model is applicable for frequencies between 200 MHz to 95 GHz. While the Torrico model is dependent on the dimensions of leaves and branches

[5].

The objective of this paper is to propose a hybrid model by using the realistic parameters such as the effective height of knife-edge obstructions and foliage loss characteristics. The extensive drive test was performed to verify this hybrid model. The obtained results show that our proposed model can be used for signal quality improving and microcell planning as well.

II.

PROPAGATION PATH LOSS MODELS

A. Lee Model for Hilly Area

The propagation path loss for hilly areas is greater than that for flat areas. The various shapes encountered in the contour of hilly terrain are unpredictably irregular. However to solve this problem, Lee model is a method to predict the path loss for the

hilly areas and written as 2 ( d + d ) h ν 1 2 =
hilly areas and written as
2 (
d
+
d
)
h
ν
1
2
=
p
λ
d
d
1
2

(1)

978-1-4577-0536-6/11/$26.00 ©2011 IEEE

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Fig.1. The aerial image of the terrain Where v is a dimension parameter. The knife-edge losses,

Fig.1. The aerial image of the terrain

Where v is a dimension parameter. The knife-edge losses, G d (dB) are evaluated from

G

d

( dB ) = 0

 

ν ≤ −1

G ( dB) = 20 log(0.5 0.62ν )

d

 

1 ν 0

G ( dB) = 20 log(0.5 exp(0.95ν ))

d

 

0

ν 1

G ( dB) = 20 log(0.4

d

G ( dB ) = 20 log( 0.4 − d 0.1184 − ( 0.38 − 0.1

0.1184 ( 0.38 0.1ν )

2

 

1 ν 2.4

 

=

20 log 0.225

 

ν > 2 .4

 

( dB )

 

ν

Fig.1. The aerial image of the terrain Where v is a dimension parameter. The knife-edge losses,
  • (a) Before improvement

Fig.1. The aerial image of the terrain Where v is a dimension parameter. The knife-edge losses,
  • (b) After improvement

 

RxLev >= -55 And RxLev <-10

Very good signal level

 

RxLev >= -74 And RxLev <-55

Good signal level

 

RxLev >=-84 And RxLev

<-74

Medium signal level

 

RxLev >=-94 And RxLev

<-84

Weak signal level

 

RxLev >=-120 And RxLev <-94

bad signal level

Fig. 2. The received signal strength levels

  • B. Weissberger model This model is applicable

dense, dry, in-leaf trees

where a ray path is blocked by

L W (dB) = 1.33f 0.284 d 0.588 14 m

< d

400 m

= 0.45f 0.284 d 0 m

< d

14 m

(2)

where f is the frequency in GHz, and d is the depth of the trees in meters. The frequency range is between 230 MHz to 95 GHz for this model.

  • C. ITU-R model

This empirical model is used in cases of distance between the transmitter and the receiver, which is within 400 m and the

antennas are near the trees so that the dominant path of the signal propagates through the trees. This model is generally used for frequencies between 200 MHz to 95 GHz.

L ITU-R (dB) = 0.2f 0.3 d 0.6

(3)

where f is the frequency in GHz, and d is the depth of the trees in meters.

  • D. COST 235 model

The COST 235 model, which was proposed, is based on measurements made in the frequencies of 9.6–57.6 GHz. While FITU-R model was derived from the ITU-R fitting at the frequencies of 11.2 and 20 GHz. These models are out of UHF

band and the 2.4 GHz WSN. The COST 235 model, which was proposed, based on measurements made in the frequencies of 9.6–57.6 GHz for vegetation in leaf is as follows:

L(dB) COST235,in-leaf = 26.6f -0.2 d 0.5

And for vegetation out of leaf

L(dB) COST235,out-leaf = 15.6f -0.009 d 0.26

(4)

(5)

where f is also the frequency in GHz, and d is the depth of the trees in meters. The seasonal difference is of the order of 4-6 dB.

E. Torrico model

The specific attenuation for an ensemble of thin leaves in decibels per meter for vertical polarization is as follows:

Fig.1. The aerial image of the terrain Where v is a dimension parameter. The knife-edge losses,

where

(6)

  • is the imaginary part of the relative susceptibility of a leaf, f GHz is the frequency (GHz), ρ d is the number density (m¡3), t is the leaf thickness (m),

    • is the leaf radius (m), and θ I is the angle of incident plane wave as shown in [5]

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Fig. 3 Path profile height of the terrain TABLE 1 Parameters of path loss modeling and

Fig. 3 Path profile height of the terrain

TABLE 1 Parameters of path loss modeling and checking

Site No.

Model Type

 

Model Parameters

 

Path Loss (dBm)

 
 

Old

 

New

Modeling

Measutement 1

Vertification

Measurement

B

Lee-hilly and modified COST 235 model

Pt =40W (46dBm)

Base Station Transmit Power=40W (46dBm)

-92.37 dBm

-93 dBm

-81.69

-82

   

Antenna Gain =16.5 dBi

Antenna Gain =17.7 dBi

       
   

Direction = 290 degree

Direction = 290 degree

       
   

hp1= 53.9 meter

hp1= 40 meter

       
   

r1= 1,074meter

r1= 1,074meter

       
   

r2= 1,431 meter

r2= 1,431 meter

       
   

v

= -5.47dB

v

= -4.06 dB

       
   

Lr = -27.72 dB

Lr = -25.13 dB

       
   

f = 948.2MHz

f = 948.2MHz

       
   

d

= 30 m

d

= 30 m

       

TABLE 2 Parameters for each branch group

Fig. 3 Path profile height of the terrain TABLE 1 Parameters of path loss modeling and

TABLE 3 Parameters for leaves

Fig. 3 Path profile height of the terrain TABLE 1 Parameters of path loss modeling and
Fig. 3 Path profile height of the terrain TABLE 1 Parameters of path loss modeling and

Fig. 4 Photo of rubber trees

The parameters for each branch group and leaves are shown in Table 2 and Table 3 respectively

III. MEASUREMENT PROCEDURE AND SITE

A. Measurement site

The drive test measurements were done on the high way road number 41 between Pathong PTT oil supply and Suanpak intersection in area of Tumyai, Thungsong, Nakornsrithumraj as shown in Fig.1. The terrain consists of mountain and rubber

forests along the road. The rubber trees are evergreen and have an average height of approximately 20 m and are nearly equally spaced with a distance of 10 m. The average tree trunk diameter is around 0.50 m. The leaf has a dimension of 6x20 cm with density of 679 leaves per cubic meters. The bush contains many branches, each which are at an average angle of 30 degrees to the ground. The foliage depth is more than 10 km. This foliage depth is observed from the aerial images. During the measurements, the foliage is wet with strong wind.

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Fig. 6 The verification of path loss (dB) in y-axis and distance (m) in x-axis with

Fig. 6 The verification of path loss (dB) in y-axis and distance (m) in x-axis with COST 235 models at a frequency of 450 GHz

strength level from the base station B. The circular mark in the figure shows a complained receiving point where the received signal strength is – 93 dBm. Table at the bottom of Fig. 2 shows the criteria of the received signal strength level from the very good signal level (green) to bad signal level (red).

IV. PATH LOSS MODELING AND CHECKING

In order to model and check the path loss in realistic area, the measured signal was calculated to obtain the path loss data. The eq. (1) was then applied for hilly area. While the modified COST 235 was used for the rubber forest area as follows,

L (dB) = Af B d C

(7)

Fig. 6 The verification of path loss (dB) in y-axis and distance (m) in x-axis with

Fig. 7 The verification of path loss (dB) in y-axis and distance (m) in x-axis with COST 235 models at a frequency of 948.2 MHz

Fig. 6 The verification of path loss (dB) in y-axis and distance (m) in x-axis with

Fig. 8 The verification of path loss (dB) in y-axis and distance (m) in x-axis with COST 235 models at a frequency of 1800 MHz

where f is also the frequency in GHz, and d is the depth of the trees in meters. the three numerical values A, B, and C are estimated using least squared error fit on the measured data and are found to be 30.2, 0.5, and 0.3, respectively. It can be written as

L PROPOSED (dB) = 30.2f 0.5 d 0.3

(8)

To verify Eq. (8) with simulation, the path loss models in Eq. (2) to Eq. (8) are used as shown in Fig. 6-8 for frequencies of 450 MHz, 958.2 MHz and 1800 MHz. Table 1 shows the summaries of the parameters of the path loss model for modeling and verifying. From the figures, it can be seen that the proposed model generally provides prediction over the COST 235, LITU-R and L w models at all frequencies. This is because the rubber trees consist of the big leaves with high density. The wave propagates through the foliage with high attenuation. While the Torrico model is depended on the dimensions of the leaves and branches and therefore it provides high attenuation with large leaves. The LITU-R and L w models provide good agreement with the COST 235 in case of out of leaf at all frequencies. These findings confirm that the LITU-R and L w model are fitted from forest with low density of leaves or small grove of trees. To improve the received signal strength, a group of new parameters are applied as shown in Table 1. The height of the transmitting antenna was increased to reduce the knife-edge

losses. The received signal after improvement is -82 dB as shown in Fig. 2 (b)

V.

CONCLUSION

We have proposed the method to improve the received signal strength and modified path loss model for rubber forest in hilly terrain. We performed measurements with derive test on road number 41. The COST 235 model was modified with the three numerical values A, B, and C, which are estimated using least squared error fit on the measured data and found to be 30.2, 0.5, and 0.3, respectively. Comparing with the well known models and preliminary improvement of signal quality confirm the verification of the proposed model.

[1]

REFERENCES

Parsons, J. D., The Mobile Radio Propagation Channel, 2 nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 1992.

[2] COST235, “Radio propagation effects on next-generation fixed-service

[3]

terrestrial telecommunication systems,” Final Report, Luxembourg, 1996. T. Tamir, “Radio waves propagation along mixed paths in forest

environments,”IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. AP-25, pp. 471– 477,Jul. 1977. [4] Weissberger, M. A., “An initial critical summary of models for predicting

[5]

the attenuation of radio waves by foliage,” Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center, Annapolis, MD,ECAC-TR-81-101, 1981. Torrico, S. A. and R. H. Lang, "A simplified analytical model to predict the specific attenuation of a tree canopy," IEEE Trans.Veh. Technol., Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 696-703, Mar. 2007.

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