On the Use of UTD-Based Models for RF Path Loss Prediction Due to Diffraction on a Forest-Covered Ridge


J. Microw. Optoelectron. Electromagn. Appl.




Abstract Irregular terrains covered with forest vegetation represent a challenging scenario for radio planning. A case of particular interest is the one where a forest-covered high hill or mountain is interposed to the link, for which typical diffraction loss models usually apply as good approximations, even disregarding the vegetation influence. Pragmatic approaches to incorporate the forest contribution, such as adding a clutter height, usually improve accuracy a little further. In this scope, this paper assesses the performance of some models based on the Uniform Theory of Diffraction (UTD) for RF path loss prediction in such ridges. Special attention goes to a hybrid model in which the forest is a uniform layer over a wedge that represents the ridge, and its influence is incorporated into the diffraction coefficient. The path loss predictions are compared with measurements from a mountainous region of the USA, and the statistical adherence of the models to the measured data is discussed. Overall, the slightly better performance of the models which incorporate the vegetation influence was confirmed, the hybrid model performing the best for frequencies below 910 MHz.

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