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A study of rain attenuation on terrestrial paths at millimetric wavelengths in South Africa.

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Rain affects the design of any communication system that relies on the propagation of electromagnetic waves. Above a certain threshold of frequency, the attenuation due to rain becomes one of the most important limits to the performance of terrestrial line-of-sight (LOS) microwave links. Rain attenuation which is the dominant fading mechanism at these frequencies is based on nature which can vary from location-to-Iocation and from year-to year. In this dissertation, the ITU-R global prediction techniques for predicting the cumulative distribution of rain attenuation on terrestrial links are studied using a five-year rain rate data for twelve different geographical locations in the Republic of South Africa. The specific attenuation rR (dB/km) for both horizontal and vertical polarization is determined. The path attenuation (dB) exceeded for 0.01% of the time is estimated using the available existing models for the twelve different geographical locations on a I-minute integration time rain rate at 0.01% exceedance of the time averaged over a period of 5 years. A comparison study is done on these available rain attenuation mode'ls; The ITU-R model, Crane Global model, and the Moupfouma models at different frequencies and propagation path lengths based on the actual I-minute integration time rain rate exceeded at 0.01% of the time averaged over a period of 5 years for each geographical locations. Finally, from the actual signal attenuation measurements recorded in Durban over a period of 1 year at 19.5 GHz and a propagation path length of 6.73 km, a logarithmic attenuation model and power attenuation model is proposed for Durban, South Africa. Recommendation for future work is given in the concluding chapter for future improvement on this study. Radio communication designers will find the results obtain in the report useful.


Thesis (M.Sc.Eng.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2006.


Theses--Electrical engineering., Rain and rainfall--South Africa., Millimeter wave communication systems.