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MW NETWORK DESIGN

BASICS

SHORT SUMMARY
FOR THE LINK BUDGET CALCULATION
WITH PATHLOSS 4.0

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SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION............................................................................................3
STEP 1: BASIC SETTINGS..................................................................................4
STEP 2: PATH PROFILE WITH GROUND STRUCTURE CREATION......................................7
STEP 3: ANTENNA HEIGHT OPTIMIZATION............................................................17
STEP 4: EQUIPMENT CHOICE...........................................................................20
STEP 5: RELIABILITY METHODS SETTINGS............................................................25
STEP 6: GEO-CLIMATIC PARAMETERS SETTINGS......................................................27
STEP 7: LINK BUDGET ANALYSIS AND CONFIGURATION OPTIMIZATION...........................34
STEP 8: FREQUENCY DIVERSITY CONFIGURATION...................................................37
STEP 9: SPACE DIVERSITY CONFIGURATION..........................................................42

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INTRODUCTION
This document is a short summary for the link budget calculation with Pathloss 4.0.
Its aim is to remind the reader the successive steps in order to achieve a basic link budget.
In addition, it details what are the parameters to examine in order to conclude if a design
is good.
It is based on an exercise: the link budget calculation of a 1+1 9470AWY 4QAM 16E1 in
GHANA.
Site Name
AKR015A

Latitude
06 35' 40.82" N

Longitude
001 07' 49.48" W

MPR002C

06 34' 33.87" N

000 45' 40.55" W

Double click on Pathloss icon.

The following window opens:

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STEP 1: BASIC SETTINGS


FREQUENCY SETTING
You have three possibilities:
1/ If you know the channels which can be used for the frequency allocation, take the
central frequency.
For example:
The channels number 1, 2 and 3 belonging to the following frequency plan are allowed.
fn = f0 - 164.5 + 28 n (MHz)
f'n = f0 - 3.5 + 28 n (MHz)
Where :
n = 1, 2, 3, 4 ou 5
and f0 = 7275 MHz
n
1
2
3
4
5

fn (MHz)
7138.5
7166.5
7194.5
7222.5
7250.5

f'n (MHz)
7299.5
7327.5
7355.5
7383.5
7411.5

The frequency must be set to 7247MHz ((7138.5+7355.5)/2)


2/ If you know the ITU frequency plan to be used: choose f0 frequency.
In that case, the frequency must be set to 7275MHz.
3/ If you hnow neither the allowed channels, nor the frequency plan, take central
frequency of equipment operation.
POLARIZATION SETTING
You can choose to show the worst case for the unavailability of the link.
In that case, select Horizontal polarization. To change from V to H (and reversely), double
click in the box Polarization.
In case of a dual polarization operation (both polarizations V and H are used), select
Horizontal.
NB : Precise in the MW Network Design report, you have chosen to show the worst
unavailability case.
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Click on Module.
A pop-up menu is displayed.
Select Network.

Click on Files.
A pop-up menu is displayed.
Click on New.
GEOGRAPHIC DEFAULTS CONFIGURATION
Click on Configure.
A pop-up menu is displayed.
Click on Geographic Defaults.
Check that the configuration is done as follows:

Remark:
Datum is used in case a site coordinates conversion is required (for example, the site
coordinates have been given in UTM coordinate system).
EQUIPMENT DIRECTORIES CONFIGURATION
Because the characteristics of the equipment are changing, it is recommended to create
directories per project.
As a consequence, do not use the same directories including all the radio and antenna
models for every project.
Create the directory in which you will put the Pathloss antenna models:
C:\PLW40\PROJETS\GHANA\GLOBACOM\EQUIPEMENTS\ANTENNES
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Create the directory in which you will put the Pathloss radio models:
C:\PLW40\PROJETS\GHANA\GLOBACOM\EQUIPEMENTS\RADIOS

NB: in order to be sure to associate the right antenna to the radio you use, check in the
WTpg antenna catalogue.

extracted from
ANTENNAS_WTPG_Catalogue.xls

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STEP 2: PATH PROFILE WITH GROUND STRUCTURE CREATION


If the terrain profiles with ground structure are coming from a topographic survey then you
can go to step 2.
If not, you have to generate the terrain profile from the SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography
Mission) database.
Download the SRTM Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) you need from the NASA web site:
http://dds.cr.usgs.gov/srtm/version2_1/SRTM3/
Do not hesitate to download one DEM before and one DEM after the ones you need
(both in latitude and longitude) in order not to miss a large body of water close to the
link.

Then, click on Africa:

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The DEMs are referred in latitude/longitude coordinates system from the bottom left
corner of the flagstone.
In the example, the required DEMs are N06W001 and N06W002.
5W

5E

15N

10N

5N
N06W001

N06W002

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Put the files in a directory called SRTM. We recommend creating a directory SRTM for
each country.
For example, DEMs for Ghana could be found in that directory:
C:\PLW40\PROJETS\GHANA\SRTM
See the Mercator projection map next page which shows all the existing DEMs.

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Unzip the downloaded DEMs.


Run the utility tool SRTMfill here below on every unzipped DEM.

SRTMFill.exe

SRTMFill is a program for patching NULL-data holes in SRTM DEMs by progressively in-filling
from surrounding data, quickly making usable data from unusable DEMs. The basic version
of SRTMFill is available free of charge to everyone.
Run Pathloss.
NETWORK WITH SITES CREATION
From Network, click on Site Data then select Site List then click on Edit and at
least on Add.
Enter the Site Name, Call Sign, Latitude and Longitude.
Regarding the Call Sign, we recommend to name it with the following structure:
C_Site Name.
Remark: for frequency allocation by interferences calculation, it is mandatory to fill
the field Call Sign.

Close the current window.

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Click on Files then Save.


Create a directory in which the network file and the Pathloss files will be saved:
For example, we create the network file 20091221.gr4 in the sub-directory:
C:\PLW40\PROJETS\GHANA\GLOBACOM\20091221
Once the network file will be saved, you will be able to create a background which will be
automatically saved in the same sub-directory.
BACKGROUND CREATION
Remark: it is not possible to create the background before the network has been saved.
Either from Network or from Worksheets, click on Configure then on Terrain
Database.
Select SRTM in Primary scrolling list.
Click on Setup Primary.
Click on Files then select BIL-HDR-DLW.
Select the files you have just prepared.
Click on Site Data then select Create background, the background will be displayed:

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If the display does not show the background with a 1degree scale both in latitude and
longitude, you can change the map settings in order to visualize it with such a scale.
In Network, click on Default then select Map Reference in the scrolling list.
Adjust the latitude and longitude with 1 or 2 degrees increments in order to get it centered
on the background:

LINK CREATION
Select one site.
Click on it and hold the button of the mouse pressed while linking to the second site.

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The link is created.


HOW TO ZOOM / UNZOOM AN AREA?
You can zoom on the area where the link is.
Place the pointer of the mouse in a corner of the rectangular area in which the zoom will
be done.
Press the [Ctrl] key and maintain the key pressed.
Click on the mouse button and maintained the button pressed.
Define the rectangular area with the mouse pointer and release the key and mouse button.
Click on Site Data then select Zoom background.

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Remark: do not move the right and bottom cursors in order to re-center the view after
a zoom has been done.

To unzoom, press the [Ctrl] key and right click on the background.
Click on the link then select Terrain Data.
Click on Operations then select Generate Profile

The Distance Increment must always be set to 20m (0.020km) and no more.
Otherwise you risk to miss the spikes in case of rugged terrain.
BE CAREFUL: the default value is 200m.

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Add the ground structure height.


The ground structure/clutter height has an influence on the antenna height calculation.
The antenna height calculation allows:
o to define the minimum microwave tower height,
o to calculate the loss in the transmission line for a full indoor equipment.
The more accurate it is, the more reliable will be the quotation
For a Preliminary Network Design, depending on the surrounding area (urban centre or
countryside), you can use a continuous range of buildings or trees of the same height.

Click in the column Structure then select Range of Structures.


Set thee Type, Structure Height, Start of Range and End of Range.

Click on OK.
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STEP 3: ANTENNA HEIGHT OPTIMIZATION


The height of the antenna has to be optimized in order to get the path clearance using
the minimum microwave tower height and the minimum transmission line length in
case of a full indoor equipment.
Reasonable microwave tower heights are less than 60 to 80m because the price of a
microwave tower is varying exponentially versus its height for a given technology.
For a path length less than 15km, only the first clearance criterion (K=1.33) has to be set.
For a path length greater or equal to 15km, the clearance criteria are as follows:
Main antenna:
K=1.33, 100% of the first Fresnels ellipsoid must be cleared
K=Kmin, 30% of the first Fresnels ellipsoid must be cleared
Diversity antenna:
K=1.33, 60% of the first Fresnels ellipsoid must be cleared
K=Kmin, 30% of the first Fresnels ellipsoid must be cleared
Kmin is calculated by Pathloss. See below how to define Kmin.
First, lets try to configure the link without Space Diversity in a 1+1 HSB configuration with
unbalanced coupler.
In the Worksheets module, click on Configure then on Antenna Configuration:
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The Microwave Antenna Configuration opens:

Select the TR-TR choice.


Click on Module then select Antenna Heights.
Click on Operations then select Minimum K.

Click on Operations then select Set Clearance Criteria.


Fill the clearance criteria.

Click on the calculator icon:

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You will then round the heights to the greater integers.


Click in one field TR:

Then the window Set Microwave Antenna Heights opens:

If the towers are already existing and their heights known, fill the Tower Height (m)
fields.

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STEP 4: EQUIPMENT CHOICE


RADIO EQUIPMENT SELECTION
Click on the Transceiver:

The window Radio Equipment opens:

Click on Code Index.


The window Radio Code Index opens:

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Check you are using the right set of Radio Equipment by clicking on the button New
Index:

If you are not pointing towards the right set of radio equipments, browse the directories,
select the right one and click on OK. Otherwise, click directly on OK.
Select the 9470AWY 4QAM 16E1 radio equipment (highlight it then click on Both).

For bit rates less or equal to 64xE1, the equipment can be considered as PDH type and
the 10E-3 parameters must be used.
For bit rates greater than 64xE1, the equipment can be considered as SDH type and the
10E-6 parameters must be used.

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BE CAREFUL:
If you change the type of Radio Equipment, the Regional Standards comes back to its
default setting ITU-R P.530 strict - equipment signature (see STEP 5).
Do not forget to adjust it to North America dispersive fade margin in the
Reliability Options.
ANTENNA SELECTION
Click on the Antenna icon:

The following window opens:

The window Antenna Code Index opens:

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Check you are using the right set of antennas by clicking on the button New Index.

If you are not pointing towards the right set of antennas, browse the directories, select the
right one and click on OK. Otherwise, click directly on OK.
Select the SU6B-W71A antenna for both site (highlight it then click on Both).

UNBALANCED COUPLER LOSS CONFIGURATION


Refer to the document AWY Integrated coupler characteristics here below:

AWY - Integrated
Coupler Characteristics.pdf

For the 7/8GHz equipment, the transmission loss is 1.3dB for the Main Path.
In the Worsheets, click on the icon :
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Select the field TX filter loss (dB) for AKR015A and enter the value 1.3.
Move the pointer of the mouse same row, second column (TX filter loss (dB) for
MPR002C) and press the key [F4]. It will re-copy the value of the first column same row.
Repeat the two previous steps for RX filter loss (dB) for AKR015A and RX filter loss (dB)
for MPR002C.

You can copy on a same row but not on a same column.


Click on OK.

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STEP 5: RELIABILITY METHODS SETTINGS


The Dispersive Fade Occurrence Factor can be set only after the Radio Equipment
selection has been done.
In the Microwave Worksheet, click on Operations then select Reliability Methods.
The window Reliability Options opens.
Configure the settings as follows for a PDH link:

For PDH and SDH:


Reliability Method: ITU-R P.530-7/8
Regional Standards: North America dispersive fade margin
Calculation Method: ITU-T G.821 SESR Unavailability
Treat multipath as: SES and unavailability
Select the type in accordance with the selected Radio Equipment:
o For bit rates less or equal to 64xE1, the equipment can be considered as PDH type
and the 10E-3 parameters must be used.
o For bit rates greater than 64xE1, the equipment can be considered as SDH type and
the 10E-6 parameters must be used.

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NB: In the case of a SDH equipment with frequency re-use (XPIC), tick the box Cochannel
operation.
Click on the button OK.

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STEP 6: GEO-CLIMATIC PARAMETERS SETTINGS


Set the geo-climatic parameters in the worksheet.
The five following geo-climatic parameters have to be set:
Dispersive Fade Occurrence Factor
Path classification
Probability that the refractivity gradient is less than -100 N units
/kilometre
Over water modifications
Rain zone
In the Worksheet, click on the hatched part of the terrain

The Path Profile Data window opens:

Adjust the Field margin to 1dB.


Remark: the field margin must always be set to 1dB.

DISPERSIVE FADE OCCURRENCE FACTOR


The Dispersive Fade Occurrence Factor setting can be done only after the Regional
Standards North America dispersive fade margin has been selected in the Reliability
Options window (see STEP 5).
The Dispersive Fade Occurrence Factor is linked to the C factor.
First, refer to the atlas of C Factor joined next page and pick out the one relative to the
area where the link will be set up.
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For the link used as exercise here, the C factor is equal to 4.


It means that the propagation conditions are qualified as Difficult.
Use the table here below to make the connection between the C Factor and the Dispersive
Fade Occurrence Factor.
Parameter
0.25
1
2
4
6

C factor
Propagation
Conditions
Good
Average
Moderate
Difficult
Very Difficult

Dispersive Fade Occurrence Factor


Propagation Conditions
Parameter
Good propagation conditions
Average propagation conditions
Difficult propagation conditions
Extremely difficult propagation conditions

0.5 to 1
3
4
5 to 7
8 to 9

The Dispersive Fade Occurrence Factor should be set at a value included within the range
[5, 7].
We choose the upper bound (7) because the propagation conditions are known to be harsh
in that country.
Enter 7 in the box relative to Dispersive fade occurrence factor:

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PATH CLASSIFICATION
Click on Geo Clim.
Tick the Path Classification considering to the lowest antenna altitude:

Altitude of lower antenna and type of link terrain


Low altitude antenna (0-400 m) Plains:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude less than 400 m above mean sea level,
located in largely plains areas
Low altitude antenna (0-400 m) Hills:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude less than 400 m above mean sea level,
located in largely hilly areas
Medium altitude antenna (400-700 m) Plains:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude in the range 400-700 m above mean sea
level, located in largely plains areas
Medium altitude antenna (400-700 m) Hills:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude in the range 400-700 m above mean sea
level, located in largely hilly areas
High altitude antenna (>700 m) Plains:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude more than 700 m above mean sea level,
located in largely plains areas
High altitude antenna (>700 m) Hills:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude more than 700 m above mean sea level,
located in largely hilly areas
High altitude antenna (>700 m) Mountains:
Overland or partially overland links, with lower-antenna altitude more than 700 m above mean sea level,
located in largely mountainous areas

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In our case, the path must be classified as Low altitude antennas (0-400m) Plains.
The more the classification is going done in the table of the previous page, the better the
link performance is (worst case: low altitude antenna plains; best case: high altitude
antenna mountains).
Be careful to the Elevation scale of the terrain drawing because of the magnifying glass
effect due to auto-scale.
If you have a doubt on the classification to use, open the menu Terrain Data in
Module and estimate the Elevation versus Distance variations.
Do not classify too rapidly a link with Hills or Mountains profile because it
improves the link quality very fast (number of SES worst month).
PROBABILITY THAT THE REFRACTIVITY GRADIENT IS LESS THAN -100 N UNITS
/KILOMETER
Refer to the refractivity gradient atlases in the here attached document for the months of
February, May, August and November.

PERCENT OF TIME
GRADIENT EN AFRIQUE_B.pdf

The month with the highest value of probability (worst month) should be used.
Pick out the greater value among the four seasons.
For the link used as example here, the greater value comes about in February.
The parameter Probability dN/dh < -100Nunits/km is included in the range [30%, 50%]
and must be set to 40%.
Enter 40 in the box Probability dN/dh < -100Nunits / km (%).

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OVER WATER MODIFICATIONS

General recommendations:
A map study with the help of an atlas and Google Earth must be done before every MW
Network Design.
The background must be created for a larger area than the link requires.
In our case, the link is close to lake Volta and the box Use over water modifications must
be ticked and Large bodies of water selected.
For every link with one end located at less than 50km far from the sea or from a large
body of water, Use over water modifications must be ticked and Large bodies of
water selected.

RAIN ZONE
Refer to the rain zone atlas in the here attached document:

RAIN ZONE IN
AFRICA.pdf

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For the link used as example here, the rain zone should be set as N.
Click on the cloud icon.

The Rain window opens.


Configure the Method as ITU-R P.530-7/8.
Select the antenna polarization for the link.

Click on the button Load Rain File.

Select the appropriate ITU rain file (ITU_N.RAI corresponding to the rain zone N).

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STEP 7: LINK BUDGET ANALYSIS AND CONFIGURATION


OPTIMIZATION
The most important characteristics to analyze in the Microwave Worksheet are:
The Effective Fade Margin,
The Worst Month SESR (performance),
The Annual Unavailability (availability).
The Effective Fade Margin depends on the link length.
The range is from 32dB for very short links to 37dB and upper for the longest ones.
A simple but unofficial rule for the Worst Month SESR which can be used on first look
can be expressed as follows:
The number of Severely Errored Seconds should not exceed half of the path length.
Do not oversize the antenna in order to reach the objective. Otherwise, you risk to
interfere the other terminals in a wider area.
The Annual Unavailability depends on rain.
In most cases, rain has no influence for frequency less than 10GHz.
NB: be careful to the behaviour of very long links (greater than 40km) working at 6GHz
in Horizontal polarization in heavy rain zone (P or Q).
The Annual Unavailability should not exceed 10 to 20 minutes per year for a PDH link.
It corresponds respectively to an availability of 99.998% and 99.996%.
If the customers requirement is different, use it.
NB: for a SDH link, a usual annual unavailability is 5 minutes per year.

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Analysis:
1/ The Effective Fade Margin is too big.
2/ The Worst Month SESR is OK.
3/ The Annual Unavailability is OK.
If the antenna size is decreased by one size (4ft instead of 6ft), the link budget is as
follows:

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Analysis:
1/ The Effective Fade Margin is OK.
2/ The Worst Month SESR is too high: 80 seconds per month for a 40km link length.
3/ The Annual Unavailability is OK.
A way to improve the performance (decrease the number of Worst Month SESR) keeping the
same Effective Fade Margin is to use either Frequency Diversity or Space Diversity.
First, lets configure the link in 1+1 FD with one dual polarization antenna per terminal
(STEP 8).
Second, we shall configure in 1+1 HSB SD with two antennas per terminal (STEP 9).
Both of these configurations dont use a coupler.
Remove the transmission loss of the coupler.

In the Worksheets, click on the circulator icon:

Place the pointer of the mouse in one box to suppress the input and press the key [F3].

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Do the same for the three remaining fields:

Click on OK.

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STEP 8: FREQUENCY DIVERSITY CONFIGURATION


Select dual polarization antennas in the WTpg catalogue.

Copy the antenna models in the directory previously created:


C:\PLW40\PROJETS\GHANA\GLOBACOM\EQUIPEMENTS\ANTENNES
In order to make these new antenna models appear in the list, you have to repeat STEP 5.
Click on the antenna icon:

The window Antennas TR-TR opens.


Click on Code Index then on New Index.
Select the directory in which youve just copied the two antenna models:

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Select the model SUX 4-W71A for both sites:

This antenna is not an integrated antenna. A flextwist waveguide must be used to couple
each ODU to an antenna port (V or H).
Look for the right flextwist in the Excel file here below:

201002 flextwist
AWY.xls

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The flextwist is WR112 type and 1m length.

Look for the corresponding insertion loss in the Excel file here below:

201002 flextwist
specification.xls

The attenuation is 0.4dB.

Click on the transmission line icon:

The window Transmission Lines TR-TR opens.


Configure the TX line type and loss (entered in Connector loss (dB) here):

Enter a value in the left column and copy it in the right one pressing on the key F4 once
the cursor is placed in the box to fill.
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Click on OK.
Diversity Options configuration
Click on Operations then select Diversity Calculation.
Configure as follows:

Space Diversity Method: always select Alcatel Richardson


Maximum Diversity Improvement: limited to 20 for Frequency Diversity
NB: Here we configured two consecutive channels (the channel width for a 16xE1 4QAM
modulation signal is 28MHz).
The more the frequency spacing is important, the greater the FD improvement factor will
be.

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Analysis:
1/ The Effective Fade Margin is OK.
2/ The Worst Month SESR is OK.
3/ The Annual Unavailability is OK.
NB: with two channels separated by 28MHz (consecutive), we didnt reach the maximum
diversity improvement. On the other hand, with 56MHz frequency spacing, the maximum
diversity improvement is reached.

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STEP 9: SPACE DIVERSITY CONFIGURATION


In the Microwave Worksheet, click on Configure then select Antenna Configuration.
Select the TRDR-TRDR choice:

Click on OK.
Two antennas are now displayed per terminal:

Adjust the antenna heights. Click on Module then select Antenna Heights.
Click on Operations then select Set Clearance Criteria.
Adjust the first and second clearance criteria for the diversity antenna:

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Click on OK.
The antenna heights difference (difference in height between main and diversity antennas)
depends on the link length.
Here below, proposed antenna heights differences versus link lengths for a flat terrain:
Link length
Less than 12km
Within the range [12km, 24km]
Within the range [24km, 36km]
Greater than 36km

Antenna heights difference


8m
10m
12m
15m

NB: if one can benefit of the path inclination (greater than a few milli radians), the
antenna height difference may be reduced.
On first look, as the link is 40km long, the antenna heights difference should be 15m.
But, as the Path Inclination is greater than 12 milli radians:

the antenna height difference can be reduced to 10m.


Enter the antenna heights as follows:
AKR015A
MPR002C

TR-TR configuration
17m
24m

TRDR-TRDR configuration
Main antenna: 27m (17+10) / Diversity antenna: 17m
Main antenna: 34m (24+10) / Diversity antenna: 24m

Click in the box in which TR 17.0m is displayed (top left of the window):

The window Set Microwave Antenna Heights opens:

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Enter the TR and DR antenna heights for each site as calculated here above:

Click on OK.
For a full indoor equipment such as 9600LSY, refine the antenna heights optimization as
much as possible in order to shorten the transmission line lengths and minimize the
corresponding loss.
Click on Main button (bottom right side of the window) to switch from Main to Diversity
antennas.
Check that neither the red line joining TR site Left (AKR015A) to DR site Right
(MPR002C), nor the blue line joining DR site Left (AKR015A) to TR site Right (MPR002C)
is blocked.
If there is a blocking, increase the antenna heights with the aim to keep them as much as
low as possible.
DIVERSITY OPTIONS CONFIGURATION
Click on Module then select Worksheets.
Click on Operations then select Diversity Calculation.

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Configure as follows:

Space diversity operation: select Baseband Switching for every equipment EXCEPT
9600LSY which must be configured as IF Combining (normally, the configuration is
automatic thanks to the information included in the Radio Model).
Space Diversity Method: always select Alcatel Richardson
Maximum Diversity Improvement: limited to 150
Quad / Hybrid Diversity Method: select sqrt(lfd2+lsd2). It is used only in case of
combination of Space and Frequency Diversity Improvement.
NB: do not forget to remove the frequency spacing entered during the previous step
(frequency diversity studied case). Otherwise, you combine the benefits of the space and
frequency diversity.

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Analysis:
1/ The Effective Fade Margin is OK.
2/ The Worst Month SESR is OK.
3/ The Annual Unavailability is OK.
Comparisons between Frequency Diversity and Space Diversity:

Frequency Diversity
Space Diversity

Advantage
Does not add weight and
wind load to MW tower (only
one antenna).
Essential to links with harsh
propagation conditions.

Disadvantage
Frequency consuming.
Limited field of action.
Add weight and wind load to
MW tower.

End of Document

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