Mapping the Impact of Vegetation and Terrain on Cellular Signal Levels

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anna F. Tapp (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rick Bunch

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to look into the impact that rough topography combined with dense vegetation can have on a digital cellular phone signal. The research area is the Deep Creek region of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to hosting an unmatched amount of biological diversity for its acreage, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited U.S. national park. A classified vegetation map of the park was obtained from the National Park Service. An all returns LIDAR dataset was used to create a terrain model and a tree canopy model. Field measurements were conducted in both leaf on and leaf off conditions along the trails of the Deep Creek region, located north of Bryson City and south of Clingman's Dome. Significant relationships were found relating soil moisture and tree heights to attenuation. Soil moisture was found to have a significant impact on the leaf on v. leaf off difference. The height of the tree canopy was a more significant contributor to attenuation than the species of the tree. In this study the species of tree was only significant insomuch as it was an indicator of the tree height.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
DEM, radio propagation, LIDAR, ground clutter, diffraction, signal strength
Wireless communication systems.
Cellular telephone systems.
Mobile communication systems.
Surface roughness.

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