Analyzing the impacts of tree canopy on cellular radio networks

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

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to investigate the impacts of vegetation on cellular signal strength. The research was conducted in Buckingham County, VA, located approximately 60 miles west of Richmond, VA. The county is mostly rural. Dillwyn, a small town, serves as the county's major metropolitan area. Signal strength observations were collected over a nine month period. The first set of samples was collected in September/October 2008 and compared directly to samples taken in January 2009. A third set of samples was collected in May 2009 and compared to predictions from a free-space loss model. Each sample was assigned a National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) value for Deciduous, Evergreen or Open Area. The Open Area class was used to verify the accuracy of the free-space loss model. Significant differences between the signal strengths captured in September/October 2008 and January 2009 were observed. The signal strength was stronger in the winter than in the fall. There was no significant difference between land cover classes when all signal strength differences obtained were examined. However, there was a significant difference between the Deciduous/Open areas and Evergreen classes when only the negative signal strength differences were examined. A weak negative correlation was found between distance from the tower and the signal strength difference for the Evergreen class.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Cell phone, propagation, radio waves, vegetation
Cell phone systems.
Radio waves $x Propagation.
Forest canopies.
Wireless communication systems.

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