Air–Ground Channel Characterization for Unmanned Aircraft Systems—Part III: The Suburban and Near-Urban Environments

Applications for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or “drones,” are increasing rapidly. In order to provide safe and reliable links to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS), control and nonpayload communication (CNPC) system requirements are being specified. A comprehensive knowledge of the air-to-ground (AG) channels in the bands of interest (C-band and L-band) plays an essential role. The NASA Glenn Research Center has sponsored an AG channel measurement campaign for most of the typical ground site (GS) local environments, including over water, hilly/mountainous , suburban, and near-urban. As a continuation of the authors' prior study, this paper addresses the suburban and near-urban scenarios. The authors' developed AG channel models include path loss, small-scale fading Ricean K factors, spatial and interfrequency correlations for multiple aircraft antennas, root-mean-square (RMS) delay spread, and wideband tapped delay line (TDL) models. The path loss is described by either log-distance or two-ray models, with small corrections for flight direction. The K factors were 12 (14) dB in L-band and 27.4 (28.5) dB in C-band in near-urban (suburban) environments. The interband signals were uncorrelated, but the intra-band signals were highly correlated, with the median correlation coefficient greater than 0.85. The C-band RMS delay spread was on average 10 to 60 ns, with maximum of approximately 4 μs. The TDL models are composed of the line-of-sight (LOS) component, a ground reflection, and up to seven intermittent multipath components (MPCs). Relative power, phase, occurrence probability, duration, and excess delays for these intermittent MPCs are quantified. An algorithm to simulate the AG channel impulse response (CIR) via the TDL models is provided.


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  • Accession Number: 01647445
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 28 2017 5:18PM