Module PRO-I and its Applications
Propagation of electromagnetic waves inside buildings in the frequency range above 300 MHz is influenced mainly by the walls (and large furniture elements). Diffractions around corners as well as waveguiding in corridors (due to multiple reflections) are dominating the wave propagation inside buildings.
For frequencies below 300 MHz, simple empirical propagation models (based on the direct ray between transmitter and receiver) are sufficient. But for frequencies above 300 MHz deterministic models are mandatory, because they consider multipath propagation with reflections and diffractions. Empirical propagation models (based on the direct ray) cannot be used for these frequency bands.
WinProp's indoor module includes empirical and deterministic propagation models, the graphical database editor WallMan, and can work either with 3D vector databases or with pixel databases. The WinProp indoor module supports isotropical antennas, directional antennas, leaky feeder cables and DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems).
The WinProp indoor module can be used for applications like:
- Cellular network planning (e.g. picocells/femtocells) inside buildings (incl. penetration of outdoor cells into buildings)
- Planning of WLAN networks in multi-floor buildings
- Broadcasting analysis (e.g. indoor coverage of terrestrial transmitters or satellites)
- Coverage analysis and network planning inside tunnels or underground stations
- Short range radio links (e.g. UWB in and around vehicles)
- Planning of sensor networks in complex environments
- and many more
Phenomena like multi-path propagation, reflection (wave-guiding), diffraction and shadowing have a significant influence on the received power inside buildings. So the corresponding indoor propagation models should consider all these phenomena to obtain accurate prediction results. Rigorous 3D modelling offers the possibility to predict the propagation on multiple planes (multiple floors) - each result plane with an arbitrary orientation (not limited to horizontal planes only).
The following wave propagation models are included in the WinProp indoor module:
- One Slope Model (empirical model)
- Motley Keenan Model (empirical model)
- COST 231 Multi Wall Model (empirical model)
- Indoor Dominant Path Prediction Model (IDP)
- 3D Standard Ray Tracing (SRT)
- 3D Intelligent Ray Tracing (IRT)
The performance of the actual components used to build the infrastructure of a wireless network inside a building has a big impact on the signals radiated from the antennas and/or leaky feeder cables. Therefore ProMan offers an optional extension module to plan the infrastructure of the wireless network with components listed in catalogues.
The catalogues with the components are generated and edited with CompoMan. For each component the mechanical and electrical properties, the connectors, the price, the installation (mounting) costs, etc. can be defined. The user can navigate with the mouse in the 2D and 3D views of ProMan and can draw the cables, place the splitters, connect the combiners, etc.
The signals are either radiated from antennas or from leaky feeder cables.
Splitters can be used to define DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) and combiners can be selected to radiate muliple carriers from the same antenna.
ProMan analyzes the lists with the components and their specific electrical properties (e.g. losses) to determine the power radiated from the antennas. The user does not have to determine cable lengths and cable losses manually.
Besides the typical reports (signal levels at the inputs and outputs of each component, compnent lists for the whole building and for each floor individually, etc.) the user can calculate the costs easily with ProMan as the costs of the component and its mounting can be defined in the catalogue for each component individually. So the total price for the components on each floor and for the whole network instalation can be compared easily for various configurations within an very short time frame. This helps the users to find the best configuration of the network for a fixed price budget.
Databases: 3D Building and Object Vectors
For most indoor planning tools, the handling of the building data is the most critical and time-consuming part. If the effort to define the scenario (building database) is too high, it makes no sense to plan the indoor network with a software tool.
To accelerate and simplify the generation of the building data, WinProp includes the CAD tool WallMan to make the handling of 3D vector or pixel databases as simple as possible. The user can enter the building data (walls, windows, doors, ...) in an innovative way - even in buildings with multiple floors. Either via converting CAD files or it is possible to work with scanned maps of the building floors.
In WinProp "indoor propagation" is not restricted to the interior of buildings. Indoor propagation includes also campus scenarios, tunnels, vehicles, ... more or less any scenario which can be described with a 3D vector or pixel database. The scenario in and around the building must be described either with 3D vector databases or with pixel databases. The materials of the objects should be defined as well to obtain accurate results.
Further modules of the WinProp Suite related to the module PRO-I
If transmitters are located outside the buildings and the penetration of the electromagnetic waves into the buildings ("indoor coverage") must be predicted or if the radiation from transmitters located inside buildings to the outdoor scenario is important, WinProp's combined network planning approach (CNP) offers a very sophisticated and flexible solution for the simulation.
The tunnel module is designed especially for tunnel or stadium scenarios. It includes all indoor propagation models but offers additionally the graphical vector database editor TuMan to simplify the generation of tunnel and/or stadium databases.
As the indoor module is not limited to indoor scenarios and can be used to model arbitrary 3D scenarios, there are often non-stationary objects like cars, trains, machines, etc. in these scenarios. The time-variant module offers the possibility to generate time-variant (non-stationary) objects in 3D vector databases and to consider these objects with the indoor propagation models.
Multiple propagation paths inside a building predicted with the indoor ray tracing model
Channel impulse responses predicted with the indoor ray tracing model for 3 different locations