AG Channel Measurement and Modeling Results for Over-Sea ConditionsThis report describes results from flight tests conducted in an over-sea environment, for the purpose of characterizing the air-to-ground (AG) channel, for future unmanned aircraft system (UAS) communication system analysis and design. These results are for the first of a set of several flight tests conducted in different ground site (GS) environments. An ultimate aim of all these tests is the development of models for the AG channel that can be used in communication system evaluation. In this report we provide measured results for propagation path loss, root-mean square delay spread (RMS-DS), and the correlation coefficient of the primary received signal components on the four antennas (two antennas for C-band, two for L-band). For path loss, the curved-earth two-ray model provides a reasonable fit to the measured data, altered by several dB at the shortest link distances by aircraft antenna pattern effects. This two-ray model also accounts for the majority of measured RMS-DS results of a few tens of nanoseconds, except for the occasional intermittent reflections from surface objects. These intermittent reflections yield RMS-DS values up to several hundred nanoseconds. For portions of the flight path that were over a harbor area highly populated with boats, the channel was found to be more "continuously dispersive," with RMS-DS reaching approximately 250 ns. A separate model will be developed for this over-harbor setting. The correlation coefficient results are still undergoing analysis; preliminary observations are that correlation between signals on the same-band antennas is generally large (>0.6) for the C-band straight flight paths, whereas for the L-band signals and for the oval-shaped flight paths the correlation is generally small (below 0.4). Inter-band correlations are typically very small, and are well modeled as zero-mean Gaussian in distribution, with a standard deviation less than 0.2. Hence the over-sea channel effects in the two bands can be considered uncorrelated, which will allow for good diversity gains in dual-band systems. We describe initial modeling approaches for the over-sea channel; complete models for this and the over-harbor setting will appear in a subsequent report.
Contractor Report (CR)
Matolak, David (South Carolina Univ. Columbia, SC, United States)
Sun, Rouyu (South Carolina Univ. Columbia, SC, United States)