Path-Loss characteristics of urban wireless channels

Keith T. Herring, Jack W. Holloway, David H. Staelin, Daniel W. Bliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Wireless channel data was collected in Cambridge, Massachusetts for diverse propagation environments over distances ranging from tens of meters to several kilometers using mobile 2.4-GHz transmitters and receivers. The 20-MHz bandwidth signals from eight individually movable van-top antennas were Nyquist sampled simultaneously with 12-bit accuracy. Although path-loss variance for any given link length within single residential/urban neighborhoods was large, single streets typically exhibited path-loss, L(dB) = -10 log10(P r/Pt) ≅ 10αlog10r ± C, where P is the received or transmitted power, r the link-length, the street-dependent path-loss coefficient, and C the loss incurred at street intersections. Measurements yielded α ≅ 1.5±3.2β±0.27 for 2<α<5;β is the fraction of the street length having a building gap on either side. Experiments over links as short as 100 meters indicate a 10-dB advantage in estimating path loss for this model compared to optimal linear estimators based on link length alone. Measured air-to-ground links were well modeled by α =2 for the elevated LOS path, and by stochastic log-normal attenuation for the ground-level scattering environment. These models permit path-loss predictions based on readily accessible environmental parameters, and lead to efficient nodal placement strategies for full urban coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5325795
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Attenuation
  • Communication channels
  • Data models
  • Fading channels
  • Microwave propagation
  • Multipath channels
  • Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems
  • Propagation
  • Statistics
  • Urban areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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