Propagation and Channel Models

Site and terrain visualization, propagation model specification (including Longley-Rice), signal strength, signal coverage maps, and static and fading channel models

RF path propagation modeling describes the behavior of electromagnetic radiation from a point of transmission as the signal travels through the surrounding environment. Model RF propagation paths and visualize them on 3-D display maps.

Channel modeling describes the over-the-air environment in communications system links. Analysis of propagation and channel modelling is essential in understanding how electromagnetic waves incur losses from a transmitter to a receiver in different scenarios. Model and visualize noisy SISO and MIMO channels that have Rayleigh, Rician, or WINNER II fading profiles. Atmospheric impairments and multiple Doppler spectrum shapes are also available.


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Map Data

addCustomBasemapAdd custom basemap
addCustomTerrainAdd custom terrain data
removeCustomBasemapRemove custom basemap
removeCustomTerrainRemove custom terrain data


showShow site location on map
hideHide site location on map
distanceDistance between sites
angleAngle between sites
elevationElevation of site
locationLocation coordinates at a given distance and angle from site

Propagation and Visualization

coverageDisplay coverage map
patternPlot antenna radiation pattern on map
sinrDisplay signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) map
linkDisplay communication link on map
sigstrengthSignal strength due to transmitter
raytracePlot propagation paths between sites
losPlot or compute the line-of-sight (LOS) visibility between sites on a map
propagationModelCreate RF propagation model

Path Loss

cranerainplRF signal attenuation due to rainfall using Crane model
rainplRF signal attenuation due to rainfall
gasplRF signal attenuation due to atmospheric gases
fogplRF signal attenuation due to fog and clouds
fsplFree space path loss
rayplCalculate path loss and phase shift for ray
buildingMaterialPermittivityPermittivity and conductivity of building materials
earthSurfacePermittivityPermittivity and conductivity of earth surface materials

Channel Modeling

awgnAdd white Gaussian noise to signal
bscBinary symmetric channel
stdchanConstruct channel System object from set of standardized channel models


winner2.AntennaArrayCreate antenna array
winner2.dipoleCalculate field pattern of half-wavelength dipole
winner2.layoutparsetWINNER II layout parameter configuration
winner2.wimGenerate channel coefficients using WINNER II channel model
winner2.wimparsetWINNER II model parameter configuration

Doppler Characteristics

dopplerConstruct Doppler spectrum structure

Coordinate System Transformations

rangeangleRange and angle calculation
global2localcoordConvert global to local coordinates
local2globalcoordConvert local to global coordinates
cart2sphvecConvert vector from Cartesian components to spherical representation
sph2cartvecConvert vector from spherical basis components to Cartesian components


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arrayConfigPhased array configuration object
txsiteCreate radio frequency transmitter site
rxsiteCreate radio frequency receiver site
siteviewerCreate Site Viewer map display for visualizing sites
propagationDataCreate RF propagation data container
comm.RayPropagation ray container object
comm.RayTracingChannelFilter signal through multipath fading channel defined by propagation rays
comm.AWGNChannelAdd white Gaussian noise to input signal
comm.RayleighChannel Filter input signal through multipath Rayleigh fading channel
comm.RicianChannel Filter input signal through multipath Rician fading channel
comm.MIMOChannelFilter input signal through MIMO multipath fading channel
comm.WINNER2ChannelFilter input signal through WINNER II fading channel
comm.gpu.AWGNChannelAdd white Gaussian noise to input signal with GPU
comm.ChannelFilterFilter signal using multipath gains at specified path delays
comm.ThermalNoiseAdd thermal noise to signal


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Free Space Path LossApply free space path loss to complex signal
AWGN ChannelAdd white Gaussian noise to input signal
SISO Fading ChannelFilter input signal through SISO multipath fading channel
MIMO Fading ChannelFilter input signal through MIMO multipath fading channel
Binary Symmetric ChannelIntroduce binary errors


RF propagation

Site Viewer

Site Viewer basics, basemaps, and troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Site Viewer

When you start Site Viewer up on showing a txsite or rxsite object, a check is made to make sure that you have an internet connection to retrieve the default basemap and terrain data.

Access Basemaps and Terrain in Site Viewer

To download MATLAB® basemaps:In addition, Site Viewer also supports three external basemaps that you can select from the basemap picker.

Propagation Models

When to use the different propagation models based on frequency, type, and limitations.

Channel Modeling

AWGN Channel

Model channel and RF impairment characteristics.

Configure Eb/No for AWGN Channels with Coding

This example shows how to set the bit energy to noise density ratio (Eb/No) for communication links employing channel coding.

Using AWGN Channel Block for Coded Signals

Two links perform error control coding on a signal that has passed through an impairment channel.

Fading Channels

Defining a fading channel object and applying it to a signal.

Visualize Effects of Frequency-Selective Fading

Pass FSK and QPSK signals through a Rayleigh multipath fading channel. Change the signal bandwidths to observe the impact of the fading channel on the FSK spectrum and the QPSK constellation.

Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO)

Learn about multiple-input multiple-output features of the Communications Toolbox™ software.


Modeling WINNER II channel using the WINNER II Channel Model for Communications Toolbox add-on.

Featured Examples