Main Content

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 in 3-D.

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 (Since R2019b)
removeCustomBasemapRemove custom basemap
removeCustomTerrainRemove custom terrain data (Since R2019b)


showShow site in Site Viewer (Since R2019b)
hideHide site from Site Viewer (Since R2019b)
distanceDistance between sites (Since R2019b)
angleAngle between sites (Since R2019b)
elevationElevation of site (Since R2019b)
locationCoordinates at distance and angle from site (Since R2019b)

Propagation and Visualization

coverageDisplay or compute coverage map (Since R2019b)
patternDisplay antenna radiation pattern in Site Viewer (Since R2019b)
sinrDisplay or compute signal-to-interference-plus-noise (SINR) ratio (Since R2019b)
linkDisplay or compute communication link status (Since R2019b)
sigstrengthReceived signal strength (Since R2019b)
raytraceDisplay or compute RF propagation rays (Since R2019b)
losDisplay or compute line-of-sight (LOS) visibility status (Since R2019b)
propagationModelCreate RF propagation model (Since R2019b)
pathlossPath loss of radio wave propagation (Since R2019b)

Path Loss

cranerainplRF signal attenuation due to rainfall using Crane model (Since R2020a)
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
rayplPath loss and phase change for RF propagation ray (Since R2020a)
buildingMaterialPermittivityPermittivity and conductivity of building materials (Since R2020a)
earthSurfacePermittivityPermittivity and conductivity of earth surface materials (Since R2020a)

Coordinate System Transformations

rangeangleRange and angle calculation (Since R2019b)
global2localcoordConvert global to local coordinates (Since R2020a)
local2globalcoordConvert local to global coordinates (Since R2020a)
cart2sphvecConvert vector from Cartesian components to spherical representation (Since R2020a)
sph2cartvecConvert vector from spherical basis components to Cartesian components (Since R2020a)

Channel Models

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

Channel Utilities

channelDelayChannel timing delay (Since R2020a)
convertSNRConvert SNR values (Since R2022a)
ofdmChannelResponseCalculate OFDM channel response (Since R2023a)
dopplerConstruct Doppler spectrum structure
winner2.AntennaArrayCreate antenna array for WINNER II channel model
winner2.dipoleCalculate half-wavelength dipole field pattern for WINNER II channel model
winner2.layoutparsetWINNER II layout parameter configuration
winner2.wimGenerate channel coefficients using WINNER II channel model
winner2.wimparsetWINNER II model parameter configuration


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txsiteCreate RF transmitter site (Since R2019b)
rxsiteCreate RF receiver site (Since R2019b)
siteviewerCreate Site Viewer (Since R2019b)
arrayConfigCreate phased array configuration (Since R2020b)

Propagation Models

FreeSpaceFree space propagation model (Since R2019b)
RainRain propagation model (Since R2019b)
GasGas propagation model (Since R2019b)
FogFog propagation model (Since R2019b)
CloseInClose-in propagation model (Since R2019b)
LongleyRiceLongley-Rice propagation model (Since R2019b)
RayTracingRay tracing propagation model (Since R2019b)

Propagation Data

propagationDataCreate RF propagation data from measurements (Since R2020a)
comm.RayCreate RF propagation ray (Since R2020a)

Channel Models

comm.AWGNChannelAdd white Gaussian noise to input signal
comm.RayTracingChannelFilter signal through multipath fading channel defined by propagation rays (Since R2020b)
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
uwbChannelFilter input signal through UWB IEEE 802.15.4 a/z/ab channel (Since R2024a)

Channel Utilities

comm.ChannelFilterFilter signal using multipath gains at specified path delays (Since R2020b)


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Free Space Path LossApply free space path loss to complex signal

Channel Models

AWGN ChannelAdd white Gaussian noise to input signal
Binary Symmetric ChannelIntroduce binary errors
MIMO Fading ChannelFilter input signal through MIMO multipath fading channel
SISO Fading ChannelFilter input signal through SISO multipath fading channel

Channel Utilities

OFDM Channel ResponseCalculate OFDM channel response (Since R2023a)


RF Propagation

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
    When your simulation uses coding, the Eb/N0 setting for the AWGN channel must be adjusted by the coding rate to apply the desired signal to noise (SNR) ratio.
  • Fading Channels
    Defining a fading channel object and applying it to a signal.
  • Channel Visualization
    These channel modeling System objects and blocks in Communications Toolbox™ include an option to visualize the characteristics of a fading channel.
  • WINNER II Channel
    Model the WINNER II channel using the WINNER II Channel Model for Communications Toolbox add-on.