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Two-Ray Multipath Propagation

A two-ray propagation channel is the next step up in complexity from a free-space channel and is the simplest case of a multipath propagation environment. The free-space channel models a straight-line line-of-sight path from point 1 to point 2. In a two-ray channel, the medium is specified as a homogeneous, isotropic medium with a reflecting planar boundary. The boundary is always set at z = 0. There are at most two rays propagating from point 1 to point 2. The first ray path propagates along the same line-of-sight path as in the free-space channel (see the phased.FreeSpace System object™). The line-of-sight path is often called the direct path. The second ray reflects off the boundary before propagating to point 2. According to the Law of Reflection , the angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence. In short-range simulations such as cellular communications systems and automotive radars, you can assume that the reflecting surface, the ground or ocean surface, is flat.

The figure illustrates two propagation paths. From the source position, ss, and the receiver position, sr, you can compute the arrival angles of both paths, θ′los and θ′rp. The arrival angles are the elevation and azimuth angles of the arriving radiation with respect to a local coordinate system. In this case, the local coordinate system coincides with the global coordinate system. You can also compute the transmitting angles, θlos and θrp. In the global coordinates, the angle of reflection at the boundary is the same as the angles θrp and θ′rp. The reflection angle is important to know when you use angle-dependent reflection-loss data. You can determine the reflection angle by using the rangeangle function and setting the reference axes to the global coordinate system. The total path length for the line-of-sight path is shown in the figure by Rlos which is equal to the geometric distance between source and receiver. The total path length for the reflected path is Rrp= R1 + R2. The quantity L is the ground range between source and receiver.

You can easily derive exact formulas for path lengths and angles in terms of the ground range and object heights in the global coordinate system.