Lessons Learned Using a Physics-Based Macromodel for Analysis of Radio Wave Propagation in Wireless Transmission

Tapan K. Sarkar, Heng Chen, Magdalena Salazar-Palma, Mingda Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes the lessons learned using a physics-based macromodel in studying electromagnetic wave propagation over an imperfectly conducting ground in cellular wireless communication. First, it has been observed that the path loss exponent is independent of the nature of the ground parameters inside the cell of interest. Second, the electrical parameters of the environment have little effect on the path loss exponent in the cellular band. Third, it is observed that lowering the base station antenna toward the ground provides a stronger signal in the near field within the cell of interest. Furthermore, tilting the transmitting antenna toward the sky enhances the signal strength. Tilting the antenna toward the ground increases the signal strength but, in addition, enhances the interference pattern and, hence, is not a good solution. A typical path loss inside the cell is 30 dB per decade of distance, and outside the cell, it increases to 40 dB per decade. By bringing the antenna closer to the ground and then tilting it toward the sky, a good nonintuitive solution is provided. In such scenarios, a path loss of 20 dB per decade for some components of the field, the lowest possible, can be achieved for certain orientations and deployment of the base station antenna. In addition, it is shown that operating an antenna inside a metallic box eliminates its radiation capabilities and, hence, has no physical meaning even though it is claimed in the contemporary literature that it simulates a rich multipath environment. Finally, a note on the proper interpretation of the term channel capacity and its implications is delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8606954
Pages (from-to)2150-2157
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Cellular radio wave propagation
  • channel capacity
  • nonradiating antenna
  • path loss exponent
  • physics-based macromodel
  • receiving antenna
  • transmitting antenna
  • wireless transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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