Physics-Based Modeling of Experimental Data Encountered in Cellular Wireless Communication

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper presents a physics-based macro model that can predict with a high degree of accuracy various experimental data available for the propagation path loss of radio waves in a cellular wireless environment. A theoretical macro model based on the classical Sommerfeld formulation can duplicate various experimental data including that of Okumura et al. carried out in 1968. It is important to point out that there are also many statistical models but they do not conform to the results of the available experimental data. Specifically, there are separate path loss propagation models available in the literature for waves traveling in urban, suburban, rural environments, and the like. However, no such distinction is made in the results obtained from the theoretical analysis and measured experimental data. Based on the analysis using the macro model developed after Sommerfeld's classic century-old analytical formulation, one can also explain the origin of slow fading which is due to the interference between the direct wave from the base station antenna and the ground wave emanating from the reflections of the direct wave and occurs only in the near field of the transmitting antenna. The so-called height gain occurs in the far field of a base station antenna deployment which falls generally outside the cell of interest, while in the near field, within the cell, there is a height loss of the field strength for observation points near the ground. A physical realization of the propagation mechanism is illustrated through Vander Pol's exact transformation of the Sommerfeld integrals for the potential to a spatial semiinfinite volume integral and thus illustrates why buildings, trees, and the like have little effects on the propagation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8510858
Pages (from-to)6673-6682
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Analysis of Wire Antennas and Scatterers (AWAS)
  • Schelkunoff formulation
  • Sommerfeld formulation
  • cellular radio wave propagation
  • experimental data for radio waves
  • path loss exponent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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