Great GIS Features
Appropriate Quality and Availability Objectives
Full-Featured Microwave Path Analysis
Support for Any Equipment Configuration
Accurate Microwave Link Performance Analysis
Mr. Oleg Sakharov, Director of the Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC,
recently sent me information on the MLinkPlanner software for performing microwave communications link
design. Judging only from the provided screenshots and the online documentation, MLinkPlanner
looks to be very user friendly and loaded with features. I downloaded (and scanned with
Norton AV) the 7-day free trial.
I did a quick fictitious link between my house in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the WBEN
AM radio station in Buffalo, New York. MLinkPlanner would not allow me to enter the actual
channel frequency of 930 kHz (0.930 MHz) since it is evidently below its allowed
range. I couldn't find a valid range listed in the documentation, but it is somewhere
at or above 150 MHz (not surprising since this is a microwave planner after all).
My route is mostly over Lake Erie, so there was not much in the way of obstructions,
other than the curvature of the earth. The antennas are elevated to 320 meters (mounted
atop non-existent hills) due to Earth curvature over the 153 km separation to get
a line-of-sight shot. MLinkPlanner calculates a path loss of 119.6 dB, which agrees
with what my
RF Cafe Calculator Workbook gets. BTW, AM radio frequencies form ground waves that
can follow the curvature, so elevated antennas are not necessary to cover long distances
- just lots of power. The thumbnails below show my trivial effort. Other than the path
loss, I did not make any effort to verify results.
MLinkPlanner for Erie to Buffalo
There are a few artifacts in the program that remind you MLinkPlanner is a foreign
product, such as imperfect translation to English in some places and a few of the mouseover
hints appear in Russian :-). Your trial files cannot be saved. There is a nag screen
that pops up occasionally to remind you of the time remaining on the trial period. However,
none of these are an impediment to your successfully testing the product for suitability.
There are a lot of microwave point-to-point and point-to-multipoint planning software
packages with varying degrees of ability, but good luck finding the price for most of
them without contacting a sales representative. MLinkPlanner has an advertised price
of $499 US for a single-user license.
The following is an excerpt from the MLinkPlanner user manual:
MLinkPlanner is a powerful and user-friendly software for microwave link design. MLinkPlanner
was created by engineers with many years of experience in designing microwave links,
from single hop access links to high-power long-haul trunk lines. MLinkPlanner has demonstrated
its effectiveness in designing many lines that are operating successfully, in various
climatic zones and terrains, from plains and marshlands to highlands. A special focus
was placed on a convenient user interface, ease of using link path profiles and automating
calculations to the maximum.
Fully automatic generation of path profile with terrain elevation, tree height and
height of buildings. Data sources: USGS EarthExplorer, High-Resolution Global Maps of
21st-Century Forest Cover Change Published, Department of Geographical Sciences University
of Maryland, Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology, OpenStreetMap
All these types of geodata are downloaded automatically as needed; there is no need
to worry about preloading the geodata. Moreover, you can edit an existing or create a
new path profile manually.
The application allows you to use any kinds of basemaps - both common (such as OpenStreetMap,
OpenTopoMap, etc.) and custom ones.
MLinkPlanner can perform the calculation and optimization of microwave link parameters,
including: path profile analysis, multipath fade probability calculation, rain fade
calculation, diversity improvement calculation (frequency, space and quad diversity), co-channel
operation link calculation, error performance and availability calculation, reflection
analysis, diffraction loss analysis.
About Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC
Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC (CTT, LLC) www.ctt-group.ru Novosibirsk, Russia is
the developer of the MLinkPlanner software.
The company has been on the Russian market for more than 15 years, and all this time
we have been actively working in two directions - the design of radio communication networks
and the development of software for design.
During our work, our specialists carried out projects on more than 1000 microwave
hops, more than 800 base stations of mobile communication, more than 100 television and
broadcasting transmitters. The geography of the work is Russia, the main customers are
mobile operators MTC, Megafon, Vimpelcom, Tele 2, oil and gas production, processing
and transportation companies, as well as broadcasting companies.
Since its foundation, the company has been developing specialized programs that help
in the design of radio communication networks:
- DRRL (microwave link design);
- RadioPlanner (calculation of radio coverage areas for mobile communication
- SanZone (calculation of biologically hazardous areas);
- EMC Planner (calculation of electro-magnetic compatibility);
In this software, developers are investing their entire experience in designing real-world
radio networks. Being recognized experts in this field, our experts author the textbook
for high schools "Basics of designing digital radio relay communication lines" http://www.techbook.ru/book.php?id_book=673
Until recently, we offered software only in the Russian market. Many design organizations,
system integrators, telecom operators, TV and radio broadcasters, and government agencies
in Russia and the CIS have been the licensed users of our software products.
Now we are pleased to offer you the program MLinkPlanner, which was developed specifically
for the global market. The program is a convenient tool for designing radio relay links
with all the necessary functionality. In addition, the program has a number of unique
functions for working with GIS. The MLinkPlanner capabilities will be complemented, further
functionality is planned.
Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC.
Posted December 19, 2017
The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome
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