Radio Mobile - RF propagation simulation software
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Land cover

Land Cover is in radio planning better known as 'Clutter'.

Sample Landcover data

Radio Mobile has implemented the use of Land Cover from 8.9.3. For this implementation Land Cover in the Plate Carre format is found at University of Maryland.

See 'How to > Obtain geodata'.

Landcover in Radio Mobile can be used in the .img and the .lcv format.

General information on Clutter

Clutter comes generally in a raster format. At coordinate X-Y you find value Z. In the case of clutter Z is the clutter class. It is possible to express clutter in vectors. This is done in DTED where the vector or line holds a class or type.

Clutter in radio planning expresses the impact on RF propagation by the objects on the ground. Wel known clutter types are:

Clutter class definition
Water (salt / sweet) Sweet or Salt water. Might be split up in to inalnd water (lakes) and Sea
Rural / Open land Area with little or no vegetation
Forest Forested lands with closed tree canopy. No distinction is made between deciduous and coniferous.
Residential Houses in suburban environment. Suburban density typically involves laid out street patterns in which streets are visible. Lots may be as small as 30m by 30m, but are typically larger and include vegetation cover. Individual houses are frequently visible. Average height is below 15m.
Urban Areas within urban perimeter. The mean urban should have mean street density with no pattern, the major streets are visible, the built-up features appear distinct from each other. Some small vegetation could be included. Average height is below 40m.
Dense Urban Areas within urban perimeter. This includes dense urban areas with dense development where built-up features do not appear distinct from each other.
open in urban Small open land area with no vegetation surrounded by mean urban, dense urban, or residential.

As can be seen the clutter characteristics describe the influence they have on RF. This is in average building height how buildings are positioned to each other (street width). The number of clutter classes reflect the need for accuracy by the radio planner. Clutter classes are one parameter that has effect on the accuracy. The resolution is another parameter.

In Commercial cellular networks generally clutter is available in < 100 x 100 meters. Here the focus is on urban populated areas where the most traffic can be gained.

Clutter data comes with a price. Commercial datasets with clutter and height at 25 x 25 meters resolution are very expensive and not within reach or radio amateurs.

Radio amateurs have to use what is free to their community and Land cover is for free.

Land Cover Image file

Land cover data as it is made available by the University of Maryland contains the following 13 clutter classes. It covers the globe and has a resolution of 1000 x 1000 meters. To be able to determine the nature of the class some descriptions are added.

  Clutter class definition
0 Water -
0 Evergreen Needle leaf Forest Natural forest with > 30% canopy cover, in which the canopy is predominantly (> 75%) needle leaf and evergreen.
2 Evergreen Broad leaf Forest Natural forests with > 30% canopy cover, the canopy being > 75% evergreen and broad leaf.
3 Deciduous Needle leaf Forest Natural forests with > 30% canopy cover, in which the canopy is predominantly (> 75%) needle leaf and deciduous.
4 Deciduous Broad leaf Forest Natural forests with > 30% canopy cover, in which the canopy is predominantly (> 75%) needle leaf and deciduous.
5 Mixed Forest Natural forests with > 30% canopy cover, in which > 75% of the canopy is deciduous and broadleaved predominate (> 75% of canopy cover).
6 Woodland -
7 Wooded Grassland -
8 Closed Shrub land -
9 Open Shrub land -
10 Grassland less than 10% tree cover. Grasslands consist of areas classified as open shrub land, closed shrub land, woody savanna, savanna, and grassland.
11 Crop land -
12 Bage Ground -
13 Urban and Build-up -
15   These definitions can be subject of change. There might be a error in it now.

The definitions described are found at:

Land Cover data has a focus on vegetation and not urban area's. This has influence on the useablity of Land Cover for radio planning purposes.

Land Cover in .LCV format

With version 10.4.7, the program can download Landcover data for USA and Canada from the Internet.

Configure .LCV usage in 'options > elevationdata > Landcover'.

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