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Aegis Spectrum Engineering Toolkit

Since the early 1990s we have been developing the Aegis Spectrum Engineering Toolkit. Today, the Toolkit is an extensive suite of engineering software that provides a flexible means by which to model any type of radio system, including space, terrestrial and aeronautical systems, fixed and mobile, active and passive.

1 Input

The first part of any simulation is the collection of data.  The Toolkit allows a radio engineer to rapidly build an application to collect the data required for a particular simulator.  The simulator may then be run interactively, or as an unattended batch process on a local or remote computer.

2 Process

At the heart of the Toolkit lie the simulators. Each implements a model of a particular application area, using a common application framework and algorithmic library to reduce development time and improve software quality. The application framework provides data input, file storage, progress monitoring and job management; the algorithmic library includes orbit propagation, together with an extensive, validated and regularly updated library of antenna patterns and ITU-R models for atmospheric loss, rain attenuation and other effects. The library also provides an interface to detailed terrain data (including UK Ordnance Survey national cover, and the SRTM-3, SRTM-30 and GLOBE 1.0 databases), allowing diffraction and other propagation effects to be determined on specific terrestrial paths. ITU-R Recommendation 452 is supported, which has particular application in the determination of interference between fixed terminals (e.g. satellite uplinks, radio relay links), as well as ITU-R Recommendation P.370, which is widely applied by broadcasters.

3 Output

Complex simulations, whether for the wanted or unwanted path, often generate a large volume of results data. Clear presentation of these results can be critical to understanding and communicating the nature of the problem being addressed. Recognising this, the Toolkit includes a visualisation facility to enable users to produce output for analysis and publication. The user is able to explore, in an interactive fashion, the relationship between different model parameters; dynamic situations can be displayed in standard multimedia formats such as AVI or Apple QuickTime.

Applying the Aegis Spectrum Engineering Toolkit

The Toolkit uses XML for data transfer between components. This means that the input or output of any simulator can be transformed (with XSLT) into the input for any other simulator, or into the format required for publication, visualisation or further analysis (e.g. HTML, SVG or CSV). This makes it possible to build "pipelines" from existing, validated tools – allowing us to implement modelling functions quickly and reliably.

Other modelling requirements need a dedicated simulator, built from the framework and library. A topical example is Monte Carlo simulation, a technique that is finding increasing application in the modelling of systems where not all the parameters are known deterministically. The Monte Carlo simulator in the Toolkit has been used on a variety of projects, such as the assessment of the mutual interference between Radio Fixed Access networks. The simulator modelled the network paths, with characteristics such as terminal locations, aerial heights, traffic, and building clutter being characterised by statistical functions. The output was in the form of a probability distribution relating interference levels to the percentage of terminals affected. Manipulation of such a model can inform decisions on the restrictions and regulatory framework required to allow co-existence between networks adjacent in frequency or area.

To discuss how Aegis can help model wanted or unwanted paths for your system, or can visualise your system data, contact us at enquiry-2015@aegis-systems.co.uk.

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