Mesh radios are typically used in mission critical communications and therefore it is imperative to secure a superior quality of service. Field testing is not always the best approach for several reasons, such as lack of repeatability, expense, scheduling, and the difficulty in creating extreme test conditions. Lab testing can compensate for this, but due to unique behavior, standard channel models are not sufficient to replicate the highly dynamic characteristics of mesh networks. For example, Doppler modeling and the impacts of bandwidth need to be revisited. Also, a test system must have very high capacity to support full mesh structures due to all the connected nodes in the network.
This whitepaper discusses radio channel modeling of mesh networks in the VHF to UHF region (30 MHz – 600 MHz, which are typical of military communications), describes key challenges and illustrates how to set up a test system compliant to mesh requirements.