The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B4-2020
25 Aug 2020
 | 25 Aug 2020


S. Bharadwaj, R. Dubey, M. I. Zafar, A. Srivastava, V. Bhushan Sharma, and S. Biswas

Keywords: LiDAR, Building, Ground extraction, Optimal location, Path determination, Cell phone tower, Signal strength

Abstract. Cell phones have become an inherent part of human life and have grown rapidly in the last decade. In India, there are nearly 120 crore cell phone users which require setting up of cell phone tower at an appropriate location to transmit the signals. A signal strength that is measured in (dBm) keeps on varying from one location to another. Over the decades, there has been a great deal of concern about placing a cell phone tower to manage adequate signal strength for an area. During transmission, the signals get affected by the position of building, ground and the distances the signals need to travel before reaching any receiver or user location. Existing researches focus on the requirement of a suitable number of cell phone towers for a big area in a GIS environment. Depending on the building and other infrastructure present in an area an optimal location can be determined for setting up the cell phone tower. However, the detailed 3D data is required for it. In this paper, a LiDAR-based technique is attempted. Using the point cloud data of the RGIPT campus, features like building, ground, obstruction points, etc are extracted. To determine the transmission paths for the signal, building/object boundary(es), etc. coming in the path(s) between the cell phone tower and the receiver location are determined. Once the detailed paths for the signal transmission i.e, direct path, or path after diffraction (around the buildings), and/or reflection (from the wall and ground) are determined, terrain parameters (distance, path difference, attenuation, etc) are ascertained. These are then used to model and determine the relative signal strength for any receiver location. The position of cell phone tower is then tested for optimal XY, and Z position to ascertain the best location for setting up the cell phone tower. The method is verified against various path determination algorithms. A centroid and viewshed based approach is adopted here. The technique is generic, novel and essentially work with LiDAR point data without needing DEM and can be applied for any terrain condition.