Faculty of Engineering


Improved wireless communications

Modelling radiowave propagation to provide an insight on how performance in an indoor environment might be improved through infrastructural modifications.  The diverse nature of indoor environments makes modelling extremely challenging.

While the development of technology such as mobile telephony and wireless local area networks has been revolutionary, performance in an indoor environment is significantly constrained by interference. Radiowave propagation is influenced by building walls and floors, and by users of the same frequencies in close proximity, compromising performance.


Key focus areas/issues

Existing models are limited by extremely high computational load requirements which restrict the size of the area that can be modeled and involve long processing times.

In order to overcome limitations with existing modeling techniques this project aims to apply two new techniques.

These techniques show promise in allowing large scale propagation problems replicating real environments to be studied in an effective manner.

Development of these models into mechanistic propagation models will lead to use in infrastructure system design and improved wireless communications.

Current major developments

PhD student Eva Lai has carried out FDTD modeling to simulate radiowave propagation on the 12th floor of the Faculty of Engineering building, 20 Symonds Street Auckland.

Floor plan of the area modelled.

Measurements demonstrate reflection of the signal off the walls of the building, causing significant interference with the radiowave signal.

Measurement of actual radiowave propagation from a source by the lifts.

FDTD modeling of radiowave propogation from a source by the lifts. The red indicates strong signal, the blue, weak signal.

The model: Reflection of signal off the walls.


Key people

  • Michael Neve
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Allan Williamson
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Kevin Sowerby
    Electircal and Computer Engineering
  • John Cater
    Engineering Science


Michael Neve
Email: mj.neve@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 extn 85074

Related publications

The following publications are from previous relevant research:

Austin A, Neve MJ, Rowe, GB and Pirkl RJ, 2009. “Modelling the Effects of Nearby Building on Inter-Floor Radio-Wave Propagation”, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. 57, no. 7, pp 2155-2161

Neve MJ, Paknys R, 2006. “A Technique for approximating the location of surface- and leaky-wave poles for a lossy dielectric slab”, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. 54, no. 1, pp 115-120

Lee DCK, Neve MJ, Sowerby KW, 2007 . “The impact of structural shielding on the performance of wireless systems in a single floor office building”, IEEE Trans. Wireless Comms., vol. 6, no. 5, pp 1787-1695

Sung, GH-H, Sowerby, KW, Neve MJ, Williamson, AG, 2006 . “Frequency-selective wall for interference reduction in wireless indoor environments”, IEEE Antennas Propagat. Mag., vol. 48, no. 5, pp 29-37