Featured Product Archive
The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their
uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough
to warrant an appearance.
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Mr. Oleg Sakharov, Director of the Center of Telecommunication Technologies,
LLC, recently sent me information on the
MLinkPlanner software for performing microwave communications link design. Judging
only from the provided screenshots and the online documentation, MLinkPlanner looks
to be very user friendly and loaded with features. I downloaded (and scanned with
Norton AV) the 7-day free trial.
I did a quick fictitious link between my house in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the
WBEN AM radio station in Buffalo, New York. MLinkPlanner would not allow me to enter
the actual channel frequency of 930 kHz (0.930 MHz) since it is evidently below
its allowed range. I couldn't find a valid range listed in the documentation, but
it is somewhere at or above 150 MHz (not surprising since this is a microwave
planner after all). My route is mostly over Lake Erie, so there was not much in
the way of obstructions, other than the curvature of the earth. The antennas are
elevated to 320 meters (mounted atop non-existent hills) due to Earth curvature
over the 153 km separation to get a line-of-sight shot. MLinkPlanner calculates
a path loss of 119.6 dB, which agrees with what my
RF Cafe Calculator Workbook gets. BTW, AM radio frequencies form
ground waves that can follow the curvature, so elevated antennas are not necessary
to cover long distances - just lots of power. The thumbnails below show my trivial
effort. Other than the path loss, I did not make any effort to verify results.
Great GIS Features
Appropriate Quality and Availability Objectives
Full-Featured Microwave Path Analysis
Support for Any Equipment Configuration
Accurate Microwave Link Performance Analysis
MLinkPlanner for Erie to Buffalo
There are a few artifacts in the program that remind you MLinkPlanner is a foreign
product, such as imperfect translation to English in some places and a few of the
mouseover hints appear in Russian :-). Your trial files cannot be saved. There is
a nag screen that pops up occasionally to remind you of the time remaining on the
trial period. However, none of these are an impediment to your successfully testing
the product for suitability.
There are a lot of microwave point-to-point and point-to-multipoint planning
software packages with varying degrees of ability, but good luck finding the price
for most of them without contacting a sales representative. MLinkPlanner has an
advertised price of $499 US for a single-user license.
The following is an excerpt from the
MLinkPlanner user manual:
MLinkPlanner is a powerful and user-friendly software for microwave link design.
MLinkPlanner was created by engineers with many years of experience in designing
microwave links, from single hop access links to high-power long-haul trunk lines.
MLinkPlanner has demonstrated its effectiveness in designing many lines that are
operating successfully, in various climatic zones and terrains, from plains and
marshlands to highlands. A special focus was placed on a convenient user interface,
ease of using link path profiles and automating calculations to the maximum.
Fully automatic generation of path profile with terrain elevation, tree height
and height of buildings. Data sources: USGS EarthExplorer, High-Resolution Global
Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change Published, Department of Geographical Sciences
University of Maryland, Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology,
All these types of geodata are downloaded automatically as needed; there is no
need to worry about preloading the geodata. Moreover, you can edit an existing or
create a new path profile manually.
The application allows you to use any kinds of basemaps - both common (such as
OpenStreetMap, OpenTopoMap, etc.) and custom ones.
MLinkPlanner can perform the calculation and optimization of microwave link parameters,
including: path profile analysis, multipath fade probability calculation, rain
fade calculation, diversity improvement calculation (frequency, space and quad
diversity), co-channel operation link calculation, error performance and
availability calculation, reflection analysis, diffraction loss analysis.
About Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC
Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC (CTT, LLC) www.ctt-group.ru Novosibirsk, Russia
is the developer of the MLinkPlanner software.
The company has been on the Russian market for more than 15 years, and all this
time we have been actively working in two directions - the design of radio communication
networks and the development of software for design.
During our work, our specialists carried out projects on more than 1000 microwave
hops, more than 800 base stations of mobile communication, more than 100 television
and broadcasting transmitters. The geography of the work is Russia, the main customers
are mobile operators MTC, Megafon, Vimpelcom, Tele 2, oil and gas production, processing
and transportation companies, as well as broadcasting companies.
Since its foundation, the company has been developing specialized programs that
help in the design of radio communication networks:
- DRRL (microwave link design);
- RadioPlanner (calculation of radio coverage areas for mobile communication
- SanZone (calculation of biologically hazardous areas);
- EMC Planner (calculation of electro-magnetic compatibility);
In this software, developers are investing their entire experience in designing
real-world radio networks. Being recognized experts in this field, our experts
author the textbook for high schools "Basics of designing digital radio relay communication
Until recently, we offered software only in the Russian market. Many design
organizations, system integrators, telecom operators, TV and radio broadcasters,
and government agencies in Russia and the CIS have been the licensed users of our
Now we are pleased to offer you the program MLinkPlanner, which was developed
specifically for the global market. The program is a convenient tool for designing
radio relay links with all the necessary functionality. In addition, the program
has a number of unique functions for working with GIS. The MLinkPlanner capabilities
will be complemented, further functionality is planned.
Center of Telecommunication Technologies, LLC.
Posted December 19, 2017