Virtual Drive Test (Evaluation of Antenna Configuration)

In any propagation analysis, the antenna pattern of the receiving antenna (usually referred to as the mobile station in the graphical user interface) can be included. In a regular propagation analysis, one specifies the orientation of the receiving antenna relative to the coordinate system of the geometry. When the receiving antenna is mounted on a vehicle, however, it will turn with the vehicle. Therefore, in a virtual drive test, one defines a trajectory. The receiving antenna is moved along the trajectory, its orientation changing in accordance with the direction in which it moves. In combination with a propagation or network analysis, quantities like received power and maximum throughput are plotted for this specific scenario.

Note: The virtual drive test is not the same as a simulation with time variance, since all geometry is stationary (a vehicle geometry is not explicitly part of the model; it is only implicitly included in the mobile antenna pattern) and the antenna position is not explicitly a function of time.

Figure 1. Example results of a virtual test drive. In the bottom image, interference was taken into account.