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Terrain Analysis Package (TAP) 7.6 RF Propagation Software
April 25, 2022

SoftWright Releases Terrain Analysis Package (TAP™) 7.6 RF propagation software with all-new AutoCoverage module for the rapid simulation and analysis of multi-site radio systems. 

SoftWright, a GSA contract holder, is the developer of the Terrain Analysis Package (TAP™) PC-based terrestrial RF propagation software. TAP™ is used by federal agencies, state/local public safety departments, energy companies, utilities, and consultants to evaluate radio transmitter sites; predict, map, and analyze radio coverage; plan land mobile radio and cellular systems; conduct intermodulation and adjacent channel interference studies; and design microwave, VHF, and UHF links. TAP™ models the physical layer of communication systems – specifically, RF propagation over terrain. However, TAP™ provides straightforward study creation and visualization options to conduct a wide range of advanced wireless communication analyses, including analyses for Project 25 (P25) and TETRA systems.

SoftWright’s TAP™ 7.6 software now includes an all-new AutoCoverage module. An AutoCoverage Study allows users to set up and execute sets of coverage studies using common study settings. This module is particularly useful for analyzing multi-site systems, such as public safety systems that have to cover a defined jurisdiction.  Rather than creating numerous individual coverage studies, which is impractical for large numbers of studies, a single AutoCoverage Study defines studies for combinations of Fixed Facility (e.g., tower) and Mobile Facility (e.g., handheld) pairs of interest. The area coverage results may be easily displayed on a single map or used in an Aggregate Coverage study to combine the individual cases into a single study result.  For air-to-ground / ground-to-air system analysis, the AutoCoverage module can facilitate study execution over ranges of flight levels. AutoCoverage can also expedite parameter variation analyses, where the user wishes to vary parameters like antenna heights, types, downtilts, orientations, etc., and compare outputs to find the optimal configuration.

The individual studies that comprise an AutoCoverage study are termed Cases.  An AutoCoverage Case is defined for each unique fixed facility / mobile facility pair. TAP™ uses the Study Settings to run a coverage study for each Case.  The Study Settings are common to all Cases within the AutoCoverage study.  Fixed and Mobile facilities may be selected from the TAP™ facility databases or imported from a spreadsheet. Click this link to view the tutorial video: TAP™ 7.6 AutoCoverage Tutorial Video.

The individual AutoCoverage case results may be combined using the Aggregate Coverage Module.  The TAP™ Aggregate Coverage (AC) module, which aggregates the results of multiple individual coverage studies into a single composite coverage result, is one of the most popular TAP™ modules.  Since aggregation is a post-processing step, the tool is provided in TAP™ Mapper.  The tool allows users to create multi-site composite coverage maps easily even over irregularly bounded areas.  Click the following link for a video tutorial on how to Create Multi-Site Aggregate Talkout and Talkback Studies with TAP™ 7.

The TAP™ Aggregate Coverage module takes the TAP™ signal strength results from multiple area coverage studies, created either using TAP™ or TAP™ Mapper Quick Coverage, and calculates a new resultant area coverage. The Aggregate Coverage tool will calculate the Maximum, Best Server, Simulcast and Desired/Undesired (D/U) aggregation results from any combination of previously calculated individual coverage studies using parameters appropriate for the multi-site system.  It will also calculate Composite Talkback coverage to assess talkback coverage from a variety of mobiles to the fixed base stations.

TAP™ is widely used for TSB-88-type modelling of public safety communications systems.  The modelling is typically multi-site coverage over some bounded area (i.e., municipal area, county, region, province/state, etc.), where the user wants to assess whether the system covers X% of the area at least Y% of the time to some defined performance level (e.g., handheld unit, DAQ 3.4).  From the TSB-88.1 guidance, the user sets a fade adjusted performance threshold, and selects Longley-Rice as the propagation model to generate median signal strength values.  A bounded tile-type study is chosen, where the boundary of the desired area is selected from a shape file.  The study results are written to a shape file and can be styled to show TalkOut-only, TalkBack-only, or combined TalkOut/TalkBack coverage. With the release of TAP™ 7.6, these types of analyses are faster and easier than ever.

Visit www.softwright.com for more information, to watch an AutoCoverage tutorial video, or to download a free demo version of the latest TAP™ software.



August 2022

7 - 10
APCO Conference and Expo 2022
Anaheim, California

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