In this tutorial, we demonstrate a Virtual flight test scenario using Altair WinProp software. In this demo, a drone follows a flight path in 3D in an Urban Scenario. Connectivity between the ground station and the drone is simulated.


WinProp is a complete suite of tools in the domain of wireless propagation and radio network planning. With applications ranging from satellite to terrestrial, from rural via urban to indoor radio links, WinProp’s innovative wave propagation models combine accuracy with short computation time.

Connectivity Analysis between the ground station and the drone flying over city along a trajectory is performed using virtual flight test simulations in WinProp. In this virtual flight test, wireless connectivity of the drone flying along a trajectory at various heights, for example, a trajectory of several kilometer’s length near an LTE base station in an urban scenario is evaluated.

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


Virtual Flight Test Demo:

A monopole antenna with capacitive hat (@ 900 MHz) is mounted on the drone for the radiation pattern analysis and is simulated using Altair Feko as shown in Figure 1. Far field radiation pattern file (*ffe) is exported for further analysis in Winprop. 

A preprocessed urban database (Frankfurt city), base station (sector radiation pattern) and Mobile Station (Drone radiation pattern) are chosen for the propagation and network analysis in WinProp. Trajectory with different altitudes is defined along the streets of the Frankfurt city as shown in the Figure 2. Figure 3 and Figure 4 depict the propagation and Network analysis results of the drone along the flight path.  Figure 5 shows the wireless connection between the base station and the drone at a prediction point behind one of the buildings along with ray path visualization. It is observed that the prediction point has established the connection with the base station due to reflections from multiple buildings.


Figure 1




Figure 2

Propagation Results (MS):


Figure 3


Network Analysis Results (Max Throughput):


Figure 4





Figure 5


A detailed step by step instructions on this tutorial is presented in the below video.