Public Release: 

A new tool developed at the UPNA assesses how interference impacts on wireless networks

Elhuyar Fundazioa

The methodology is based on the 3D Ray Launching simulation tool and enables estimates to be made about the propagation of electromagnetic waves through space (or radio propagation) in interior environments (homes, buildings, hospitals, stations, sports areas, shopping areas, industrial environments, etc.) and makes it possible to determine the ideal location for networking wireless devices. This new technology facilitates the correct deployment of these devices and, therefore, optimises data transmission speed, equipment energy consumption and cost of deployment, as covered in this engineer's PhD thesis read at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA).

"There are other simulation tools that provide estimates of radio propagation, but 3D Ray Launching has not only been developed in its entirety at the NUP/UPNA, it also provides accurate results in a very short simulation time if we compare it with other similar methods," explained the researcher.

The conclusions reached in this research show that assessing interference on wireless sensor networks is set to become a key issue in the deployment of wireless sensor networks and wireless communication systems. "With the arrival of 5G communications systems and the Internet of Things, there are expected to be 50,000 million wireless devices across the world by the year 2020, an average of eight per person. Knowing the distribution of radiated output by a transmitter in a specific scenario enables optimal radio planning to be made," pointed out the researcher.

As this engineer points out, another advantage offered by this tool is that, unlike existing ones, it produces estimates of the power radiated by electronic equipment in large-scale environments. López-Iturri also highlights the fact that the radio planning proposed by means of his new methodology is specific for each environment, "because it varies on the basis of the morphology and topology of the environment, such as the materials of the walls, the furniture or the presence of people, for example".

Electromagnetic noise

Peio López-Iturri has also developed an innovative hybrid method to model and estimate the propagation of electromagnetic noise generated by electric and electronic devices, such as microwave ovens, motors or transformers. "The advantage of knowing how these devices radiate lies in being able to better plan the deployment of a wireless communications network in the scenarios in which they are present, as they may interfere with communication," he pointed out. "For example, a baby monitor with a camera may interfere with the receiving of the wi-fi signal that we have at home; and the microwave oven may cause severe interference in ZigBee wireless communication used, above all, in the deployment of sensor networks."


The development of the method promoted by the NUP/UPNA for modelling sources that may cause interference has encouraged its use in electromagnetic dosimetry studies in collaboration with the Carlos III Institute of Health in Madrid. This research has also had the collaboration of many institutions including the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona, the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Mexico), the University of Deusto-Deusto Tech, the Government of Navarre and the Pamplona District Association of Town Councils.

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