Asymptotic Electromagnetic Radiation Software

The Urbana toolkit simulates wireless propagation and near field radar sensors in complex environments. The underlying ray-tracing physics engine aggregates Physical Optics, Geometric Optics, and Diffraction Physics to produce a high-fidelity simulation.


Through the visualization interface, the user can study and assess antenna, network, and radar system designs in a wide range of realistic scenes such as urban environments, building interiors and automobile traffic.

This flexibility of the code has led to its application in several types of analyses:

  • Urban Propagation — The Urbana toolkit provides wireless system planners with a powerful tool to simulate propagation in outdoor rural and urban settings.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Propagation — The Urbana toolkit ray tracing engine can account for the complex, cascading multi-bounce effects introduced by multiple walls and other partially penetrable boundaries in an Indoor/Outdoor environment.
  • Collision Avoidance Radar — The Urbana toolkit also features a high-fidelity radar signal scattering solution specifically designed to handle complex scenes with numerous scattering features generating radar returns, such as automotive collision radar applications.
  • Antenna Studies — Urbana toolkit allows users to study antenna designs and locations to determine the optimal configuration for a particular application.


The Urbana toolkit uses a ray tracing engine similar to that developed for Xpatch®, a high fidelity radar signature prediction tool. This engine is coupled with proprietary high-speed algorithms to implement multipath Geometric Optics (GO), Physical Optics (PO), and Diffraction Physics. Calculations are 3D and polarimetric from start (transmitter) to finish (receiver).

To characterize electromagnetic wave propagation in an urban environment, Urbana uses 3D ray tracing applied to 3D CAD models for terrain, buildings, and other major features (e.g., bridges). At a basic level, the ray tracer is used to interrogate the 3D geometry of the environment to provide requisite inputs to any number of physical models for reflection, diffraction around buildings, diffraction around terrain, etc. To characterize the performance of radars operating in a complex environment, Urbana uses the same ray tracer to deploy a multi-bounce extension of physical optics and compute the backscattering from all objects in the scene into the radar. In either wireless or radar applications, Urbana uses 3D antenna pattern descriptions to polariametrically weight the transmitted and received signals.

The key inputs to the Urbana code are:

  • CAD facet models for terrain, buildings, and other features
  • Surface material properties (e.g., concrete, earth, glass, dielectrics, etc.)
  • Placement, strength, and vector polarized antenna patterns of transmitter and receivers
  • For wireless applications, descriptions of coverage regions that conform to the terrain and buildings in the scene (these are automatically built by Urbana)

The key outputs are:

  • Composite field level at each receiver or coverage region sampling point
  • Angle of arrival, polarized strength, and delay of each arriving signal


The Urbana toolkit models wireless and radar systems exhibiting time, frequency, spatial, and field polarization dependence. For wide-band systems, it allows the user to understand the frequency dispersive properties of a channel introduced by realistic materials. Urbana's powerful modeling tools allow engineers to analyze spatial dependencies that arise from the physical complexity of the environment. Its interface reveals regions of relatively strong or weak signal levels and provides a diagnostic tool for interpreting the results.

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