Empirical Study on the Effect of Birds on Commercial Microwave Links

Daniel Ben Moshe, Hagit Messer, Ran Nathan, Nir Sapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With emerging technologies such as the 5G and IoT, wireless communication has become more and more dominant in human life. Many applications require high quality of service (QoS) and even momentarily interruption may cause irreversible damage. The signal level in wireless point-to-point communication links is affected by environmental phenomena, including objects blocking the propagating electromagnetic wave. While the relation between signal attenuation and weather phenomena such as rain has been well studied, in this paper we empirically show, for the first time, the relation between the presence of birds and attenuation in Commercial Microwave Links (<italic>CMLs</italic>). Using real <italic>CML</italic>s data collected in Israel that was intersected with GPS data from tagged birds, we empirically associate measured attenuation in the signal in a given link with the presence of birds in its vicinity.We quantified this relation by evaluating the Receiver Characteristics Operating (<italic>ROC</italic>) curve describing the false positive vs. false negative decision on the presence of birds by setting a threshold on the measure attenuation in <italic>CML</italic>s. The results show encouraging performance and establish the potential of the proposed approach for opportunistic automatic monitoring of migrating birds, and for understanding the hazards to QoS in sensitive applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103819-103826
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

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  • Attenuation
  • Attenuation measurement
  • Bird movement data
  • Birds
  • Commercial Microwave Links
  • Global Positioning System
  • Rain
  • Received Signal Level
  • remote sensing
  • signal processing
  • Wireless communication
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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