Two heterogeneous network simulation tools are compared and tested against measured data from terrestrial and Earth-space microwave links. Both global integrated network SIMulator (GINSIM) and MultiEXCELL are able to produce joint distributions of rain fade time-series for arbitrary networks of microwave telecommunications links. The tools are fundamentally different in that GINSIM has, as its input, time-series of composite rain rate maps produced by networks of meteorological radars and can produce time-series of joint rain fade.
MultiEXCELL uses the rain rate distribution as an input to constrain distributions of parameters of simulated rain cells. This study tests the simulators by comparing a range of annual fade statistics produced by simulation with data measured on experimental links. Link fade data were measured on two, Ka band, Earth-space links and a convergent 38 GHz terrestrial link near Chilbolton in southern England; and a further Earth-space link located in Dundee, Scotland. Both GINSIM and MultiEXCELL are shown to be able to predict joint fade distributions and diversity gain, for the satellite and terrestrial links, to useful accuracy. Differences in performance are analysed, leading to suggested development routes for both systems.