Houston Metro

Houston MetroRail is planning an extensive expansion, with emphasis on providing rail access to major areas within Harris County. As such, Metro Rail will need good radio coverage all along their existing and planned rail lines.

Specific to the task of this report, MetroRail/Parsons has engaged WAI-WIZE to conduct a study of radio coverage for selected MetroRail routes based upon theoretical predictions as well as actual radio frequency (RF) field strength measurements.

WAI-WIZE delivered a final report that covered both the predictable radio coverage and the actual measured coverage. Predictions were made of the coverage of both current and proposed systems. The survey measured the signal strength from the Harris county radio system along the MetroRail existing and planned routes. At the present time, however, since the four new stations are not yet operational, the measurements were made on the available existing radio stations on the Allied Wells Fargo Building in Downtown Houston. This location includes both an 800 MHz analog repeater and a new digital system repeater and a new digital system repeater operating at 700 MHz.

The software utilized for the for the predictions was the EDX Signal, version 9.0. This wireless network engineering tool includes area and route studies combined with mapping features. The Longley-Rice propagation model was used with the 3 second terrain database for the plots included in this report.

The system utilized for the route and signal surveys was the Survey Technologies Inc. model 9450 Mobile Signal Analysis Kit, which included the Field Test 6 software, GPS receiver, Icom PCR-1000 calibrated receiver, and Motorola ML910 ruggedized portable computer.