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Wireless InSite Tour

Wireless InSite applies physics-based propagation models to site-specific predictions in rural, urban, and indoor environments, and to viewing and analyzing the predictions. With only a few steps it is possible to import data for buildings, foliage, floor plans, and terrain, define the antennas, specify the transmitter and receiver locations, select the desired output, and run the calculations.

The tour below focuses on the following capabilities and features:


New Features

GPU Acceleration

XStream® GPU Acceleration support for NVIDIA® Maxwell™ GPUs for the X3D model

64-bit GUI

The 64-bit GUI greatly improves the import, processing and rendering of large complex scenes. This includes the import of large terrain files as well as complex structures within the scene.

KMZ and COLLADA Importing

Wireless InSite now supports the import and creation of KMZ (.kmz) and COLLADA (.dae) geometry files. These file types are imported as .objects, and are particularly useful for adding single structures, such as bridges, high resolution buildings, or new construction, to a scene. These formats are international standards supported by many 3D digital content creation (DCC) tools and 3D Geographic Information System (GIS) tools.


Any transmitter can also be a receiver, and any receiver a transmitter. Move one, and the other moves with it. A co-located transmitter/receiver has independent transmit and receive properties, such as antenna pattern, waveform, rotations, etc. It is simple to add a receiver to a transmitter location or vice versa. The dual transmitter and receiver tabs have been merged into a single view. Filter the view by transmitter, receiver or transceiver to find what you need quickly.

Real Time Model Enhancements

Triple Path Geodesic (TPG) and Vertical Plane Urban Propagation (VPUP) now generate a full array of outputs based on the same UTD module used by the full 3D ray tracer X3D. Instead of being limited to path loss and path gain, these models now produce paths, received power, complex E-field, delay spread, and direction of arrival and departure.

Translate Project Elements with the Mouse in the Project View

Visually place project elements in Wireless InSite's Project View with mouse-driven alignment. Select a feature (city, object, floorplan, or foliage) in Wireless InSite’s Project View, drag it to the new location, and click to drop it.


Floor Plan Editing Enhancements

The Wireless InSite floor plan editor has been made more stable and reliable. Walls can now be duplicated and edited more easily. Floor visibility makes ceiling construction easier.


Wireless InSite GUI

Project View

The Project view displays all the currently loaded building data, terrain data, and transmitter and receiver sets. After the calculations have been run, most of InSite's predictions can also be displayed in the Project view. Several viewing modes are available: 2D or 3D, wire frame or solid body, and in 3D mode: orthographic or perspective. The user has full control over zooming, rotating and panning in all viewing modes.

Selection View

When buildings are located close together it may be difficult to get a clear view of an individual building. The primary purpose of the Selection view is to offer an unobstructed view of an individual building or small group of buildings. The Selection view retains all the viewing modes and controls possessed by the Project view.

Project Hierarchy

InSite's Project hierarchy window is a convenient, compact way of viewing and interacting with all elements of a Wireless InSite project. Each node in the hierarchy can be expanded to view the underlying levels. Selecting an item or multiple items and right-clicking can be used to access the properties and other actions available for that selection. The Views node of the Project Hierarchy allows users to quickly reorient the Project view to a desired vantage point. The Project hierarchy is also useful for viewing and plotting output.

Calculation Log Window

The Calculation log window records all information generated while performing simulations, including the time and date the calculation started/finished, its current progress as well as the elapsed time.

Study Areas

Study areas serve several purposes. First, they can be used to select a region of the building database and then to limit all computations to the buildings, terrain features and Rx/Tx locations within the study area. Different propagation models can be applied within each study area. Second, as an organizational tool they keep predictions made with different parameters separate from each other. The user can create as many study areas as desired.

Rendering of 3D Antenna Patterns and Control Vectors

To facilitate the orientation of transmitter and receiver antennas, rotated antenna patterns can be displayed in the Project view. The display of antenna patterns is enabled for each transmitter and receiver set in the Tx/Rx Properties window. In addition to antenna patterns, the final orientation of antenna patterns can be visualized through the display of a set of orthogonal control vectors. Antenna rotations are specified by applying rotations to these vectors.


Wireless InSite Inputs

Terrain Import

Wireless InSite is integrated with the Geospatial Abstraction Library (GDAL) and supports DTED, DEM, Japanese DEM, SDTS DEM, ASCII Grid UTM, TIFF, BigTiff and GeoTiff formats. In addition to the GDAL formats verified by Remcom’s development team, users have access to over 100 additional GDAL file formats for importing.

Building Import

Wireless InSite supports building geometry importing from DXF and shapefiles. Building data can be in latitude/longitude, UTM or Cartesian coordinates. Material properties can be assigned after importing into Wireless InSite. Floorplans can be imported in DXF format.

Object Import

WIreless InSite's object importer is a general purpose importer that can be used to import individual objects ranging from automobiles, to single architectural structures and bridges, to furniture and warehouse equipment. Supported formats include COLLADA, KMZ, STL, and DXF.

Antenna Pattern Import

Wireless InSite can import antenna pattern data from Odyssey, MSI planet, and Remcom's UAN files, which are compatible with XFdtd and allow users to create user-defined antenna patterns.


To aid in creating projects and referencing output, Wireless InSite includes the capability to overlay terrain with geo-referenced raster images. Images can be used to help place transmitters and receivers correctly in a project. Common types of geo-referenced images include scanned maps, aerial photographs and satellite photos. Images can also be imported that represent floor plans to allow for easy creation of that type of feature.

Transmitter and Receiver Sets

InSite makes placing transmitters and receivers easy. Points, routes, grids, arcs and spheres can be defined graphically, or their locations can be read from data files. Elevations can be set either with respect to the terrain or to sea level. Antennas are assigned to each set along with the operating frequency and bandwidth. The position and elevation of the Tx/Rx locations can easily be modified using InSite's Tx/Rx editing tools. Each of the Tx/Rx sets can be designated as active or inactive, determining whether or not it will be used in the next calculation. This eliminates the need to add or delete locations from the data files when making a series of calculations for different transmitter-receiver combinations.

Foliage Import

Geo-referenced foliage information can be imported from data in the Global Land Coverage Characteristics (GLCC) database, which is available for download from the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LPDAAC). This database has information on Seasonal Land Cover Region (SLCR), which has a 1x1 km resolution.


InSite offers several ways to specify the radiation pattern and polarization of an antenna. The omnidirectional and generic dipole patterns are pre-programmed. The direction of the main beam and the rotation about the main beam can be specified, as can a noise figure, reflection efficiency factor, and a cable loss factor. In the antennas properties window the gain pattern can be viewed using a specified waveform in vertical, horizontal, left-hand circular and right-hand circular polarizations as well as the total gain.

Antenna Arrays

An antenna can be created to represent an array of similar elements.  Wireless InSite uses the amplitude, phase, and relative location of each element to create a combined antenna pattern that can be assigned to a single transmitter or receiver point.


A different material can be assigned to each building or each building face, if desired. The default material types include metal, concrete, brick, wood, glass and several types of ground. Instead of selecting a particular material, you may choose whether the reflection and transmission coefficients are evaluated for a dielectric half-space, a one-layer wall of finite thickness, or a two-layer wall, and then set the constitutive parameters and thickness for each layer. You can also define materials with constant reflection and transmission coefficients and set the color and display properties of each material.  All materials that are used by features in the project are shown in a legend on the right side of the project view for fast and easy identification.


Wireless InSite allows users to define the following waveform pulse shapes: Gaussian/Gaussian derivative, Blackman, Chirp, Hamming, Hanning, Tukey, raised-cosine, root raised-cosine, and sinusoid. In addition, InSite also provides a user-defined waveform type.


Wireless InSite contains user-defined antenna, material, and waveform databases. Once added to the database, commonly used components are accessible to all projects and save the user the trouble of entering the same information repeatedly.

Building Editing Tools

Wireless InSite's building editing tools can be used to create new buildings or modify existing buildings.

Terrain Editing Tools

Irregular terrain is modeled using an arbitrary number of triangular facets. In many cases this terrain would be read from DTED and USGS DEM files. However, InSite's terrain editing tools also enable the user to create a new terrain or modify an existing terrain. The editing tool allows you to set the elevation of the nodes on the triangular mesh, to move the nodes, and to create additional nodes. For terrain profiles different tools are provided for moving the points of the profile and changing the material to be used between them.

Floor Plan Editor

Wireless InSite can make calculations for virtually any indoor floor plan. Floor plans may be read into Wireless InSite from CAD files such as dxf or by using the Wireless InSite Floor Plan Editor. The Floor Plan Editor allows placement of doors and windows. Walls which do not reach the ceiling, such as used in office cubicles, can be modeled by placing a window at the top of a wall. Floor plans may be edited and combined to form more complicated structures. An image of an existing floor plan can be added to a project which will appear in the editor to assist in its construction.

Stacking of Floor Plans

The Wireless InSite floor plan editor can stack floor plans to form complete buildings. The stacked floor plans may be different to allow for differences between floors. The floor and ceiling materials may be defined to include propagation between floors.

Culvert Geometry Editor

The Culvert Geometry Editor facilitates creating simple straight culverts, or culverts with a single 45º or 90º bend. The editor provides control over the culvert’s length, diameter, and the number of sides in the culvert’s circumference. The culvert geometry can then be used with either Full 3D or X3D to calculate propagation within the culvert.

Foliage Editor

The foliage editor allows users to create new foliage groups and edit existing groups. Foliage features are defined by drawing a footprint and specifying a height. The foliage can be fit to the contour of the underlying terrain, or it may be created with flat top and bottom faces at specified heights, independent of the terrain. Materials specific to modeling bio-physical vegetation are provided for this type of feature.

Building Preprocessor

InSite employs robust ray tracing algorithms which can be applied to complex urban environments. However, excessive detail can slow down the computations considerably and in some cases even produces less accurate results. InSite's building editing tools allow the user to eliminate unnecessary detail manually if desired. But InSite's automated preprocessor can also do this for you, cleaning up the data and putting it in the form required by the propagation models. This figure shows a typical example of the "simplification" of a building performed by the preprocessor.

Raster Data Processing

Wireless InSite can import city data in raster format and convert it to vector format for use will all propagation models. By interpreting values in the raster data as heights, the raster-to-vector converter can detect regions of similar height and form buildings by extruding these regions to the ground. The file formats currently supported include ARC ASCII Grid and Portable Gray Map (.PGM).

Parallelization of Calculation Processing

The calculation for a project can be split up so that sections run on separate processors.  This can be done so that one calculation is run for each transmitter set or receiver set and the priority of the processes can be set allowing the user to more fully commit their PC to the calculation or reduce its effect on other running applications.  After the calculation finished a special job will run to create the consolidated output types such as selecting the strongest transmitter and the total power of all transmitters at a given receiver point.


Wireless InSite Outputs

Coverage Maps

Using Wireless InSite's options for placing receiver points within a scenario, it is easy to generate coverage map displays in the software's project view. Coverage maps can be made for received power, path loss/gain, E-field magnitude, mean time of arrival, delay spread, and many other outputs. The scale bar offers continuous and discrete options as well as control over the display range, values to display, and opacity.

Propagation Paths

InSite's physics-based propagation models are able to predict the paths by which energy travels from the transmitting to the receiving antenna. The graphical interface makes it easy to view and interpret these results.

Indoor Results Display

Wireless InSite can display both ray paths and signal coverage for indoor propagation. Wireless InSite includes propagation paths through doors and windows and reflection from and transmission through walls. A more detailed example of applying Wireless InSite to an indoor geometry is shown in the Examples Section.

Line Plotting

Color-coded displays are frequently a very useful analysis tool, but in many cases the best way of representing data is a line plot. All output is written to ASCII files with descriptive headers using an easy-to-understand format. All output can be plotted with InSite's line plotting tools. Plots can be saved and reloaded at a later time. Plots can be added and deleted. Measurements or data generated from other software products can also be imported into InSite.

Output Filters

Output filters isolate ray paths with specific interactions. For instance, a filter can be created for rays that reflect off of features, but do not have diffractions. Rays meeting this condition will be sorted into a separate branch in the output tree. The filter allows the user to identify what objects are the major contributors to the final power received by a set of receivers.



Point-to-Multipoint Analysis

InSite produces a large number of point-to-multipoint predictions, including received power, path loss, time of arrival, direction of arrival, impulse response, and delay spread. These results can be viewed using InSite's line plotting tools or as color-coded displays overlaid on the feature data. All predictions are made with full frequency, polarization and antenna pattern data taken into account. Data for multiple transmitters is also available, including C/I and strongest base station to receiver.

Point-to-Point Analysis

InSite's physics-based propagation models predict the paths by which energy travels from the transmitting to the receiving antenna. InSite's graphical interface makes it easy to view direction-of-arrival and impulse response for each transmitter-receiver link.

Indoor-Outdoor and Outdoor-Indoor Propagation Prediction

Wireless InSite provides the capability to make propagation signal predictions for outdoor-indoor paths, indoor-outdoor paths, and even indoor-outdoor-indoor paths for transmitters/receivers located in different buildings. Wireless InSite includes propagation through windows and transmissions through walls, and multipath involving other buildings. Wireless InSite’s Modified COST Building Penetration Model executes outdoor-to-indoor propagation when the building's interior floor plan is not known.

Parameter Uncertainty

Wireless InSite’s Parameter Uncertainty capability enables the user to define distributions for various project inputs (material properties, frequency, and transmitter input power) in order to assess the impact of these uncertainties on calculated outputs. Using a Monte Carlo approach, the UTD calculations for the ray paths are evaluated over the parameter distributions to generate the minimum, maximum, mean, median, and standard deviation of received power, path gain, and path loss. This capability is only compatible with the X3D model.

Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE)

Wireless InSite’s Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) module provides the ability to calculate MPE values and compare them to the safety thresholds defined by the IEEE Standard C95.1-2005. The user may conduct a hazard assessment and visually display the MPE relevant quantities, as well as their relation to the MPE thresholds. This capability allows for both stationary and moving transmitters, multi-pulse waveforms, and includes the aggregation of exposure over time. MPE outputs are currently only available from the X3D propagation model.

Plotting of the probability density and cumulative probability

These types of plots are provided to allow for a more detailed analysis of the output generated by the calculation engine.

Communication Analysis

The output from the calculation can be further analyzed to produce bit-error rate information and throughput for WiMax and LTE systems. A communication system can be created that allows the user to specify the transmitter and receivers that are of interest and specify the parameters to use for the calculation including the interference source, jamming power, modulation scheme, and the outage threshold.

Interference Analysis

Data for multiple transmitters are also available, including C/I and strongest base to receiver. All predictions are made with full frequency, polarization, and antenna pattern data taken into account.