Rain attenuation prediction using artificial neural network for dynamic rain fade mitigation

Mary Ahuna, Thomas J.O. Afullo, Akintunde Alonge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric processes from which rainfall is formed are complex and cannot be accurately predicted using mathematical or statistical models. In this paper, the backpropagation neural network (BPNN) is trained to predict rainfall rates, and hence attenuation that is likely to be experienced on a link. This study is carried out over the subtropical region of Durban, South Africa (29.8587°S, 31.0218°E). Utilizing the non-linear mapping capability between inputs and outputs, the backpropagation neural network is trained using rainfall data collected from 2013 to 2016 to predict rainfall rates. Long-term rain attenuation statistics arising from predicted rain rates are compared with actual and ITU-R model, and results show a relatively small margin of error between predicted rain attenuation exceeded for 0.01 % of an average year. Furthermore, analysis of predicted and actual rain attenuation within individual rain events from different rainfall regimes was carried out and results show that the proposed model can be used to predict the state of the link. This is demonstrated when the trained BPNN was tested using unseen data that was collected from January 2017 to May 2018, a period that spans through all four different climatic seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring. Results of the test show a correlation coefficient of 0.8298. Finally, the proposed rain prediction model was tested on rainfall data from Butare, Rwanda (2.6078°S, 29.7368°E), which is a tropical region and results obtained indicate the portability of the proposed model to other regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Artificial neural network
  • Backpropagation neural network
  • Rain attenuation
  • Rain rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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