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 increasingly dominant in human life. Many applications require high quality of service (QoS), in which even momentarily interruptions may cause irreversible damage. The signal level in wireless point-to-point communication links is affected by environmental phenomena, including objects that blocking the propagating electromagnetic waves. While the relationship between signal attenuation and weather phenomena such as rain have been well studied, in this paper we empirically show, for the first time, the relationship between the presence of birds and attenuation in Commercial Microwave Links (CMLs). Using real CMLs' data collected in Israel that were intersected with GPS data from tagged birds, we empirically associated measured attenuation in the signal in a given link with the presence of birds in its vicinity. We quantified this relationship by evaluating the Receiver Characteristics Operating (ROC) curve describing the false positive vs. false negative decision on the presence of birds by setting a threshold on the measured attenuation in CML\s. The results demonstrate encouraging performance and empirically establish the potential of a novel approach for opportunistic monitoring of migrating birds, as well as for the understanding the hazards to QoS in sensitive applications.

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

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • Commercial microwave links
  • bird movement data
  • received signal level
  • remote sensing
  • signal processing


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