How to use SPLAT!
SPLAT! is a Surface Path Length And Terrain analysis application which can perform path loss calculations as well as generate coverage maps.
Installing SPLAT! is straightforward:
su -c 'yum install splat splat-utils'
Obtaining terrain files
Before it can be useful, SPLAT requires files that describe the terrain around the station to be modelled. First, determine the latitude and longitude of the station. Then download the nine terrain files centered on that latitude and longitude from http://e0srp01u.ecs.nasa.gov/srtm/version2/SRTM3/
Unzip the nine files and convert them from
hgt files to
sdf with the
srtm2sdf utility. For example:
Do this for each of the nine files. Those files can now be placed in a directory where you wish to store terrain files, or they can be placed in the directory where you wish to work with SPLAT!
Obtaining cartographic boundary files
SPLAT! will work with just the terrain files. However, the resulting maps can be more useful if they are marked with political boundaries and names of towns and cities. For the United States, county outlines can be downloaded from http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cob/co2000.html#ascii and 'census designated areas' from http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cob/pl2000.html#ascii.
For each of these, there are two files, an
xxyy_d00a.dat, where xx is '
co' for county and '
pl' for place, and yy is a state number. A file of place names can be generated from the 'a' file with the
citydecoder utility. For example:
citydecoder pl43 >cities.dat