Reflection vs Diffraction-difference between Reflection and Diffraction

This page compares Reflection vs Diffraction and mentions difference between Reflection and diffraction of EM (Electro-Magnetic) wave.

These terms are associated with Non Line of Sight (NLOS) Communication path. When a signal propagates between transmitter and receiver, it will go through many obstacles. More over it gets reflected, diffracted and gets penetrated due to objects/obstacles along the path.



The multipath reflection using wide beam antennas is essential in mobile broadband communication. It is difficult to achieve single path reflection due to unavailability of object which can provide necessary angle of incidence to obtain desired propagation. The figure-1 depicts reflection of EM signal along the path from transmitter to the receiver.



When electromagnetic wave hits edge of building or large object along the path diffraction occurs. It is also referred as bending. The loss to the EM signal due to this depends on frequency of EM wave and sharpness of the bend. The figure-2 depicts diffraction of EM signal along the path from transmitter to the receiver.

Refer Wireless Propagation Modes which mentions groundwave, skywave and LOS wave propagations.


Following are matlab codes for channel models viz. SUI channel model, ITU-T channel model as per wimax 802.16e standard, JTC channel model as per 802.11b/11g, UWB channel model as per 802.15.3 and 802.15.4 standard specifications.
types of channel models
802.11a WLAN channel model matlab files
802.11b 11g JTC WLAN channel model matlab files
802.15.3 UWB channel model matlab files
802.15.4 UWB channel model matlab files
802.16d SUI WiMAX channel model matlab files
802.16e ITU-T channel model matlab files
Rayleigh channel model matlab files
Rician channel model matlab files

What is Difference between

difference between FDM and OFDM
Difference between SC-FDMA and OFDM
Difference between SISO and MIMO
Difference between TDD and FDD
Difference between 802.11 standards viz.11-a,11-b,11-g and 11-n
Bluetooth vs zigbee
Fixed wimax vs mobile

RF and Wireless Terminologies