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The characterization of the transfer function of the power line (PL) channel is a nontrivial task that requires a truly interdisciplinary approach. Until recently, a common attribute and limitation of existing models for the PL channel transfer function lay in the phenomenological or statistical approach usually followed. This approach allows one to describe the channel only partially, e.g., as dominated by multipath-like effects, and prevents one from unveiling special properties of it. Multiconductor transmission line (MTL) theory was recently found by the authors to be a useful and accurate tool in modeling the PL transfer function while, at the same time, taking into account the wiring and grounding practices mandated by several regulatory bodies for commercial and residential premises. Crossing several layers of abstraction and following a bottom-up approach, complex circuit-level models originating from MTL theory can be manipulated and represented in terms of cascaded two-port networks (2PNs), thus allowing one to compute a priori and in a deterministic fashion the transfer function of any PL link. In the present contribution, we present additional analysis and data that validate the accuracy of the MTL approach and further justify its use in the PL channel context. Moreover, we also describe in detail the methodology to follow for modeling both grounded and ungrounded PL links in a unified framework. A consequence of the validity of the proposed modeling is that it can facilitate the process of standardization of the PL transfer function, an important step toward the availability of a commonly agreed upon (set of) channel transfer functions.
Date of Publication: July 2006