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We propose a bottom-up power-line communication (PLC) channel simulator for networks that deploy multiconductor cables and enable establishing a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) communication link between two nodes. We show that the fundamental multiconductor transmission-line (MTL) relations are a matrix form extension of the two-conductor transmission-line equations, and that they allow the application of the voltage ratio approach for the computation of the channel transfer function (CTF). Thus, any complex network can be remapped to obtain a simple representation in terms of MTL elementary units. Then, the MIMO CTF is computed as the product of the insertion loss of the units. We discuss the analytical computation of the per-unit-length (p.u.l.) parameters for two electrical cables, that we refer to as symmetric and ribbon. Further, we propose using an improved cable model for ribbon cables that accounts for the dielectric nonuniformity. We report the comparison between simulation and experimental measures for two test networks. The results are in good agreement. This validates the proposed MIMO PLC channel simulation approach.
Date of Publication: July 2011