Realistic channel noise patterns

I’m setting up a playful coding challenge for our programmers. It’s about coding theory. There are source, channel and sink. The task will be to implement an encoder for the source and a decoder for the sink. The encoded information will be transmitted over a channel with simulated garbling.

Now my question:

What common noise patterns do we encounter in real settings and how would their transformations look like?

What people talk about are for example:

  • band tapes (stressed at start and end)
  • defect memory (some bits are always off)
  • lightning strike
  • meteor shower

But they never mention how these patterns would look like.