An increasing number of commercial applications are being promoted for future Ka-band satellite communication systems. Many of these systems will involve low-margin very small aperture terminals (VSAT's). These systems are subject to important atmospheric propagation degradations that affect the quality of transmission and the link availability. The objective of this paper is to characterize the Ka-band channel and evaluate the performance degradation in VSAT's resulting from atmospheric propagation impairments. In particular, microwave propagation through a turbulent atmosphere is discussed, and the statistical characterization and modeling of tropospheric scintillation is reviewed. Moreover, the paper extends the method proposed by Filip and Vilar ,  for the long-term characterization and modeling of the combined effect of rain impairments and scintillation. Specifically, the increase in noise temperature during rain events is added to the Filip-Vilar model. This leads to a fiveparameter global fading distribution that is used to predict typical Ka-band satellite link outage time. The mathematical formalism is illustrated by applying the method to the selected case of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS)-Georgia Tech experimental downlink. Numerical results confirm that both rain impairments and scintillation are important factors in the design of Ka-band VSAT systems.
- Ka-band (30/20 chz)
- Satellite communications
- Tropospheric scintillation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering