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Satellite link budget analysis

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- Link Budget

Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering

Room 255, Petrie Science and Engineering Building

Tel: 416-736 2100 ext. 33854

Email: jjshan@yorku.ca

Homepage: http://www.yorku.ca/jjshan

References

design technology

Takashi Iida, ed.

IOS Press, c2000.

ISBN: 158603085X (IOS Press)

Bruce R. Elbert

Artech House: Space Applications Series

1999

Reserved at Steacie Library.

Basics of Satellite

Communications Links

Transmit/Receiver Power - I

two earth stations via a communications satellite.

On-board transponder (through repeater or bent pipe)

performs frequency conversion and amplification.

Quality of link is essentially determined by the signal-tonoise ratio (S/N).

To specify the characteristics of the satellite portion of the

link, the carrier-to-noise-power-density ratio (C/N0) is

normally used. C: power of the propagation wave; N0: noise

power density per 1 Hz.

Given a signal (Pt in dBW) transmitted from a transmit earth

station, determine at what power this signal can be

received at a receive earth station (Pr in dBW)

Transmit/Receiver Power - II

Configuration of link:

Transmit/Receiver Power - III

The Power Received = the Power Transmitted plus all gains, minus all losses.

Gs Gsd Lda Ld Gr Lra

Noise (1): Noise included in signal source plus thermal noise generated by modulator,

frequency converter, and power amplifier. In most cases, this noise is sufficiently

small compared to signal power and is negligible compared with other noise sources.

Noise (2): Thermal noise from ground received by satellite antenna (often at 300K).

Noise (3): Thermal noise generated by the satellite transponder and governed by the

low-noise performance of the transponders first stage.

Noise (4): Noise received by the ground antenna in addition to the signal from the

satellite; includes sky noise, atmospheric thermal noise, and terrestrial thermal noise.

Noise (5): Thermal noise generated by the ground receiver and governed by the lownoise performance of the first-stage amplifier.

Antenna gain

EIRP

Free space loss

Atmospheric absorption loss

Receiver noise power density

Antenna noise

Noise temperature

Noise figure

Equivalent input noise temperature

G/T

Antenna Gain - I

characteristic in link calculations.

Definition: the ratio of power radiated per unit solid

angle by an actual antenna in a given direction to the

power radiated per unit solid angle in the same

direction by a reference antenna.

Absolute gain: when the reference antenna is an

isotropic antenna. It is used in satellite-link

calculations and is often denoted by dBi

Relative gain: w.r.t. an ideal half-wave antenna with

no loss that is often used as a characteristic of linear

antennas.

Antenna Gain - II

Gain in the direction (,), G(,), can be given by

w( , )

G ( , )

Pt / 4

where w(,) is power flux density in the (,) direction.

If antenna bean direction is not specified, antenna gain is usually taken

to mean gain in the direction of maximum radiation.

The gain of parabolic antennas that are often used

in satellite communications is

2

D

G

where is aperture efficiency (50-70%), D is

antenna diameter, is wavelength.

In logarithmic form,

G 10 log(110 f 2 D 2 )

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

EIRP

EIRP is a product of transmit antenna gain (Gt) and

transmitter output power (Pt), EIRP = PtGt

EIRP variation is typically due to antenna thermal

distortion, satellite attitude instabilities, atmospheric

disturbance (i.e. rain) and unit thermal and aging

effects.

Example:

Pt = 100 W = 20 dBW, Gt = 1000 X = 30 dBi

The signal power also diminishes as it propagates to

the earth and this is called the free space loss.

Communications Payload - Link Budget 11

In a satellite link, it is assumed that transmit and receive

antennas face each other but are separated by a sufficient

distance d [m] in free space.

Gains of the transmit and receive antennas: Gt and Gr; Effective

area of receive antenna Ar; Transmit power Pt; Wavelength .

Power density at the reception point: Pt Gt/4d2

Received power:

Pr Pt Gt

Ar

4d 2

2

Pr Pt Gt Gr

(4d ) 2

transmit power

Pr

2

Gt Gr

Pt

(4d ) 2

antennas, we have basic transmission loss

LF

( 4d ) 2

d, are in meters

In logarithmic form

dB

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Example - 1

ground station at Toronto.

Note: Anik-F2 is the first satellite to fully commercialize the Ka-band frequency.

It has 24 C-band, 32 Ku-band, and 38 Ka-band.

Example - 2

considering free space loss using Anik-F2 data.

Temp: 15C

water vapor content:

7.5g/m3

Among gaseous molecules, oxygen and water vapor are the primary

factors underlying the attenuation of radio waves through resonance

absorption.

Attenuation can also occur due to absorption and scattering processes

caused by water drops and ice particles. Absorption is the main cause of

attenuation if the radius of the drops or particles is sufficiently small wrt

radio wave wavelength.

Awater =

Where is the water vapor concentration in gram per cubic meter, 7.5 g/m3

at sea level and 1 g/m3 at altitude of 4 km, and f is the frequency in GHz.

AO2 =

These two equations are for f < 57 GHz and f > 63 GHz. Between 57 GHz

and 63 GHz , an average value of 14.9 dB/km is used.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

3.0

5.0

2.5

hw hw0 1

2

2

2

( f 22.2) 5 ( f 183.3) 6 ( f 325.4) 4

h0 5.386 3.32734 10 2 f 1.87185 10 3 f 2 3.52087 10 5 f 3

km

83.26

( f 60) 2 1.2

km

where hw0 = 1.6 km during clear periods, 2.1 km during wet weather.

LAtm

Aw hw Ao ho

sin

dB

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

to signal power. It can be ignored.

However, on receive side, thermal noise has to be considered.

A convenient method: select one point in the system, convert

the noise in each section of the system to the value of noise at

the selected point, get the total value.

Selected point is the receivers input port.

Receiver noise mainly consists of antenna noise, feed-system

noise, and noise from the low-noise amplifier.

Antenna Noise

desired signal.

Thermal loss of the antenna will be output as thermal noise.

Noise presents a problem in the reception of weak signals as in

satellite communications.

Noise power is expressed as absolute temperature, Ts. It

consists of cosmic noise, noise from lighting, and thermal noise

based on atmospheric absorption.

Antenna thermal noise: (1-)T0, is antenna radiation

efficiency and T0 is ambient temperature.

Antenna noise Ta = Ts + (1-)T0. This is called the antennas

equivalent noise temperature.

Note: a major contribution to antenna noise Ta is made by

thermal noise from antenna side lobes pointed toward the

ground. Efforts are therefore made to reduce side-lobe levels so

as to reduce overall noise.

Noise Temperature

level in the receivers must be made extremely low.

Low-power noise can be expressed in terms of absolute

temperature.

Thermal noise power per unit bandwidth (N0) = thermal noise

generated by resistance at T, then the noise is expressed in

terms of T and becomes equivalent to the average energy of

black body radiation in thermal equilibrium at absolute

temperature T.

Noise power: N = k T B (in watts). k - Boltzmanns Constant,

1.3810-23 J/K; T - noise temperature.

In logarithmic form, we have

dB W

T is in Kelvin, B is in Hz.

Communications Payload - Link Budget 21

characteristics with respect to noise and is defined as

NF

S in / N in

S out / N out

where Sin/Nin is the ratio of signal to noise at the links input port

and Sin/Nin= Sin/kTB; Sout/Nout = GSin/G(kTB+kTiB) with link gain

G and equivalent input noise kTi.

Therefore,

NF 1

Ti

T

Communications Payload - Link Budget 22

through the antenna, each component of a receiver generates

its own internal noise!

Noise temperature cannot be measured by thermometer, can be

converted to a value at the circuits input port.

Amplifier circuit: noise figure NF, Equivalent Input Noise

temperature Ti, ambient temperature T0. Then Ti = T0(NF-1)

Loss circuit: link Loss Lc, ambient temperature T0. Then Ti =

T0(Lc-1), noise temperature at the output port Tout can be

expressed as Tout = T0(1-1/Lc)

Series circuit: to determine equivalent noise temperature at

input port of amplifier circuit 1.

Ti = TL1+ TG1+ TL2/G1+ TG2L2/G1+ TL3L2/G1G2

G/T (Gain/Tempature)

noise temperature T.

When calculating this index at the receivers input port,

the value used for antenna gain includes feeder loss,

and noise temperature T is given by Ti.

G/T variation is due to antenna thermal distortion,satellite

attitude instability, receiver thermal characteristics, etc

Because of the very low signal strength received at the

satellite, it is essential to maximize the G/T performance

Total link C/N0 can be determined by separating the link into its uplink

and downlink portions, computing the C/N0 of each, and then combining

the two.

C/N0 for either uplink and downlink takes on the following form:

C / N 0 Pt Gt L f La Gr L feed N 0

[C/N]

Ratio of powers, dimensionless dB

Used in combining noise and interference sources

[C/N0]

Ratio of power to power density, dB-Hz

Removes bandwidth from the equation

[C/T]

Ratio of power to system noise temperature, dBW/K

Results from simple equation: C/T = EIRP A + G/T

[Eb/N0] (eb-no)

Ratio of energy per bit to noise density, dB

Measure of SNR for a digital communication system

Used in evaluating error rate performance

Different modulation forms (BPSK, QPSK, QAM, etc.) have

different curves of theoretical bit error rates (BER) vs. Eb/N0.

in carrier bandwidth B

information bit rate

Ka-band satellite.

Other Issues - I

Rain Margin

above 10 GHz in satellite communications.

Rain attenuation is not predictable with great accuracy, but

estimates can be made that allow links to be designed.

Dry seasons and regions of the world with low rainfall would

not suffer greatly from this phenomenon. However, links in

regions with heavy thunderstorm activity should be provided

with greater link margin, or service might not be maintained

with sufficient availability to satisfy commercial requirements.

What is availability?

the link will perform as per the required BER (or above the link

threshold). Therefore, 99% availability states that the link will be

unavailable for 87.6 Hours.

Typically, satellite links operate in the range of 99% to 99.5%.

Other Issues - II

Interference

communications are also allocated to other types of

businesses and applications.

When configuring a satellite communications system, studies

must be performed on interference not only between satellite

communication systems but also on interference with

terrestrial wireless communications systems using the same

frequency band.

(1) Interference between satellite systems.

(2) Interference with terrestrial systems.

(3) Intra-system interference.

Link Margin

of margin above threshold at the receive site with clear sky

conditions. This will generally provide a link availability in excess

of 99.5%.

C band networks require much less margin, typically about 3 dB,

for the same performance expectation, since there is less

atmospheric attenuation and rain attenuation with C band.

Ka band needs more link margin for acceptable availability.

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