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ENG 4360 - Payload Design

6.2 Communications Satellite Payload


- Link Budget

Earth, Moon, Mars, and Beyond

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Associate Professor of Space Engineering


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

Title: Satellite communications: system and its


design technology
Takashi Iida, ed.
IOS Press, c2000.
ISBN: 158603085X (IOS Press)

Introduction to Satellite Communication, 2nd


Bruce R. Elbert
Artech House: Space Applications Series
1999
Reserved at Steacie Library.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 2

Basics of Satellite
Communications Links

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 3

Configuration of Satellite Communications Links and


Transmit/Receiver Power - I

Example of a simple satellite link: communication between


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)

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 4

Configuration of Satellite Communications Links and


Transmit/Receiver Power - II

Configuration of link:

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 5

Configuration of Satellite Communications Links and


Transmit/Receiver Power - III

The Power Balance Equation simplifies the analysis of microwave links:

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

Pr Pt Gt Lta Gsu Lu Lua


Gs Gsd Lda Ld Gr Lra

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 6

Noise Considerations in Satellite Comm. Link

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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 7

Main Link Parameters

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

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 8

Antenna Gain - I

Antenna gain is the most important antenna


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 9

Antenna Gain - II

Polar coordinate system is normally used for antenna.


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

Communications Payload - Link Budget 10

EIRP

EIRP = Effective isotropic radiated power


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.
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Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Free Space Loss - I

A basic quantity in link budget is propagation loss in free space.


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

Since we have Ar = Gr 2/4, thus

2
Pr Pt Gt Gr
(4d ) 2

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 12

Free Space Loss - II

Free space loss can be given as the ratio of receive power to


transmit power

Pr
2
Gt Gr
Pt
(4d ) 2

If we treat the transmit and receive antennas as isotropic


antennas, we have basic transmission loss

LF

( 4d ) 2

d, are in meters

In logarithmic form

LF 183.5 20 log( f ) 20 log( R / 35,788)

dB

where f in GHz and R in km.


Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 13

Example - 1

Calculate the free space loss of link between Anik-F2 and a


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 14

Example - 2

Calculate the received power by ground station at Toronto


considering free space loss using Anik-F2 data.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 15

Atmospheric Absorption Loss - I

Pressure: 1013 hPa


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 16

Atmospheric Absorption Loss - II

Rough Model for Sea Level Gaseous Attenuation (Curve-fit)


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

Communications Payload - Link Budget 17

Atmospheric Absorption Loss - III

Scale height approximation

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.

Therefore, the total atmospheric absorption loss is

LAtm

Aw hw Ao ho
sin

dB

where is elevation angle, usually between 5 and 90 degrees.


Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 18

Receiver Noise Power Density

Thermal noise on the transmit side is relatively small compared


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 19

Antenna Noise

A receive antenna receives noise radio wave in addition to the


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 20

Noise Temperature

Because the faint signals in satellite communications, noise


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

N 228.6 10 log(T ) 10 log( B)

dB W

T is in Kelvin, B is in Hz.
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Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Noise Figure (NF)

Noise figure (NF) is a quantity that expresses the quality of like


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

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Ti
T
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Equivalent Input Noise Temperature

In addition to the external noise coupled into the receiver


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

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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G/T (Gain/Tempature)

G/T is the ratio of antenna gain G to receive-system


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

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Basics of Link Design

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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C/N0 of a Satellite Link

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:

The total link including inter- and intra-system interference

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

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Some Important Equations in Link Budget Calculation - I

Carrier to Noise Ratio (in all its incarnations)


[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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Some Important Equations in Link Budget Calculation - II

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Some Important Equations in Link Budget Calculation - III

[C/N] = power received divided by total noise


in carrier bandwidth B

[C/N0]= [C/N] + 10log(B)

[C/T] = [C/N0] 228.6

[Eb/N0] = [C/N0] 10log(Rb), where Rb is the


information bit rate

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Example: Design of a Satellite Link

Link design for a


Ka-band satellite.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Other Issues - I

Rain Margin

Attenuation due to rain cannot be ignored at frequencies


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 availability is expressed as a percentage of a year when


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%.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Other Issues - II

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Other Issues - III

Interference

The same frequency bands employed in satellite


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

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Link Margin

In Ku band networks, it is a good rule of thumb to allow 7 or 8 dB


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.

Dr. Jinjun Shan, Assocaite Professor of Space Engineering

Communications Payload - Link Budget 34