Viability of High Availability Kband Satellite Communication using Hybrid Fade Mitigation

  • Andrew Chambers

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The C and Ku bands that have been the backbone of satellite telephony and data networks in the past are limited in the amount of bandwidth they provide. Consequently, some broadband Internet services have started to move into the Ka band in order to utilise the bandwidth at these higher frequencies. The use of higher frequencies led to fade mitigation design considerations that had not previously been necessary, as fixed power margins had been sufficient to guarantee high availability.

    This thesis reviews the majority of fade mitigation techniques that are available and simulates a scenario with several combined in a hybrid scheme. The simulations were made possible by several innovative components, including a near-optimum short-term fade predictor, a procedure capable of simulating the effect of site diversity with a single time series of attenuation and a dual-channel protocol structure that is able to increase availability of control information at V band.

    The near-optimum short-term fade predictor is compared with several other short-term fade predictors and is shown to perform better in terms of the root-mean-square error and by the cumulative distribution of over-predictions. Also noteworthy is the fact that predictors based on fade slope perform very poorly when compared with signal processing and statistical methods of prediction.

    The procedure capable of producing the effects of site diversity on a single time series of attenuation is described. The results of this procedure are compared with the ITU-R model for site diversity improvement and an acceptable fit is shown.

    A dual-channel protocol structure capable of increasing control information availability at V band is presented and the availability of this scheme is compared to the availability of current fixed-margin C and Ku band satellite links. While the availability at V band improves via this technique, it does not improve enough to compare favourably with that found in the lower frequency bands.

    A software turbo decoder capable of decoding the DVB-RCS turbo code is also described in this work since this was not available through other means. The fade dynamics at V band are reviewed and compared with the ITU-R models. The fade slope model gives a good visual fit but the fade duration model is very inaccurate.

    Finally, the simulation results show that high availability satellite communication is possible at V band, critically, if both site diversity and frequency diversity are available to mitigate the hub and VSAT fading respectively. Signal processing and power control are also found to be complementary techniques.
    Date of AwardApr 2008
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAkram Hammoudeh (Supervisor) & Ifiok Otung (Supervisor)


    • Artificial satellites in telecommunication

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