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A Novel Spot Beam Deployment Procedure for High-Capacity Satellites

Technology #017-016-ai-liping

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Liping Ai
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Jerry Comanescu
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Provisional Patent Application Filed

The high capacity satellite (HCS) systems are revolutionizing the communications services offered by the communications satellites. Before them, the satellite systems were viewed as “the access method of last resort” serving 10 thousands of users per satellite at the price point of $1k to $3k per Mbps per month. Now the HCS systems compete favorably with terrestrial broadband systems serving 1 Million users at the price point of $50 per month per 12 Mbps downstream or 3 Mbps upstream. The tremendous capacity increase has enabled the communications services via satellites penetrating into the mass market.  

The HCS systems are complex. The design of such a system calls for simulations with which optimal design tailored to the geographic service area, given spectrum of operation, given satellite position in orbit, user population and traffic mix against the performance requirements can be reached. A simulation is typically run in iterations. Hence the savings in computation time and data storage space in a simulation is very much desirable. 

  Researchers at The George Washington University have developed a novel satellite spot beam deployment procedure. It can be used in such a simulation for channel and system performance assessment in the early stage of a HCS system ground segment design. The procedure approximates the spot beam power spatial distribution in high accuracy with a Ka-band satellite antenna radiation pattern and requires considerably less computation compared to known studies. It is applicable to any satellite antenna radiation patterns as a function of the elevation angle and independent of the azimuth angle. The majority of the Ku-band and Ka-band satellite antenna patterns meet this requirement. The simplicity and good accuracy make it an attractive component product in the complex simulation software for the HCS system design. 

The HCS system designers and operators would be the primary users of this procedure in  their ground segment design. With the over-the-air-reconfiguration capability today, the redesign of the ground segment during operation to meet the changing service requirement would be possible with time saving design tools of software in smaller scale.  

In addition to the HCS system designers and operators, any other satellite system designers and operators using satellites at high altitudes and spot beam footprints for their service coverage areas can use this procedure in simulation or use it alone with an amended user interface for ground segment design via earth stations’ performance assessment and prediction.