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Satellite Communications Systems Engineering: Atmospheric Effects, Satellite Link Design and System Performance

Satellite Communications Systems Engineering: Atmospheric Effects, Satellite Link Design and System Performance

Louis J. Ippolito Jr.

ISBN: 978-0-470-75444-3

Aug 2008

394 pages


Provides an invaluable, detailed and up-to-date coverage of atmospheric effects and their impact on satellite communications systems design and performance.

Significant progress has been made in the last decade in the understanding and modelling of propagation effects on radio wave propagation in the bands utilized for satellite communications. This book provides a comprehensive description and analysis of all atmospheric effects of concern for today’s satellite systems, and the tools necessary to design the links and to evaluate system performance.

This book will serve as an excellent reference to communications engineers, wireless network and system engineers, system designers and graduate students in satellite communications and related areas.

Key features:

  • Provides the state of the art in communications satellite link design and performance from the practicing engineer perspective – concise descriptions, specific procedures and comprehensive solutions
  • Contains the calculations and tools necessary for evaluating system performance
  • Provides a complete evaluation of atmospheric effects, modelling and prediction
  • Focuses on the satellite free-space link as the primary element in the design and performance for satellite communications, and recognizes the importance of free-space considerations such as atmospheric effects, frequency of operation and adaptive mitigation techniques
  • a solutions manual is available directly from the author (
List of Acronyms.


Chapter 1 Introduction to Satellite Communications.

1.1 Early History of Satellite Communications.

1.2 Some Basic Communications Satellite System Definitions.

1.3 Regulatory Process for Satellite Communications.

1.4 Overview of Book Structure and Topics.


Chapter 2 Satellite Orbits.

2.1 Kepler's Laws.

2.2 Orbital Parameters.

2.3 Orbits in Common Use.

2.4 Geometry of GSO Links.



Chapter 3 Satellite Subsystems.

3.1 Satellite Bus.

3.2 Satellite Payload.


Chapter 4 The RF Link.

4.1 Transmission Fundamentals.

4.2 System Noise.

4.3 Link Performance Parameters.



Chapter 5 Link System Performance.

5.1 Link Considerations.

5.2 Uplink.

5.3 Downlink.

5.4 Percent of Time Performance Specifications.



Chapter 6 Transmission Impairments.

6.1 Radiowave Frequency and Space Communications.

6.2 Radiowave Propagation Mechanisms.

6.3 Propagation Below About 3 GHz.

6.4 Propagation Above About 3 GHz.

6.5 Radio Noise.



Chapter 7 Propagation Effects Modeling and Prediction.

7.1 Atmospheric Gases.

7.2 Clouds and Fog.

7.3 Rain Attenuation.

7.4 Depolarization.

7.5 Tropospheric Scintillation.



Chapter 8 Rain Fade Mitigation.

8.1 Power Restoral Techniques.

8.2 Signal Modification Restoral Techniques.

8.3 Summary.



Chapter 9 The Composite Link.

9.1 Frequency Translation (FT) Satellite.

9.2 On-Board Processing (OBP) Satellite.

9.3 Comparison of FT and OBP Performance.

9.4 Intermodulation Noise.

9.5 Link Design Summary.



Chapter 10 Satellite Multiple Access.

10.1 Frequency Division Multiple Access.

10.2 Time Division Multiple Access.

10.3 Code Division Multiple Access.



Chapter 11 The Mobile Satellite Channel.

11.1 Mobile Channel Propagation.

11.2 Narrowband Channel.

11.3 Wideband Channel.

11.4 Multi-Satellite Mobile Links.


Appendix A Satellite Signal Processing Elements.

A.1 Analog Systems.

A.2 Digital Baseband Formatting.

A.3 Digital Source Combining.

A.4 Digital Carrier Modulation.

A.5 Summary.


Appendix B Error Functions and Bit Error Rate.

B.1 Error Functions.

B.2 Approximation for BER.