The current state of the telecommunication market is driven by the increasing demand of the end users for multimedia services, which require high data rates. Within the Fixed Satellite Service, frequency bandwidths wide enough to carry such high data rates are less and less available in conventional C-band to Ku-band but instead at higher frequency bands such as Ka-band or Q/V-band.
For broadband applications, this trend is reinforced by the saturation of C-band and Ku-band especially in North America or Europe, so deploying new satellite system in these frequency bands involves a complex co-ordination procedure. In tropical and sub-tropical areas, the terrestrial infrastructure is less developed and there is a strong incentive to develop Satcom systems in the next few years, to serve wide regions and to reach a large market size for economic profitability.
Regarding Ku-band in the tropics, no spectrum congestion is expected in the near future, so the use of this frequency band will be generalised for the next few years, with an anticipated evolution towards Ka-band for high data rate multimedia applications.
However, propagation impairments are expected to be quite severe in tropical climates, so standard performances may be difficult to achieve in these regions. Accurate prediction of impairment statistics is thus very important for the design and deployment of satellite systems in tropical regions.
The objective of this study, carried out by ONERA (France) in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano (Italy), CRC (Canada), and CETUC (Brazil), is to improve the knowledge concerning propagation effects, climatological influences, and propagation modelling for SatCom and Satnav systems providing services in tropical and sub-tropical regions.