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A model for a multiple spot beam digital satellite employing an active phased array antenna with frequency reuse is proposed and applied to study the power limited down-link bit error rate performance. Since the power amplifier preceding each antenna element is generally nonlinear, intermodulation distortion is produced among the various spot beams, degrading performance. Expressions for the bit error rate are derived, averaged over an ensemble of random arrays. Typical results indicate a degradation of 1-5 dB relative to a horn-reflector antenna of the same total effective aperture with a single channel per transponder, as the number of cochannel signals and the number of antenna elements are respectively varied between 10 and 30, and 500 and 10 000. The degradation is shown to result from nonlinearly induced signal suppression and cochannel interference.
Date of Publication: Nov 1978