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In this paper, the CDMA-based cell error rate (CER) of a satellite ATM system is studied. We present two fading models: partial fading model and total fading model Various applicable environments of the models are also provided according to multi-path propagation fading and shadow effect. Based on the total shadow model, we obtain the results of CER vs. subscriber numbers on various elevations under 2D-RAKE receiving or non-diversity receiving, and the impact on cell error rate with pseudo noise (PN) code length. Furthermore, the performance differences between a 2D-RAKE receiver and non-diversity receiver are compared. Performances are derived from computer simulation.