Skip to Main Content
Because the motion of a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite across the sky causes the Earth-space path to very quickly pass through any rain cells in the vicinity, the degree of rain fading on such paths changes more rapidly and leads to steeper fade slopes than in the geostationary case. Because comprehensive measurement data have not yet been compiled for fading on LEO links in the Ka-band, we have used simulations based on Goldhirsh's method for determining the key parameters of the well-known EXCELL model of a horizontal rain structure from long-term global rain statistics to obtain plausible estimates of the fade slope distributions for selected scenarios. The results that we obtained for geostationary satellites closely match those observed at selected sites during the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite program. The results that we obtained for LEO satellites show how fade slopes will steepen as 1) the altitude of the satellite decreases; 2) the frequency band of operation increases; and 3) the average rain rate increases. Furthermore, they suggest that, at a given probability level, the fade slopes could be between two and ten times greater than those for geostationary satellites and that mobile terminals with a clear view of the sky will experience fade slopes that are similar to those encountered by fixed or transportable terminals. These results have important implications for the design of power control algorithms and other fade-mitigation techniques.