Tropospheric impairment prediction at high frequencies


This 4-day course is aimed at satellite communications engineers who wish to increase their understanding of the impact that the atmosphere, and particularly the troposphere, has on geostationary satellite links. The course will present the concepts going from general elements to specific techniques and illustrate them using practical examples of satellite coverage planning for DTH and broadband services, incorporating Matlab® and VBA-based implementations of the current ITU-R prediction models.

After this course you will have obtained additional tools and knowledge to perform geostationary satellite link design at high frequencies, incorporating best practices and international performance recommendations, and to identify the limitations associated with current methods for propagation impairment prediction.

What you will learn:

  • When planning a high frequency satellite communications link, which transmission and propagation impairments must be incorporated?
  • Which international recommendations are of interest for the planning of geostationary satellite communication links?
  • What are the limitations of current ITU-R methods for propagation impairment prediction? What is their error performance?
  • Which prediction methods should be used for high frequency (Ka/Q/V) applications?
  • Which Fade Mitigation Techniques can be implemented for high frequency (Ka/Q/V)

Course Outline:

  1. Review of basic geostationary communication link elements. The basic link equation: Uplink and downlink performance; Satellite transfer and transponder modes of operation; G/T calculation and recommendation BO.790; Radiation pattern envelopes and recommendation S.580; Off-axis EIRP density limits and recommendation S.524.
  2. Modeling propagation impairments by cumulative distributions.Cumulative distributions: what they are and how they are calculated. Rationale behind “percent of time” and “percentage of exceedance” figures, “any month” performance objectives: the concept of worst-month, yearly and monthly availability objectives for geostationary satellite communication links (Recommendations BO.1696, S.1806).
  3. Calculation of the total link availability and the breaking margin concept.
  4. Impact of the troposphere on high frequency satellite communication links: Tropospheric propagation impairment prediction. Revision of current ITU-R P. series recommendations for tropospheric impairment modeling: rainfall attenuation, cloud attenuation, atmospheric gases absorption, scintillation, and depolarization. Relative impact of each propagation impairment on a link, as a function of frequency (Ku, Ka, Q/V).
  5. Evaluating the performance of current propagation models. Empirical modeling v. physical modeling. Case study on empirical modeling: The ITU-R P.837-5 Annex 1 model. Model prediction errors and limitation of current ITU-R recommendations. Next generation physical models for attenuation prediction and rain attenuation field modeling.
  6. Example: Direct-to-home coverage planning exercise. A study of satellite coverage planning for a broadcasting service, incorporating the monthly availability targets given in BO.1696 and comparing results obtained using the current ITU methods and using physical models.
  7. Mitigating the impact of tropospheric propagation impairments at high frequency. Signal diversity, site diversity, power control.
  8. Example: IP Broadband satellite system incorporating multiple gateway diversity. Total gateway-to-user link (forward) availability considering site diversity (two and three sites).


This course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses. If you are interested in attending this or another course as open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or at and indicate the course name and number of students who wish to participate. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a lead time of 3-5 months. Group courses can be presented at your facility at any time. For on-site pricing, request an on-site quote. You may also call us at (410)956-8805 or email us at


  • Dr. Lorenzo Luini He received the Laurea Degree in Telecommunication Engineering in 2004 and the Ph.D. degree in Information Technology in 2009, both from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is currently an assistant professor at DEIB (Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria). Since 2004, his research activities have been relative to E.M. wave propagation through the atmosphere, both at radio and optical frequencies. He has been involved in several research projects funded by ESA and USAF focused on advanced SatCom systems at high frequencies (Ku to W band), as well as in collaborative European research projects (e.g. COST Actions and Network of Experts). He has authored more than 80 contributions to international conferences and published over 20 papers in international journals. He is reviewer of PIER and IEEE TAP, and guest editor of IJSCN.


  • Mr. Luis Emiliani, CENG. Luis Emiliani is currently a senior satellite transmission engineer working for a global satellite operator. He has been involved with satellite communications for over 13 years, with posts including network operations, network design, product development and business analysis. Mr. Emiliani is a member of the IEEE, IET, the SSPI, a Chartered Engineer (’09, British Engineering Council) and a delegate to the ITU-R Study Group 3.

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