Near future satellite and terrestrial telecommunication (TLC) systems are expected to benefit from the use of operational frequencies spanning the Ka, Q, V and W bands, the main advantages being the availability of larger bandwidths and the smaller antenna size for a given gain. Moreover, the possibility of using on‐board antennas with enhanced directivity is attractive for satellite systems whose coverage area is subdivided into spot beams for frequency reallocation or regional services. For example, the W band is attractive for fixed satellite services (FSS), especially for geostationary high‐throughput systems (HTSs), in which the use of such frequencies for the feeder link (i.e. large available bandwidth) could reduce significantly the number of gateways with respect to Ka and Q/V bands. As for deep space missions, the main driver for the interest in using frequencies in the Ka to W bands is the possible increase in the on‐board antenna gain with respect to the values at X band considered for current or planned missions. The drawback of using electromagnetic waves at frequencies in Ka, Q, V and W bands is the definite impact of the impairments caused by the troposphere. As a consequence, the design of TLC systems at such frequencies, and in particular satellite‐based ones, cannot rely on the classical approach of simply assigning an extra power margin to counteract atmospheric fades. The extensive use of fade mitigation techniques (FMTs), such as link power control (LPC), site diversity or on‐board adaptive power allocation, from the propagation side, adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) and data rate adaptation (DRA), from the telecommunication side, is mandatory. A reduction of the quality of service (QoS) should also be considered. This chapter deals with all these aspects characterizing the propagation of electromagnetic waves in the Ka, Q, V and W bands, spanning from the main impairments induced by the troposphere (and how they change as the frequency increases), to how extreme atmospheric conditions can be handled making use of suitable FMTs.
Part of the book: Wave Propagation Concepts for Near-Future Telecommunication Systems