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Aeronautical Satellite Communications Channel Characteristics

23. April 2013

The wireless signal propagation characteristics from a satellite based transmitter to an airborne receiver are of special interest for air traffic management as well as for passenger communications. Especially applications incorporating safety-of-life features require not only an average reliability of the transmission link but rather a high availability and have stringent requirements on the continuity-of-service. In order to test and validate new developed receiver algorithms, software based implementations are used which allow a faster time to market. Therefore, channel models designed to simulate propagation characteristics of the satellite-to-aircraft channel need to address all aspects of propagation impairments. Worst case scenarios especially apply to landing and approach.


In the Aeronautical Satellite Communications Channel Characteristics project propagation models for the satellite-to-aircraft and satellite-to-helicopter case shall be developed. For modelling and validation purposes, it is planned to collect measurement data while flying in different kinds of aircrafts and helicopters. The flight measurements will be performed in Austria over different types of terrain like water, forest or glaciers. Ground reflections from different surfaces will be considered in the final models as well as polarisation effects. The developed models will be validated against the measurement data at L- and Ka-band frequencies.


European Space Agency (ESA)


Joanneum Research
University of Vigo



Thomas Jost
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Institut für Kommunikation und Navigation
, Nachrichtensysteme
Tel: +49 8153 28-2818

Fax: +49 8153 28-1871

E-Mail: Thomas.Jost@dlr.de
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