Vol. 45

Latest Volume
All Volumes
All Issues

A Study on the Effects of Rain Attenuation for an X-Band Satellite System Over Malaysia

By Siva Priya Thiagarajah and Thinagaran Nizanthi
Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 45, 37-56, 2012


In this paper, the effect of rain attenuation on the FSS allocation in the 7250- 7750 MHz in the Space-to-Earth direction is studied for a satellite at 78.5°E longitude. A simulation model based on the ITU-R P618-10 rain model is used to predict the rain attenuation in the C-, Ku- and X-bands in 15 different locations with varying rainfall intensities of between 145-300 mm/hr in East and West Malaysia. The simulations assume a 1.8 m receive antenna with 65% aperture efficiency, QPSK modulation and use of either vertical or horizontal polarization. The downlink centre frequencies used in this study are 4200 MHz, 7750 MHz and 11200 MHz for C-, X- and Ku-bands respectively. The average free-space path loss calculated for each band is used to estimate the signal attenuation due to rain and the corresponding Eb/N0 (dB) is computed at varying rain intensities. The results show that when using vertical receive polarization, all 15 locations of study with a rainfall intensity of up to 200 mm/hr could receive the X-band signal. At 200mm/hr rain intensity in the horizontal receive, most of the X-band links could achieve the threshold Eb/No of 7.68 dB with a ULPC adjustment of approximately 1.5dB where required. At 300 mm/hr rain intensity, video signals in the X-bands were no longer receivable in both polarizations. At 145 mm/hr rain intensity, only one location with high satellite elevation and greater height above mean sea level maintained the Ku-band link in the horizontal receive. In the vertical receive, the Ku-band link was receivable at all locations at 145 mm/hr but were no longer receivable at 200 mm/hr. The study concluded that the elevation angle towards the satellite is a major factor in determining the quality of the signal in the X-band. The other factors that affected the receive Eb/No was the polarization, depth of rain and height of the earth station above mean sea level. In comparison to the Ku-band, the X-band was able to maintain a good quality satellite link in rain intensities of up to 200 mm/hr in the vertical receive. The results indicate that there is high potential for the use of X-band to provide for video transmission over Malaysia in spite of the high rain intensities.


Siva Priya Thiagarajah and Thinagaran Nizanthi, "A Study on the Effects of Rain Attenuation for an X-Band Satellite System Over Malaysia," Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 45, 37-56, 2012.


    1. Malaysian Meteorological Department, "Monthly rainfall over Malaysia,", http://www.met.gov.my/index.php?option=com content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=156.

    2. Desa, M., M. N. Munira, H. Akhmal, and A. W. Kamsiah, "Capturing extreme rainfall events in Kerayong catchment," 10th Int. Conf. on Urban Drainage, Copenhagen Denmark, 21-26, August 2005.

    3. Timothy, P., W. C. Bostian, and J. E. Allnutt, Satellite Communication, 2nd Ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

    4. Mandeep, J. S. and J. E. Allnutt, "Rain attenuation predictions at Ku-band in South East Asia countries," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 76, 65-74, 2007.

    5. ANGKASA and ATSB, "Malaysia national communications satellite,", http://www.angkasa.gov.my.

    6. International Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, "Article 5 Frequency Allocations,", Vol. 1, Edition of 2008, 2008.

    7. International Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, Recommendation ITU{R P.618-10 Propagation Data and Prediction Methods required for the design of Earth-space Telecommunication Systems, October 2009.

    8. Elbert, B. R., Satellite Communications Applications Handbook,, 2nd Ed., Artech House, 2004.

    9. Barclay, L. W., Propagation of Radiowaves, 2nd Ed., Institution of Engineering Technology, 2003.

    10. Abdulrahman, A. Y., T. Abdul Rahman, S. K. Abdulrahim, and M. R. Islam, "Rain attenuation measurements over terrestrial microwave links operating at 15 GHz in Malaysia," International Journal of Communication Systems, August 12, 2011.

    11. Crane, R. K., "Prediction of attenuation by rain," IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. 28, No. 9, September 1980.

    12. Charlesworth, P., "Rain fade calculations,", http://www.philsrockets.org.uk/Rain%20Fades.pdf.

    13. Happ, E. and C. Wolk, "Climate change,", climate-change1.wordpress.com.

    14. International Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, Recommendation ITU-R P.839-3 Rain Height Model for Prediction Methods, February 2001.

    15. Widodo, P. S., "It is time to use the Ku-band in Indonesia," Online Journal of Space Communication, Vol. 8, Fall 2005.

    16. International Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, Recommendation ITU-R P.838-2 Specific Attenuation Model for Rain for Use in Prediction Methods, November 2004.

    17. International Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, "Recommendation ITU-R P.837-6 Characteristics of Precipitation for Propagation Modelling,", February 2012.

    18. Kitano, T., "Elevation angle of quasi-zenith satellite to exceed limit of satellite visibility of space diversity which consisted of two geostationary satellites," IEEE Transactions on Aerospace And Electronic Systems, Vol. 48, No. 2, April 2012.

    19. nternational Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, Recommendation ITU-R P.676-9 Attenuation by Atmospheric Gases, February 2012.

    20. Abdul Rahim, K., M. Ismail, and M. Abdullah, "Satellite link margin prediction and performance of ASTRO Malaysia," Proceeding of the 2009 International Conference in Space Science and Communication, October 26-27, 2009.

    21. Sakarellos, V. K., A. D. Panagopoulos, J. D. Kanellopoulos, and , "Noise temperature increase effect on total outage analysis of an interfered satellite link," International Journal on Infrared MilliWaves, 99-111, 2008.

    22., "Noise in satellite links," Belgian Microwave Roundtable 2001, 1-10, 2001.

    23. Ho, C., S. Slobin, and K. Gritton, "Atmospheric noise temperature induced by clouds and other weather phenomena at SHF band (1{45 GHz)," 90, Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology, August 2005.

    24. International Telecommunications Union, Radiocommunications Bureau, Recommendation ITU-R P.835-5, Reference Standard Atmosphere, February 2012.