Radio Wave Satellite Propagation in Ka/Q Band
In 2013 the European Space Agency, in cooperation with Inmarsat, launched the Alphasat communication satellite hosting four Technology Demonstration Payloads (TDPs). One of them is the Aldo Paraboni payload, supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and executed by ESA in the framework of the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 8 Telecom program. In addition to the Communication experiment, it includes the Alphasat Scientific Experiment transmitting coherent beacon signals at Ka-band (19.701 GHz) and Q-band (39.402 GHz). The satellite supports a Europe-wide experiment to investigate the atmospheric propagation effects occurring in Ka and Q bands. The demand for increasing bandwidth in the satellite radio communication domain is moving the communication channels to the higher frequency bands. Hence for both research and commercial purposes is especially important to effectively explore the Q band that is affected by attenuation, depolarization and scintillation due to different atmospheric effects. In 2014 the Department of Broadband Infocommunications and Electromagnetic Theory at Budapest University of Technology and Economics joined the ASAPE (AlphaSat Aldo Paraboni Experimenters) group and developed a ground station to be installed in Budapest. This work was supported by the European Space Agency under its Plan for European Cooperating States program. Our paper gives the background of the Alphasat Scientific Experiment and overviews the design phases of the receiver station in Budapest. We present also the processing and validation of data recorded so far and our future experimenting plans.