Rain attenuation prediction model for satellite communications based on the Météo-France ensemble prediction system PEARP

Dahman, Isabelle ; Arbogast, Philippe ; Jeannin, Nicolas ; Benammar, Bouchra

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<p align=justify><p><strong>Abstract.</strong> This paper presents an example of the usage of ensemble weather forecasting for the control of satellite-based communication systems. Satellite communication systems become increasingly sensitive to weather conditions as their operating frequency increases to avoid electromagnetic spectrum congestion and enhance their capacity. In the microwave domain, electromagnetic waves that are conveying information are attenuated between the satellite and Earth terminals in the presence of hydrometeors (mostly rain drops and more marginally cloud droplets). To maintain a reasonable level of service availability, even with adverse weather conditions considering the scarcity of amplification power in spacecraft, fade mitigation techniques have been developed. The general idea behind those fade mitigation techniques is to reroute, change the characteristics or reschedule the transmission in the case of too-significant propagation impairments. For some systems, a scheduling on how to use those mechanisms some hours in advance is required, making assumptions on the future weather conditions affecting the link. To this aim the use of weather forecast data to control the attenuation compensation mechanisms seems of particular interest to maximize the performances of the communication links and hence of the associated economic value. A model to forecast the attenuation on the link based on forecasted rainfall amounts from deterministic or ensemble weather forecasting is presented and validated. In a second phase, the model's application to a simplified telecommunication system allows us to demonstrate the valuable contribution of weather forecasting in the system's availability optimization or in the system's throughput optimization. The benefit of using ensemble forecasts rather than deterministic ones is demonstrated as well.</p></p>
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