The application of S-band polarimetric radar measurements to Ka-band attenuation prediction
Bringi, V. N., author
Beaver, John D., author
In September 1993, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) was deployed into a geostationary orbit near 100° W longitude. The ACTS satellite employs two Ka-band beacons, one at 20.185 GHz and another at 27.505 GHz. Impairments due to rain attenuation and tropospheric scintillations will significantly affect new technologies for this spectrum. Heavy rain at Ka-band can easily produce 30 dB of attenuation along the propagation path. Propagation experiments being conducted in seven different climatic zones involve multiyear attenuation measurements along the satellite-earth slant path. Measurements in the B2 climatic zone are made with an ACTS propagation terminal located in northeast Colorado. In order to gain more understanding about the physical processes that are responsible for Ka-band attenuation, the Colorado State University CHILL S-band polarimetric radar is used to take radar measurements along the slant path. The Colorado Front Range experiences a variety of weather conditions throughout the year ranging from upslope rain conditions to winter storms. Four such events measured along the slant path are illustrated in this paper. They include two convective cases and two "bright-band" cases. The S-band polarimetric radar data is used to initialize radar-based attenuation-prediction models, which are applied to the four precipitation events described. The comparisons of predicted attenuation to measured attenuation are quite good. It was also found during the course of the experiment that water droplets standing on the antenna surface can cause appreciable attenuation at Ka-band frequencies. That finding needs to be recognized in future model development and statistical analysis.