2.65Gbps Downlink Communications with Polarization Multiplexing in X-Band for Small Earth Observation Satellite

Noriyuki KAWANO
Makoto MITA
Takahisa TOMODA
Keiichi HIRAKO
Hirobumi SAITO

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications      No.1    pp.1-12
Publication Date: 2021/01/01
Publicized: 2020/07/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2019EBN0009
Type of Manuscript: POSITION PAPER
Category: Satellite Communications
satellite communications,  small satellite,  DVB-S2X,  Cross Polarization Discrimination (XPD),  polarization multiplexing,  

Full Text: FreePDF(1.8MB)

This paper reports our new communication components and downlink tests for realizing 2.65Gbps by utilizing two circular polarizations. We have developed an on-board X-band transmitter, an on-board dual circularly polarized-wave antenna, and a ground station. In the on-board transmitter, we optimized the bias conditions of GaN High Power Amplifier (HPA) to linearize AM-AM performance. We have also designed and fabricated a dual circularly polarized-wave antenna for low-crosstalk polarization multiplexing. The antenna is composed of a corrugated horn antenna and a septum-type polarizer. The antenna achieves Cross Polarization Discrimination (XPD) of 37-43dB in the target X-band. We also modify an existing 10m ground station antenna by replacing its primary radiator and adding a polarizer. We put the polarizer and Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) in a cryogenic chamber to reduce thermal noise. Total system noise temperature of the antenna is 58K (maximum) for 18K physical temperature when the angle of elevation is 90° on a fine winter day. The dual circularly polarized-wave ground station antenna has 39.0dB/K of Gain - system-noise Temperature ratio (G/T) and an XPD higher than 37dB. The downlinked signals are stored in a data recorder at the antenna site. Afterwards, we decoded the signals by using our non-real-time software demodulator. Our system has high frequency efficiency with a roll-off factor α=0.05 and polarization multiplexing of 64APSK. The communication bits per hertz corresponds to 8.41bit/Hz (2.65Gbit/315MHz). The system is demonstrated in orbit on board the RAPid Innovative payload demonstration Satellite (RAPIS-1). RAPIS-1 was launched from Uchinoura Space Center on January 19th, 2019. We decoded 1010 bits of downlinked R- and L-channel signals and found that the downlinked binary data was error free. Consequently, we have achieved 2.65Gbps communication speed in the X-band for earth observation satellites at 300 Mega symbols per second (Msps) and polarization multiplexing of 64APSK (coding rate: 4/5) for right- and left-hand circular polarizations.