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Link Budgets

DCS MANUFACTURERS MEETING NOVEMBER 9, 2006


Peter Woolner
Mitretek Systems
pwoolner@mitretek.org
703-610-1724

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What Is a Link Budget
It is a theoretical calculation of end-to-end
performance for a communications path
under a specific set of conditions.
Sometimes the conditions are stated; most
often at least some of them are implied or
assumed.
Every link budget implies everything not
included is irrelevant.
Sometimes this is true
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Why is a Link Budget Important

A link budget is used to predict


performance before the link is established.
Show in advance if it will be acceptable
Show if one option is better than another
Provide a criterion to evaluate actual
performance

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Link Budget Components

A satellite link budget should include the


following parts:
1. UPLINK
2. DOWNLINK
3. COMBINE 1 AND 2
4. DEFINE PERFORMANCE LIMIT(S)
5. COMPARE CALCULATED AND DESIRED
PERFORMANCE

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EXAMPLE PART 1

Parameter Value in dB
Uplink transmit EIRP 48.0
Net uplink losses -177.3
Satellite receive G/T -17.0
Boltzmanns constant (-198.6)
Uplink receive C/N0 52.3

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EXAMPLE PART 2

Parameter Value in dB

Downlink transmit EIRP 22.5

Net downlink losses -190.1

Satellite receive G/T 15.0

Boltzmanns constant (-198.6)

Downlink receive C/N0 46.0

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EXAMPLE PART 3

Parameter Value in dB

Uplink receive C/N0 52.3

Downlink receive C/N0 46.0

Combined C/N0 45.1

Data rate in dB (1200 bps) 30.8

Calculated link EB/N0 14.3

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EXAMPLE PARTS 4 & 5

Parameter Value in dB

Calculated link EB/N0 14.3

Required EB/N0 11.7

Operating margin 2.6

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LINK BUDGET EVALUATION

The basic question is: Is the operating


margin large enough?
It must be positive to account for the items
listed in the budget
It also must cover the variations caused by
everything that was not explicitly included
Therefore a more useful question is: What
was not included in the budget that might
be a significant factor?
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EVALUATION (continued)

Some factors I consider important are:


Satellite non-linearity (NPR)
Satellite transmit power for your signal
Interference (including CDMA if implemented)
Allowance for future (worse) conditions
Lifetime of the system under evaluation
How closely can it be maintained at the
parameters used in the budget

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