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The Downlink Adjacent Interference for Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) Search and Rescue Satellites

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DOI: 10.4236/ijcns.2010.32016    5,078 Downloads   9,503 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) - LEO environmental satellites provide continuous coverage of Earth, supplying high-resolution global meteorological, oceanic and space observation data. In addition, these satellites are part of the international COSPAS – SARSAT program, which aides search and rescue teams worldwide. The USA segment, referred to as SARSAT (Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking) system, is designed to provide distress alert and location data to assist on search and rescue operations. SARSAT locates distress beacons (406MHz) activated at distress locations. The system calculates a location of the distress event using Doppler processing techniques. Processed data is continuously retransmitted through the SARSAT downlink to Local User Terminals (LUT) when satellites are in view. The downlink adjacent interference is expected when two satellites operate in close proximity and share the same frequency. The downlinks of all SARSAT LEO satellites use the same 1544.5 MHz frequency. In cases where the satellites are within the main lobe of the local user terminal antenna, transmissions from adjacent satellites act as interference to one-another, effectively decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio of the desired downlink. This can result in missed distress beacon bursts or no stored solutions received at the LUT, consequently no data is provided about a distress location. Analysis on interference prediction, impacts on system operation and recommendations for mitigating interference periods where the duration may be significant, are presented in this paper.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. CAKAJ, M. FITZMAURICE, J. REICH and E. FOSTER, "The Downlink Adjacent Interference for Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) Search and Rescue Satellites," International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2010, pp. 107-115. doi: 10.4236/ijcns.2010.32016.

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