10th General Assembly of the Alphasat Aldo Paraboni Propagation Experimenters

Organized by the Co-Chairs Carlo Riva, Politecnico di Milano, Italy and Antonio Martellucci, ESA, The Netherlands.

Ka and Q Bands Experiments

Future broadband satellite communication systems shall offer terabit capacity and very high data rates as requested by the current market both for broadcast and multimedia applications. The goal is to offer satellite-based solutions competitive to the ones provided by the terrestrial network, with in addition the ability to reach directly any end user, whichever his location. This requires the use of high carrier frequencies in the Ka or Q/V bands and beyond in order to achieve the large bandwidth requested.
The utilization of millimetric waves (Ka, Q, V bands and above) in satellite communications requires the use of Propagation Impairments Mitigation Techniques (PIMT) to counteract severe atmospheric phenomena without excessive power expenditures. The possibility to design and exploit profitably these techniques is based on the knowledge coming from the propagation science, i.e. on accurate models for the space- and time-distribution of attenuation and on measurements for their validation.

Alphasat Aldo Paraboni payload

From 2014 a new European measurements campaign at Ka and Q band is possible thanks to the Alphasat Aldo Paraboni payload, in name of the scientist who conceived it. The payload implementation, launch and operations are supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as contribution to the Technology Demonstration Payload of Alphasat project, implemented by the European Space Agency (ESA) in the framework of the ARTES 8 Telecom programme.
The Alphasat satellite was launched successfully on July 25, 2013. The Aldo Paraboni Scientific (propagation) payload is operational since the end of 2013 and it allows simultaneous long-term measurements of attenuation and depolarisation at 19.701 and 39.402 GHz all over Europe.
The Alphasat Aldo Paraboni payload has been operational for more than 9 years and the extension of operations until 2025 has been approved by ASI and ESA.

Ka and Q Bands Experiments Ground Network

In addition to the initial network, including the main ASI stations installed in Tito Scalo and Spino d'Adda, Italy, and the Joanneum Research ground station, installed in Graz, Austria, several research centres and space agencies (NASA and CNES) have joined the scientific campaign and now it includes up to 24 stations. This is expected to provide to the scientific community new experimental data allowing the validation, among the others, of models of space-time correlation of rain/attenuation fields, of site diversity at small and large scale, and of spatial correlation of cloud fields. All these developments shall contribute to radio regulations and support the implementation of new satellite communication systems.

Ground Network

In addition to the initial network, including the main ASI stations installed in Tito Scalo and Spino d'Adda, Italy, and the Joanneum Research ground station, installed in Graz, Austria, several research centres and space agencies (NASA and CNES) have joined the scientific campaign and now it includes up to 24 stations. This is expected to provide to the scientific community new experimental data allowing the validation, among the others, of models of space-time correlation of rain/attenuation fields, of site diversity at small and large scale, and of spatial correlation of cloud fields. All these developments shall contribute to radio regulations and support the implementation of new satellite communication systems.

10th General Assembly

In order to achieve these objectives, a strong coordination of the experimenters is essential, as demonstrated by previous projects (COST 205 project on OTS and Sirio satellites, the ESA OPEX for Olympus, the NASA NAPEX for ACTS, the ASI CEPIT for ITALSAT and, more recently, the COST IC0802 for Ka band campaigns) and by contributions to ITU-R Study Group 3, Radiowave Propagation, and ITU-R-P recommendations for SatCom systems.
For these purposes, in 2014 ASI and ESA promoted the constitution of the collaborative Group of the AlphaSat Aldo Paraboni propagation Experimenters (ASAPE), which is an open forum of researchers performing propagation campaigns with the Aldo Paraboni payload and other satellite payloads at Ka band. Topics include instruments, design and execution of campaigns, data analysis, use of remote sensing and meteorological data and use of numerical weather products. The group intends also to be a reference on the use of measurements for the development of models and theoretical advances and to actively pursue transfer of results to industry and into radio regulations. The group held its previous General Assemblies on 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023 during the Ka and Broadband Communications Conference. In addition, since 2015 the Group organises periodic intermediate meetings and a WG and Programmatic Workshop was held in Erice in October 2016.

The 10th General Assembly of ASAPE will be held on September 26, 2024,, during the 29th Ka Band Conference, and will have the main objective to report and discuss the main results of the Working Groups activities and to plan ASAPE activities for the following period.

9th Assembly Preliminary agenda
  1. Opening of the Meeting
  2. Report on the ASAPE campaign
  3. Presentations of ASAPE Experimenters
  4. ASAPE Working Groups: scientific contributions, discussion and planning
  5. Planning for ASAPE activities in 2024
  6. Conclusions/AoB

All participants interested to contribute to the meeting are invited to contact Carlo Riva (cc Antonio Martellucci) to submit by 6 September 2024 their proposal for the meeting.

Project Name: ASAPE Group of the AlphaSat Aldo Paraboni propagation Experimenters

Additional reference information on the ASAPE group will be distributed to participants using an ESA Alfresco Sharefolder area.

Carlo Riva Carlo G. Riva received the Laurea Degree in Electronic Engineering and the PhD degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering, from Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy, in 1990 and 1995, respectively. In 1999, he joined the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, where, since 2020, he has been a Full Professor of electromagnetic fields. He participated in the Olympus, Italsat and (the running) Alphasat Aldo Paraboni (for this experiment he has been appointed Principal Investigator by ASI in 2012) propagation measurement campaigns, in the COST255, COST280 and COSTIC0802 international projects on propagation and telecommunications and in the Satellite Communications Network of Excellence (SatNEx). He is Chairman of WP 3J of ITU-R SG3 (‘Propagation fundamentals’) and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. He is the author of about 270 papers published in international journals or international conference proceedings. His main research activities are in the field of the tropospheric effects in satellite microwave links (GEO, MEO, LEO, Deep Space) and their statistical and physical modelling, the propagation impairment mitigation techniques and satellite communication adaptive systems.

Antonio Martellucci Antonio Martellucci received the Laurea degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in applied electromagnetism from the Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy, in 1987 and 1992, respectively. After working in the Selenia Group (now Leonardo of Finmeccanica), he joined the Ugo Bordoni Foundation, Rome, as researcher on atmospheric propagation effects for terrestrial and spatial radio communication systems. He participated at the OLYMPUS and ITALSAT SatCom propagation experiments at Ka-, Q-, and V-bands, in collaboration with ESA. Since 2001, he is at ESA as Radiowave Propagation Engineer where he is involved in ESA Telecommunication (Alphasat, ARTES), Navigation (Galileo), Earth Observation (ENVISAT. MTG and EPS-SG), and Science (Gaia, Bepi Colombo and JUICE) Programs and R&D. He is also head of ESA delegation at ITU-R Study Group 3 “Radiowave Propagation” and responsible for activities of a number of SG3 Correspondence groups and sub-working parties. He is the author of more than 90 publications in books, international journals, and conference proceedings. Dr. Martellucci received the Young Scientist Award at the XXV International Union of Radio Science General Assembly in 1996. He has been the general Editor of the EU COST 255. He was a member of the COST280 MC and WG Chairman. He was the Chair of COST IC0802. He was also chairman of the EuRAAP-WG on Propagation, and he is co-chairman of the group of Aldo Paraboni Propagation Experimenters (ASAPE).