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W/V-Band RF Propagation Experiment DesignThe utilization of frequency spectrum for space-to-ground communications applications has generally progressed from the lowest available bands capable of supporting transmission through the atmosphere to the higher bands, which have required research and technological advancement to implement. As communications needs increase and the available spectrum in the microwave frequency bands (3 30 GHz) becomes congested globally, future systems will move into the millimeter wave (mm-wave) range (30 300 GHz). While current systems are operating in the Ka-band (20 30 GHz), systems planned for the coming decades will initiate operations in the Q-Band (33 50 GHz), V-Band (50 75 GHz) and W Band (75 110 GHz) of the spectrum. These bands offer extremely broadband capabilities (contiguous allocations of 500 MHz to 1GHz or more) and an uncluttered spectrum for a wide range of applications. NASA, DoD and commercial missions that can benefit from moving into the mm-wave bands include data relay and near-Earth data communications, unmanned aircraft communications, NASA science missions, and commercial broadcast/internet services, all able to be implemented via very small terminals. NASA Glenn Research Center has a long history of performing the inherently governmental function of opening new frequency spectrum by characterizing atmospheric effects on electromagnetic propagation and collaborating with the satellite communication industry to develop specific communications technologies for use by NASA and the nation. Along these lines, there are critical issues related to W/V-band propagation that need to be thoroughly understood before design of any operational system can commence. These issues arise primarily due to the limitations imposed on W/V-band signal propagation by the Earth s atmosphere, and to the fundamental lack of understanding of these effects with regards to proper system design and fade mitigation. In this paper, The GRC RF propagation team recommends measurements that are required to assure that the risk associated with the use of mm-wave is minimized. We develop first order beacon and transponder system payload requirements and beacon terminal requirements. We will suggest and discuss a possible hardware implementation for the space segment, as well for the ground segment. A discussion on a propagation measurement campaign for taking relevant statistical data is also included.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Acosta, Roberto J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Nessel, James A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Simons, Rainee N.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Zemba, Michael J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Morse, Jacquelynne Rose
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Budinger, James M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
September 24, 2012
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
18th Ka and Broadband Communication Conference(Ottawa)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 439432.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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