HCS (High-Capacity Satellite) technology operating in Ka-band offers significant advantages over conventional satellite networks operating in Ku-band and lower frequencies. More bandwidth is available at the higher Ka-band frequencies. Ka-band antennas experience higher gain than comparably sized antennas operating at lower frequencies. Finally, Ka-band offers a new spectral environment, enabling deployment of new, advanced satellite system architectures with new features. HCS satellites in operation today, such as ViaSat-1 and KA-SAT, offer much higher data capacity than conventional satellite systems, enabling a host of new services as well as a superior user experience on existing services.
There is a downside to using Ka-band though; adverse weather conditions impact Ka-band more than at lower frequencies. However, with appropriate planning and the implementation of well-designed ground systems, there are mechanisms that can mitigate these adverse weather effects. In this paper we will provide background on High-Capacity Satellites and the effects of weather at different frequency bands, and then discuss how Ka-band HCS using appropriate ground segment design can mitigate weather effects.