Rain-based attenuation (RBA) is a major deteriorating factor affecting radio wave signals operating at microwave and millimetre wave bands for a typical Earth-Space Communication Link (ESCL). Although the international telecommunication union (ITU) recommended a standard model for predicting RBA along the terrestrial and ESCL, the technique underperforms in tropical environments. However, the model can be supported by appropriate modulation to enhance link performance. The present study assesses the performance of selected RBA models, namely the ITU, Moupfouma, and Garcἱa-Lὁpez models based on rain types for K-V frequency bands over some selected locations in Southwestern Nigeria. Link performance was further tested based on different modulation scaling to minimize signal degradation. The result shows that Garcίa-Lόpez and ITU models performed well at low rain rate R ≤2 mm/h but underestimated at higher rain rates (except thunderstorms rain type) at the high-frequency band. However, the Moupfouma model performed well for all the rain types irrespective of the selected frequency band, while the ITU model underestimated attenuation for R < 5 mm/h (shower) and R > 30 mm/h (thunderstorm) rain type from the K-V band frequency, Garcia Lopez underestimates the RBA value for R < 5 mm/h and R > 5 mm/h up to the Ka frequency band. Considering the modulation scaling on link performance shows that the bit-error-rate (BER) will severely degrade with a high rain rate compared to the low rain rate across different frequencies. The BER for 8-PPM outperforms the other types of modulation schemes that were used in this study. Overall results revealed that modulation technique DPSK with selective combining diversity gave a marginal improvement with the increase in link distance and operating frequency.
Key words: ESCL, rain attenuation models, modulation techniques, K-V frequency bands.
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