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Satellite Communications/Differences in link budget calculation for Ka & Ku


I used to do link budget for Ku-band VSAT network. If for Ka-band, what aspects (parameters) I should care about. Are there some public free link budget calculators for Ka-band ?


Many thanks for your question.  

Fundamentally a Ku-Band and a Ka-Band link budget are rather similar in approach. The main issue that you are going to have to be careful about is to deal with the significantly higher rain attenuation that you will experience at Ka-Band. You will have to ensure that you take account of any available uplink (and downlink) power control, and then build sufficient margin into your link to ensure that it remains available for the desired percentage of time under the Ka-Band fade conditions that cannot be compensated for by power control.

I am not aware of any Ka-Band specific Link Budget calculators, however the Satmaster Pro link budget tool from Arrowe ( is very good, and a demonstration version is available for free.

I hope this helps.   Please remember to rate this answer.



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Mark C J Posen


I am happy to answer questions of a technical and regulatory nature in the area of satellite and radio communications. I am best able to answer questions about systems and technology and less able to respond to questions about specific hardware and equipment setup and installation, but I'm happy to try and address any question put my way. My main areas of expertise are link analysis (link budgets, performance, Eb/No, capacity), interference analysis (C/I, protection ratios, interference avoidance), spectrum management (frequency coordination, inter-system sharing), Radio Regulation (ITU, ITU-R) and satellite technologies and trends.


I have worked as a satellite communications engineer at a professional level since 1983. Since 1990, as Managing Director of RPC Telecommunications Limited, I have operated a private satellite communications consultancy and have provided technical support to many satellite operators and national governments.

IET - Institution of Engineering and Technology, IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

B.Sc. Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Bristol University, 1983, M.Sc. Satellite Communications Engineering, Surrey University, 1986

Awards and Honors
C.Eng. - Chartered Engineer registered with the Engineering Council (UK)

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