SAB-001-14 — Requirements for Licensing of Space Stations

Posted on Industry Canada website: March 6, 2014

Contents

  1. Background
  2. Canadian Coverage Contour and Variation Requirements
  3. Canadian Coverage and Elevation Angle Requirements
  4. Minimum Spectrum Efficiency Requirement
  5. Revisions to CPC-2-6-02

1. Background

1.         This spectrum advisory bulletin is addressed to fixed-satellite and broadcast-satellite service operators. In November 2013, Industry Canada published the document Decisions on the Licensing Framework for Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) and Broadcasting-Satellite Service (BSS), Implications for Other Satellite Services in Canada, and Revised Fee Proposal, which announced the Department's decisions related to changes in its satellite licensing framework. Soon thereafter, Industry Canada released a new issue of Radio Systems Policy RP-008, Policy Framework for Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) and Broadcasting-Satellite Service (BSS), and a new issue of Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-6-02, Licensing of Space Stations, Issue 3 (Provisional) through Canada Gazette notice SMSE-024-13.

2.         During the Department's briefing to satellite operators regarding the implementation of the new first-come, first-served (FCFS) satellite licensing process, held on November 29, 2013, concerns were expressed regarding the requirements for Canadian coverage and spectrum efficiency at the edge of coverage. Applicants should note that Industry Canada's purpose in establishing these requirements is to ensure that satellite services provided in Canada are of comparable quality and reliability throughout the entire coverage area.

3.         Subsequent to the industry briefing, Industry Canada has reviewed the requirements and is hereby announcing modifications to CPC-2-6-02. Until CPC-2-6-02 is updated, the requirements outlined in this spectrum advisory bulletin will be used to assess FSS and BSS applications.

2. Canadian Coverage Contour and Variation Requirements

4.         Section 3.2.4.2 (I) of CPC-2-6-02 outlines the technical requirements to address Canadian coverage for FSS and BSS satellites operating in the geostationary arc from 70°W to 130°W inclusive. The coverage requirements for different frequency bands are defined in terms of angle of arrival of signals; a maximum variation of 5 dB of equivalent isotropically radiated power (e.i.r.p.) over the coverage area; and a requirement to provide contour maps of e.i.r.p. and G/T in 1 dB increments.

5.         Some operators suggested changing the requirement to show the e.i.r.p. and G/T contours at 2 dB increments, which would align with the data requirements of Appendix 4 of the ITU's Radio Regulations and reduce the burden on applicants. Accordingly, Industry Canada has changed the requirement. Applicants should note that they are now also required to submit the e.i.r.p. and G/T contour diagrams using the .gxt software file format that is required as part of the ITU Appendix 4 data submission. This will allow the Department to review the details of the contours.

6.         Some operators also expressed concern about the requirement to maintain the e.i.r.p. variation to 5 dB or less over the Canadian coverage area. These concerns related to difficulties in maintaining comparable service availability throughout Canada due to higher rain attenuation rates in coastal regions. Issues were also raised with respect to satellites that implement large numbers of spot beams, where the variation from the bore sight to the edge of a spot beam is often more than 5 dB.

7.         The intent of the maximum e.i.r.p. variation limit is to ensure comparable service to all Canadian customers by maintaining an acceptable level of availability and spectrum utilization efficiency while limiting the variation in the diameter of earth station antennas required. In this context, the maximum e.i.r.p. variation limit has been increased from 5 to 6 dB to address operators’ concerns. As an alternative to meeting this e.i.r.p. variation limit requirement, applicants can demonstrate through link budgets that a similar level of performance can be maintained over the Canadian coverage area using earth stations whose antenna diameters vary by a factor of two or less when compared to the earth station antenna diameter required to serve the majority of the Canadian population.

3. Canadian Coverage and Elevation Angle Requirements

8.         With regard to the frequency ranges associated with the angles of arrival shown in the table in Section 3.2.4.2 (I), the delimiting frequency between the Ku-band and Ka-band will be changed to 15 GHz from 18 GHz. This has the effect of including the downlink of the 17/24 GHz broadcast satellite service (BSS) in the Ka-band, rather than the Ku-band range. Setting the delimiter at 15 GHz better reflects the BSS operational environment because rain fades become far more significant at frequencies above 15 GHz. It should be noted that there are currently no Canadian FSS/BSS allocations in the frequency band 14.5-17.3 GHz that are subject to the Canadian coverage requirement.

9.         The Department recognizes that a uniform coverage requirement for direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcasting services is difficult to achieve for earth stations with an elevation angle of less than 20°, as receiving antennas often do not have clear line of sight to the transmitting satellite. Although some difficulties could be encountered in attempting to provide service to locations where the earth stations have a low elevation angle to the transmitting satellite, this is not a sufficiently compelling reason for not providing service to such areas. As a result, the earth station elevation angles defining the Canadian coverage requirement will be maintained as established in the current version of CPC-2-6-02.

4. Minimum Spectrum Efficiency Requirement

10.       Section 3.2.4.2 (III) of CPC-2-6-02 outlines the technical requirements concerning minimum spectrum efficiency. In particular, for each band requested, the proposed satellites must meet a minimum spectrum efficiency of 1 bps/Hz at the edge of coverage. Some operators sought clarification as to how this requirement will be evaluated. To comply with this requirement, the link budgets in each beam providing service at the edge of coverage must have a sufficient carrier-to-noise ratio to allow the use of modulation and coding techniques that yield a spectrum efficiency of 1 bps/Hz or better for each polarization employed.

5. Revisions to CPC-2-6-02

11.       Considering the above, applicants are hereby advised that the text of Section 3.2.4.2 (I) of CPC-2-6-02 has been replaced by the following text, effective immediately:

12.       “FSS and BSS satellites operating in the geostationary arc from 70°W to 130°W inclusive are required to cover the entire Canadian territory visible from the satellites. More precisely, the area of Canada where the angle of arrival of signals from the satellite above the horizontal plane is equal to or greater than the limit shown in the table below shall: (1) have an equivalent isotropically radiated power (e.i.r.p.) variation of no more than 6 dB; or alternatively, (2) have a similar satellite link performance over the Canadian coverage area, using earth stations whose antenna diameters vary by no more than a factor of two when compared with the earth station antenna diameter required to serve the majority of the Canadian population. In the second case, applicants must provide link budgets which demonstrate that the requirement is met for an availability of 99.7%.

Coverage Requirement: Frequency and Angle of Arrival of Signals
Frequencies Angle of Arrival
Below 10 GHz
Between 10 GHz and 15 GHz 7.5°
Above 15 GHz 10°

13.       For non-geostationary satellites, the area of Canada where the angle of arrival of signals from the satellite above the horizontal plane is equal to or greater than the limit shown in the above table shall: (1) have an e.i.r.p. variation of no more than 6 dB; or alternatively, (2) have a similar satellite link performance over the Canadian coverage area, using earth stations whose antenna diameters vary by no more than a factor of two when compared with the earth station antenna diameter required to serve the majority of the Canadian population. In the second case, applicants must provide link budgets which demonstrate that the requirement is met for an availability of 99.7%.

14.       This coverage requirement does not apply to the use of FSS spectrum that provides only feeder links to support other satellite services, such as for direct-to-home satellite broadcasting, MSS and broadband satellite services.

15.       Applicants for FSS and BSS satellites must submit diagrams of the projected contours on the Earth of e.i.r.p. (in dBW) transmitted from the satellite, and the G/T levels (in dB/K) received at the satellite. The contours should be shown in 2 dB increments from the maximum level until the edge of Canadian coverage. Beyond the edge of Canadian coverage, the contours may be shown in 5 dB increments. Contour diagrams must be submitted using the .gxt software file format that is required as part of the ITU Appendix 4 data submission.”

16.       As well, the text of Section 3.2.4.2 (III) of CPC-2-6-02 is hereby replaced by the following text, effective immediately:

17.       “Proposed FSS and BSS satellites must employ state-of-the-art modulation and coding techniques, as well as frequency reuse techniques (either through the use of orthogonal polarizations within the same beam or through the use of spatially independent beams). For each band requested, these proposed satellites must meet a minimum spectrum efficiency of 1 bps/Hz for each polarization employed in each beam providing service at the edge of coverage.

18.       Applicants must provide a channel and polarization plan for each band that the satellite will use, showing the representative modulation scheme and loading, in bps/Hz, for each channel. If spatially independent beams are to be used, applicants must provide a map showing the beam pattern and the frequency reuse and indicate the frequency reuse factor. Applicants must also provide a sample link budget, demonstrating minimum efficiency at the edge of coverage.”

Issued under the authority
of the Radiocommunication Act

____________________________________
MARC DUPUIS
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

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