Downlink Cooperative MIMO in LEO Satellites

Rei Richter, Itsik Bergel, Yair Noam, Ephraim Zehavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We consider a communication scheme in which two low earth orbit (LEO) satellites jointly transmit (at the same time and frequency) to a multi antenna land terminal (LT). This scheme can increase the achievable terminal throughput by up to a factor of 2, depending on the channel matrices. The implementation aspects of this scheme are well-known but the usefulness of this scheme for LEO satellites has yet to be studied. Because the satellite channel is dominated by its line-of-sight (LOS) component, the terminal's ability to separate the two streams depends critically on the system's instantaneous-configuration; i.e., the relative location of the satellites and the terminal antennas. Since the relative locations of LEO satellites vary rapidly, the throughput characterization is not straightforward. To characterize the network performance we consider two satellites having one antenna, transmitting to a single LT having multiple antennas. We introduce a novel stochastic framework that assumes the terminal orientation as random. Using the proposed framework, we show that if the terminal antennas are close, the network throughput is nearly independent of the terminal orientation. When the terminal antennas are sufficiently separated, the result is completely different. For this case, we define an outage event and calculate the outage probability. The definition of outage in our novel stochastic framework allows us to prove that dual satellite transmission can indeed increase the downlink throughput with high probability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9265189
Pages (from-to)213866-213881
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry, as a part of the GENESIS consortium.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • LEO satellites
  • Multiple input multiple output (MIMO)
  • cooperative transmission
  • satellite communication


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