A Comparison between RSMA, SDMA, and OMA in Multibeam LEO Satellite Systems

by   Alea Schröder, et al.

Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite systems enable close to global coverage and are therefore expected to become important pillars of future communication standards. However, a particular challenge faced by LEO satellites is the high orbital velocities due to which a precise channel estimation is difficult. We model this influence as an erroneous angle of departure (AoD), which corresponds to imperfect channel state information (CSI) at the transmitter (CSIT). Poor CSIT and non-orthogonal user channels degrade the performance of space-division multiple access (SDMA) precoding by increasing inter-user interference (IUI). In contrast to SDMA, there is no IUI in orthogonal multiple access (OMA), but it requires orthogonal time or frequency resources for each user. Rate-splitting multiple access (RSMA), unifying SDMA, OMA, and non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), has recently been proven to be a flexible approach for robust interference management considering imperfect CSIT. In this paper, we investigate RSMA as a promising strategy to manage IUI in LEO satellite downlink systems caused by non-orthogonal user channels as well as imperfect CSIT. We evaluate the optimal configuration of RSMA depending on the geometrical constellation between the satellite and users.


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