Hi @cblair ,
Uplink is characterized with VSATs (satellite base station) as transmitter and satellite as receiver while it is opposite for the case of downlink. The attenuation of the signals increases with the frequency. Hence the transmitted power should be higher for a higher frequency signal. This requirement can be easily accomplished by the satellite base station when compared with the satellite. Satellite needs to be lighter weight and high power transmitter design can increase the overall satellite weight. Also, high power transmission can drain the available power resources of satellite. Hence uplink frequency is made greater than the downlink frequency.
Hope this helped!
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