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Submitted By-
Sanket Gupta
NTPC Electronics
& Communication
National Thermal Power Corporation
Raj Kumar Goel Engg. College


1. Introduction
a. How Do Satellites Work?
b. Factors In Satellite

2. Major Problems For Satellites

a. Advantages Of Satellites
b. Disadvantages Of Satellites

3. Types Of Satellites
a. Geostationary Earth Orbit
b. Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
c. Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)

4. Frequency Bands Of Satellites

a. Satellite Services
b. Frequency Bands

5. Terms Used In Satellite


6. Components Of Satellite

7. Satellite Communication System

8. Satellite Earth Station


How Do Satellites Work?

 If two Stations on Earth want to communicate through
radio broadcast but are too far away to use
conventional means, then these stations can use a
satellite as a relay station for their communication. One
Earth Station sends a transmission to the satellite.
This is called an Uplink. The satellite Transponder
converts the signal and sends it down to the second
earth station. This is called a Downlink.

Factors In Satellite Communication

 Elevation Angle: The angle of the horizontal of the
earth surface to the center line of the satellite
transmission beam. It affects the satellite’s coverage

 Coverage Angle: A measure of the portion of the

earth surface visible to a satellite taking the minimum
elevation angle into account.

 R/(R + h) = sin(π/2 – β - θ)/sin(θ + π/2) = cos(β +

R = 6370 km (earth’s radius), h = satellite orbit
β = coverage angle, θ = minimum elevation

Major Problems For Satellites

 Positioning:
• This can be achieved by using small rocket motors
and fuel; over half of the weight of most satellites is
made up of fuel.
• Commercial life of a satellite typically 10-15 years.
Often it is the fuel availability which determines the
lifetime of a satellite.

 Stability:
• It is vital that satellites are stabilised to ensure that
solar panels and communications antennae are
aligned properly.
• Modern satellites use reaction wheel stabilisation, a
form of gyroscopic stabilisation.

 Power:
• Modern satellites use solar panels, so solar power is
used to generate efficient electricity.
• Batteries are needed as sometimes the satellites are
behind the earth; this happens about half the time
for a LEO satellite.

 Alignment:
• There are a number of components which need
alignment like Solar panels and Antennae.
• A parabolic dish at antennae can be used which is
pointing in the correct general direction.
• Different feeder “horns” can be used to direct
outgoing and incoming beams more precisely.

 Harsh Environment:
• Satellite components need to be especially
“hardened”. Circuits which work on the ground will
fail very rapidly in space.
• Temperature is also a problem, so satellites use
electric heaters to keep circuits and other vital parts
warmed up to control the temperature.

 Atmospheric Attenuation:
• It is caused by air and water that can impair the
• It is particularly bad during rain and fog.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of
Satellites Communication

 Advantages:
• The coverage area of a satellite greatly exceeds
that of a terrestrial system.
• Transmission cost of a satellite is independent of
the distance from the center of the coverage
• Satellite to Satellite communication is very
• Higher Bandwidths are available for use.

 Disadvantages:
• Launching satellites into orbit is costly.
• Satellite bandwidth is gradually becoming used
• There is a larger propagation delay in satellite
communication than in terrestrial

Types Of Satellites

Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO)

 These satellites are in orbit 35,863 km above the
earth’s surface along the equator with angular
separation about 2 degrees; allows 180 satellites.
Objects in Geostationary orbit revolve around the earth
at the same speed as the earth rotates. This means
GEO satellites remain in the same position relative to
the surface of earth.
 Advantages: A GEO satellite’s distance from earth
gives it a large coverage area, almost a one fourth of
the earth’s surface. GEO satellites have a 24 hour view
of a particular area. These factors make it ideal for
satellite broadcast and other multipoint applications.
 Disadvantages: A GEO satellite’s distance also cause
it to have both a comparatively weak signal and a time
delay in the signal, which is bad for point to point
communication. GEO satellites, centered above the
equator, have difficulty in broadcasting signals near
Polar Regions.

Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

 LEO satellites are much closer to the earth than GEO
satellites, ranging from 500 to 1,500 km above the
surface. These satellites don’t stay in fixed position
relative to the surface, and are only visible for 15 to 20
minutes each pass. A network of LEO satellites is
necessary for LEO satellites to be useful.
 Advantages: A LEO satellite’s proximity to earth
compared to a GEO satellite gives it a better signal
strength and less of a time delay, which makes it better
for point to point communication. LEO satellite has
smaller area of coverage; less waste of bandwidth.
 Disadvantages: A network of LEO satellites is
needed, which is costly. LEO satellites have Doppler
shifts cause by their relative movement and
atmospheric effects drag LEO satellites; causing
gradual orbital deterioration.

Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)

 A MEO satellite is in orbit somewhere between 8,000
km and 18,000 km above the earth’s surface. MEO
satellites are visible for much longer periods of time
than LEO satellites, usually between 2 to 8 hours. MEO
satellites are similar to LEO satellites in functionality.
 Advantages: A MEO satellite’s longer duration of
visibility and wider footprint, means fewer satellites are
needed in a MEO network than a LEO network. MEO
satellites have a larger coverage area than LEO
 Disadvantages: A MEO satellite’s distance gives it a
longer time delay and weaker signal than a LEO
satellite, though not as bad as a GEO satellite.

Frequency Bands Of Satellites

Satellite Services
 Fixed Service Satellites (FSS) Eg: Point to
Point Communication
 Broadcast Service Satellites (BSS) Eg: Satellite
 Mobile Service Satellites (MSS) Eg: Satellite

Frequency Bands
 L–Band: (1 to 2 GHz) used by MSS
 S-Band: (2 to 4 GHz) used by MSS, NASA, deep
space research
 C-Band: (4 to 8 GHz) used by FSS
X-Band: (8 to 12.5 GHz) used by FSS, military and
meteorological satellites
 Ku-Band: (12.5 to 18 GHz) used by FSS and BSS
 K-Band: (18 to 26.5 GHz) used by FSS and BSS
 Ka-Band: (26.5 to 40 GHz) used by FSS

Early Satellite Communications used C band in range 3.7

to 4.2 GHz and Could interfere with terrestrial
communications. Its Beam width is narrower with higher
Recent Satellite Communications used Ku band mostly.
Now Ka band is being used.

Terms Used In Satellite


 Leased Line:
It connects two locations for private voice and/or data
telecommunication service. It is not a dedicated cable,
but actually a reserved circuit between two points.
Leased lines are mostly rented by businesses to
connect branch offices, because these lines guarantee
bandwidth for network traffic. T1 leased lines are
common and offer good data rate.

 Dial-up Connection:
It is established and maintained for a limited time
duration. As an alternative, a dedicated connection
continuously takes place. Dial-up lines are also called
switched lines and dedicated lines are called non-
switched lines. A dial-up connection can be initiated
manually or automatically by the computer's modem or
other device.
 Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN):
It is a set of communications standards for
simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data
and other network services over the public switched
telephone network. ISDN is a circuit-switched telephone
network system which also provides access to packet-
switched networks, resulting in potentially better voice
quality than an analog phone can provide.

 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL):

It is a family of technologies that provides digital data
transmission over the wires of a local telephone
network. In telecommunication marketing, the term
Digital Subscriber Line is widely used as Asymmetric
Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL). DSL service is delivered
simultaneously with regular telephone on the same
telephone line as it uses a higher frequency band that
is separated by filtering.

 VoIP (voice over IP):

It is an IP telephony term used for a set of facilities to
manage the delivery of voice information over the
Internet. VoIP involves sending voice information in
digital form in discrete packets rather than using the
traditional circuit-committed protocols of the public
switched telephone network (PSTN). A major advantage
of VoIP is that it avoids the tolls charged by ordinary
telephone service.

 Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS):

It is a mechanism in high-performance
telecommunication networks which directs and carries
data from one network node to the next. MPLS makes it
easy to create "virtual links" between distant nodes. It
can encapsulate packets of various network protocols.
MPLS operates at an OSI Model layer that lies between
Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) and Layer 3 (Network Layer)
and thus is often referred as a "Layer 2.5" protocol.

It provides a unified data-carrying service for both

circuit-based clients and packet-switching. It is used to
carry many different kinds of traffic, including IP
packets, as well as native ATM, SONET, and Ethernet
 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT):
It is a two-way satellite ground station or a stabilized
maritime VSAT antenna with a dish antenna that is
smaller than 3 meters. VSAT antennas range from
75cm to 1.2m and data rates range from 56 Kbit/s upto
4 Mbit/s. VSAT access satellites in geosynchronous
orbit to relay data from small remote earth stations to
other terminals in mesh configurations or to master
earth station "hubs" in star configurations.

They provide very efficient point-to-multipoint

communication and are easy to install. VSAT networks
offer immediate accessibility and continuous high-
quality transmissions. They are adapted for any kind of
transmission from data to voice, fax and video.

Most VSAT networks are configured in one of these


• A star topology, using a central uplink site such as a

network operations center (NOC) to transport data
back and forth to each VSAT terminal via satellite.
• A mesh topology, where each VSAT terminal relays
data via satellite to another terminal by acting as a
hub and minimizing the need for a centralized uplink
• A combination of both star and mesh topologies.
Some VSAT networks are configured by having
several centralized uplink sites connected in a multi-
star topology with each star connected to each other
in a mesh topology. Others are configured in only a
single star topology having terminal connected to
each other acting as a central hub. These
configurations minimize the overall cost of the
network and alleviate the amount of data that has to
be relayed through a central uplink sites of a star or
multi-star network.
Components Of Satellite

 Local Area Network (LAN):

LAN is a computer network covering a small physical
area like a home, office, or small groups of buildings
such as a school or an airport. The defining
characteristics of LANs in contrast to wide area
networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-
transfer rates, smaller geographic area, and lack of a
need for leased telecommunication lines.

The terminal and the computer both require data in
digital format while the link is designed for analog
signals. Some device is therefore necessary to convert
data from digital to analog format and vice versa. Such
a device is known as a MODEM. It does two operations:
Modulation (at transmitting end) and Demodulation (at
receiving end). Thus, a modem is required at both ends
in each line of a data communication network.

There are several techniques

available to carry this
modulation or demodulation process:

1. Amplitude Modulation
2. Frequency modulation
3. Phase Modulation
4. Multi-level Modulation (QAM)

 Router:
A router is a device that interconnects two or more
computer networks and selectively interchanges
packets of data between them. Each data packet
contains address information that a router can use to
determine if the source and destination are on the
same network or if the data packet must be transferred
from one network to another. The routers exchange
information about target system addresses so that
each router can build up a table showing the preferred
paths between any two systems on the interconnected
 Multiplexer:
A multiplexer takes a no. of communication channels
and combines the signals into one common channel of
a greater bandwidth or data rate in such a way that the
original signals can be extracted again. A multiplexer is
required at the end of each line to multiplex and de-
multiplex the signals.

There are two types of Multiplexing:

• Frequency division multiplexing (FDM):

It is the traditional way of separating radio signals
from different transmitters. Frequency-division
multiplexing is used as to allow multiple users to
share a physical communications channel, hence it is
called frequency-division multiple access (FDMA).

• Time division multiplexing (TDM):

It is a type of digital or analog (rarely) multiplexing in
which two or more signals or bit streams are
transferred simultaneously as sub-channels in one
communication channel but are physically taking
turns on the channel. Hence, it is called time-division
multiple access (TDMA).

 UP Converter:
A block up-converter (BUC) is used in the transmission
or uplink of satellite signals. It converts a band of
frequencies from a lower frequency to a higher
frequency. Modern BUCs convert from the L band to Ku
band, C band and Ka band. Older BUCs convert from a
70 MHz intermediate frequency (IF) to Ku band or C
band. An example of a system utilizing BUC is a VSAT
system used for bidirectional internet access via
 DOWN Converter:
In digital signal processing, a digital down-converter
(DDC) converts a digitized real signal centered at an
intermediate frequency (IF) to a baseband complex
signal centered at zero frequency. In addition to down
conversion, DDC’s typically decimate to a lower
sampling rate allowing follow-on signal processing by
lower speed processors.

 Spectrum Analyzer:
A spectrum analyzer is a laboratory instrument that
displays signal amplitude or strength as it varies by
signal frequency. The frequency appears on the
horizontal axis and the amplitude is displayed on the
vertical axis. A spectrum analyzer just looks like an
A spectrum analyzer interface is a device that can be
connected to a wireless receiver or a personal
computer to allow visual detection and analysis of
electromagnetic signals over a defined band of
frequencies. This is called Panoramic Reception and it
can be used to determine the frequencies of sources of
interference to wireless networking equipment.
Satellite Communication

 Many types of signals can be transmitted through

satellite system such as audio message, video data etc.
But in every case we have to convert data into digital
form and after this we connect it to LAN as shown in

Audio LAN
Messag Switc
e h
Video LAN
Camera Codec
Messag Switc
e h

 Block Diagram Of Satellite Communication System:





Satellite Earth Station

 The ground segment of the satellite system consists of

all of the communicating earth stations which access
the operational satellite. These earth stations consists

• Antenna (Plus tracking subsystem)

• Feed system (Polarizers, Duplexers, orthanode
junctions etc.)
• High power amplifier (HPAs)
• Low noise amplifier (LNAs)
• UP/DOWN Converters (between microwave to IF)
• Ground communications equipment (GCE)
(Modems, coders, multiplexers etc.)
• Control and monitoring equipment (CME)
• Power supplies

 A network may consist of a few to hundreds of earth

stations and all have to access the satellite in an
equitable manner. Finally the satellite system must be
interfaced to the users either directly or via a network,
for e.g. PSTN, ISDN or PLMN.


RF Baseba
High UP IF nd
Power Convert Modulat
er or

RF Baseba
Low DOWN IF nd
Noise Convert Demodul (TO
er ator USERS)