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Introduction to Satellite Communications Orbital Aspects of Earth Satellites Types of Satellites Satellites Communication Systems Satellite S b t S t llit Subsystems Earth Stations Satellite Routing Satellite Handover Applications of Satellites pp f

Introduction to Satellite Communications

1. Definition: f Satellite is a physical object that orbits or revolves around p y j some celestial body. g Satellite transmissions are categorized as either bus or payload. The bus includes control mechanisms that support the payload operation. The payload is the actual user information that is conveyed through the system. In general Satellite is an artificial satellite stationed in space for the purposes of telecommunications, military, surveillance, surveillance etc

2. 2 History:
The first artificial at llit was the Soviet Sputnik-1, launched Th fir t artifi ial satellite wa th S vi t Sp t ik 1 la h d on October 4, 1957, and equipped with an on-board transmitter that worked on two frequencies, 20.005 and 40.002 MHz . The first American satellite to relay communications was Project SCORE in 1958, which used a tape recorder to store and forward voice messages. f , y Telstar was the first active, direct relay communications satellite. Belonging to AT &T in 1962. Telstar II was successfully launched in 1963. It was used for Telephone, television, fascimile and data transmissions. transmissions

Sputnik I
Thefirstartificialsatellite October4,1957 LEO frequencies 20.005MHz 20 005 MHz 40.002 MHz.

First voice communication established via satellite (US) 1958 LEO 35 days in orbit

First passive communication satellite launched into space 1960

First non nongovernment active communication satellite launched 1962 MEO

First Geo Synchronous Satellite Feb 1963

1964: International Telecomm. Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) created. created 1965: First communications satellite launched into geostationary orbit for commercial use Early Bi d E l Bird

Ea ly Early satellites were both of the passive and active type. we e Passive satellite is one that reflects a signal back to earth: there are no gain devices on board to amplify or repeat the g p fy p signal y p g An active satellite is one that electronically repeats a signal back to earth.(i.e., receives, amplifies, and retransmits the signal)

Syncom I, launched in February 1963, was the first attempt to place a geosynchronous satellite into orbit. Syncom I was p g y y lost during orbit injection. y y f y Syncom II and Syncom III were successfully launched in February 1963 and August 1964, respectively. The Syncom III satellite was used to broadcast the 1964Olympic Games from T k f Tokyo. In 1964 a commercial global satellite network known as Intelsat (I I l (International T l i l Telecommunications S lli i i Satellite Organization) was established..

The first Intelsat satellite was Early Bird 1, which was launched i 1965 and provided 480 voice channels. F l h d in d id d i h l From 1966 to 1987, a series of satellites designated Intelsat II, Ill, IV, V, Ill IV V and VI were launched 1ntelsat VI has a capacity launched. of 80,000 voice channels. In 1988 the first satellite system for mobile phones and data n fi st fo communication INMARSAT-C was established. During 1993 the first digital satellite telephone system was introduced and also in 1998 the global satellite systems for small mobile phones was launched.

Types of Satellite Orbits yp f

The orbital elements of a particular satellite depend upon its f p p p intended application. The satellite orbits can be classified on the basis of : 1. Orientation of the orbital plane f h b l l 2. Eccentricity 3. 3 Distance from Earth

1. Orientation of the orbital plane The orbital plane of the satellite can have various orientations with r ri t ti ith respect t th equatorial plane of E rth t to the q t ri l l f Earth. The angle between the two planes is called the angle of inclination of the satellite. On this basis, the orbits can be classified as equatorial orbits, p polar orbits and inclined orbits. In the case of an equatorial orbit, the angle of inclination is zero, i.e. the orbital plane of the satellite coincides with the Earths equatorial plane (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Equatorial orbit A satellite in the equatorial orbit has a latitude of 0. For an angle of inclination i li i equal to 90 the satellite i said to b i the polar orbit l 90, h lli is id be in h l bi (Figure 2). For an angle of inclination between 0 and 180, the orbit is said to be an inclined orbit.

Figure 2. Polar orbit

For inclinations between 0 and 90, the satellite travels in the same direction as the direction of rotation of the Earth. The orbit in this case is referred to as a direct or prograde orbit ((Figure 3). For inclinations between 90 and 180, the satellite orbits in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the Earth and the orbit in this case is called a retrograde orbit (Fi d bi (Figure 4) 4).
Figure 3. Prograde orbit

Figure 4. Retrograde orbit

2. Eccentricity of the Orbit : On the basis of eccentricity the orbits are classified as eccentricity, elliptical (Figure (a)) and circular (Figure (b)) orbits. N Needless to say, when the orbit eccentricity lies between 0 y, w y w and 1, the orbit is elliptical with the centre of the Earth lying at one of the foci of the ellipse. When the eccentricity is zero, the orbit becomes circular.

Used b U d by Russia for decades. i f d d Molniya Orbit is an elliptical orbit. The satellite remains in a nearly fixed position relative to earth for eight hours. l fi d iti l ti t th f i ht h A series of three Molniya satellites can act like a GEO satellite. Useful i U f l in near polar regions. l i

One of the 910re interesting orbital satellite systems is the Soviet Molniya system This is also spelled Molnya and system. Molnia, which means "lightning" in Russian (in colloquial Russian it means "news flash"). f ) The Molniya satellites are used for television broadcasting and are presently the only nonsynchronous-orbit commercial satellite system in use. Molniya uses a highly elliptical orbit with apogee at about 40,000 km and perigee at about 1000 km


36,000 km


5,000 15,000 km 500 -1000 km

Satellite is a physical object p y j that orbits a celestial body. Communication satellite containing electronics equipment acts as a q p repeater or relay station between two earth station. Transponder is the basic component of a communication satellite. satellite

Satellites are located by earth coordinates expressed in terms of latitude and longitude. The two angles used to point a ground station antennas are azimuth and elevation angles . The main power supplies of a satellite are Solar Panels. p pp During eclipse, the satellite is powered by Batteries. The main used of satellite is for communications, Consumers uses satellite for TV reception. reception

Whydosatellitesstaymoving andinorbit?

F2 F1

F1 gravitationalforce F2 centripetalforce

Geocenter - the center of gravity of the earth Period - the time of one orbit

Satellite Orbit
Satellite orbits the earth from the height of 100 to 22,300 mi and travel at speeds of 6,800 to 17,500 mi/hr. p , ,

A satellite that orbits directly over the equator 22,300 mi from earth.
SYNCOM1 in February (comms. failed). 1963:

SYNCOM2 in February 1963 SYNCOM3 in August 1964

At the Geostationary orbit the satellite covers 42.2% of the earths surface.

Satellite Orbit

Perigee P i

A Apogee

Circular orbit

Elliptical orbit

LEO: 500to1,500km 500 to 1 500 km LowEarthOrbit.

MEO: 8,000 km - 18,000 km M di MediumEarthOrbit E th O bit


GEO: 35,863 km Geostationary Earth Orbit GeostationaryEarthOrbit

Three common bands:

UpLink (Ghz)


ISSUES Interference Interference withground links. Attenuation duetorain High Hi h Equipment cost


C Ku Ka

4 11 20

6 14 30

Many satellites are put in orbit by launching them form NASA s NASAs space shuttle shuttle.

One Earth Station sends a transmission to the satellite. This is called a Uplink. The satellite Transponder converts the signal and sends it down to the second earth station This is station. called a Downlink.

option of de-orbiting the satellite leaving the satellite in its current l i th t llit i it t orbit moving the satellite to a graveyard g g y orbit.

Keplers first law y y states that the path followed by a satellite around the primary will be an ellipse. An ellipse has two focal points shown as F1 and F2

The center of mass of the two body system termed the barycenter, is two-body system, barycenter always centered on one of the foci

In our specific case because of the enormous difference Inourspecific case,becauseoftheenormousdifference betweenthemassesof theearthandthesatellite,thecenter ofmasscoincideswiththecenter oftheearth,whichis thereforealwaysatoneofthefoci. The semimajor axis of the ellipse is denoted by a and the Thesemimajoraxisoftheellipseisdenotedbya,andthe semiminor axis,byb.Theeccentricitye isgivenby
e= a2 b2 a

For an elliptical orbit, 0 < e < 1. When e = 0, the orbit becomes circular.

Kepler s Kepler`s Second Law Keplers second law states that, for equal time intervals, a satellite will sweep out equal areas in its orbital plane, focused at the barycenter.

Thus the farther the satellite from earth, the longer it takes to travel a given distance

Keplers Third Law According to the Keplers third law also known as the law of periods the Kepler s law, periods, square of the time period of any satellite is proportional to the cube of the semi major semi-major axis of its elliptical orbit orbit. The expression for the time period can be derived as follows. A circular orbit with radius r is assumed Remember that a circular orbit is assumed. only a special case of an elliptical orbit with both the semi-major axis and semi minor semi-minor axis equal to the radius. Equating the gravitational force with the centrifugal force gives

Solar day and Sidereal day y y

A day is defined as the time that it takes the Earth to rotate on its i i axis. However, there is more than one way to define a day: A sidereal day is the time that it takes for the Earth to rotate with respect to the distant stars. A solar day is the time that it takes to rotate with respect to y p the Sun. A solar day is measured using the passage of the Sun across the k it lasts hours th skyit l t 24 h A sidereal day (from the Latin word meaning star) is measured with respect to fixed starsit lasts a little less than stars it 24 hours.

Orbital Aspects of Earth Satellites

Here we deal with the following concepts: 1. 2. 2 3. 4. 4 5. 6. Orbit Fundamentals Geosynchronous Satellites Station Keeping Attitude Control A i d C l Satellite Position Satellite Launching ll h

1. Orbit Fundamentals: Satellite keeps moving around the Earth in some orbital pattern . Orbit Fundamentals is based on a. a Orbit Shape b. Direction of satellites revolution c. S t llit S d and P i d Satellite Speed d Period d. Satellite Angles e. Satellite Repeaters lli

a. Orbit Shape
Satellite keeps moving around the Earth in some orbital pattern called Orbit Shape. Orbit Shape Orbit Shape can be either a. Ci l O bi Circular Orbit b. Elliptical Orbit b Elli i l O bi

b. Direction of satellites revolution satellite s

1. 1 Posigrade Orbit i.e. satellites revolution=direction of Earths rotation 2. 2 Elliptical Orbit i.e. satellites revolution=against the direction of Earth s Earths rotation

c. Satellite Speed and Period

The speed of the satellite is measured in miles per hour, kilometer per hour , or knots knots. Speed varies depending upon the distance of the satellite from Earth. Two types of Periods ----- 1. Sideral Period 2. Synodic Period

d. Satellite Angles
1. Angle f Inclination 1 A l of I li ti
Is the angle formed between the equatorial plane and the satellites satellite s orbital plane as the satellite enters the northern hemisphere.

2. Angle of Elevation
Is the angle that appears between the line from the Earth stations antenna to the satellite and the line between the Earth stations antenna and the Earths horizon.

3. Polar Orbit 4. Equatorial Orbit

e. S t llit R Satellite Repeaters t

To use a satellite for communications relay or repeater f y p purposes ground station antenna must track or follow the satellite as it passes overhead. Height and speed only determines how long the satellite can stay connected with the ground station. Some time the satellite may disappear around the other side of th E th id f the Earth. y g p To solve this its be launched in a very long elliptical orbit.

2. Geosynchronous Satellites: A geostationary satellite revolves around the earth at a constant speed once per day over the equator. It appears to be in a fixed position to an earth-based observer. Usually geosynchronous satellites are placed at a distance of 22,300 miles or 35,860 km above the Equator. The Th satellite at that di lli h distance revolves around the Earth i l d h h in exact 24 hours. Speed of the satellite=7000 miles/hour

Advantages of Geosynchronous Satellites: Since the satellite remains apparently fixed, no special earth station tracking antennas are needed The antenna can simply be pointed at the satellite and remain fixed. Continuous communications are possible. Most communication satellites used today are geosynchronous satellites. h lli

Disadvantages of Geosynchronous Satellites: During an eclipse the Earth or moon gets between the satellite and th S i causes th sunlight t b bl k d t llit d the Sun, is the li ht to be blocked from the solar panel. So an eclipse shuts off all power to the satellite. To avoid this backup batteries are used used.

3. Station Keeping: S K p g Even ith E with a very good l d launch th satellite can d ift someh the t llit drift what from its orbit. This is called Orbital Drift. It is caused by a variety of forces like suns, moons gravitational pull, etc. The process of firing the rockets under ground control to maintain or adjust the orbit is referred to as j f Station Keeping

4. Altitude C A Control: Satellites have to be placed in some altitude for optimal performances. Thi i called as Altit d C t l f This is ll d Altitude Control. g Stabilizing the satellite is also called as Altitude Control. Two types stabilization are there:
Spin Stabilization Three axis Stabilization

Most M t common i th S i St bili ti is the Spin Stabilization, where th h r the satellite spins around using the thrusters attached to it on its primary axis.

5. Satellite Positioning: In order to use a satellite, it has to be positioned in space properly, usually it a predetermined by design of the satellite and is achieved during launch launch. Once the position is known, the earth station antennas have to pointed at the satellite for optimal transmission and reception. The location of a satellite is generally specified in terms of latitudes and longitudes. g

6. Satellite Launching:
Satellites S t llit are placed i t th i orbits b mounting th on t of l d into their bit by ti them top f rockets which literally shoot them into space. Occasionally, the rocket will contain more than one satellite. H the i ll h k ill i h lli Here h main satellite is called as Initial Payload and others as Secondary p y payload. The satellite is first put into what is called a transfer orbit, a highly p p j elliptical orbit that permits adjustments to the satellite to be made prior to its being placed into final position.

Types Types of f Satellites S ll


Natural Satellites

Natural Satellites

Based on Orbiting the Earth

Based on Application Remote Sensing Satellites Meteorological Satellites Communication Satellites Navigation Satellites Scientific and Military Satellites y

E.g.: Moon

Geostationary Sate tes Satellites Medium Earth g Orbiting Satellites Low E th L Earth g Orbiting Satellites Highly Elliptical Orbiting Satellites g Polar Satellites

A. Natural Satellites: A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called the primary Technically the term natural satellite could refer primary. Technically, to a planet orbiting a star, or a dwarf galaxy orbiting a major galaxy. E.g.: Moon

Fig : Jupiter's Moon Jupiter s

B. B Based on Orbiting the Earth: There are five types.

1. Geostationary Satellites - S lli Satellites are placed above the equator at a di l d b h distance of about f b 36000 km. - Almost today all satellite orbiting the Earth are of this type A y g f yp 2. Medium Earth Orbiting Satellites - Operate at a distance of about 5,000-12,000 km. - Up to now there has not been many satellites in this class.

3. Low Earth Orbiting Satellites Are placed at an altitude of 5,00-1,500 km. Typical duration of them are 95-120 minutes. They try to ensure a high elevation for every spot on Earth to provide high quality communication link. Uses d U advanced compression schemes, t f rate of 2 400 bit / d i h transfer t f 2,400 bits/sec can be enough for voice communication.

4. Highly Elliptical Orbiting Satellites 4 Hi hl Elli ti l O biti S t llit Comprises of all satellites with a relatively low-altitude perigee and an extremely hi h ltit d apogee. t l high-altitude It has the advantage of long dwell times at a point in the sky during pp f p g the approach to and descent from apogee. E.g.: USs Sirius Satellite

5. Polar Satellites These satellites orbit f Th lli bi from N h Northern H i h Hemisphere to Southern h hemisphere. E.g.: PSLV, Polar Wind(USA) They follow highly elliptical orbit, inclined about 86 o with an orbital period of 18 hours It gathers multi-wavelength imaging of the aurora, and measures the entry of plasma into the polar magnetosphere, etc.. f l h l h

C. Based on Applications : There five Th are fi types.

1. Remote Sensing Satellites - Are a series of Earth Observation satellites, which observes weather, landscapes, atmosphere, oceanic surface, climate changes, urban planning, etc.. - Two types of remote sensing --- 1. Active 2. Passive

2. Meteorological Satellites - a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. - Satellites can be either polar orbiting or geostationary etc orbiting, geostationary, etc.. - It sees clouds and cloud systems, City lights, fires, effects of pollution, auroras, sand and dust storms, snow cover, ice mapping, boundaries of ocean currents, energy flows, etc., are other types of environmental information collected using weather satellites.

3. 3 Communication Satellites - They aid telecommunications, as by reflecting or y g relaying a radio. have been a significant part of domestic and global communications since the 1970s. Uses --- Telephony, Satellite TVs, Satellite Internet, Satellite Radio, Aircraft communications, etc..

4. Navigation Satellites Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is the standard generic term for satellite navigation systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage geo spatial coverage. allows small electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude, latitude (longitude latitude, and altitude) to within a few meters using time signals transmitted along a line-of-sight by radio from satellites. Receivers on the ground with a fixed position can also be used to calculate the precise time as a reference for scientific experiments. As of 2009, the United States NAVSTAR Global Positioning y (G ) System (GPS).) is the only fully operational GNSS.

A handheld GPS Receiver

5. 5 Military and Scientific Satellites A military satellite is an artificial satellite used for a military y f f y purpose, often for gathering intelligence, as a communications satellite used for military purposes, or as a military weapon. Many cryptographic algorithms are used to encode the signals, use special frequency ranges, advanced transmitting and receiving equipments . Scientific satellites gather data for scientific analysis. This includes observations of the atmosphere of our planet the stars planet, stars, the sun and other parts of space.

Military Satellite

Satellite Communication Systems

Communication Satellites are originators of information. i f ti They instead relay stations for other sources. Here we deal with the following concepts: f g p 1. 2. 2 3. 4. 4 Transponders Satellite Frequency Allocations Satellite Bandwidth Increasing Ch I i Channel C l Capacity it

1. Transponders Satellite contains a receiver which picks up the transmitted signal, amplifies it, and translates it into another frequency. The transmitter-receiver combination in the satellite is known as Transponder. Uplink Upto 6GHz Downlink Upto 4GHz Typical T i l transponder h a wide b d id h B use only a single d has id bandwidth. But l i l signal to minimize interference and to improve communication reliability.

2. Satellite Frequency Allocations Most satellites operate in microwave frequency spectrum. It is divided up into frequency bands which have been allocated into satellite as well as other communications services such as radar. radar The most widely used satellite communications band is the C band.

Fig: Frequency bands used in satellite communications

FREQUENCY 225-390 MHz 350-530 MHz 1530-2700 MHz 2500-2700 2500 2700 MHz 3400-6425 MHz 7250-8400 MHz 10.95-14.5 GHz 17.7-21.2 GHz 27.5-31 GHz 36-46 GHz 46 56 46-56 GHz 56-100 GHz BAND P J L S C X Ku Kc K Q V W

3. Increasing Channel Capacity Although the transponders are quite capable, they nevertheless rapidly become overloaded with traffic. For these reasons, numerous techniques have been developed to effectively increase the b d d h and signal carrying ff l h band-width d l capacity of the satellite. Two of these techniques are: 1. Frequency Reuse 2. Spatial Isolation p

Satellite Subsystems

Solar Panel

Charger and Batteries

Regulators, protection and conditioning

DC/DC Converters, DC/AC Inverters

Power Sub System

DC to all subsystem

Communication Subsystem
Receiver Frequency Translator Transmitter

DC and AC to special subsystem

Altitude Control Subsystem

Transponder Other Transponders

Telemetry, Tracking, and Control Subsystem S b

Antenna Subsystem

Communications Antennas

I/Ps from onboard sensors

Propulsion Subsystem

Telemetry Antenna

Ctrl Sgls to all subsystems


Jet Thrusters

1. 1 2. 3. 3 4. 5. 6.

Generally satellites have many subsystems which join ll lli h b hi h j i together for the fully operation of the satellite. The i Th various subsystems in a general communication satellites b t i l i ti t llit are: Power Subsystem Communication Subsystem Antenna S b t A t Subsystem Telemetry, Tracking, and Control Subsystem Propulsion Subsystem l b Altitude Control Subsystem

Earth E th Stations St ti


PowerDiv vider



Receive Subsystem GCE-Receive

Diplexer Di l
Base Band I/P
Antenna Subsystem Carrier Oscillator

Driver BPF HPA

Transmit Subsystem




Fig: General Block Diagram of an Earth Station

Power Subsystem


UP Converter


Base Ba O/P and

Down Converter

The earth station on the ground is the terrestrial base of the system. system The rth t ti Th earth station communicates with th satellite t carry i t ith the t llit to rr out designated mission. It may be located at the end users facilities or may be located with ground-based intercommunication links between the earth station and the end user. Many earth stations are now located on top of tall buildings or in other urban areas directly where the end user resides. yw

The various subsystems in an earth station are: 1. Antenna Subsystem 2. Receive Subsystem 3. Transmit Subsystem 4. Ground Communication Equipment (GCE) Subsystem
1. 2. GCE Transmit Subsystem GCE Receive Subsystem

5. Power Subsystem

S Satellite Routing outing

Satellite Routing
Inter Satellite Link (ISL)

Spot Beam

Base Station Or Gateway

ISDN UserData



S Satellite Handover andove

There are four types of satellite handovers. They are: f yp f y 1. Intra-satellite Handover Intra satellite 2. 2 Inter-satellite handover 3. 3 Gateway Handover 4. Inter-system Handover 4 I t t H d

Applications Of Satellite

Various applications of satellites are:

1. Remote Sensing Satellites 2. Meteorological / Weather Satellites 3. Communication Satellites 4. Navigation Satellites 5. Military Satellites 6. Space Exploration Satellites

1. Remote Sensing Satellites

Indian Remote Sensing satellites image

2. (a) Meteorological Satellites

2. (b) Weather Satellites

Image of a Weather Satellite Report g f p

Various weather satellites orbiting the Earth

3. Communication Satellites

4. Navigation Satellites

5. Military Satellites

6. Space Exploration Satellites

E.g. Martian Communication


The function of the spacecraft antennas is to receive and transmit two distinct classes of signals: broadband microwave g frequencies for communication service, such as television; and narrow-band VHF for beacon, command, and telemetry. Th requirements on th The i t these antennas resulted f t lt d from a th thorough h systems analysis which led to many factors involving not only the spacecraft, but the ground station as well. These factors include such vital questions as: the modulation method, the location of frequencies, the choice of polarizations, polarizations the degree of attitude stabilization etc stabilization, etc,.

Spinstabilization Spin stabilization

Stabilization accomplished by rotating the spacecraft mass, p y g p , thus using gyroscopic action as the stabilizing mechanism. Thrusters are fired to make desired changes in the spinstabilized attitude attitude. Spin-stabilized spacecraft provide a continuous sweeping desirable for fields and particle instruments, but they may require complicated systems to de-spin antennas or optical instruments which must be pointed at targets.

Wireantennas:monopolesanddipoles Wire antennas : monopoles and dipoles Hornantennas Reflectorantennas fl Arrayantennas

Wire antenna are used primarily at VHF and UHF to provide p y p communications for the TT&C systems. They are positioned with great care on the body of the spacecraft in an attempt to provide omni directional coverage omni-directional coverage. Most spacecraft measure only a few wavelengths at VHF frequencies which makes it difficult to get the required antenna patterns. An antenna pattern is a plot of the field strength in the far field of the antenna when the antenna is driven by a transmitter It is transmitter. usually measured in decibels below the maximum field strength.

Horn antennas are used at microwave frequencies when relatively wide b l i l id beams are required, as f global coverage. A i d for l b l horn is a flared section of waveguide that provides an aperture g g several wavelengths wide and a good match between the waveguide impedance and free space. Reflector antennas are usually illuminated by one or more horns and provide a larger aperture than can be achieved with a horn alone. For maximum gain, it is necessary to generate a plane wave in g , y g p the aperture of the reflector. This is achieved by choosing a reflector profile that has equal path lengths from the feed to the aperture, aperture so that all the energy radiated by the feed and reflected by the reflector reaches the aperture with the same phase angle and created a uniform phase front.