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Sheet 1 of 12

Satellite Communications Tutorial
J P Silver E-mail: john@rfic.co.uk

This tutorials discusses the key areas of satellite communications, discussing the various elements of a satellite communications system eg antennas, path loss etc. The communication system elements can then be connected together and analysed to determine a link budget.

2.1 ATMOSPHERIC ABSORPTION Figure 1 & Figure 2 indicates the average atmospheric absorption as a function of frequency at different altitudes above sea-level and the effects of rain and fog. Note that the figures cover different frequency ranges. Note 1. The first graph shows resonant absorption peaks due to different molecules in the atmosphere at particular frequencies. Usually these frequencies are avoided for communications applications, though in special cases they may be deliberately used so that the signal will not propagate beyond a certain range - eg covert military signals, or mobile communications where the limited frequency range available means that the same frequency must be re-used many times in different communication cells.

The frequencies used for microwave satellite communications are determined by (i) the absorption of the atmosphere as a function of frequency (ii) the antenna size needed to produce a beam with the required angular spread (iii) international agreements/regulations

Figure 1 Average atmospheric absorption of millimeter waves. A: Sea level ; T = 20˚C; P = 760mm; PH2O = 7.5g/m3. B : 4 km; T = 0˚C; PH2O = 1g/m3 .

for example) than at optical frequencies.1. Allocation to Services Region 1 Region 2 4990 – 5000 FIXED MOBILE except aeronautical mobile RADIO ASTRONOMY Space Research (passive) 795 5350 – 5255 RADIOLOCATION Space Research 713 798 5650 – 5725 RADIOLOCATION Amateur Space Research (deep space) 664 801 803 804 805 5725 – 5850 FIXED SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) RADIOLOCATION Amateur 801 803 805 806 807 808 5850 – 5925 5850 – 5925 FIXED FIXED FIXED-SATELLITE FIXED(Earth-to-space) SATELLITE MOBILE (Earth-to-space) MOBILE 806 Amateur Radiolocation 806 5850 – 5925 FIXED FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) MOBILE 791 809 Region 3 Figure 2 Atmospheric absorption of millimeter waves due to fog and rain.Sheet 2 of 12 .refer to regulations which apply to the frequency band. Lower case entries show services that may be allowed. Note 2 The second graph covers a much broader frequency range.3.1 Orbiting satellites • lower orbits . implying a large antenna.such as 795 .1 Antenna size The basic (approximate) relationship between wavelength and antenna size is θ (radians) ≈ λ D where θ is the angular breadth of the main beam between the 3dB points and D is the maximum dimension across the antenna aperture. from microwave to optical and beyond.3 ORBITING AND GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITES 2. At low frequencies the wavelength is large. 2. Note that atmospheric attenuation is not a problem for satellite-tosatellite links. N Asia. Africa. • not available all the time for communication links • ideal for collecting data .transmitting data back periodically to fixed earth stations. Region 2: N & S America.cheaper to launch. 2. It shows that although rain and fog increase the attenuation of microwave signals the attenuation is still considerably less at the lower microwave frequencies (up to 15GHz. Region 3: rest of Asia • Upper case entries eg FIXED indicate a definite allocation for the service in the frequency band. • Numbers . so that microwave frequencies will maintain communication links and remote sensing observations under conditions where optical links will fail. so these may involve mm-wave frequencies and very small antennas. Eg remote sensing satellites at about 800km altitude (about 1/8 earth radius). As the frequency increases the antenna size reduces for a given beamwidth but the attenuation of the atmosphere increases. A compromise must be made. Earth coverage obtained by rotation of earth beneath satellite.2 INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS The use of different frequency bands for different applications has been agreed through various international agencies 5850 – 5925 FIXED FIXEDSATELLITE (Earth-to-space) MOBILE Radiolocation 806 Note: • Region 1: Europe. An aperture of 10 wavelengths will give a beamwidth of about 6°.see below for the allocation from 4990 to 7075MHz.eg remote sensing . 2. .

not absorption.G T 4π .Sheet 3 of 12 • • receive antennas must track satellite lower coverage than geostationary 2. GR is the Rx antenna gain PT GT is the Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP). For each satellite contours of constant EIRP can be plotted on the earth's surface.24 Sec 3 x 10 8 PT . .EIRP[dBW] = 10log10 ( PT GT ) .G T 4π .R 2 Isotropic power ie If TX transmits as a sphere.3. A minimum value of EIRP is required for each type of receiver (eg DBS).2 Geostationary satellites • Data: 42 000km (about 7 times earth radius) 36 000km 24hours radius of orbit: altitude: orbital period: • • occupy fixed position with respect to earth above the equator . GT Tx PT Effective area = Aeff Rx GR PR R Received Power PT .no tracking required 3 satellites provide coverage for most of earth's surface (not polar regions) 3 LINK BUDGET 2 x 36.R 2 PR = PT GT Aeff 4πR2 The link attenuation α in dB is given by Aeff is the receive antenna effective area General antenna relationship: G α = 10 log⎜ PT ⎟ = 10 log ⎝ PR ⎠ ⎛ ⎞ = 4 π Aeff ⎛ 4πR ⎞ ⎛⎜ 1 ⎜ λ ⎟ ⎜⎝ G G ⎝ ⎠ 2 T ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ R⎠ λ2 ⎛ λ ⎞ ⎟ PR = P G T G R ⎜ ⎟ ⎜ T ⎝ 4πR ⎠ 2 ⎛ 4πR ⎞ = 20 log⎜ ⎟ − GT [dB ] − G R [dB ] ⎝ λ ⎠ The first term is called the free space loss .000 x 1000 = 0.due to the spreading of the radiation. Usually the EIRP is given in units of dBW . It gives a measure of the power flux.

a large enough signal for the receiver sensitivity. 2. Assume f=10GHz. PSK etc. both measured at the receiver input. P R = PT GT G R ( ) λ 4πR 2 1 L PR [dBW ] = PT [dBW ] + GT [dB] + G R [dB]− 20 log ( ) 4πR λ − L[dB] 3. The basic quality of a link is expressed in terms of its carrier to noise ratio C/N where C is the power for the unmodulated carrier and N is the noise power. G R = 40dB .2 LINK BUDGET CALCULATION Calculate the power that must be transmitted from a geostationary satellite to give a power of -116dBW (2.5 × 10-21 W) at a receiver on the earth. 2. typically 0. . πD G =η λ ( ) 2 η is the antenna efficiency. FM. The following approximate results for a circular aperture antenna may be used to estimate suitable antenna sizes and gains. This determines the gain of the antenna. The equations become θ 3dB = 70 λ D the 3dB beamwidth in degrees of the antenna. 3.7. D is the antenna diameter An additional loss factor L is introduced to the link budget equation to take account of these losses.4 SYSTEM NOISE TEMPERATURE For satisfactory operation a communication link must have: 1. 4. GT = 30dB and additional losses of 5dB.3 ANTENNA BEAMWIDTH AND GAIN The satellite antenna beamwidth must correspond to the area of the earth to be illuminated.ie boresights of Tx and Rx antennas not aligned 3. FSK.power is lost in the antenna feed structure. and a high enough S/N ratio or BER at the receiver output for good quality communication eg for TV reception international regulations require a S/N ratio ≥ 47dB Typically L is about 5dB. The signal to noise ratio for an information signal .6 to 0. though there may also be frequency discrimination between neighbouring satellites.1 DBW (DECIBEL WATTS) Link budget calculations are often carried out using powers measured in dBW. Power in dBW = 10 log Power in Watts 1 Watt ∴ PT dBW = 22dBW = 159W and EIRP = 22 dBW + 30dB = 52 dBW ⎛ 4πR ⎞ PR [dBW ] = EIRP[dBW ] + G R [dB] − 20 log⎜ ⎟ ⎝ λ ⎠ Corrections must be added to PR for additional losses due to 1. antenna efficiency .the satellite spacing in the crowded parts of the geostationary orbit is about 2°. also in connections to the receiver atmospheric absorption due to water and oxygen molecules polarisation mismatches of Tx and Rx antennas antenna misalignments . The power is measured relative to a 1 watt reference power. The earth station antenna must be able to select a particular geostationary satellite . 3. R = altitude = 36000km PR [dBW ] = PT [dBW]+ GT [dB]+ G R [dB]− 20 log ( ) 4πR λ − L[dB] Information is conveyed by modulating a high frequency carrier with a message signal.depends upon both the C/N ratio for the link and the type of modulation used .Sheet 4 of 12 − 116[dBW] = PT [dBW]+ 30 + 40 − 203− 5 3.ie AM.ie a modulated carrier .

receiver connection . 3. the antenna noise is due to energy. Tsky . ie absolute temperature) using the general relationship available noise power = kTB where k is Boltzmann's constant and B is the bandwidth.ie they will worsen the S/N ratio and so they are included here. antenna noise 2. 3. .5 ANTENNA NOISE TEMPERATURE TA satellite Antenna Noise Power NA = kTA. which supplies noise power to the antenna. It varies with frequency and the elevation angle E of the antenna. The two diagrams Figure 4 and Figure 5 show Tsky for different frequency ranges. k = 1.a cable or waveguide TC this may include RF. The output noise power from the antenna N A = kTA B will depend on the positions and temperatures and emissivities of the noise sources and the gain and polar radiation pattern of the antenna.1 Antenna pointing to the sky (ground station antenna) In this case the output noise power from the antenna has two components which are represented by the sky temperature. The sky temperature is higher for E=0° (antenna pointing to the horizon) because of the longer path of the radiation through the atmosphere. receiver noise TR mixer and IF stage contributions In each case the noise power in watts (this is the available noise power) is calculated from the noise tempera- 3.38 × 10-23 J K-1 A useful figure to remember is that at 290K the available noise power density is -174dBm/Hz TA 1. but their effect on the communication link will be the same as for noise .5. antenna . such as stars and galaxies and other communication signals.Sheet 5 of 12 The noise power associated with the link is specified by the system noise temperature Ts. which is fed to the antenna by unwanted radiation sources.galactic sources etc Ground wave Radiation into the Back lobes from the surface reflections Earth surface Figure 3 Antenna noise temperature as a result of other noise sources including galactic and other satellites. Referring Figure 3.B PR Other RF sources eg satellites. and the earth temperature Tearth Tsky is due to noise originating in the atmosphere. the atmosphere itself behaves as a resistive medium. Elevation angles of less than 10° are usually avoided.) Also. This is made up from three contributions: ture (which must be in degrees K. (The latter are not strictly noise signals in that they will not be random.

Tearth ≈ 10K Tearth ≈ 100K If an antenna points towards the Sun the noise effective temperature is about 10 000K. RX IL = L (eg 2dB) gain = 1/L Tearth arises from radiation which feeds into the antenna via the back lobes of the antenna radiation pattern. This situation should be avoided.5 g/m3 of water vapour concentration (φ is the elevation angle) For E ≥ 10° and f ≤ 15GHz Tsky ≤ 40K.5. Noise figure F = L ∴ effective noise temperature Te =T0 (L−1) and Gain G = 1/L Tc = To (F-1) = 290(L-1) Where. the physical temperature of the earth. so that the earth fills the beam.6 ANTENNA-TO-RECEIVER CONNECTING CABLE Although it is a passive element the cable or waveguide that connects the antenna to the receiver has a noise temperature TC which. contributes to the system noise temperature.2 Antenna pointing to the earth Usually the beamwidth is less than or equal to the angle subtended by the earth. To = 290K . 3.5m) antenna Figure 4 Antenna sky noise temperature as a function of frequency and antenna angle. A passive component with an insertion loss L has Figure 5 Sky noise for clear air and 7. Then the noise temperatutre of the antenna is about 290K.Sheet 6 of 12 Radiation into the Back lobes from the surface reflections For a large (≈5m) Cassegraine antenna For a small (≈ 0. 3.

. with G1 G1G2 each noise figure replaced by its equivalent effective noise temperature using T e=To (F −1) .6 1 2 4 6 10 20 40 60 100 Cooled parametric amplifier 0. 5 + 5 = 57. TR = Trf + Tif Tm + Grf Grf Gm Figure 6 shows typical equivalent noise temperatures and figures for various devices.125 0. 5 + 50 = 102.1 ∴ TR = 50 + 500 1000 + = 50 + 2.Sheet 7 of 12 3..2 0.5 TR =To (FR −1) FR is the receiver noise figure In the schematic receiver shown in Figure 7. Ftotal F − 1 F − 1 = F1 + 2 + 3 + . the mixers used for frequency translation and the IF stages. A schematic diagram of a simple receiver and its equivalent noise circuit is shown below. which may be used in microwave receivers.0 Bipolar Transistor amplifier Tunnel diode Amplifier FET Amplifier Mixer 8 7 6 5 4 3 Noise figure (dB) 2 1.25 Uncooled Parametric amplifier 1.5 K 200 200 × 1 Usually. 2000 1500 1000 700 500 Equivalent noise temperature (K) 300 200 150 100 70 50 30 20 15 10 7 0.7 RECEIVER NOISE Receiver noise includes contributions from thermal noise.4 0. The total receiver noise figure TR can be calculated from the individual contributions from the usual formula for cascaded circuits. These may arise in the input RF section of the receiver.1 . shot noise and possibly flicker noise. TR = Trf + Tif Tm + Grf Grf Gm Note: This formula follows from the corresponding formula for the noise figure Ftotal for cascaded stages. Example LNA (low noise amplifier) Frequency (GHz) Figure 6 Typical equivalent noise temperature and noise figures of various devices Trf = 50K Mixer Grf = 23dB [Grf = 200] Gm = 0dB [ Gm = 1] Tm = 500K IF stage TIF = 1000K ∴ TR = 50 + GIF = 30dB [ GIF = 1000] 500 1000 + = 50 + 2. 5K 200 200 × 0 . the mixer has conversion loss eg suppose Gm = − 10dB ∴ Gm = + 0.

5K If we now add a cable with IL 2dB [⇒ IL = 1.58] between the antenna and the receiver: ie.58 ⎝ 1. adding cable with 2dB IL increases TS from 152.N.5K: Antenna + Receiver TS = (TA +TC ) L+ TR (ie at receiver input use noise temperature x gain) = RX TR TA ⎛ L−1 ⎞ +290⎜ ⎟+TR L ⎝ L ⎠ TA Using the figures above. This illustrates the very significant effect attenuation at the input has on noise.8 SYSTEM TEMPERATURE If we consider the system temperature for a combination of the antenna and the receiver with a receiver temperature of 102. TS = 50 ⎛ 1. For this reaon the LNA is often connected directly to the receive antenna.F Filter I. 3.58 ⎠ Therefore. TC = 290 F − 1 = 290 L − 1 Then. The gains and noise temperatures are defined throughout the system.5 to 240.5 = 152.6K 1.58−1 ⎞ + 290⎜ ⎟ +102. antenna cable feed and receiver.F Amplifier Antenna cable Gain = Grf Noise = Trf Gain = Gm Noise = Tm Gain = Gif Noise = Tif LO Receiver Noise equivalent circuit Trf Tm Gain Grf Gm Tif Gain Gif ___ ___ ___ RX TR Figure 7 System setup including the antenna.A TA Tc Mixer I.Sheet 8 of 12 L. the system temperature at the receiver input .5= 240.6K. TS = TA + TR TS = TA + TR = 50 + 102.

and this is the main determining factor for the overall C/N ratio.9 C/N RATIO AT RECEIVER OUTPUT GT Tx PT PR R ˜ C = Carrier power Rx GR Cu Satellite Transponder Gain = G uplink Ld = Dielectric Loss Nv 2 ⎛ λ ⎞ 1 = (PT + G T ). but information transmitted via satellite involves both links.7 dBK −1 ⎟ ⎠ at 4 GHz N N G Ld + N d N = u = u Cd Cu G Ld Cu + Nd Cd and so (C N )total = (C N ) uplink -1 1 -1 +(C N )downlink The analysis above applies to a single link .⎜ ⎟ . Hence. the most critical receiver is the earth station eg Intelstat ground station ⎛ GR ⎜ ⎜T ⎝ S ⎞ ⎟=40.Sheet 9 of 12 3.ie up-link or down-link. The total C/N ratio is also reduced by interference on each link. ⎟ ⎠ Free space loss Cd = Cu G Ld total received down-link power ⎛ GR ⎞ ⎛ λ ⎞ 1 1 ⎟ ⎜ ⎜ ⎟ ⎟ ⎜ ⎝ T s ⎠ ⎝ 4πR ⎠ L kB 2 N = N u G Ld + N d Here N u is the uplink noise at the transponder (satellite). and intermodulation distortion in the transponder. cable and receiver noise) Noise power (single link) at receiver input is Figure 8 Schematic of the RF uplink and downl link signal path received down-link carrier power N = kTS B ∴ C (link ) = PR = PT GT N kTs B EIRP (Tx) ⎛ GR ⎜ ⎜T ⎝ S ⎞ ⎟ is the receiver figure of merit. ⎝ 4π .GR . so a more complete expression is . Hence.R ⎠ L Cd at receiver From before: ⎛ λ ⎞ 1 PR =(PT GT )G R ⎜ ⎟ ⎝ 4πR ⎠ L 2 Power at earth station/Power at satellite down link output If system temperature is TS (includes antenna noise TA . Bandwidth Usually the down link is the most critical due to the limited power which is available on board the satellite ( PT ) and the antenna gain GT (limited by its size). N d is the noise added to the down link. With reference to Figure 8 the total C/N ratio for the two links can be found as follows: Because of the limited power available on the satellite for the downlink the C/N ratio for this link is usually lower than that for the uplink.

FM. but allowance has to be made for additional attenuation and noise which may be introduced on each link due to rainfall or other possible meteorological conditions. be transmitting and receiving many messages simultaneously to and from a satellite. The converse process of demultiplexing is carried out at the receiver The multiplexing techniques used are i) Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM) .AM.N. The figure below shows a set of satellite transponders for (a) a C band and (b) a Ku band system.P.P. All the messages are combined for transmission. They are transmitted by modulating a carrier signal in some way .99% of time. or ASK.Sheet 10 of 12 (C N )total = (C N )uplink+(C N ) -1 -1 downlink +(C I ) 1 -1 uplink +(C I ) -1 downlink +(C N ) −1 intermods Calculations using the above relationships apply to clear air propagation conditions.A DC H. whereas the Ku be fed together to the HPA (high power amplifier) for amplification. DC = Downconverter. 4 MODULATION AND MULTIPLEXING TECHNIQUES Each earth station will. Each sub-band will contain many messages. . which will Frequency DEMUX 6GHz 4GHz Frequency MUX L. FSK. PM (analogue). ratio and band system uses D/C to 1GHz for signal processing followed by up-conversion (U/C) for the down-link.A C-Band Transponder Figure A Equilizer Multiple Transponders 1GHz 11GHz 1GHz Frequency DEMUX 14GHz 11GHz Frequency MUX L.A DC U/C’s H. U/C = Upconverter. Each satellite link will have a certain bandwidth. HPA = High power amplifier.each message is placed in a different frequency range by modulating a different carrier frequency.A KU-Band Transponder Figure B Equilizer Multiple Transponders Figure 9 Schematic of two satellite transponders. The messages may be 'phone calls. Typical margin values are 2dB (C band) and 8dB (Ku band). The top one is a C-Band system and the one on the bottom is a KuBand system. The margin that must be allowed depends upon the required reliability (eg link maintained for 99. The C band transponder uses a single down converter (D/C) and signal processing at 4GHz. The margins also vary with frequency and the angle of elevation.N. PSK etc (digital). averaged over one year) and the range of climatic conditions which are predicted along the link. In a multicarrier system the different messages are combined for transmission by multiplexing. in general. TV signals and/or computer signals. The bandwidth may be divided into sub-bands with different sub-bands assigned to each earth station.

3fo etc • • • • Vin Pure sinewave fo • • Figure 10 The diagram shows the non-linear (in the saturation region) Vout vs vin curve for an amplifier. amplification. The amount of back-off can be expressed in terms of either the input signal back-off or the output signal backoff. The diagram Figure 10 shows a non-linear amplifier voltage transfer characteristic and the way in which it leads to signal distortion. frequency MUX and re-transmission. so the input is mixed down from 14GHz to 1GHz for de-multiplexing and equalisation. Intermodulation can be reduced using back-off. de-multiplexers etc HPAs – high power amplifiers – to increase power levels before re-transmission on the down-link.IMD PSAT Output power backoff Pout Pin Back off Figure 11 shows how distortion can be reduced by backing off the input signal from the saturation region to the linear region. so D λ is greater for the (common) receive/transmit antenna – it will have a higher gain the input filter is a fairly wideband bandpass‘roofing’ filter to allow all the uplink frequencies in. Saturation . 2fo. as shown in Figure 11 Figure 11. Non-linear performance in the HPAs can intoduce harmonics. The distortion is normally represented in terms of additional harmonics of the input signal. The input signal signal power is reduced to move below the non-linear segment of the characteristic. A disadvantage of using back-off is that it reduces the efficiency of the amplifier because the RF output from the amplifier is reduced whilst it is still consuming the same DC power. • The Ku (14/11GHz) system (Figure 9 – B) has many of the same elements. 4. which also shows the saturation and saturation power of the amplifier. If a sine-wave is applied to the input the nonlinearity will distort the amplified output sinewave as shown. then mixed up to 11GHz for power amplification. which are introduced by the amplifier. but eliminating out-of-band noise LNA – low noise amplifier D/C – down converter to 4GHz (the down-link frequency) for signal processing – error correction.1 NON-LINEAR BEHAVIOUR IN HPAS Because each transponder will be processing a very large number of messages simultaneously any nonlinearity in the transponder amplifier will lead to intermodulation which causes interference between the message signals by transferring modulations from one frequency range to another. but the down-link frequency (11GHz) is too high for the elements in each transponder. The non-linearity may also be represented in terms of the amplifier power transfer characteristic. signal channelling etc. intermodulation distortion etc band-pass filters at various points remove out-ofband products from the HPAs etc and reduce the background noise. The amount of back-off needed to avoid intermodulation increases with the number of messsages (ie modulated carriers) in the signal which is applied to the trans- . but they cannot remove in-band products – eg 3rd order intermodulation (IM) products Vout Non-linear saturation Distorted fo. Each sub-frequency band is processed by a single transponder. equalisers – correct for phase differences between the different frequency components of a signal which are introduced by filters. frequency demultiplexing – divides input signal into sub-bands to reduce non-linear distortion during amplification.Sheet 11 of 12 In the C band 6/4GHz transponder (Figure 9 A): • the uplink is at the higher frequency.

Back-off modifies the formula for the down-link C/N ratio by making : PT = Pos − BOo Where. With the systems described so far the communication capacity between different earth stations is essentially 'designed in' when the bandwidths assigned to each station are fixed. This involves extending the linear part of the power amplifier characteristic.each message is transmitted at a different time. ii) Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) . Pos is the output power of the HPA at saturation and BOo is the output backoff power . by i) using multiple spot beams that can be steered as required to different points on the earth's surface. Increasingly.eg amplification.they must be filtered out during demultiplexing. but during that time it uses all the available bandwidth. Pos is normally known for a given amplifier. Considerable attention has been devoted to techniques for linearising HPAs to improve their efficiency. leading to TDM/PSK/TDMA. This. TDM is usually used with digitally coded messages.the code allows the elements of the different messages to be grouped correctly. multiplexing and modulation are separate processes and so various combinations of the different techniques available for each can be used. CDM uses a very wide bandwidth and so this technique is sometimes also known as a spread spectrum technique. but this will be subdivided into 12 sub-bands. When an earth station receives messages from its vicinity via the PSTN network it sorts them out into their destination earth stations. The uplink and the down link operate at different frequencies to avoid direct coupling of signals from the transmit to the receive channels eg 6/4GHz (C band). One solution is to increase the number of transponders on board the satellite so that each need only handle a restricted bandwidth and number of carriers. but each earth station will only process its own sub-band. They are all processed by the satellite transponder and transmitted to the earth stations. increases the satellite mass. so a suitable compromise must be reached between the number of transponders and the intermodulation. Capacity can be increased. Clearly. According to Glover and Grant. a system must be established to regulate the timeslots for each message.before feeding the signals back to the satellite antenna for the down link. Signals from several earth sta- tions may arrive simultaneously at the satellite antenna from which they are fed to the transponder which will process the signals in several ways . An appropriate balance must be struck between the complexity of the 'housekeeping' of the communication system and the useful communication capacity. iii) Code Division Multiplex (CDM) . with TDM each message is only transmitted for a small fraction of the available time. This scheduling will itself require the communication of earth stations via the satellite which imposes a network management overhead on the available bandwidth/transmission time. All the messages for a particular earth station are combined to one sub-band for the uplink. the predominant multiplexing/modulation/multiple access technique in current use for PSTN satellite telephony is FDM/FM/FDMA. In a typical analogue system a transponder may have a bandwidth of 36MHz. The gain is higher at the upper frequency for a fixed antenna size. As noted earlier. and changes cannot easily be made even if demand changes.2 MULTIPLE ACCESS Multiple access refers to the fact that many earth stations share the same satellite. Most of the messages received will not be needed by a specific earth station . filtering and frequency changing . Similarly.Sheet 12 of 12 ponder. of course. each with a bandwidth of 3MHz. error detection and correction. Solid state amplifiers are superior to TWT amplifiers in their linearity. and ii) by using a switching matrix on board the satellite to co-ordinate the message transmission with the beam direction. . but this leads to large intermodulation products. the signals transmitted from a satellite will usually be received by all the earth stations. and made more flexible. The higher frequency is used for the up-link because the satellite antenna has limited size and a higher noise temperature (usually 290K). 4. 14/11GHz Ku band). because only one message is being amplified at any one time. then BOo is adjusted dynamically according to the strength of the input signal. An advantage of TDM is that intermodulation distortion can be avoided. Whereas with FDM each message is transmitted continuously using a restricted bandwidth.each message includes a unique code which means that TDMA can be used with different signals being transmitted simultaneously . digital modulation (PCM) is replacing analogue techniques.

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