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Satellite Technology

February 02, 2013

Different Communication techniques

Electrical Optical Satellite

The usage of communication technique depends on the user requirements.

Advantages of Satellite Communication

Wide geometric area for down down-link signals Remote non-accessible area accessible Defense application where wired service can't be used. Weather conditions, medical application etc.

Classification of Satellites
Usage classification
Fixed Satellite Service - communication satellite Mobile Satellite Service between moving objects Broadcast Satellite Service DTH service

Technical classification
Frequency Bands - C, Ku, Ka (Radio, TV) Service area of coverage

Global Regional National Spot beam

Satellite Orbits
Low Earth Orbit (LEO):
500 to 900 km altitude Located between atmosphere and Van Van-Allen-Belt Ex- Remote Sensing Satellite, ISS

Medium Earth Orbit (MEO):

5000 to 12000 km altitude Navigation, Communication, Space Weather Ex- GPS

Geo-synchronous Orbit (GEO): synchronous

36000 km altitude Communication Ex- INSAT series, GSAT series

Orbital slots
Communication satellites, height and frequency band are common. So signal interference can happen from adjacent satellite. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has given 2 of orbital slot.

Frequency Band of Operation

C band : 3.4 to 7 GHz Ku band : 10.7 to 15 GHz Why microwave range?
Atmospheric frequency window Antenna size and weight Power to be transmitted

Satellite Launch Vehicle

Expendable Rocket
Destroyed at the end of the mission Ex- PSLV

Space Shuttle
First two stages same as expendable rocket The last stage put the space space-craft into orbit and returns back to earth Ex- Columbia, Endeavour

Satellite Launch (communication satellite)

Launch phase
Rocket places the satellite into elliptical transfer orbit Apogee: 22300 miles and Perigee: 100 miles

Orbit Injection Phase

Elliptical transfer orbit to circular Geo Geo-synchronous orbit by thruster firing

Orbit inclination of 28 degree for Kennedy Space Center in Florida SDSC SHAR, angle is 98 degree w.r.t. equator for polar satellites

Basic Satellite parts

Satellite Platform/Bus:
Provides working environment on on-board to payloads Mechanical housing Power Thermal control Telemetry & Tele-command command Attitude & Location control Scientific instruments Antenna Transponder Receiver & Transmitter


Satellite Fuel and Thruster:

Due to orbital perturbation, space space-craft deviates from original trajectory. Thrusters are used to compensate that effect. Fuel is used for
Initial spin-up of satellite Attitude control Momentum management Eject satellite to higher orbit De-orbit when ends lifetime 20% of total Satellite weight is due to fuel; it determines space-craft lifetime craft

Continued. Specific Impulse (Ip): Thrust integrated over time for a given weight
Monopropellant Thruster Ip ~ 50 sec Ex- Monopropellant Hydrazine Bipropellant Thruster Ip ~ 310 sec Ex- MMH + N2O4 ION Engine thruster: Non-chemical Ip ~ 3000 sec Ex- Xenon, Mercury/Cesium

Rocket structure and Escape velocity

Escape velocity on earth = 11.2 km/sec.

Difficult to achieve with single stage rocket.

Pre-stage mass burden is absent stage Different types of rocket motors for each stage are tuned for operating condition. Ex- PSLV has 4 stage
Stage1: Solid Propellant (Hydroxyl Terminated Poly Butadiene) Stage2: Liquid Propellant (Unsymmetrical Di Di-Methyl Hydrazine) Stage3: Solid Propellant (Hydroxyl Terminated Poly Butadiene) Stage4: Liquid Propellant ( (MMH + N2O4 )

Multistage Rocket:

First stage is optimized for atmospheric conditions whereas other stages are for vacuum condition

Stability and Attitude control

Gravity gradient Magnetic field interaction at different altitude Solar radiation pressure Internal dynamic mass distribution
Fuel sloshing Antenna and solar array deployment Transport of cooling liquid for thermal control

Perturbing Torques:

Aerodynamic pressure at lower altitude

Sun sensor Star sensor Earth sensor

Altitude control system:

Receives error signal from the sensor and alerts torque devices

Torque devices:
Momentum wheel Thruster Magnetic torque device

Space-craft power generation craft

Primary source:
Solar cell [Silicon ( ~ 15%) / GaAs ( ~ 22%) ]

Secondary source:
Battery (Nickel Cadmium / Nickel Hydrogen)

Solar cell:
Cell sensitivity to spectral density and intensity of radiation

Power generation by solar cell depends on several factors

Angle of incidence Eclipsing

Everyday for LEO and 88 days for GSO orbit

Radiation bombardment Cell temperature

Eclipse duration Launch phase Power to heavy loads Emergency situation

Solar cell Switch Battery

Power conditioning unit


Nuclear power: Radio isotope Thermal electric Generator (RTG)

Thermal Management:
On-orbit temperature cycle: +150C to -200C orbit Changes due to angle of incidence of sun rays for orbital position. Conduction and convection are two methods of heat transfer in space. Temperature control:
Passive method
Multi-layer Insulator (MLI)

Active method
Electric heater Heat pipe

Telemetry Tracking & Command (TT&C)

At post launch phase, this is the only sub sub-system to communicate with space-craft from earth station. craft

Telemetry: health parameters of space space-craft (downlink) Tele-command: Instructions to space command: space-craft (uplink) Tracking: Generating orbit prediction

Satellite payloads
Weather monitor
900 km altitude, 12 hour orbital period Every day it scans the same region twice

Non-communication payload communication

Scientific payload
X-ray, -ray detectors

Communication payload / Transponders

LNA Freq. down conversion Demux Pre. Amp. Power Amp. MUX

L.O. Rx. Antenna Tx. Antenna

Earth Station

Interference between S/C signals

Space debris Directivity of antenna Operating frequency band and polarization LEO ~ 1000 km, GEO ~ 36000 km
30dB signal attenuation

Thank you