This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Data Communication Systems
The process of electronically transferring text messages between two entities has gone on for a
long time. One of the fastest development in the digital communications has been in the field of
Fascimile (FAX) messaging. In this, the original document is converted into a series of transmit-
table digital codes. At the receive end, the digital information is converted back into a copy of the
5.2 FASCIMILE (FAX)
In order to transfer an image from source to destination, one needs to perform the following func-
(a) Optical scanning
(b) Data conversion for transmission and reception
(c) Ability to print a hard copy of the image at the receiving end
5.2.1 Optical Scanning Methods
With the advent of digital fax machines, a method called flatbed scanning has been developed. The
scanned document is pushed or pulled across an aperture slot in a flat metal plate. (See Figure 5.1)
A light source is projected through the slot and is reflected from the document’s surface. The
reflected light is directed by mirrors and lenses to a Charge Coupled Device (CCD), which pro-
duces an electrical current in proportion to the amount of light applied to it.
Because the scanner is stationary, the number of moving parts is greatly reduced. The analog
electrical data is converted into a digital code and sent to its destination. At the destination, the
digital codes are reassembled into data required for any one of a number of different printers or
FAX machines are grouped into three main classifications based on transmission speed. Group
1 and 2 transmit a single page in six and three minutes respectively and were the standards used
throughout the 1970s.
Group 3 Fax machine produces document at the rate of 1 minute per page. 1728 points are
scanned per line, resulting in a horizontal resolution of 204 lines per inch and a vertical resolution
of 98 lines per inch. The transmission rate is specified as 4800 bps but can optionally be operated
at 9600 bps on a telephone line. Phase Shift Keying (PSK) and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
106 Data Communication
(b) Top view
(QAM) techniques are used to transmit and receive the digital data. A secondary handshake chan-
nel used for the establishment of a communications dialogue (request and acknowledgments)
operates at 300 bps using FSK modulation.
Charge Coupled Device
(a) Functional Diagram
(b) Top View
Data Communication Systems 107
Figure 5.2 shows an overall block layout for a tax system. The Voice/FAX/Mux block differ-
entiates between a fax signal and regular voice call on the telephone line. In this block, voice
communications are directed to a regular telephone handset, while fax data are sent to an
appropriate modem. The modem receives and demodulates the fax data, which are decoded and
processed by the processor block and sent to a specific peripheral printer for hard copy and termi-
nal for video display. Fax data can be entered into the system through a scanner or from data pre-
viously scanned and stored on disk or in a computer’s memory. The data are encoded and sent to
the modem. These are modulated and sent out onto the telephone lines to their destination.
5.3 SATELLITE COMMUNICATION
A satellite communication system basically consists of a satellite in space and many earth stations
on the ground which are linked with each other through the satellite. Baseband signal from the
user is transmitted to the earth station through a terrestrial network and is modulated by an RF
carrier at the earth station and transmitted to the satellite. The satellite receives the modulated RF
carrier in its uplink frequency spectrum form all the earth in the downlink frequency spectrum,
which is different from the uplink frequency spectrum. The satellites therefore can be thought of
as large repeater stations in space. The bandwidth of a typical commercial satellite is 500 MHz on
both uplink and downlink frequencies. The most widely used frequency spectrum on C-band is 6/4
GHz band with uplink frequency of 5.925-6.425 GHz and down link frequency of 3.700-4.200
GHz. The 6/4 GHz band, however, is getting overcrowded as it is being used by terrestrial micro-
wave links. DoT has been making use of extended C-band (at no extra cost) due to crowding on
C-band with uplink of 6.725-7.025 GHz and downlink of 4.500-4.800 GHz.
Satellite are also being operated on Ku band, i.e. 14/12 GHz band with an uplink of 12.75-14.8
GHz and a downlink of either 10.7-12.3 GHz or 12.5 to 12.7 GHz. But Ku band is affected by rain
droplets, the size of which is comparable to the wavelength of the radio frequency, thus simulating
antenna which absorb energy from transmitted/received signals. The solution to this lies in trans-
mitting high power, but this would burden the solar panels as more energy would be required for
transmit and receive signals. As mentioned earlier, the bandwidth of a typical satellite is 500 MHz
and accordingly it is distributed over the transponders. HCL Comnet, a private satellite operator,
108 Data Communication
makes use of satellite INSAT-2D, transponder No. 13 whose bandwidth is 36 MHz. For better
utilization of transponders, frequency reuse is employed in a number of cases using orthogonal
polarisation, i.e. vertical and horizontal polarisation, the isolation between the two being main-
tained at 30 dB or more by staggering frequencies. With this the number of transponders could be
doubled, thus doubling its capacity.
A satellite with a large part of the earth’s surface in its line of sight, can communicate virtually
simultaneously with many ground stations. If it is in geostationary orbit, it can maintain constant
line-of-sight contact. In other orbits, satellites rise and set and can communicate with ground sta-
tions only at certain times.
The ideal orbit for a communications satellite is geostationary or motionless relative to the
ground. This occurs at an altitude of roughly 22,300 miles, where the satellite revolves once
around the earth in exactly the time it takes for the planet to turn once on its axis. To prevent the
satellite from rising and setting over the horizon as the moon does, the orbit must also be in the
same plane as the equator. The three geostationary satellites could in theory be distributed so that
each of their "footprints" the area that can receive their signals covers more than 40 percent
of the globe. Overlapping footprints would permit continuous communications world wide, except
for regions near to the poles. In practice, however, satellites with much greater transmission
capacity than now possible would be needed to satisfy communications demands with only three
5.3.1 Components of Satellite Communication
The components are:
(a) Ground segment equipment
Data Communication Systems 109
(b) Free space
(c) Spaced segment
Ground segment equipment
Ground segment equipment is basically a digital earth station. The digital signal through the ter-
restrial network is processed. Error correction coding is performed by the encoder which reduces
error rate to an acceptable level. Thereafter it is modulated using intermediate frequency (IF)
carrier of 70 MHz, a standard frequency in satellite communications for a communication channel
using 36MHz transponder bandwidth. The modulated IF carrier is further modulated to a satellite
uplink radio frequency (RF) carrier and is sent to HPA for transmission to satellite. Similarly, on
the receiver side, low level modulated RF is received by low noise amplifier (LNA) which ampli-
fies, it, keeping carrier-to-noise ratio at an acceptable level to meet the error rate requirement. The
down converter translates it to the IF level which is fed to the demodulator where the digital
stream of data is extracted. Personal earth station (PES)/micro earth station segment equipment
working on the same basic principle.
Free space is the medium between the satellite and earth station which offers certain obstructions
for RF in both the uplink and downlink paths. The major obstructions could be: (i) presence of
AWGN (additive white gaussian noise), (ii) contamination by signals transmitted by other satel-
lites to adjacent earth stations, and (iii) rain that can severely attenuate signals around 10 GHz and
also reduce the isolation in frequency reuse systems. The transmitted/received signals undergo
energy loss as they pass through the free space, termed as free space loss.
The space segment is the entire satellite system which is rotating around the earth in its geosta-
tionary orbit. It consists of the satellite which has two major subsystems--the antenna and the
communication repeater. The main function of the antenna is to provide shaped uplink and
downlink beams for reception and transmission of communication signals in the operating fre-
5.4 MULTIPLE ACCESS TECHNIQUES
The term Multiple Access has been derived from the ability of the satellite to link all earth stations
simultaneously, thus providing point-to-multipoint communication. A satellite transponder can be
accessed by many earth stations and hence it is extremely essential to use an appropriate technique
for allocating transponder capacity to each of them. For example, a transponder with a bandwidth
of 72 MHz may have the capacity equivalent to 120 mbps which can handle around 3562 voice
channels at 32 kbps, assuming 95 percent transponder efficiency. Therefore transponder capacity
must be wisely and systematically allocated to other earth stations. This is called multiple access.
The most commonly used multiple access technique are frequency division multiple access
(FDMA), time division multiple access (TDMA) and code division multiple access (CDMA).
110 Data Communication
5.4.1 Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA)
This technique has been used since the inception of satellite communication and hence is the most
common of the various multiple access techniques. Each earth station is assigned one carrier with
a small guard band to avoid interference with the adjacent carrier. All such carriers are received by
the satellite trasponder and retransmitted back to earth. Modulation scheme could be either ana-
logue, i.e. frequency modulation (FM) or digital, i.e. phase shift keying (PSK). A major problem
in case of FDMA is the presence of intermodulation product due to amplification of multiple
carrier by the same TWTA in the satellite transponder which exhibits both amplitudes as well as
phase non-linearity. TWTAS are used to amplify low level downlink signals for transmission to
earth. To reduce the effect of downlink thermal noise, each carrier must be supplied with adequate
power. But this forces TWTA to go into saturation, consequently increasing the effect of intermo-
dulation products. Therefore carrier to intermodulation ratio is an important parameter to be
determined to adjust the output power of TWTA in order to take care of the above problem.
FDMA has been making use of frequency modulations since the beginning and is still in vogue
despite advancement made in digital satellite technology.
5.4.2 Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)
Transmission from satellite takes the form of a series of frames, usually 2 milliseconds in length.
Each frame is divided into as many as 35 slots. Assigned a particular slot within each frame the
second slot say or the fifth and seventh ground stations divide their messages into short signal
bursts, sending a burst every time the appropriate slot opens up on the system’s transmission
schedule. A master station synchronizes the system by providing a reference burst at the beginning
of each frame. Because the satellite retransmits all incoming signals, ground station pick up trans-
mission intended to them according to their assigned time slots. So satellites, operating at higher
frequencies, can effectively double their capacity bu using the same frequency for separate
transmission. They simply transmit the narrow beam signals in different directions. These systems
often employ a more complex techniques known as satellite-switched Time Division Multiplexing
Access (TDMA) to transmit messages between ground stations in different footprints. The trans-
mit timing of the bursts are synchronized such that overlapping does not occur. The satellite
receives one burst at a time and retransmits to earth after amplification so that the earth station can
extract the burst meant for it. The carrier modulation technique in TDMA is always digital modu-
Time division multiple access is a technique where a number of earth stations sharing the same
transponder transmit on a single carrier on a time-division basis. Each earth station transmits traf-
fic burst in a periodic time frame called TDMA frame.
Figure 5.4 shows the uplink of the TDMA simplified system. The concentric bands represent
transmission time slots assigned to three ground stations. Station 1 has the first and fourth periods,
Station 2 has the second, and Station 3 the third. By dividing their slots into subslots, each station
Data Communication Systems 111
can transmit to two separate receivers in the allotted period. Station 1, for example, has used each
of the slots to transmit to both Station 2 and Station 3. Slots are separated by brief "guard" times to
prevent transmission from overlapping.
Figure 5.5 shows the downlink of TDMA system. Receiving signals sent from terrestrial sta-
tions, the satellite retransmits them in the order in which they arrived. Here, the message sent up in
the first part of the first time slot (form Station 1 to Station 3) is the first to reach the earth.
Because ground stations are assigned time slots for receiving as well as for sending, each station
gets its messages by processing only specific moments of the satellite’s transmission. Uplink and
downlink transmission operate on different frequencies to avoid interfering with each other.
5.4.3 Code Division Multiple Access
The signals are encoded in such a fashion that the information from an individual transmitter can
be recovered only by the receiving station has its own coded address and the transmitting station
modulates its transmission with the address of the receiving station. CDMA transmission can
Time Slot 1
Time Slot 2
Time Slot 3
Time Slot 4
112 Data Communication
access a transponder on demand and hence may occupy the transponder’s entire bandwidth for
small intervals. This kind of transmission is more suited to military communication where mobile
stations may communicate among themselves for brief time periods.
5.4.4 Earth Stations
Earth station can be very inexpensive if they are intended only to receive satellite signals, thus
saving the cost of a transmitter. In the years 1970s, several companies began experimenting with
small, receive-only earth stations. A few years later, home owners began to receive buy receive-
only earth to intercept television signals relayed by satellite.
With the proliferation of small earth stations able to receive data from the Clarke belt, more
and more companies began offering information by satellite. Especially popular have been large,
Transmission from Statin 1
Transmission from Statin 3
Transmission from Statin 2
Transmission from Statin 1
Data Communication Systems 113
quickly changing data bases, such as financial information, news, weather reports. In 1984, Equa-
torial Earth Stations introduced a line of four-foot antennas capable of transmitting as well as
receiving and costing less than $ 6,000.
Satellites suffer from congestion. Geostationary satellites can be placed no closer together than
1,000 miles or their signals interfere with one another, and already some segments of the Clarke
belt are filled.
5.5 HUB AND VSAT EQUIPMENT
Hub equipment is basically the centre of all activity during satellite communication among the
various VSAT locations on the earth. It carries out health checks on all VSATs and undertakes all
kinds of configurations for the VSAT at each station to introduce different types of multiple access
techniques. It controls the traffic, depending on the user’s requirement in terms of band width and
allocates resources. The hub also monitors the VSATs. And last but not the least, it carries out the
billing. The hub located at NOIDA in U.P., owned and operated by HCL Comnet, works on an
inbound of 192 kbps and outbound of 1024 kbps. The main function of the hub equipment is to
receive inbounds and formulate outbounds. The hub equipment can be subdivided into two groups,
namely, baseband equipment and RF bank. The baseband equipment consists of network control
unit (NCU) whose main function is to formulate TDM outbounds (1024 kbps), and a master con-
trol unit (MCU) which keeps the clocks of the VSATs in synchronism with the clock at the hub. In
addition, there are subchannel control units (SCUS) to take care of the various VSAT installations
through link control processor (LCP) cards. Identification of a VSAT therefore indicates the fol-
Among the options available in the country, VSAT networks have proved to be the most reli-
able and cost-effective for a small-sized network. Terrestrial based communication links available
in India are notoriously unreliable due to various reasons like lack of foreign investment in
infrastructure sector, absence of proper planning, non-availability of resources, delay in imple-
mentation of liberalization policy etc. The major benefits of VSAT network are: (i) very simple
and easy to install, availability to the tune of 99.5 per cent, thus greater reliability, (iv) high
throughput and low bit error rate (BER) for data applications, and (v) integration of data and voice
in one communication medium.
5.6 DIGITAL EXCHANGE
A digital PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange) is a telephone switching system that han-
dles both voice and data. Both telephones and data terminals are connected to a digital PABX net-
A digital PABX may be an analog PABX that has been adapted for data requiring modems for
each data device, or it may be an all-digital switching device that requires that the telephones gen-
erate digital voice signals. Some digital PABXs offer both analog and digital options.
114 Data Communication
A PBX Local
DCE Remote Hosts
T : Trunk Interface
D : Data Interface
DCE : Data Communication Equipment
I : Integrated Interface A : Analog Interface
T1 : T1 at 1.544 Mbps
G : Gateway
Data Communication Systems 115
A PBX Inter-
tion for using
While performing all the functions of a computerized PABX, such as least cost routing (deter-
mining the most economical service to place a call with), a digital PABX may also perform func-
tions, such as protocol conversion between different computers and terminals as well as word
processing format conversion between different word processors.
116 Data Communication
Digital PABXs can serve as a local area network or may connect to a local area network. They
can also server as a gateway between a local area network and an external network, providing the
necessary protocol conversion. The terms digital PABX and digital PBX are used synonymously.
REVIEW QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS
State True or False.
1. Twisted wire pair is effected by the electromagnetic interference.
2. Attenuation in a bounded media changes the power value at the receiving end.
3. Coaxial cable can be used for data rates over 10 Mbps and frequencies up to 400 MHz.
4. Single mode used in fiber optics does not have any dispersion problem.
5. When the same number of channels are to be multiplexed for transmission, FDM always
requires a greater bandwidth than TDM.
1. True 2. True 3. True 4. True 5. False
Select the correct answer.
1. PCs in a computer communication networks are usually connected by:
(a) Telephone lines only (b) Satellite only
(c) Either satellite or telephone line or (d) None of the above
2. The meaning of a digital channel means that the channel:
(a) is digitized (b) is carrying digital data
(c) accepts digital modulation tech- (d) None of the above
3. Data networks for the efficiency of communication reasons, uses:
(a) Simplex transmission (b) Half-duplex transmission
(c) Full-duplex transmission (d) None of the above
4. Coaxial cables can be used for:
(a) Telephone networks only (b) Cable TV networks only
(c) Both in telephone and cable TV (d) None of the above
5. Evesdropping is not possible in:
(a) UTP (b) STP
(c) Coaxial cable (d) Fiber optics
1. (c) 2. (b) 3. (c) 4. (c) 5. (d)
Data Communication Systems 117
Time: 3 Hrs. Marks: 100
Note: Answer all questions.
1. Compare the following transmission media:
(a) Twisted pair and optical fiber.
(b) Terrestrial microwave link and satellite microwave
(c) STP and coaxial cable
2. A fiber optic system requires 5 micro watts of power for proper functioning at the
receiver. The cable is 10 km long and has an attenuation loss of 2 dB/km. There is
a loss of 2 dB at both the source and the receiver. Calculate the required level of
optical power at the optical source.
3. Answer the following:
(a) Why do you connect the outer conductor of a coaxial cable to the ground?
(b) A band of frequencies range from 100 to 190 KHz is being allocated for
channels. Each channel is 5 KHz wide with a 1-KHz guard band. Sketch
the channel assignments from 100 to 112 KHz.
(c) Why the digital communication systems are more resistant to channel
noise than analog systems.
(d) Draw a block diagram of a simplex communication system such as TV
transmission and reception system and briefly explain the function of
4. (a) Illustrate with the help of a schematic diagram the different components
of a typical fiber optic link. Mention the various components of signal
(b) State the advantages of semiconductor laser diode over light-emitting
diodes (LED) for fiber transmission?
(c) State the mechanism by which a optical pulse travelling along a optical
fiber suffers from dispersion.
(d) With a diagram show the structure of an optical fiber cable.
(e) What are the advantages and disadvantages of s single mode optical fiber
over multimode optical fiber.
5. (a) Explain the term full-duplex as applied to telephony.
(b) What is the type of multiplexing used in telephone trunk circuits to trans-
mit a large number of voice channels.