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Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems
q History
q Basics
q Orbits

Mobile Communications

q LEO,

MEO, GEO
q Examples
q Handover, Routing

Satellite Systems

History of satellite communication


1945
1957
1960
1963
1965

1976
1982
1988
1993
1998

Arthur C. Clarke publishes an essay about Extra


Terrestrial Relays
first satellite SPUTNIK
first reflecting communication satellite ECHO
first geostationary satellite SYNCOM
first commercial geostationary satellite Early Bird
(INTELSAT I): 240 duplex telephone channels or 1 TV
channel, 1.5 years lifetime
three MARISAT satellites for maritime communication
first mobile satellite telephone system INMARSAT-A
first satellite system for mobile phones and data
communication INMARSAT-C
first digital satellite telephone system
global satellite systems for small mobile phones

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

Applications
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Traditionally
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weather satellites
radio and TV broadcast satellites
military satellites
satellites for navigation and localization (e.g., GPS)

Telecommunication
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global telephone connections


replaced by fiber optics
backbone for global networks
connections for communication in remote places or underdeveloped areas
global mobile communication

satellite systems to extend cellular phone systems

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

Classical satellite systems

Inter Satellite Link


(ISL)

Mobile User
Link (MUL)

Gateway Link
(GWL)

MUL
GWL

small cells
(spotbeams)

base station
or gateway

footprint

ISDN
PSTN: Public Switched
Telephone Network

Mobile Communications

PSTN

GSM

User data

Satellite Systems

Basics
Satellites in circular orbits
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attractive force Fg = m g (R/r)


centrifugal force Fc = m r
m: mass of the satellite
R: radius of the earth (R = 6370 km)
r: distance to the center of the earth
g: acceleration of gravity (g = 9.81 m/s)
: angular velocity ( = 2 f, f: rotation frequency)

Stable orbit
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Fg = Fc

r=3
Mobile Communications

gR
2
(2 f )
Satellite Systems

Satellite period and orbits

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satellite
period [h]

velocity [ x1000 km/h]

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16
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8
4

synchronous distance
35,786 km
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radius

30

40 x106 m

Satellite Systems

Basics
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elliptical or circular orbits


complete rotation time depends on distance satellite-earth
inclination: angle between orbit and equator
elevation: angle between satellite and horizon
LOS (Line of Sight) to the satellite necessary for connection
high elevation needed, less absorption due to e.g. buildings

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Uplink: connection base station - satellite


Downlink: connection satellite - base station
typically separated frequencies for uplink and downlink
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transponder used for sending/receiving and shifting of frequencies


transparent transponder: only shift of frequencies
regenerative transponder: additionally signal regeneration

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

Inclination
plane of satellite orbit

satellite orbit
perigee

inclination
equatorial plane

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

Elevation

Elevation:
angle between center of satellite beam
and surface

minimal elevation:
elevation needed at least
to communicate with the satellite

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

Link budget of satellites


Parameters like attenuation or received power determined by four
parameters:
L: Loss
q sending power
f: carrier frequency
q gain of sending antenna
r: distance
c: speed of light
q distance between sender
2
and receiver
4 r f
L =

q gain of receiving antenna


c
Problems
q varying strength of received signal due to multipath propagation
q interruptions due to shadowing of signal (no LOS)
Possible solutions
q Link Margin to eliminate variations in signal strength
q satellite diversity (usage of several visible satellites at the same time)
helps to use less sending power
Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

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Atmospheric attenuation
Attenuation of
the signal in %

Example: satellite systems at 4-6 GHz

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40

rain absorption

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fog absorption

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10
atmospheric
absorption
5 10

20

30

40

50

elevation of the satellite


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Satellite Systems

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Orbits I
Four different types of satellite orbits can be identified depending
on the shape and diameter of the orbit:
q GEO: geostationary orbit, ca. 36000 km above earth surface
q LEO (Low Earth Orbit): ca. 500 - 1500 km
q MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) or ICO (Intermediate Circular Orbit):
ca. 6000 - 20000 km
q HEO (Highly Elliptical Orbit) elliptical orbits

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

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Orbits II
GEO (Inmarsat, Thuraya)
HEO

MEO (ICO, GPS)

LEO
(Globalstar,
Irdium)

inner and outer Van


Allen belts
earth
1000
10000

Van-Allen-Belts:
ionized particles
2000 - 6000 km and
15000 - 30000 km
above earth surface

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35768
km

Satellite Systems

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LEO systems
Orbit ca. 500 - 1500 km above earth surface
q visibility of a satellite ca. 10 - 40 minutes
q global radio coverage possible
q latency comparable with terrestrial long distance
connections, ca. 5 - 10 ms
q smaller footprints, better frequency reuse
q but now handover necessary from one satellite to another
q many satellites necessary for global coverage
q more complex systems due to moving satellites
Examples:
q Iridium (start 1998, 66 satellites)
q Globalstar (start 2000, 48 satellites)

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Satellite Systems

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MEO systems
Orbit ca. 5000 - 12000 km above earth surface
comparison with LEO systems:
q slower moving satellites
q less satellites needed
q simpler system design
q for many connections no hand-over needed
q higher latency, ca. 70 - 80 ms
q higher sending power needed
q special antennas for small footprints needed
Example:
q ICO (Intermediate Circular Orbit, Inmarsat)
q GPS, GALILEO

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Satellite Systems

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MEO systems: GPS (Global Positioning System)


Basic concept of GPS
q GPS receiver calculates its position (latitude, longitude, and altitude) by
precisely timing the signals sent by GPS satellites high above the Earth
q Each satellite continually transmits messages that include
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the time the message was transmitted


precise orbital information
the general system health and rough orbits of all GPS satellites

Receiver uses the received messages to determine the transit time of


each message and computes the distance to each satellite

Trilateration
Due to errors (inprecise clocks), not three but four or more satellites are
used for calculations

Position useful in mobil communications for Location based services


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Accuracy: some meter with Wide Area Augmentation System WAAS


Adopted from Wikipedia

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

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MEO systems: GPS (Global Positioning System)


Structure: three major segments
1. space segment (SS)
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2.

control segment (CS)


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3.

orbiting GPS satellites, or Space Vehicles (SV)

master control station (MCS),


alternate master control station,
four dedicated ground antennas and
six dedicated monitor stations

user segment (U.S.)


q

user devices

US Air Force develops, maintains, and operates space & ctrl segments
Adopted from Wikipedia

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MEO systems: GPS (Global Positioning System)


q

Space segment (SS)


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orbiting GPS satellites, or Space Vehicles (SV)


24 SVs: six planes with four satellites each (plus some extra)
approximately 55 inclination
l orbits are arranged such that >= 6 satellites are always within LOS
four satellites are not evenly spaced (90 degrees) within each orbit,
but 30, 105, 120, and 105 degrees
l

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rotation time approx. 12 hours


orbit 20200 km
~ 9 satellites are visible from any point on ground at any one time

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Satellite Systems

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MEO systems: GPS (Global Positioning System)


Ground-Track (sub satellite path) of the Satellite GPS BIIR-07 (PRN 18)

of 18.10.2001, 00:00 h
to 19.10.2001, 00:00 h

orbit time is slightly shifted (about 4 minutes) in 24 h

21:30
zone of sight

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MEO systems: GPS (Global Positioning System)


Position of the monitor stations and the master control station
(Earthmap:NASA; http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/)
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master control station (Schriever AFB)


plus additional monitoring stations for monitoring the satellites
every satellite can be seen from at least two monitor stations

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

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Geostationary satellites
Orbit 35,786 km distance to earth surface, orbit in equatorial plane
(inclination 0)
complete rotation exactly one day, satellite is synchronous to earth
rotation
q fix antenna positions, no adjusting necessary
q satellites typically have a large footprint (up to 34% of earth surface!),
therefore difficult to reuse frequencies
q bad elevations in areas with latitude above 60 due to fixed position
above the equator
q high transmit power needed
q high latency due to long distance (ca. 275 ms)
not useful for global coverage for small mobile phones and data
transmission, typically used for radio and TV transmission, but some
for mobile communications as well
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Satellite Systems

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GEO Systems: Example Thuraya


q

regional satellite phone provider


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shareholders are mixture of Middle Eastern and North African telcos and
investment companies
coverage area most of Europe, Middle East, North, Central and East
Africa, Asia and Australia

subscribers:
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~ 250,000 (March 2006)


sold in excess of 600,000 satellite handheld phones (2013)

Structure of Thuraya spot beams

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Satellite Systems

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GEO Systems: Example Thuraya

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Satellite Systems

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GEO Systems: Example Thuraya


Services
Voice communications with hand held or fixed terminals
Short message service
9.6 kbit/s of data & fax service
60 kbit/s downlink and 15 kbit/s uplink "GMPRS" mobile data service
high-speed data transfer via a notebook-sized terminal (ThurayaDSL
with 144 kbit/s and ThurayaIP with 444 kbit/s)
GPS is supported by all handsets
value-added services, e.g., news, call back / waiting, missed calls
one-way 'high power alert' capability that notifies users of incoming
call, when signal path to satellite is obstructed (e.g. inside building)
Marine Services: a combination of a special (fixed) base station and
subscription offering voice, fax, data and always on internet-access

Also an emergency service: sends multiple SMS messages containing alarm-status


and actual position to pre-defined destinations

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GEO Systems: Examples SkyDSL, getinternet


Internet access via satellite
q Interesting for users in areas
where no other broadband Internet
access available
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GEO satellite for downlink


uplink (also for requests) via modem/telephone or other mobil comm.
or also via satellite
data rate up to max. 36000 KBit/s
# users
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has technically not much to do with DSL

ca. 100.000 in Germany

large latency due to GEO


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already signal propagation for distance of 2 * 36000 km: ~240 ms

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Satellite Systems

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Routing
One solution: inter satellite links (ISL)
q reduced number of gateways needed
q forward connections or data packets within the satellite network as long
as possible
q only one uplink and one downlink per direction needed for the
connection of two mobile phones
Problems:
q more complex focusing of antennas between satellites
q high system complexity due to moving routers
q higher fuel consumption
q thus shorter lifetime
Iridium and Teledesic planned with ISL
Other systems use gateways and additionally terrestrial networks

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Satellite Systems

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Localization of mobile stations


Mechanisms similar to GSM
Gateways maintain registers with user data
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HLR (Home Location Register): static user data


VLR (Visitor Location Register): (last known) location of the mobile station
SUMR (Satellite User Mapping Register):
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satellite assigned to a mobile station


positions of all satellites

Registration of mobile stations


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Localization of the mobile station via the satellites position


requesting user data from HLR
updating VLR and SUMR

Calling a mobile station


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localization using HLR/VLR similar to GSM


connection setup using the appropriate satellite

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Satellite Systems

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Handover in satellite systems


Several additional situations for handover in satellite systems
compared to cellular terrestrial mobile phone networks caused
by the movement of the satellites
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Intra satellite handover


l
l

Inter satellite handover


l
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handover from one satellite to another satellite


mobile station leaves the footprint of one satellite

Gateway handover
l
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handover from one spot beam to another


mobile station still in the footprint of the satellite, but in another cell

Handover from one gateway to another


mobile station still in the footprint of a satellite, but gateway leaves the
footprint

Inter system handover


l
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Handover from the satellite network to a terrestrial cellular network


mobile station can reach a terrestrial network again which might be
cheaper, has a lower latency etc.

Mobile Communications

Satellite Systems

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