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MADONNA UNIVERSITY, AKPUGO CAMPUS, ENUGU STATE,

NIGERIA
DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING

SATELLITE COMMUNICATION

BY

UDOYEN EDIDIONG AKPAN


EE/T/13/526

A SEMINAR PAPER PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF


ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING,
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUREMENT OF THE COURSE
EEE561 (SEMINAR IN ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING)

UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF

ENGR. OMECHE AMBROSE

8TH MAY 2018

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CERTIFICATION

This is to certify that UDOYEN EDIDIONG AKPAN with the registration number
EE/T/13/526 in the department of electrical/electronic engineering successfully
completed a report on the topic Satellite Communication.

_________________________ _________________________

ENGR. OMECHE AMBROSE ENGR. OMECHE AMBROSE

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT SUPERVISOR

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ABSTRACT

Satellite is a repeater in the sky. It receives uplink frequencies and translates to


downlink frequencies and transmits back to the earth station after amplification.
There are about 750 satellites in the space, most of them are used for communication.
This report encompasses the evolution of communication satellites, passive and
active satellites, how satellite works, Kepler’s law as applied to the motion of natural
or artificial satellite about the Earth, the types of satellite orbit.
It also contains the launching process of satellites, services provided by satellites and
the advantages and disadvantages of satellite communication.

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DEDICATION

This Seminar report on Satellite Communication is dedicated to God Almighty, My


parents, My siblings, My friends, My lecturers and Students of Electrical Electronics
Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Madonna
University Nigeria, Akpugo Campus, Enugu State.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I am thankful to God Almighty for His grace, favors, mercies and blessings over my
life throughout my research for this report.

My sincere gratitude goes to my parents, for their moral, material, financial support
and above all the love shown towards me.

Finally, I am also grateful to my H.O.D and my lecturers who devoted their time
impacting knowledge into me.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE i

CERTIFICATION ii

ABSTRACT iii

DEDICATION iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v

TABLE OF CONTENTS vi

LIST OF FIGURES ix

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 INTRODUCTION 1
1.2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2

CHAPTER TWO

2.1 EVOLUTION OF COMMUNICATION SATELLITES 4

2.2 PASSIVE SATELLITES 4

2.3 ACTIVE SATELLITES 6

2.3.1 ADVANTAGES OF ACTIVE SATELLITES 6

2.3.2 DISADVANTAGES OF ACTIVE SATELLITES 6

2.4 HOW SATELLITE WORKS 7

2.5 KEPLER’S LAW 9

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2.5.1 KEPLER’S FIRST LAW 9

2.5.2 KEPLER’S SECOND LAW 10

2.5.3 KEPLER’S THIRD LAW 11

2.6 TYPES OF SATELLITE ORBIT 12

2.7 GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT (GEO) 12

2.7.1 ADVANTAGES 12

2.7.2 DISADVANTAGES 13

2.8 LOW EARTH ORBIT (LEO) 13

2.8.1 ADVANTAGES 13

2.8.2 DISADVANTAGES 13

2.9 MEDIUM EARTH ORBIT (MEO) 14

2.9.1 ADVANTAGE 14

2.9.2 DISADVANTAGE 14

2.10 OTHER ORBITS 14

2.10.1 MOLNIYA ORBIT SATELLITES 14

2.10.2 HIGH ALTITUDE PLATFORM (HAP) 15

CHAPTER THREE

3.1 SATELLITE LAUNCHING 16

3.2 SATELLITE LAUNCH VEHICLES 17

3.2.1 EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES 17

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3.2.2 REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES 18

3.3 SERVICES PROVIDED BY SATELLITE 19

3.4 ADVANTAGES OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATION 19

3.5 DISADVANTAGES OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATION 20

CHAPTER FOUR

4.1 THE FUTURE 21

4.2 CONCLUSION 21

REFERENCES

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LIST OF FIGURES

1. Fig. 2.1 Illustration of how Satellite Works 8


2. Fig. 2.2 Illustration of Kepler’s First Law 9
3. Fig. 2.3 Illustration of Kepler’s Second Law 10
4. Fig. 2.4 Types of Satellite Orbits 15
5. Fig. 3.1 ELV Launch Vehicle 17
6. Fig. 3.2 Reusable Launch Vehicle 18

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CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Introduction
The outer space has always fascinated people on the earth and communication
through space evolved as an offshoot of ideas for space travel. The earliest idea of
using artificial satellites for communications is found in a science fiction Brick
Moon by Edward Evert Hale, published in 1869-70.

While the early fictional accounts of satellite and space communications bear little
resemblance to the technology as it exists today, they are of significance since they
represent the origins of the idea from which the technology eventually evolved.

In the area of satellite communications, the technology has been responsive to the
imaginative dreams. Hence it is also expected that technological innovations will
lead the evolution of satellite communications towards the visions of today.

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1.2 Literature Review

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a satellite as a celestial body orbiting


another of larger size or a manufactured object or vehicle intended to orbit the earth,
the moon, or another celestial body.

Today's satellite communications can trace their origins all the way back to February
1945 and Arthur C. Clarke's letter to the editor of Wireless World magazine, Clarke
further fleshed-out this theory in a paper titled Extra-Terrestrial Relays – Can Rocket
Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage? published in Wireless World in October
1945.

Decades later a project named Communication Moon Relay was a


telecommunication project carried out by the United States Navy. Its objective was
to develop a secure and reliable method of wireless communication by using the
Moon as a natural communications satellite.

The first artificial satellite used solely to further advances in global communications
was a balloon named Echo 1. Echo 1 was the world's first artificial communications
satellite capable of relaying signals to other points on Earth. It soared 1,000 miles
(1,609 km) above the planet after its Aug. 12, 1960 launch, yet relied on humanity's
oldest flight technology — ballooning.

Launched by NASA, Echo 1 was a giant metallic balloon 100 feet (30 meters) across.
The world's first inflatable satellite — or "satelloon", as they were informally known
— helped lay the foundation of today's satellite communications.

The idea behind a communications satellite is simple: Send data up into space and
beam it back down to another spot on the globe. Echo 1 accomplished this by
essentially serving as an enormous mirror, 10 stories tall, that could be used to reflect
communications signals.
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The first American satellite to relay communications was Project SCORE in 1958,
which used a tape recorder to store and forward voice messages. It was used to send
a Christmas greeting to the world from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

NASA launched the Echo satellite in 1960; the 100-foot (30 m) aluminized PET film
balloon served as a passive reflector for radio communications. Courier 1B, built by
Philco, also launched in 1960, was the world's first active repeater satellite.

The first communications satellite was Sputnik 1. Put into orbit by the Soviet Union
on October 4, 1957, it was equipped with an onboard radio-transmitter that worked
on two frequencies:

20.005 and 40.002 MHz

Sputnik 1 was launched as a step in the exploration of space and rocket development.
While incredibly important it was not placed in orbit for the purpose of sending data
from one point on earth to another. And it was the first artificial satellite in the steps
leading to today's satellite communications.

Telstar was the second active, direct relay communications satellite. Belonging to
AT&T as part of a multi-national agreement between AT&T, Bell Telephone
Laboratories, NASA, the British General Post Office, and the French National PTT
(Post Office) to develop satellite communications, it was launched by NASA from
Cape Canaveral on July 10, 1962, the first privately sponsored space launch.

Relay 1 was launched on December 13, 1962, and became the first satellite to
broadcast across the Pacific on November 22, 1963.

An immediate antecedent of the geostationary satellites was Hughes' Syncom 2,


launched on July 26, 1963. Syncom 2 revolved around the earth once per day at
constant speed.

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CHAPTER TWO

2.1 Evolution of Communication Satellites

During early 1950s, both passive and active satellites were considered for the
purpose of communications over a large distance. Passive satellites though
successfully used in the early years of satellite communications, with the
advancement in technology active satellites have completely replaced the passive
satellites.

2.2 Passive Satellites

The principle of communication by passive satellite is based on the properties of


scattering of electromagnetic waves from different surface areas. Thus, an
electromagnetic wave incident on a passive satellite is scattered back towards the
earth and a receiving station can receive the scattered wave. The passive satellites
used in the early years of satellite communications were both artificial as well as
natural.

In 1954, the US Naval Research Laboratory successfully transmitted the first voice
message through space by using the Moon to scatter radio signal.

These experiments resulted in the development of Moon-Relay System, which


became operational in 1959 for communications between Washington, DC and
Hawaii and remained operational till 1963.

The first artificial passive satellite Echo-I of NASA was launched in August 1960.
Echo-I was 100-ft. diameter inflatable plastic balloon with aluminum coating that
reflected radio signals transmitted from huge earth station antennas. Echo-I had
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some orbital height of 1000 miles. Earth Stations across US and Europe picked up
the signal and contributed a lot in motivating research in communication satellite.

Echo-I was followed by Echo-II in 1964. With Echo-II, Scientists of US and Soviet
Russia collaborated for the first time on international space experiments. Signals
were transmitted between University of Manchester for NASA and Gorki State
University in Russia. The orbit of Echo-II was 600 to 800 miles.

In 1963, US Air Force under Project West Ford launched an orbital belt of small
needles at 2000 miles height to act as a passive radio reflector. Speech in digitized
form was transmitted intelligently via this belt of needles. However, further work in
this area was discontinued due to strong protests from the astronomers.

Although passive satellites were simple, the communications between two distant
places were successfully demonstrated only after overcoming many technical
problems. The large attenuation of the signal while traveling the large distance
between the transmitter and the receiver via the satellite was one of the most serious
problems. The disadvantages of passive satellites for communications are:

 Earth Stations required high power (10 kW) to transmit signals strong enough
to produce an adequate return echo.
 Large Earth Stations with tracking facilities were expensive.
 Communications via the Moon is limited by simultaneous visibility of the
Moon by both the transmit and the receive stations along with the larger
distance required to be covered compared to that of closer to earth satellite.
 A global system would have required a large number of passive satellites
accessed randomly by different users.
 Control of satellites not possible from ground.

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2.3 Active Satellites

In active satellites, which amplify and retransmit the signal from the earth have
several advantages over the passive satellites.

2.3.1 Advantages of Active Satellite:

 Require lower power earth station


 Less costly
 Not open to random use
 Directly controlled by operators from ground.

2.3.2 Disadvantages of Active Satellite:

 Disruption of service due to failure of electronics components on-board the


satellites
 Requirement of on-board power supply
 Requirement of larger and powerful rockets to launch heavier satellites in
orbit

World’s first active satellite SCORE (Satellite Communication by Orbiting Relay


Equipment) was launched by US Airforce in 1958 at orbital height of 110 to 900
miles. It transmitted a pre-recorded message of Christmas Greetings from US
President Eisenhower. However, the satellite did not function as a true repeater.

The first fully active satellite was Courier launched into an orbit of 600 - 700 mile,
by Department of Defense in 1960. It accepted and stored up to 360,000 Teletype
words as it passed overhead and rebroadcast them to ground station farther along its
orbit. It operated with 3 watts of on-board output power and it was also the first
satellite to use solar cells for generating electrical power.

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In July 1962 AT&T’s active satellite Telstar was developed and launched. Telstar
was placed in an elliptical orbit with orbital height of 682 to 4030 miles circling the
earth in 2 hours and 40 min.

Through Telstar, the first live transatlantic television was transmitted. Voice,
television, fax and data were transmitted between various sites in UK, France, Brazil
Italy and US at 6/4 GHz frequency range.

2.4 How Satellite Works

A satellite is a body that moves around another body in a particular path. A


communication satellite is nothing but a microwave repeater station in space. It is
helpful in telecommunications, radio and television along with internet applications.

A repeater is a circuit, which increases the strength of the received signal and then
transmits it. But, this repeater works as a transponder. That means, it changes the
frequency band of the transmitted signal from the received one.

The frequency with which, the signal is sent into the space is called as Uplink
frequency. Similarly, the frequency with which, the signal is sent by the transponder
is called as Downlink frequency. The following figure illustrates this concept
clearly.

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Fig. 2.1 Illustration of how Satellite Works

The transmission of signal from first earth station to satellite through a channel is
called as uplink. Similarly, the transmission of signal from satellite to second earth
station through a channel is called as downlink. Uplink frequency is the frequency
at which, the first earth station is communicating with satellite. The satellite
transponder converts this signal into another frequency and sends it down to the
second earth station. This frequency is called as Downlink frequency. In similar way,
second earth station can also communicate with the first one.

The process of satellite communication begins at an earth station. Here, an


installation is designed to transmit and receive signals from a satellite in an orbit
around the earth. Earth stations send the information to satellites in the form of high
powered, high frequency (GHz range) signals.

The satellites receive and retransmit the signals back to earth where they are received
by other earth stations in the coverage area of the satellite. Satellite's footprint is the
area which receives a signal of useful strength from the satellite.

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2.5 Kepler’s Law

2.5.1 Kepler’s First Law

Kepler’s first law states that the path followed by a satellite around its primary (the
earth) will be an ellipse. This ellipse has two focal points (foci) F1 and F2 as shown
in the figure below. Center of mass of the earth will always present at one of the two
foci of the ellipse.

Fig. 2.2 Illustration of Kepler’s First Law

If the distance from the center of the object to a point on its elliptical path is
considered, then the farthest point of an ellipse from the center is called as apogee
and the shortest point of an ellipse from the center is called as perigee.

Eccentricity "e" of this system can be written as:

√𝑎2 − 𝑏 2
𝑒=
𝑎

Where, a & b are the lengths of semi major axis and semi minor axis of the ellipse

respectively.

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For an elliptical path, the value of eccentricity (e) is always lie in between 0 and 1,
i.e. 0 < 𝑒 < 1, since a is greater than b. Suppose, if the value of eccentricity (e) is
zero, then the path will be no more in elliptical shape, rather it will be converted into
a circular shape.

2.5.2 Kepler’s Second Law

Kepler’s second law states that for equal intervals of time, the area covered by the
satellite will be same with respect to center of mass of the earth. This can be
understood by taking a look at the following figure.

Fig. 2.3 Illustration of Kepler’s Second Law

Assume, the satellite covers p1 and p2 distances in the same time interval. Then, the
areas B1 and B2 covered by the satellite at those two instances are equal.

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2.5.3 Kepler’s Third Law

Kepler’s third law states that, the square of the periodic time of an elliptical orbit is
proportional to the cube of its semi major axis length. Mathematically, it can be
written as follows:

𝑇 2 ∝ 𝑎3

2
4𝜋 2 3
=> 𝑇 = ( )𝑎
𝜇

4𝜋2
Where, is the proportionality constant.
𝜇

𝜇 is Kepler’s constant and its value being equal to 3.986005 x 1014 𝑚3 /𝑠𝑒𝑐 2

2𝜋 2 𝑎3
1=( ) ( )
𝑇 𝜇

𝑎3 2
1=𝑛 ( )
𝜇

𝜇
=> 𝑎3 =
𝑛2

Where, 𝑛 is the mean motion of the satellite in radians per second.

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2.6 Types of Satellite Orbits

There are at least three special types of orbits employed by modern satellites. These
are the:

 Geostationary Orbit (GEO)


 Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)
 Molniya Orbit
 High Altitude Platforms (HAPs)

2.7 Geostationary Orbit (GEO)

 These satellites are in orbit 35,863 km above the earth’s surface along the
equator.
 Objects in Geostationary orbit revolve around the earth at the same speed as
the earth rotates. This means GEO satellites remain in the same position
relative to the surface of earth.

2.7.1 Advantages

 A GEO satellite’s distance from earth gives it a large coverage area, almost a
fourth of the earth’s surface.
 GEO satellites have a 24-hour view of a particular area.
 These factors make it ideal for satellite broadcast and other multipoint
applications.

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2.7.2 Disadvantages

 A GEO satellite’s distance also causes it to have both a comparatively weak


signal and a time delay in the signal, which is bad for point to point
communication.
 GEO satellites, centered above the equator, have difficulty broadcasting
signals to near polar regions.

2.8 Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

 LEO satellites are much closer to the earth than GEO satellites, ranging from
500 to 1,500 km above the surface.
 LEO satellites don’t stay in fixed position relative to the surface, and are only
visible for 15 to 20 minutes each pass.
 A network of LEO satellites is necessary for LEO satellites to be useful.

2.8.1 Advantages

 A LEO satellite’s proximity to earth compared to a GEO satellite gives it a


better signal strength and less of a time delay, which makes it better for point
to point communication.
 A LEO satellite’s smaller area of coverage is less of a waste of bandwidth.

2.8.2 Disadvantages

 A network of LEO satellites is needed, which can be costly


 LEO satellites have to compensate for Doppler shifts cause by their relative
movement.
 Atmospheric drag effects LEO satellites, causing gradual orbital deterioration.

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2.9 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)

 A MEO satellite is in orbit somewhere between 8,000 km and 18,000 km


above the earth’s surface.
 MEO satellites are similar to LEO satellites in functionality.
 MEO satellites are visible for much longer periods of time than LEO satellites,
usually between 2 to 8 hours.
 MEO satellites have a larger coverage area than LEO satellites.

2.9.1 Advantage

 A MEO satellite’s longer duration of visibility and wider footprint means


fewer satellites are needed in a MEO network than a LEO network.

2.9.2 Disadvantage

 A MEO satellite’s distance gives it a longer time delay and weaker signal than
a LEO satellite, though not as bad as a GEO satellite.

2.10 Other Orbits

2.10.1 Molniya Orbit Satellites

 Used by Russia for decades.


 Molniya Orbit is an elliptical orbit. The satellite remains in a nearly fixed
position relative to earth for eight hours.
 A series of three Molniya satellites can act like a GEO satellite.
 Useful in near polar regions.

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2.10.2 High Altitude Platform (HAP)

 One of the newest ideas in satellite communication.


 A blimp or plane around 20 km above the earth’s surface is used as a satellite.
 HAPs would have very small coverage area, but would have a comparatively
strong signal.
 Cheaper to put in position, but would require a lot of them in a network.

LEO

MEO

GEO

Fig. 2.4 Types of Satellite Orbits

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CHAPTER THREE

3.1 Satellite Launching

The process of placing the satellite in a proper orbit is known as launching process.
During this process, from earth stations we can control the operation of satellite.
Mainly, there are four stages in launching a satellite.

 First Stage ─ The first stage of launch vehicle contains rockets and fuel for
lifting the satellite along with launch vehicle from ground.
 Second Stage ─ The second stage of launch vehicle contains smaller rockets.
These are ignited after completion of first stage. They have their own fuel
tanks in order to send the satellite into space.
 Third Stage ─ The third (upper) stage of the launch vehicle is connected to
the satellite fairing. This fairing is a metal shield, which contains the satellite
and it protects the satellite.
 Fourth Stage ─ Satellite gets separated from the upper stage of launch vehicle,
when it has been reached to out of Earth's atmosphere. Then, the satellite will
go to a “transfer orbit”. This orbit sends the satellite higher into space.

When the satellite reached to the desired height of the orbit, its subsystems like solar
panels and communication antennas gets unfurled. Then the satellite takes its
position in the orbit with other satellites. Now, the satellite is ready to provide
services to the public.

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3.2 Satellite Launch Vehicles

Satellite launch vehicles launch the satellites into a particular orbit based on the
requirement. Satellite launch vehicles are nothing but multi stage rockets. Following
are the two types of satellite launch vehicles.

3.2.1 Expendable Launch Vehicles

Expendable launch vehicles (ELV) get destroyed after leaving the satellites in space.
The following image shows how an ELV looks.

Fig. 3.1 ELV Launch Vehicle

The ELV contains three stages. First and second stages of ELV raise the satellite to
an about 50 miles and 100 miles. Third stage of ELV places the satellite in transfer
orbit. The task of ELV will be completed and its spare parts will be fallen to earth,
when the satellite reached to transfer orbit.

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3.2.2 Reusable Launch Vehicles

Reusable launch vehicles (RLV) can be used multiple times for launching satellites.
Generally, this type of launch vehicles will return back to earth after leaving the
satellite in space. The following image shows a reusable launch vehicle. It is also
known as space shuttle.

Fig. 3.2 Reusable Launch Vehicle

The functions of space shuttle are similar to the functions of first and second stages
of ELV. Satellite along with the third stage of space shuttle are mounted in the cargo
bay. It is ejected from the cargo bay when the space shuttle reaches to an elevation
of 150 to 200 miles.

Then, the third stage of space shuttle gets fired and places the satellite into a transfer
orbit. After this, the space shuttle will return back to earth for reuse.

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3.3 Services provided by Satellite

Satellite Communication has a wide range of services. Applications are in numerous


and broadly classified as follows:

 In communication such as T.V. telephony, data transfer such as mail and


internet etc. are mostly done through different communication satellites these
days.
 Remote sensing and Earth observation can be done with the help of lower
Earth Orbits (LEO) Satellite.
 Metro logical applications such as whether survey to study different layers
and amount of ozone’s content in the atmosphere.
 Military applications like short distance local communication from any camp
to another, to study the location of the enemy etc.,

Other services provided by Satellite Communication are:

 Fixed satellite service


 Broadcast satellite service
 Navigational satellite service
 Meteorological satellite service
 Mobile satellite service.

3.4 Advantages of Satellite Communication

Because of its unique geometry and it’s inherently a broadcast medium with an
ability to transmit simultaneously from one point to an arbitrary number of other
points with in its coverage area. Thus, satellite Communication possesses several
advantages which are as follows:

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 Point to multipoint communication is possible whereas terrestrial relay is
point to point, this is why satellite relay are wide area broadcast.
 Circuits for the satellite can be installed rapidly. Once the satellite is in
position, Earth Station can be installed and communication may be
established within some days or even hours.
 During critical condition each Earth Station may be removed relatively
quickly from a location and reinstalled somewhere else.
 Mobile communication cab be easily achieved by satellite communication
because of its flexibility in interconnecting mobile vehicles.
 As compared to fiber cable, the satellite communication has the advantage of
the quality of transmitted signals and the location of Earth Stations. The
sending and receiving information independent of distance.

3.5 Disadvantages of Satellite Communication

Apart from advantages Satellite Communication also possess some disadvantages


that are as follows:

 With the Satellite in position the communication path between the terrestrial
transmitter and receiver is approximately 75000 km long.
 There is a delay of ¼ sec between the transmission and reception of a signal
because the velocity of electromagnetic wave is 3* 10^5 Km/second.
 The time delay reduces the efficiency of satellite in data transmission and
long file transfer, which carried out over the satellites.
 Over-crowding of available bandwidth due to low antenna gains is occurred.
 High atmosphere losses above 30 GHz limit the carrier frequency.

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CHAPTER FOUR

4.1 The Future

The modern-day satellites we use today are more efficient and could accommodate
larger data inputs.

Add to that the versatility in which some can even take photos, transmit signals for
GPS devices and even monitor weather conditions.

Truly, the humble beginnings of satellite launching have come a long way to serve
mankind.

Soon, we can expect to acquire transmission services which are tailored to each and
every need of individual users.

4.2 Conclusion

Satellites remain the best utilization used for communications due to their speed and
other advantages mentioned in this report.

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