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Group Director Communication Systems Group ISRO Satellite Centre Bangalore 560 017 INDIA
Now a days there are two buzz words:
• Communication • Information Technology
The word `Communication’ comes from Latin `Communico’ meaning `share’. It is communication more than anything else which has been responsible for the shrinking of time and distance and with the development of space technology time and distance have lost their conventional meaning, permitting men and women all over the world to share their experiences, frustrations and successes. Society is often described as essentially people in communication - Communication in simple terms is nothing but discriminating response to a stimulus. The “quickness of the response” is increasing in leaps and bounds day by day.
There is another word `information’ which is also closely related to communications means “contents” of message. Claude Shannon defined `Information’ as “Reduction of Uncertainty”. Information is also described as “any difference that makes a difference”. Information is a notch on the spectrum with raw data on low end and wisdom on the high end. It suggests that the raw data when processed becomes information. understanding. Information minus noise is intelligence or Intelligence plus experience is knowledge; and
knowledge when further processed, endows erudition and ability to philosophize and so becomes wisdom. Present day society we often refer as information society.
In the past few decades, persons and institutions have been progressively unsettled by the rapid pace of social and technological changes brought about by Communications (telephony, TV etc.). In earlier times the world around us seemed more stable and major changes in values, institutions and technology evolved more slowly. It took centuries for the Middle Ages to become the Renaissance, yet many of us have experienced major technological revolution in one life time in this century.
The conventional communication tools are:
• Telegraphy using copper wire line • Telephony using copper wire line • Television • New papers, books etc. • Rapid Means of Transport
All these have undergone a tremendous changes. A few new names for the present day communication techniques are: • Electronic Mail • Voice Mail • Space Communications • Private Data Service using VSAT • Auto Text Service • Video text service (Facsimile) • Radio trunking • Radio paging • Cellular Mobile Telephone • Wireless in local loops • Local National & International information exchange intelligent Networks & Integrated Services Networks (ISDN)
New ones to come:
• Mobile Satellite Telephone - Personal Communication Systems • INFOSAT (information satellite) • A major shift from analogue to digital system • An increase in the value of software as opposed to hardware content • Extension of optical technology towards the local loop coupled with the increasing use of optical switches and optical processing • Use of wireless in access technology-New access & Modulation codes • Ultra broad band services • Extensive use of spread spectrum and code division multiple access techniques.
Services planned / in existence
• Virtual Private Networks • PCS • Call Collect Services • Desk top Video conferencing • Card Phone Services • Teleshopping • Video Telephone • Telehealth • Tele-education • Interactive Video & Video on demand
• Multimedia transmission / reception
All the above needs four things:
• A frequency (RF carrier) • A bandwidth • Suitable modulators, multiplexing & accessing scheme. • An extremely fast, wide band, large storage intelligent programmable system (A - computer based system). The 1st three points are the basis of any communication system, and user always wishes to have all the possible accesses and degrees of freedom in utilizing the computer network which he can think of .
His has an ever increasing appetite for communication and exchange of information.
To talk about all the system, one knows that without an intelligent powerful processor system one cannot dream of flexibility, maneuverability, speed and fast responses. A computer, stand alone, is not sufficient until or unless it is linked with another network/computer/information storage system or a controller. Hence it needs a communication. Modern days communications need intelligent devices & networks (computer and vice versa). This interdependency is extremely complex and at the same time comes to the user in a natural easy way, such that he does not even realizes that the convergence of computer & Communication has changed his total life style. The space communication helped this revolution - termed as 'IT' revolution to even reach in accessible places.
∗ Everyday we manage to bounce radio waves off “Artificial
repeater” that we have put into space at around 36000 kms height over the Earth. It is no magic that all these “Artificial Radio Repeaters” termed as “Communication Satellites” are found at that altitude. For at that distance from Earth, these objects orbit this planet with an orbital period of 24 hours, precisely matching the rotation of the Earth and these objects appear fixed over a single spot on the Equator. It is this aspect due to that we term these objects as geosynchronous or geostationary satellites.
∗ With these satellites in one spot, the reception and transmission was a great feat in itself and done using large ground stations with antenna diameters ranging from 30M to 10M. This was needed to get the telephone/TV or any other signal around the globe or to large distances. In such cases the users never come in direct contact with the satellite.
∗ The situation changed considerably in eighties and the communications requirements became really nerve-racking. Imagine the transmission reception of signals to satellites from: • A ship pitching and rolling on the high seas • An aeroplane flying at a speed of >800kms per hour • An orbiting space vehicle/satellite with speeds >7 to 8 kms per second • An aeroplane or a ship in distress
∗ A mountaineer/A trekker/A forest guard/An elephant/A tiger/A bird/ A turtle/a dolphin. ∗ A man always on move/A motor vehicle
If using satellites to communicate is a great marvel, doing the same without stopping or even slowing down is almost miracle.
VARIOUS SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SERVICES: ∗ Telephony/TV Broadcasting/Data reception and distribution/Direct Television broadcasting/Disaster warning/Continuous weather monitoring/Spacecraft Vehicle Tracking and Commanding/ Intersatellite links/ Mail transmission
∗ Position (GPS) and time determination / Moving motor vehicle tracking etc.
MOBILE PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS
∗ A user to exchange various kinds of information e.g.: voice, data, video and
image with any one, any time and anywhere. The envisaged key element that forms the basis of this mobility is a small inexpensive handheld communicator with a single telephone number independent of location and geopolitical boundaries. The main requirement is every conceivable degree of freedom for the user. by the MOBILE PERSONAL COMMUNICATION SERVICES and the overall system design will be done around the main dictating factor: spacecraft G/T. The ground stations which are becoming smaller and smaller day by day will be of pocket size calculator.
∗ One can draw a conclusion that the future communication will be dominated
In the foreseeable future new equipments and techniques will be used in satellite technology which will extend and improve the possibilities of satellite communications beyond our present imaginations. ∗ Greater Transmit power and more complex antennas on the satellites will make operations possible with a large number of very small Earth stations. ∗ Efficient signal processors and switching equipment will enable signal processing to be performed onboard right down to operations similar to switching in exchanges. ∗ Direct connections between satellites will shorten the transmission routes. ∗ The use of higher frequency bands will enlarge the available bandwidths and thus the transmission capacity. ∗ Miniaturization of electronics
With the emergence of optical communications the majority of the existing satellite communication services burden will be taken over by the optical links and the tasks to be performed by future satellites will be: ∗ Tasks for which it will only be essential to use the satellites to limited basis (Transmission of Telephones and TV to inaccessible places or thin traffic routes etc). Tasks for which it will remain advantageous to use satellites (New services with different requirements with respect to BW, partner stations, transmission times. This could include Data Collection and Distribution over a large area, mobile radio services to inaccessible areas, ship, aircrafts, Mobile communication/PCS).
Presently there are two very vibrant & current topics:
• The Internet & Web • The infosat
Internet which we know today has come to Asia a couple of years back and recently to India also will play an important role atleast till 2005 AD. The internet provides a vast array of services and acts like a multimedia system, information source and ways to perform work and engage in commerce. It has an estimated 20-40 million users which gets doubled every year. The internet version 1.0 backbone operates at 56 MBPS which enables the World Wide Web (WWW). The next stage 3.0 has been denoted “The information Super High Way”. Internet 3.0 could provide symmetrical, high bandwidth links that can simultaneously carry telephone, video (Television) and data. Ideally bandwidth could be at a maximum capacity of the copper wire that link central offices & homes at a minimum of 6-25 MBPS.
In assessing the societal implications of powerful historical forces, it is essential to take the long view. However, when events are developing as rapidly as they are on the internet, it is meaningless to look out further than 15 years. The safest prediction is that by 2010 or 2015 the Internet, as we know it, will no longer exist. There will just be the Net a ubiquitous, broadband data dial-tone provided by cable telephone and wireless operators. The net will be accessible from anywhere through a variety of information appliances ranging from personal computers and hand-held digital assistants to screen phones and televisions, not to mention the computers embedded in everything from automobiles to vending machines. Whereas today most of us access the Net through dedicated web browsers. By 2010 all applications will be Net-aware. One will be retrieving reference documents and illustrations from your word processor, and utilizing design libraries and analysis service from your CAD system. And because there will be an overwhelming array of such Net-based resources to choose from, access will necessarily be mediated by intelligent agents.
Teledesic & Skybridge space systems are planning for internet through Space.
Clearly changes will have a big impact on society. How big according to The
Economist, a conservative and perceptive publication not normally known for exaggeration, the impact is likely to be “ahead of the telephone and television but behind the printing press and the motorcar”. The point is that the Net is a phenomenon that cannot be ignored. It is an agent of change in all sectors of society. The changes won’t occur in isolation, but they will be going on simultaneously, resulting in unpredictable, unanticipated synergy. In turn, this will lead to truly profound changes in society.
To help all these & to spread the net at a faster pace even to inaccessible & remote places satellite communication plays a major role, besides the conventional terrestrial links, optical links etc., which cater to cities & larger population bases owing to the economics. These are being presently catered by: • VSAT networks • Mobile / PCS networks
The third dimension which is going to emerge may be in a time frame less than a decade is:
∗ The future Telecommunication spacecrafts will be developed from
transmission in to Information Satellites (INFOSAT). They will be given many of the properties of terrestrial telephone exchanges and signal processing equipments and it will be possible to integrate them directly in to future global networks. They will thus permit immediate applications of many existing and future services. Because of their inherent built up flexibility, these satellites will be able to support and speed up the initial construction phase of many new services before their trial on terrestrial networks. These type of satellites will enable new services to be tried out over a large area before being launched on to market and optimally adapted to suit the most appropriate transmission medium.
∗ The future INFOSATS will be of three type:
• National/Regional • International • Relay Future technologies will enable the construction of an INFOSAT network in which the above three will be connected to each other. The onboard processors will ensure that the signals to be exchanged between the satellites and the terrestrial subscribers are combined using TD and SD multiplexing techniques and distributed in accordance with the user requirements. Special coding techniques will ensure the security of transmissions.
DESIGN OF INFOSAT
∗ The satellite platform will have multiple reconfigurable antennas/transmitters with dynamic power sharing / Receivers in various frequency ranges / large reconfigurable switching matrices at baseband and at RF level / intersatellite links permitting signals to be exchanged between satellites according to changing requirements / complex and efficient analog / optical / digital signal processors / New modulation technique and multiple access techniques.
∗ The satellites besides their autonomous control and power generation
equipment will have sensors to observe the earth’s atmosphere and pass the data to an appropriate station after processing.
Such a system will obviously have Geo synchronous spacecrafts with some orbiting satellites to take care of North/South pole regions. The INFOSAT Network is to be an integral component of the planned world-wide broadband telecommunication network. Therefore it will be necessary for planning of the satellite network and the terrestrial network to be closely coordinated. Until now satellites have connected the terrestrial network to be closely coordinated. Until now satellites have connected the terrestrial networks of various countries and organizations.
SERVICES TO BE OFFERED BY INFOSAT
∗ Radio and data distribution services to many users which are spread over a large area. ∗ Data collection services for large areas with many data transmitter stations (multi point-to-point operation : weather, oil, electricity & water meter reading etc.). ∗ Telecommunication services for thin routes ∗ Telecommunication services with ships, aeroplanes, space vehicles, etc).
∗ In the area of business communications demand is growing for broad band communication facilities which can be applied flexibly using satellites. ∗ Worldwide Radio paging ∗ Video conferencing and high resolution TV broadcast trials. ∗ Mobile radio services can be combined with location finding services and be used for automatically locating subscribers. ∗ Earth observation with special warning mechanism and environmental protection services in close coordination with terrestrial sensors. By integrating INFOSAT into terrestrial network, it will be possible to supply all the subscribers of a future global network with all essential information. This will make the location of the user quite irrelevant.
OPTICAL FIBRE VS SPACE COMMUNICATIONS
∗ Much is talked about the competition between satellites and optical
fibre technology. A closer examination of the specific properties of each transmission medium shows that they could complement each other very well and future world wide terrestrial networks will need to be complemented by a satellite network.
∗ The TV and heavy traffic trunk routes will be taken over by optical fibre. ∗ The satellites will serve: thin traffic routes extremely large distances/inaccessible areas/weather monitoring/disaster warning / Data collection and Distribution etc.
A Future Strategy for India
Having procured all the available facilities and technologies we must take a quantum vectorial leap and not waste every efforts in scalar disoriented directions, otherwise we will be always dependent and the new technology achieved presently will become obsolete in no time. We should put our efforts in advanced level R&D like Europe’s RACE-II programme for systems aiming for:
• High flexibility & spectral efficiency
Data communication in several MBPS in addition to voice communication
• Advance interactive video & data servicing • Incorporation of common satellite & mobile cellular system • World wide receiving and global coverage with station as well as user identification • Multiple operator scenario and standardization of services and protocols • Highly security break in more systems.
• Development of new modulation and access techniques • Some dedicated efforts towards submicron gate technologies • New material developments and fabrication technologies
Development of Rapid Means of Transportation & Electricity infrastructure
For this there should be an all-round national plan involving educational universities, R&D labs, industrial and network providers/operators.
LEO SYSTEMS GEARED TO DATA: • ORBCOM: Near Global system, provides two way data communications & messaging. Geared to serve a variety of handheld and other mobile & fixed data communication devices. It is a Global Data Messaging system. [Total constellation of 36 spacecrafts; operates in VHF/UHF band.]
• TELEDESIC: Internet in the sky. Will provide interactive communications from fixed locations any where in the world. services. [ 288 LEO, 12 planes, 1400 Kms orbit height, typical data rates could be 64 MBPS, Down link 28 GHz, 500 MHz bandwidth, Commercial services by 2002. • SKYBRIDGE:
Services will include
broadband internet access, video conferencing & multimedia
In future there may be a GEO
component also. Two way access is provided by two dish antennas].
ATM based access network Seamless interconnection with terrestrial infrastructure Use of Ku-band Protection of GSO systems Will serve to both Broadband & Narrowband networks.
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