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ECEG 7307 Satellite Communication Chapter-2

Dr.-Ing. Getahun Mekuria
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Faculty of Technology Addis Ababa University (AAU)

Forces on a Sat

Where m = satellite mass; v = satellite velocity in the plane of orbit; r = distance from the center of the earth (orbit radius); and Q = Keplers Constant (or Geocentric Gravitational Constant) = 3.986004105 km3/s2.

Note that

Fout ! Fin


This result gives the velocity required to maintain a satellite at the orbit radius r. Note that all other forces acting on the satellite, such as the gravity forces from the moon, sun, and other bodies, are neglected.

Keplers Laws

Keplers laws of planetary motion apply to any two bodies in space that interact through gravitation. The laws of motion are described through three fundamental principles.

Keplers Laws
Keplers First Law
the path followed by a satellite around the earth will be an ellipse, with the center of mass of earth as one of the two foci of the ellipse

The size of the ellipse will depend on satellite mass and its angular velocity

Keplers Laws
Keplers Second Law
for equal time intervals, the satellite sweeps out equal areas in the orbital plane

Satellite orbital velocity is not constant; the satellite is moving much faster at locations near the earth, and slows down as it approaches apogee.

Keplers Laws
Keplers Third Law
the square of the periodic time of orbit is proportional to the cube of the mean distance between the two bodies

where T = orbital period in seconds; a = distance between the two bodies, in km; Q = Keplers Constant = 3.986004105 km3/s2

Keplers Laws
If the orbit is circular, then

Under this condition, a specific orbit period is determined only by proper selection of the orbit radius. This allows the satellite designer to select orbit periods that best meet particular application requirements by locating the satellite at the proper orbit altitude

Keplers Laws

A graph showing orbit period in hours versus the mean altitude of the orbit in kilometers

Orbital Parameters
Apogee the point farthest from earth. Perigee the point of closest approach to earth. Line of Apsides the line joining the perigee and apogee through the center of the earth. Ascending Node the point where the orbit crosses the equatorial plane, going from south to north. Descending Node the point where the orbit crosses the equatorial plane, going from north to south.


Orbital Parameters
Line of Nodes the line joining the ascending and descending nodes through the center of the earth. Argument of Perigee, [ the angle from ascending node to perigee, measured in the orbital plane. Right Ascension of the Ascending Node, N the angle measured eastward, in the equatorial plane, from the line to the first point of Aries (Y) to the ascending node. The eccentricity is a measure of the circularity of the orbit
Elliptical Orbit Circular Orbit


Orbital Parameters

where e = the eccentricity of the orbit; ra = the distance from the center of the earth to the apogee point; rp = the distance from the center of the earth to the perigee point


Orbital Parameters
The inclination angle, Ui, is the angle between the orbital plane and the earths equatorial plane
Inclined Orbit Equatorial Orbit Polar Orbit Prograde Orbit Retrograde Orbit


Orbital Parameters


36,000 km


5,000 15,000 km 500 -1000 km



Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO or GSO)

GEO is by far the most popular orbit used for Communications satellites. A GEO satellite is located in a circular orbit in the equatorial plane, at a nominal distance of 36 000 km at a stable point, which maintains the satellite at a fixed location in the sky. This is a tremendous advantage for satellite communications, because the pointing direction remains fixed in space and the ground antenna does not need to track a moving satellite. A disadvantage of the GEO is the long delay time of 260 ms, which can affect network synchronization or impact voice communications.


Low-Earth Orbit (LEO)

LEO satellites orbit the earth in grids that stretch approximately 160 to 1,600 km above the earths surface. These satellites are small, are easy to launch, and lend themselves to mass production techniques. A network of LEO satellites typically has the capacity to carry vast amounts of facsimile, electronic mail, batch file, and broadcast data at great speed and communicate to end users through terrestrial links on ground-based stations. With advances in technology, it will not be long until utility companies are accessing residential meter readings through an LEO system or transport agencies and police are accessing vehicle plates, monitoring traffic flow, and measuring truck weights through an LEO system.


Medium -Earth Orbit (MEO)

An MEO is a circular orbit, orbiting approximately 8,000 to 18,000 km above the earths surface, again not necessarily above the equator. An MEO satellite is a compromise between the lower orbits and the geosynchronous orbits. MEO system design involves more delays and higher power levels than satellites in the lower orbits. However, it requires fewer satellites to achieve the same coverage.


High-Earth Orbit (HEO)

The HEO is the only non-circular orbit of the four types. It operates with an elliptical orbit, with a maximum altitude (apogee) similar to the GEO, and a minimum altitude (perigee) similar to the LEO. An HEO satellite is a specialized orbit in which a satellite continuously swings very close to the earth, loops out into space, and then repeats its swing by the earth. It is an elliptical orbit approximately 18,000 to 35,000 km above the earths surface, not necessarily above the equator. HEOs are designed to give better coverage to countries with higher northern or southern latitudes. Systems can be designed so that the apogee is arranged to provide continuous coverage in a particular area.


Satellite Orbits
Please note that:

Q ! g.Re2 g Y ! g. r
1 2

r3 2T T! g Re

1 2

Re is radius of the earth. The value varies with location. For example, Re at the equator = 6378.39 km (6378 km) Re at the pole = 6356.91 km (6357 km) g gravitational constant = 9.8087 m/sec


The minimum number of Orbital parameters to define and locate a stallite in space are six: Eccentricity, (e) Semi-Major Axis (a) Time of Perigee; Right Ascension of Ascending Node ( ; ) Inclination Angle (Ui) Argument of Perigee ([).


Right Ascension of Ascending Node ( ; ) the angle in the equatorial plane measured counter-clockwise from the direction of the vernal equinox direction to that of the ascending node; Inclination Angle (Ui) inclination angle of the orbital plane measured between the equatorial plane and the plane of the orbit; Argument of Perigee ([) the angle between the direction of ascending node and direction of the perigee


Location of Satellite in Space

1. Satellite Location in Orbital Plane 2. Satellite Location w.r.t the rotating earth 3. Satellite Location w.r.t. The Look Angles


Orbital Parameters
Apogee and Perigee, Speeds and Distances from center of the earch interms of eccentricity, e, and semi-major axis, a


ra  rp ra  rp

Vp ! Va !

Q ra a rp Q rp a ra

ra ! a (1  e) rp ! a (1  e)

Satellite Location
Apogee and Perigee, Speeds and Distances from center of the earch interms of eccentricity, e, and semi-major axis, a


Satellite Location w.r.t. the Look Angles


Satellite Location w.r.t. the Look Angles

The azimuth angle, is the angle measured North Eastward from the geographic North at the Earth station, G, to the sub-satellite point. The sub-satellite point, is defined as the point where the line joining the centre of the Earth, O, and the satellite meets the Earths surface. The elevation angle, U , is the angle measured upward from this tangential plane at the Earth station to the direction of the satellite.


Coverage Area and Satellite Networks

Complete coverage of the earths surface from three satellites.


Coverage Area and Satellite Networks

Maximum geometric coverage is defined as the portion of the earth within a cone of the satellite at its apex, which is tangential to the earths surface.

Re E ! sin h R e o 1 Re ! sin r


Coverage Area and Satellite Networks

Using empirical values Re = 6,378 km r = 42,164 km Then the apex angle 2E = 17.330 and is the planar angle beamwidth. It follows that an earth coverage satellite antenna must have a minimum beamwidth Ubw = 17.330. In practice, an antenna of 180 or 190 beamwidth is used Thus, for a single geostationary satellite to illuminate in excess of a third of the earths surface, the antenna minimum beamwidth must be at least 2 E.


Coverage Area and Satellite Networks

The beamwidth of the satellite antennas determines the area of the earth serviced or covered

Acov ! 2T R cos cos K 1

2 e

where K is the central angle The apex angle required at the satellite to produce a given coverage Acov must satisfy

Acov 2T  cos E ! 2 1 ho d cov However, for small angles 2E ! ho


where dcov is the coverage area diameter

Geometric Distances
Important Geomteric Distances to calculate: Slant Range:- the distance between the satellite and earth station, Rs Look Angles:- the azimuth and elevation angles The look angles are the coordinates to which an earth station antenna must be pointed to communicate with a satellite. The azimuth angle az is the angle at which the earth stations disk is pointing at the horizon The elevation angle U is the angle by which the antenna bore sight must be rotated to lock on to the satellite.


Geometric Distances
LE = latitude of the earth station in degrees (+ for NH, - for SH) LS = Latitude of the satellite in degrees (LS= 0 for Geo sats) M = location of subsatellite point lE =earth station longitude, in degrees lS =satellite longitude, in degrees

( = = IE IS = Differential Longitude Rv = geocentric radius at earth station G


Geometric Distances


Determination of Look Angles:

Find the Central angle K from:

K ! cos (sin LS sin LE  cos LS cos LE cos ( )

Find the Slant Range, Rs [in km] from:


Rs ! R  r 2  2rRe cos K
2 e

Rv sin K ! cos(K  U )
Find the geocentric Radius Rv [in km] from :

Rv ! Re 0.99832  0.001684 cos 2 LE  0.000004 cos 4 LE ...


Determination of Look Angles:

Then Find the Elevation angle U in degrees from:

cos ( cos L  ( R / r ) E e U ! tan 1  cos 2 ( cos 2 L E


Rv ! tan cot K  r sin K


The above equations developed for elevation angle U give the geometric value. The true elevation angle Ut, taking into account the average atmospheric refraction, can be approximated by:

U t ! 0.5 U  U  4.132


Determination of Look Angles:

And the Azimuth angle in degrees can be found from:

tan ( a z ! 180  tan sin L E  sin ( a z ! 180  1  cos 2 L cos 2 ( E


For the southern hemisphere (SH) the 180 term is to be deleted. The magnetic heading of the antenna should be

E H ! a z  (E
Where (e is the deviation between the true North pole and North magnetic pole

Determination of Look Angles:

Two special cases: If the earth station is located at the same longitude as the subsatellite point, the azimuth angle will be 1800 if the earth station is in the northern hemisphere and 00 if the earth station is in the southern hemisphere. If the earth station is located on the equator, the azimuth angle will be 900 if the earth station is west of the subsatellite point and 2700 if the earth station is east of the subsatellite point.


Geometric Distances
Examples Consider an earth station located in Washington, DC, and a GSO satellite located at 97 W. The input parameters, using the sign conventions described earlier are: Earth Station: Washington, DC Latitude: LE =390 N=+39 Longitude: lE =770W=77 Altitude: H = 0km Satellite: Latitude: LS =00 (inclination angle=0) Longitude: lS =970W=97 Find the range, Rs, the elevation angle, U, and the azimuth angle, az, to the satellite.

Satellite Payload
The space segment equipment carried aboard the satellite can be classified under two functional areas: the bus and the payload


The Bus
The bus refers to the basic satellite structure itself and the subsystems that support the satellite. The bus subsystems are:
the physical structure, power subsystem, altitude and orbital control subsystem (AOCS) thermal control subsystem, and Telemetry, Tracking, command and Monitoring subsystem (TTC&M).


The Bus
Physical Structure Home to all components onboard The basic shape of the structure depends of the method of stabilization Two methods are commonly employed: spin stabilization three-axis or body stabilization Stabilization is employed to keep the satellite stable and pointing in the desired direction, usually to keep the antennas properly oriented toward earth


The Bus
Physical Structure Spin Stablization usually cylindrical in shape satellite is required to be mechanically balanced about an axis for GSO satellites, the spin axis is maintained parallel to the spin axis of the earth


The Bus
Physical Structure Three-axis Stablization satellite is maintained in space with stabilizing elements for each of the three axes, referred to as roll, pitch, and yaw The entire body of the spacecraft remains fixed in space, relative to the earth, which is why the three-axis stabilized satellite is also referred to as a body-stabilized satellite.


The Bus
Power Supply Subsystem Solar Panels of highest efficiency (20 25%) at BOL and 5...10% at EOL, which is normally 15 years Back-up Battries (Ni-Cd, NiH2) Accounts for 10...20% of the total payload (weight of the satellite) Power conditioning unit is also included in the power subsystem, for the control of battery charging and for power regulation and monitoring.


The Bus
Altitude Control Subsystem The attitude of a satellite refers to its orientation in space with respect to earth. Attitude control is necessary so that the antennas are pointed correctly towards earth Four detectors are used to establish a reference point, usually the center of the earth, any shift in orientation is detected by one or more of the sensors. A control signal is generated that activates attitude control devices to restore proper orientation. Gas jets, ion thrusters, or momentum wheels are used to provide active attitude control on communications satellites


The Bus
Orbital Control Subsystem Satellites undergo forces that would cause the satellite to drift in the east-west (longitude) and north-south (latitude) directions, as well as in altitude Have to be compensated for with active orbital control jets. Orbital control is usually maintained with the same thruster system as is attitude control


The Bus
Thermal Control Subsystem Satellites experience large temperature variations Thermal radiation from the sun heats one side of the spacecraft, while the side facing outer space is exposed to the extremely low temperatures of space. Much of the equipment in the satellite itself generates heat, which must be controlled. Low orbiting satellites can also be affected by thermal radiation reflected from the earth itself. Several techniques are employed to provide thermal control in a satellite: Thermal blankets and thermal shields Radiation mirrors Heat pumps Thermal heaters

The Bus
Tracking, Telemetry, Command and Monitoring Subsystem TTC&M subsystem provides essential spacecraft management and control functions to keep the satellite operating safely in orbit. The TTC&M links between the spacecraft and the ground are usually separate from the communications system links Tracking refers to the determination of the current orbit, position, and movement of the Spacecraft The telemetry refers to collection of data from sensors on-board the spacecraft and the relay of this information to the ground. Examples: voltage and current conditions in the power subsystem, temperature of critical subsystems, status of switches and relays in the communications and antenna subsystems, fuel tank pressures, and attitude control sensor status. Command is the complementary function to telemetry. The command system relays specific control and operations information from the ground to the spacecraft, often in response to telemetry information received from the spacecraft

The Payload
The Payload subsystems are:
The Transponder subsystem. and The antenna subsystems


The Payload
The Transponder subsystem Transponder refers to the series of components that provides the communications channel, or link, between the uplink signal received at the uplink antenna, and the downlink signal transmitted by the downlink antenna. Typical communications satellite will contain several transponders, and some of the equipment may be common to more than one transponder. Each transponder generally operates in a different frequency band, with the allocated frequency spectrum band divided into slots, with a specified center frequency and operating bandwidth. The C-band FSS service allocation, for example, is 500MHz wide. A typical design would accommodate 12 transponders, each with a bandwidth of 36 MHz, with guard bands of 4MHz between each. A typical commercial communications satellite today can have 24 to 48 transponders, operating in the C-band, Ku-band, or Ka-bands.

The Payload
The Transponder subsystem Two-Types of Transponders Frequency Translation Transponder

On-board Processing Transponder


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem The antenna systems on the spacecraft are used for transmitting and receiving the RF signals The antenna system is a critical part ... because it is the essential element in increasing the strength of the transmitted or received signal to allow amplification, processing, and retransmission. The most important antenna parameters are: gain, beamwidth, Sidelobes Four common types of antennas used in satellite systems: linear dipole, horn antenna, parabolic reflector array antenna.


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Dipole antennas: primarily at VHF and UHF for TTC&M important during launch operations, where the spacecraft attitude has not yet been established, and for satellites that operate without attitude control or body stabilization (particularly for LEO systems). Horn antennas used at frequencies from about 4 GHz and up, when relatively wide beams are required, such as global coverage from a GSO satellite provides gains of up to about 20 dBi, with beamwidths of 100 or higher If higher gains or narrower bandwidths are required, a reflector or array antenna must be used.

The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Parabolic Reflector antennas: The most often used antenna for satellite systems, particularly for those operating above 10 GHz Parabolic reflector antennas are usually illuminated by one or more horn antenna feeds at the focus of the paroboloid. Parabolic reflectors offer a much higher gain than that achievable by the horn antenna alone. Gains of 25 dB or higher, beamwidths of 10 or less, are achievable


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Array antennas: Steerable, focused beam can be formed by combining the radiation from several small elements made up of dipoles, helices, or horns. Beam forming can be achieved by electronically phase shifting the signal at each element. By proper selection of the phase characteristics between the elements, direction and beamwidth can be controlled, without physical movement of the antenna system. The array antenna gain increases with the square of the number of elements. Gains and beamwidths comparable to those available from parabolic reflector antennas can be achieved with array antennas.


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem

The gain of the ideal antenna with a physical aperture area A is defined as

4TA G ! 10 logL 2 dBi P


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Horn Antennas: Pyramidal Gain

4T G ! 10 logL 2 AB dBi P

3-db Beamwidth in the E- Plane

P U E ! 54 deg B
3-db Beamwidth in the H- Plane

P U H ! 78 deg A
where L is the pyramidal horns efficiency, typically 50%

The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Horn Antennas: Conical Gain

TD 2 G ! 10 log dBi P P } 58 deg D

3-db Beamwidth

U bw

Example: The earth subtends an angle of 17.30 when viewed from geostationary orbit. Estimate the dimensions and gain of pyramidal horn and conical horn antennas, which will provide global coverage at 4.5GHz.

The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Parabolic Reflector antenna Gain

TD 2 G ! 10 log dBi P 41250 G ! 10 logL U U dBi e a

3-db Beamwidth for pencil beam

Where U a , Ue are the 3-db azimuth and elevation beamwidths, respectively and
L is the Parabolic Reflectors efficiency, 60 typically 55%....75%

P U a } 65 deg D L

The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem
Example: A paraboloidal antenna working at 1.8GHz and having a diameter of 9.5m is required to achieve a gain of 41.5 dB. Find the necessary efficiency. How much gain variation is associated with 4.5% efficiency variation?


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Reflector/Lense antenna Configurations

Front-fed parabolic antenna


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Reflector/Lense antenna Configurations

Center-fed cassegrain antenna


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Reflector/Lense antenna Configurations

Center-fed Gregorian antenna


The Payload
The Antenna Subsystem Helical antenna


2 N(s G ! 10 log 15cu 3 dBi P

3-db Beamwidth


52 ! cu

P3 deg N(s

Where: cu = TD N (s L P

helix circumference number of turns spacing b/n turns length of helix wavelength

Satellite Power Systems

At 1AU (average distance b/n the sun and the earth) the sun delivers an energy flux of 1370 W per sq.m


Satellite Power Systems

The power source can be defined as:

Ps ! AaL m a f el k s
Where: Ps = effective solar system power (w). ks = solar constant = 1370 W/m2. Aa = solar array area required for the cells = LxB (sq.m). af = loss factor for uncovered (unused) array area, good estimate is 20% el = electrical losses, due to losses in panel wiring, and transmission losses in the cell cover glasses. Good estimate is 20%. Lm = solar cells conversion efficiency; depends on the material used. For example:
Lm = 26% for gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductor Lm = 23% for monocrystalline silicon Lm = 10% for polycrystalline silicon.

Other Onboard Communication Subsystems

Low-Noise Amplifiers (LNA) Delivers a good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) helps to reject noise introduced in the signal during its passage through in the free space High-Power Amplifiers (HPA) travelling wave tube amplifiers (TWTA) Provides RF power the downlink needs in order to maintain the required C/N ratio, Frequency Translator avoids in-band interference from the highpower satellite output to the satellite input. shifts the uplink frequencies to a different set of downlink frequencies so that some separation exists between them