Introduction to Satellite Communications
Joe Montana IT 488 - Fall 2003
The class notes used in this course are based on two different sets of class notes provided by Dr. Jeremy Allnutt and Dr. James W. LaPean when teaching ³Satellite Communications´ courses. Material from Leila Ribeiro is also used. All material is used with the permission of the author.
History Overview and Basic concepts of Satellite Communications Spectrum Allocation Satellite Systems Applications System Elements System Design Considerations 3 Current Developments and Future Trends
1945 Arthur Clarke publishes his ideas on geostationary satellites for worldwide communications (GEO concept).Important Milestones (before 1950)
Putting the concepts together
1600 Tycho Brache s experimental observations on planetary motion. 1927 First transatlantic radio link communication 1942 First successful launch of a V-2 rocket in Germany.
. Goddard in the US.H. 1609-1619 Kepler s laws on planetary motion 1926 First liquid propellant rocket lauched by R.
which causes the hydrogen fuel to expand as it leaves the nozzle.
. and therefore have a lower rate of reliability. they require an oxidizer in order for combustion to take place. the fuel and oxidizer both in solid form and thoroughly mixed during manufacture. you can't shut it off. a nuclear engine was selected for the Odysseus program. One end of the chamber is closed (the payload of the rocket would be attached to this end) and the other end of the chamber is a rocket nozzle. Nuclear rockets do not need an oxidizer. and they require much less fuel per pound of payload than liquid or solid fuel rockets. Liquid fueled rockets are superior to solid fuel rockets in many respects. producing a high amount of thrust. which have their fuel and oxidizer combined into a single liquid. bipropellant rockets. which have separate fuel and oxidizer. However. they generally have a higher exhaust velocity. Odysseus Recent studies have shown nuclear propulsion for Mars missions offers several major advantages over all-chemical propulsion systems. and they can be throttled to produce more or less thrust.112. in many cases. liquid fuel rockets are highly complex. Nuclear Rockets Nuclear rockets work by routing hydrogen through a nuclear reactor. This allows a vehicle using a nuclear rocket to be more versatile than one which uses chemical rockets. Liquid Fueled Rockets In liquid fueled rockets the fuel and oxidizer are stored in liquid form and pumped into the combustion chamber. as needed. The section where the fuel is stored is also the combustion chamber. the reactionary force is produced by the combustion of fuel in a combustion chamber. Also. the thrust of a solid fuel rocket decreases greatly during its burn time. There are three different types of rocket engines: y 1. Liquid propelled rockets y 3. which results in a smaller sized rocket. There are two types of liquid propellent rockets.500 Newtons of thrust at a weight of 9100 kg. Therefore. which means lower burn times are required. Advantages of solid fuel rockets include simplicity and reliability. Among the disadvantages are these: once you turn on a solid rocket motor. The engine will be approximately 3m in diameter and 6 meters long. causing the reaction which propels the vehicle. Solid propelled rockets y 2. Nuclear rockets The advantages and disadvantages of each type are shown below. This oxidizer is. In the case of rocket engines. and the high weight of the engine assembly. since there are no moving parts and high propellant density. This force then acts upon the rocket nozzle. and mono-propellant rockets. The Oddyseus II engine will produce 1. Since rocket motors are designed to operate in space. Disadvantages of nuclear rockets include radiation effects caused by the nuclear reactor. Solid Fueled Rockets In solid fueled rockets. they can be shut off and subsequently restarted. The reactor is at a high temperature.Propulsion
Rocket motors produce thrust in a process which can be explained by Newton's third law (for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction). liquid oxygen. You have to wait for the fuel to run out.
. 1958 First US satellite launched (SCORE). lasted 35 days in orbit after batteries failed).Important Milestones (1950¶s)
Putting the pieces together
1956 . LEO). 1957 First man-made satellite launched by former USSR (Sputnik. First voice communication established via satellite (LEO.Trans-Atlantic cable opened (about 12 telephone channels operator).
Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) created.Important Milestones (1960¶s)
First satellite communications
1960 First passive communication satellite launched into space (Large balloons. 1962: First non-government active communication satellite launched Telstar I (MEO). 1963: First satellite launched into geostationary orbit Syncom 1 (comms. Echo I and II).
. 1965 First communications satellite launched into geostationary orbit for commercial use Early Bird (re-named INTELSAT 1). failed). 1964: International Telecomm.
1977 A plan for direct-to-home satellite broadcasting assigned by the ITU in regions 1 and 3 (most of the world except the Americas).Important Milestones (1970¶s)
GEO applications development
1972 First domestic satellite system operational (Canada). USA-India). 1979 International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) established. 1975 First successful direct broadcast experiment (one year duration.
. INTERSPUTNIK founded.
1989-90 Global mobile communication service extended to land mobile and aeronautical use (Inmarsat)
. 1983 ITU direct broadcast plan extended to region 2. 1987 Successful trials of land-mobile communications (Inmarsat). 1984 First direct-to-home broadcast system operational (Japan).Important Milestones (1980¶s)
GEO applications expanded
1981 First reusable launch vehicle flight. 1982 International maritime communications made operational.
Voice service telephone-sized desktop and paging service pocket size mobile terminals launched (Inmarsat). 2000: ICO initiates Service. 1999: Globalstar Initiates Service. .Launch of first batch of LEO for hand-held terminals (Iridium). . DirectTV created. Iridium fails and system is sold to Boeing.Continuing growth of VSATs around the world. 1998: Iridium initiates services.Several organizations propose the use of non-geostationary (NGSO) satellite systems for mobile communications.Spectrum allocation for non-GEO systems.Continuing growth of direct broadcast systems. . 1997: .Important Milestones (1990¶s)
Overview and Basic concepts of Satellite Communications
Main orbit types:
5,000 ± 15,000 km 500 -1000 km
USEFUL ORBITS 1: GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT
In the equatorial plane Orbital Period = 23 h 56 min. 4.091 s = one Sidereal Day (defined as one complete rotation relative to the fixed stars) Satellite appears to be stationary over a point on the equator to an observer Radius of orbit, r, = 42,164.57 km
NOTE: Radius = orbital height + radius of the earth Average radius of earth = 6,378.14 km
TirosN/NOAA satellites used for search and rescue operations) 8-hour and 12-hour orbits Molniya orbit (Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO). inclination 63.USEFUL ORBITS 2:
Low Earth Orbit (>250 km). useful for surveillance Sun Synchronous Orbit(example. earth rotates about 23o each orbit.4 degrees
. highly eccentric orbit. T } 92 minutes Polar (Low Earth) Orbit. T } 11h 38 min.
MOLNIYA VIEW OF THE EARTH (Apogee remains over the northern hemisphere)
622 km and a perigee of 17. with an apogee of 53.Molniya Variants (HEO¶s)
Tundra Orbit Lies entirely above the Van Allen belts.951 km. which employs two satellites in two 24-hour orbits separated by 180 deg around the Earth. The Russian Tundra system.
. resulting in a reduction of satellite life due to impact on electronics the Russian Molniya system employs three satellites in three 12-hour orbits separated by 120 deg around the Earth.354 km and a perigee of 1000 km. with an apogee of 39. The Molniya orbit crosses the Van Allen belts twice for each revolution.
117 km and a perigee of 1238 km.Molniya Variants (HEO¶s)
The LOOPUS orbit. The ELLIPSO orbit
.The LOOPUS system employs three satellites in three eight-hour orbits separated by 120 deg around the Earth. with an apogee of 39.
Owing to the high eccentricity of the orbit. This inclination value is selected to avoid rotation of the apses. During the brief time the satellite is below the local horizon.A Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) A satellite in HEO typically has a perigee at about 500 km above the surface of the Earth and an apogee as high as 50.000 km. However. satellite systems using this type of orbit must cope with large Doppler shifts. Free space loss and propagation delay for this type of orbit are comparable to that of geosynchronous satellites.
. Orbit period varies from eight to 24 hours. a satellite spends about two-thirds of the orbital period near apogee. a hand-off to another satellite in the same orbit is required in order to avoid loss of communications. a line from the Earth's center to the apogee always intersects the Earth's surface at a latitude of 63.4 deg North.4 deg to provide communications services to locations at high northern latitudes. The orbit is usually inclined at 63. thus. during which time it appears to be almost stationary to an observer on the Earth (a phenomenon known as `apogee dwell'). due to the comparatively great movement of a satellite in HEO relative to an observer on the Earth.
. built by SSTL in 1993 and launched into an 822 by 800 km orbit. in a number of different orbital planes. also at 10.355 km). When a satellite serving a particular user moves below the local horizon. This one happens to be an Intermediate Circular Orbit (ICO). it must hand over its duties to a succeeding one in the same orbit or in an adjacent one. The maximum time during which a satellite in LEO is above the local horizon for an observer on the Earth is 20 minutes. more often. and Odyssey (12 satellites in 3 inclined planes. MEO systems operate similarly to LEO systems. Examples of MEO (specifically ICO) systems are Inmarsat-P (10 satellites in 2 inclined planes at 10. Examples of major LEO systems are GlobalstarTM (48+8 satellites in 8 orbital planes at 1400 km) and Iridium® (66+6 satellites in 6 orbital planes at 780 km). with a height of less than 2000 km above the surface of the Earth. The radius of the footprint of a communications satellite in LEO ranges between 3000 and 4000 km. however. The maximum time during which a satellite in MEO orbit is above the local horizon for an observer on the Earth is a few hours. satellite systems using this type of orbit must cope with large Doppler shifts.A Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO)
By setting the altitude parameters at 10. since the apogee and perigee are equal.000 km. The orbit period at those altitudes ranges between 90 minutes and two hours. inclined at 98. hand-over is less frequent. such as PoSat. A global communications system using this type of orbit requires relatively few satellites in two to three orbital planes to achieve global coverage.
A Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) By selecting a relatively short period (90 minutes). Its orbit period measures about seven hours. A global communications system using this type of orbit requires a large number of satellites. Satellites in LEO are also affected by atmospheric drag that causes the orbit to gradually deteriorate. Due to the comparatively great movement of a satellite in LEO relative to an observer on the Earth. we have generated a satellite in low-Earth orbit (LEO). There are also a number of small LEO systems.6 deg.355 km). you generated a medium-Earth orbit (MEO). In MEO systems. A typical LEO is elliptical or. and propagation delay and free space loss are greater. circular.
This gap in coverage may be acceptable for a store-and-forward communications system. be improved through the deployment of two or more satellites in different polar orbits. This can be achieved by careful selection of orbital altitude. an equatorial. which uses eight satellites in near polar orbits: four SARSAT satellites moving in 860 km orbits inclined at 99 deg (which makes them Sunsynchronous) and four COSPAS satellites moving in 1000 km orbits inclined at 82 deg. causing the satellite to trace out a small figure eight in the sky.Geosynchronous & Geostationary Orbits
A geosynchronous orbit is defined as an orbit with a period of one sidereal day (1436. An example is the COSPAS-SARSAT Maritime Search and Rescue system. so that near-global coverage can be achieved with as few as three satellites in orbit. producing a precession of the orbit (node rotation) of approximately 1 deg eastward each day. In practice. since it provides constant lighting conditions. A disadvantage of a geosynchronous satellite in a voice communication system is the round-trip delay of approximately 250 milliseconds.
A Polar Orbit
The plane of a polar orbit is inclined at about 90 deg to the equatorial plane. and the Earth rotates underneath. Most small LEO systems employ polar or near-polar orbits. The orbit is fixed in space. Thus.
A Sun-Synchronous Orbit
In a Sun-synchronous or helio-synchronous orbit. of course. Accessibility can. A geostationary orbit is a special case of a geosynchronous orbit with zero inclination and zero eccentricity. A satellite in Sun-synchronous orbit crosses the equator and each latitude at the same time each day.1 minutes).e. equal to the apparent motion of the Sun. resulting in consistent light conditions for the satellite. in principle. This condition can be achieved only for a satellite in a retrograde orbit. a geosynchronous orbit typically has small non-zero values for inclination and eccentricity. although there are long periods during which the satellite is out of view of a particular ground station. A satellite in a geostationary orbit appears fixed above a location on the surface of the Earth. i. the angle between the orbital plane and Sun remains constant. the coverage of a single satellite in a polar orbit encompasses the entire globe. This type of orbit is therefore advantageous for an Earth observation satellite. circular orbit. The footprint or service area of a geosynchronous satellite covers almost one-third of the Earth's surface (from about 75 deg South to about 75 deg North latitude). intersecting the North and South poles.. eccentricity and inclination.
Parameters Determining Orbit Size and Shape
Half the distance between the two points in the orbit that are farthest apart
Measured from the center of the Earth to the points of maximum and minimum radius in the orbit
Measured from the "surface" of the Earth (a theoretical sphere with a radius equal to the equatorial radius of the Earth) to the points of maximum and minimum radius in the orbit
The duration of one orbit. based on assumed two-body motion
The number of orbits per solar day (86. based on assumed two-body motion
The shape of the ellipse comprising the orbit.400 sec/24 hour). ranging between a perfect circle (eccentricity = 0) and a parabola (eccentricity = 1)
Orientation of Orbital Plane in Space
The angle between the orbital plane and the Earth's equatorial plane (commonly used as a reference plane for Earth satellites)
Right Ascension of the Ascending Node
The angle in the Earth's equatorial plane measured eastward from the vernal equinox to the ascending node of the orbit
Argument of Perigee
. measured in the direction of the satellite's motion
Longitude of the Ascending Node
The Earth-fixed longitude of the ascending node
The ascending node (referenced in three of the above definitions) is the point in the satellite's orbit where it crosses the Earth's equatorial plane going from south to north. in the plane of the satellite's orbit. between the ascending node and the perigee of the orbit.
Parameters determining orbit orientation
An angle measured with an origin at the center of an ellipse from the direction of perigee to a point on a circumscribing circle from which a line perpendicular to the semimajor axis intersects the position of the satellite on the ellipse.
Time Past Ascending Node
The elapsed time since the last ascending node crossing.
The angle from the eccentricity vector to a position vector where the satellite would be if it were always moving at its angular rate.
Argument of Latitude
The sum of the True Anomaly and the Argument of Perigee.
Time Past Perigee
The elapsed time since last perigee passage.
The angle from the eccentricity vector (points toward perigee) to the satellite position vector.Satellite Location parameters To specify the satellite's location within its orbit at epoch. measured in the direction of satellite motion and in the orbit plane.
Parameters determining satellite position
.469 780 Orbital Velocity (km/s) 3.8 1 40 27.4 1 55 17.43 10.1272 7.091 5 55 48.0747 4.255 1.Orbital Velocities and Periods
Satellite System INTELSAT ICO-Global Skybridge Iridium Orbital Height (km) 35.4624 Orbital Period h min s 23 56 4.
GSO AND NGSO FACTORS
NGSO OPTIONS: LEO MEO HEO
AVOID RADIATION BELTS IF POSSIBLE
Coverage vs. Altitude
Satellite Altitude (km)
0 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 Altitude [km] 25000 30000 35000 40000
. MEO and GEO Orbit Periods
150.0 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 Altitude [km] 25000 30000 35000 40000
.Minimum Delay for two hops
Why do satellites stay moving and in orbit?
v (velocity) F2 F1
(Gravitational Force) (Inertial-Centrifugal Force)
Frequency Spectrum concepts:
Frequency: Rate at which an electromagnetic wave reverts its polarity (oscillates) in cycles per second or Hertz (Hz). Bandwidth: Size or ³width´ (in Hertz) or a frequency band. Given in meters as: P= c/f Where: c = speed of light (3x108 m/s in vacuum) f = frequency in Hertz Frequency band: range of frequencies.
. Wavelength: distance between wavefronts in space. Electromagnetic Spectrum: full extent of all frequencies from zero to infinity.
Signal Bandwidth . noise.Propagation effects (diffraction. Interesting properties: Efficient generation of signal power Radiates into free space Efficient reception at a different point. Differences depending on the RF frequency used: . fading) .Antenna Sizes
.Radio Frequencies (RF)
RF Frequencies: Part of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging between 300 MHz and 300 GHz.
buildings. Main properties:
.Blockage by dense media (hills.Wide bandwidths compared to lower frequency bands.Reduced efficiency of power amplification as frequency grows: Radio Frequency Power OUT Direct Current Power IN
. . . rain) . .Line of sight propagation (space and atmosphere).Compact antennas. directionality possible.Microwave Frequencies
Sub-range of the RF frequencies approximately from 1GHz to 30GHz.
There are also the Regional Radio Communication Conferences (RCC). Meets bi-annually with its members. to review rules and allocations: World Radio Communication Conference (WRC). Allocates frequency bands for different purposes and distribute them around the planet. Creates rules to limit RF Interference (RFI) between countries that reuse same RF bands.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU): Members from practically all countries around the world. which happen less often. Mediates disputes and creates rules to deal with harmful interference when it occurs.
Radio Frequency Spectrum
Commonly Used Bands
SHF C X Ku Ka V Q
Terrestrial Bands Space Bands Shared (Terrestrial and Space)
[Source: ITU © 1988]
.2GHz (H20) 53.2 GHz (Oxygen)
Atmospheric attenuation effects for Space-to-Earth as a function of frequency (clear air conditions). (b) Water vapor.Space-Earth Frequency Usability
Resonance frequencies below 100GHz: 22.5-65. (a) Oxygen.
where A is effective area of antenna in square meters For an omni-directional antenna A = G P2/ 4 T = P2/ 4 T At 450 MHz.typically G = 0 db = 1 Flux density F in W/m2 at the earth s surface in any beam is independent of frequency Received power is F x A watts . A = 353 cm2.Insights on Frequency Selection:
(Part 1: Lower frequencies. stronger links)
LEO satellites need lower RF frequencies: Omni-directional antennas on handsets have low gain . A = 0. at 20 GHz.so don t use 20 GHz with an 47
.18 cm2 Difference is 33 dB .
GEO satellites need more RF frequencies High speed data links on GEO satellites need about 0.Insights on Frequency Selection:
(Part 2: Higher frequencies.8 Hz of RF bandwidth per bit/sec. A 155 Mbps data link requires 125 MHz bandwidth Available RF bandwidth: C band occupied) slots occupied) (proliferating) Q/V band ?
500 MHz Ku band Ka band
(All GEO slots (Most GEO 2000 MHz
Satellite Systems Applications
000 circuits 8 .800 kg Large GEO 3000 kg 240 telephone 1500 circuits 33.200 kg payload
.Initial application of GEO Satellites: Telephony
1965 circuits 1968 1986 2000 Early Bird 34 kg Intelsat III 152 kg Intelsat VI 1.15 kW power 1.
Current GEO Satellite Applications:
Broadcasting . INMARSAT. Video distribution for Cable TV
Motient (former American Mobile Satellite).mainly TV at present
Point to Multi-point communications
12 hour orbital period You never need be lost again Every automobile and cellular phone will eventually have a GPS location read-out
.Satellite Navigation: GPS and GLONASS
GPS is a medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite system
GPS satellites broadcast pulse trains with very accurate time signals A receiver able to see four GPS satellites can calculate its position within 30 m anywhere in world 24 satellites in clusters of four.
Handoff needed.15 minutes Earth stations must track satellite or have omnidirectional antennas Constellation of satellites is needed for continuous communication.LEO Satellites in year 2000
Several new systems are just starting service Circular or inclined orbit with < 1400 km altitude Satellite travels across sky from horizon to horizon in 5 .
Satellite System Elements
Satellite Coverage Region
SCC TT&C Ground Station
Operations Control Center SCF .
OCC .Tracking Telemetry and Command Station:
Establishes a control and monitoring link with satellite.a. a. Distortions caused by irregular gravitational forces from non-spherical Earth and due to the influence of Sun and Moon forces.Satellite Control Center.Space Segment
Satellite Launching Phase Transfer Orbit Phase Deployment Operation
TT&C . Tracks orbit distortions and allows correction planning.Satellite Control Facility
Provides link signal monitoring for Link Maintenance and Interference monitoring.k.
most purchased commercial communications satellite.Types of Satellite Stabilization
Satellite is spun about the axis on which the moment of inertia is maximum (ex.. Yuri)
Bias momentum type (ex. first satellite placed in orbit by the Space Shuttle. HS 376. INTELSAT V) Zero momentum type (ex..
Common Subsystem (Bus Subsystem)
Telemetry/Command (TT&C) Satellite Control (antenna pointing.attitude) Propulsion Electrical Power Structure Thermal Control
. ground or sea.Ground Segment Collection of facilities.
FSS ± Fixed Satellite Service
MSS ± Mobile Satellite Service
Earth Station = Satellite Communication Station (air. fixed or mobile). users and applications.
System Design Considerations
Uplink Earth Station
Downlink Earth Station
Voltage or Current proportional to signal.Signals
Carried by wires as voltage or current Transmitted through space as electromagnetic waves.
Digital: Generated by computers. Telephone.g. e. Ex. Binary = 1 or 0 corresponding to +1V or 1V.
f f t Upli li
c i isi pl i .
l riz ti
RH li r pol riz tion H circ l r pol riz tions
Up. . t
each trans itter is i en its own ti e slot
t User_ . Code User
: ode i ision ultiple ccess. Code User .. t User_ .. t User_ . f User . each trans itter trans its si ultaneously and at the same frequency and each transmission is modulated y its own pseudo randomly coded it stream
Code User . t User_ .Separating Signals
(so that many transmitters can use the same transponder simultaneously)
Bet een Users or
: requency i ision ultiple ccess. ssi ns each trans itter its own carrier frequency
f User . f User . .
: i e i ision ultiple ccess.
Digital Communication System
TRANSMITTER Source Data Source Coding Channel Coding Modulator
RF Channel Output Data Source Decoding Channel Decoder Demodulator
Current Developments and Future Trends
Q. heavier. V bands (20/30. 40/50 GHz) Massive growth in data services fueled by Internet Mobile services: May be broadcast services rather than point to point Make mobile services a successful business?
. GEO satellites with multiple roles More direct broadcast TV and Radio satellites Expansion into Ka.Current Trends in Satellite Communications
The Future for Satellite Communications ± 1
Growth requires new frequency bands
Propagation through rain and clouds becomes a problem as RF frequency is increased C-band (6/4 GHz) Ku-band (10-12 GHz) Rain has little impact 99.99% availability is possible Link margin of u 3 dB needed for 99.6% availability
Ka-band (20 .30 GHz) Link margin of u 6 dB needed for 99.
The Future for Satellite Communications . self-steering phased array antenna with 6 dB gain can quadruple the capacity of a system Directional antennas allow frequency re-use
Low cost phased array antennas for mobiles are
needed Mobile systems are limited by use of omni-directional antennas A self-phasing.
2 page 441. TIROS II. MEO. how would this affect the size of the receive antenna you would need on your rooftop? 9) What is a transponder? Why does a satellite have multiple transponders and not just one? 10) Extra credit ± Go to the Air & Space Museum and view Explorer I. If the frequency band were C rather than Ku. GEO)? 4) Why are two heads used on the Dish Network antenna (text page 445)? 5) On what date was Echostar I launched? Echostar V? 6) Are these satellites spin or three axis stabilized? See page 443 7) Go to the Website and download the azimuth and elevation application( products ± installation) and follow the directions to aim the dish antenna to receive a signal for the zip code where you live.
. 443. Reference the text pages 7. State the azimuth. elevation and skew angles and longitude for each satellite. 8) See page 443. and section 11. TIROS-N and ITOS. the V2 rocket. Sputnik I. 445 and Dish Network¶s Web site. 1) How many satellites does Dish Network have in the sky? Name them? 2) How many transponders are on each of these satellites? What frequency band is used? 3) What orbit are these satellites in (LEO. Briefly describe the purpose of each.Homework #1
Answer the questions below for Dish Network¶s direct-to-home digital television broadcasting.