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Software Requirements



Satellite Communication
Version 1.0 approved

Prepared by-

Mohak Londhe

Rohit Menon

Sachin Munjal

Pillai’s Institute of Information Technology

February 13, 2011

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose:

A satellite communications is basically used for the

purpose of telecommunications. There are many advantages
of satellite communication available for different purposes,
which can be seen as below:

• Servicing for the people staying in remote areas

• Helpful for the department of defense
• Helpful during the time of natural disasters
• The satellite communication provides with the status of
the weather as well.
Satellite communication services include the services like
voice calling, video calling, radio, television channels,
internet, fax, etc.

1.2 Document Conventions:

• Main headings: Bold

• Sub headings: Bold


The different types of readers are :

• Customers
• Developers
• Management

1.4 Product Scope:

• Improved reliability and efficiency
• Enhanced flexibility
• Improved capacity of channels

Overall Description
2.1 Product Perspective:
They are also used for mobile applications such as communications to ships,
vehicles, planes and hand-held terminals, and for TV and radio broadcasting,
for which application of other technologies, such as cable, is impractical or

2.2 Purpose:
Its purpose was simply to transmit a Morse code signal repeatedly. In
contrast, modern satellites can receive and transmit hundreds of signals at
the same time, from simple digital data to complex television programs.
They are used for many purposes such as television broadcasting, amateur
radio communications, Internet communications, weather forecasting and
Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

2.3 Working:

A satellite communication system can be broadly divided into two segments,

a ground segment and a space-segment. The space system includes Satellite.
Satellite system consists of the following systems.

Power supply:

The primary electrical power for operating electronic equipment is

obtained from solar cells. Individual cells can generate small amounts of
power, and therefore array of cells in series-parallel connection are required.

Cylindrical solar arrays are used with spinning satellites, (The gyroscopic
effect of the spin is used for mechanical orientation stability) Thus the array
are only partially in sunshine at any given time.

Another type of solar panel is the rectangular array or solar sail. Solar sail
must be folded during the launch phase and extended when in geo-stationary
orbit. Since the full component of solar cells are exposed to sun light ,and
since the Sail rotate to track, the sun , they capable of greater power output
than cylindrical arrays having a comparable number of cells. To maintain
service during an eclipse, storage batteries must be provided.

Station keeping:

A satellite that is normally in geo-stationary will also drift in latitude, the

main perturbing forces being the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon.
The force causes the inclination to change at the rate of about 0.85 deg.
/year. If left uncorrected, the drift would result in a cycle change in
the inclination going 0 to 14.67deg in 26.6 years and back to zero, when the
cycle is repeated. To prevent the shift in inclination from exceeding
specified limits, jets may be pulled at the appropriate time to return the
inclination to zero. Counteracting jets must be pulsed when the inclination is
at zero to halt that change in inclination.

Radio Frequency:

Satellite communication uses electromagnetic waves to carry information

from ground to space and back. Electromagnetic waves consist of an electric
field and a magnetic field that are perpendicular to each other and to the
direction of propagation as shown below.

The frequency of the electromagnetic waves is defined as the number of

times it cycles in one second and is measured in Hertz(Hz).
1 kHz = 1000 Hz
1 MHz = 1,000,000 Hz
1 GHz = 1,000,000,000 Hz

The distance between two given points on a given wave determines the
wavelength of an electromagnetic wave. It is proportional to its frequency
and is given in meters. Each electromagnetic wave exhibits a unique
frequency and wavelength.

Satellite Communication Spectrum:

The satellite transmission bands that are of interest to us are the C-, Ku- and

C-band is the oldest allocation and operates in the frequency range around 6
GHz for transmission (uplink) and between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz for reception
Ku-band is the most common transmission format in Europe for satellite
TV and uses around 14 GHz for uplink and between 10.9 and 12.75 GHz for
Ka-band uses around 30 GHz up- and between 18 and 20 GHz downlink
C-band and Ku-band are becoming congested by an increasing amount of
users, so satellite service operators are more and more turning to the use of

The selection of the band is not something that individual service providers
decide, but is rather chosen by large satellite operators based on different

• Availability: C-band is still the most widely available worldwide. Ku-

band is becoming more available recently in regions which were less
covered in the past (South America, Asia, Africa)
• C-band is more prone to interference from other transmission services
that share the same frequencies (adjacent satellites or terrestrial
transmissions) than the higher bands
• While the C-band technology is cheaper in itself, it requires larger
dishes (1 to 3 m) than Ku- and Ka-band (0.6 to 1.8 m) and therefore
imposes relatively higher (installation) costs on the end-user
• Ku- and especially Ka-band make better use of satellite capacity
• Higher frequency bands (Ku- and especially Ka-) suffer significantly
more from signal deterioration caused by rainfall: to ensure
availability in bad weather conditions, the signal has to be much
stronger. Note that 0.1% of unavailability means in fact that the
service will be interrupted for almost 9 hours over a 1-year period. 1%
unavailability represents 90 hours or almost 4 full days.

Satellite Communication Link:

Range of spectrum:

EM waves are typically described by any of the following three physical properties:
the frequency f, wavelength λ, or photonenergy E. Frequencies range from 2.4×1023
Hz (1 GeV gamma rays) down to the local plasma frequency of the ionized interstellar medium
(~1 kHz). Wavelength is inversely proportional to the wave frequency, so gamma rays have very
short wavelengths that are fractions of the size of atoms, whereas wavelengths can be as long as
the universe. Photon energy is directly proportional to the wave frequency, so gamma rays have
the highest energy (around a billion electron volts) and radio waves have very low energy
(around femto electron volts). These relations are illustrated by the following equations:

 c = 299,792,458 m/s is the speed of light in vacuum and

 h = 6.62606896(33)×10−34
J s = 4.13566733(10)×10−15
eV s is Planck's constant.[5]

Whenever electromagnetic waves exist in a medium with matter, their wavelength is

decreased. Wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, no matter what medium they are
traveling through, are usually quoted in terms of the vacuum wavelength, although this is not
always explicitly stated.

Generally, EM radiation is classified by wavelength into radio wave, microwave, infrared,

the visible region we perceive as light, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays. The behavior of
EM radiation depends on its wavelength. When EM radiation interacts with single atoms and
molecules, its behavior also depends on the amount of energy per quantum (photon) it

Spectroscopy can detect a much wider region of the EM spectrum than the visible range of
400 nm to 700 nm. A common laboratory spectroscope can detect wavelengths from 2 nm
to 2500 nm. Detailed information about the physical properties of objects, gases, or even
stars can be obtained from this type of device. Spectroscopes are widely used
in astrophysics. For example, many hydrogen atoms emit a radio wave photon which has a
wavelength of 21.12 cm. Also, frequencies of 30 Hzand below can be produced by and are
important in the study of certain stellar nebulae[6] and frequencies as high as 2.9×1027
Hz have been detected from astrophysical sources.[7]
Types of Radiation:

Radio waves: are used to transmit radio and television signals. Radio waves
have wavelengths that range from less than a centimeter to tens or even
hundreds of meters. FM radio waves are shorter than AM radio waves.

Microwave: wavelengths range from approximately one millimeter (the

thickness of a pencil lead) to thirty centimeters (about twelve inches). In a
microwave oven, the radio waves generated are tuned to frequencies that can
be absorbed by the food.

Infrared: is the region of the electromagnetic spectrum that extends from the
visible region to about one millimeter (in wavelength). Infrared waves
include thermal radiation.

Visible light: The rainbow of colors we know as visible light is the portion
of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths between 400 and 700
billionths of a meter (400 to 700 nanometers).

Ultraviolet: radiation has a range of wavelengths from 400 billionths of a

meter to about 10 billionths of a meter. Sunlight contains ultraviolet waves
which can burn your skin. Most of these are blocked by ozone in the Earth's
upper atmosphere.

X-rays: are high energy waves which have great penetrating power and are
used extensively in medical applications and in inspecting welds. X-ray
images of our Sun can yield important clues to solar flares and other changes
on our Sun that can affect space weather.

Gamma rays: have wavelengths of less than about ten trillionths of a meter.
They are more penetrating than X-rays. Gamma rays are generated by
radioactive atoms and in nuclear explosions, and are used in many medical

Cosmic Rays: Despite their name, cosmic rays are not a part of the
electromagnetic spectrum. Instead of radiation, cosmic rays are high-energy
charged particles that travel through space at nearly the speed of light. Their
extremely high energies are comparable to those of gamma rays at the upper
end of the electromagnetic spectrum.

While the classification scheme is generally accurate, in reality

there is often some overlap between neighboring types of electromagnetic
energy. For example, SLF radio waves at 60 Hz may be received and studied
by astronomers, or may be ducted along wires as electric power, although
the latter is, strictly speaking, not electromagnetic radiation at all (see near
and far field) The distinction between X and gamma rays is based on
sources: gamma rays are the photons generated from nuclear decay or other
nuclear and sub nuclear/particle process, whereas X-rays are generated
by electronic transitions involving highly energetic inner atomic electrons.

Applications of Satellite communication:


An Iridium satellite

The first and historically most important application for communication satellites was in
intercontinental long distance telephony. The fixed Public Switched Telephone
Network relays telephone calls from land line telephones to an earth station, where they are then
transmitted to a geostationary satellite. The downlink follows an analogous path. Improvements
in submarine communications cables, through the use of fiber-optics, caused some decline in the
use of satellites for fixed telephony in the late 20th century, but they still serve remote islands
such as Ascension Island, Saint Helena, Diego Garcia, and Easter Island, where no submarine
cables are in service. There are also regions of some continents and countries where landline
telecommunications are rare to nonexistent, for example large regions of South America, Africa,
Canada, China, Russia, and Australia. Satellite communications also provide connection to the
edges of Antarctica and Greenland.

Satellite phones connect directly to a constellation of either geostationary or low-earth-orbit

satellites. Calls are then forwarded to a satellite teleport connected to the Public Switched
Telephone Network

Satellite television
Main article: Satellite television
As television became the main market, its demand for simultaneous delivery of relatively few
signals of large bandwidth to many receivers being a more precise match for the capabilities of
geosynchronous comsats. Two satellite types are used for North American television and radio:
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), and Fixed Service Satellite (FSS)

The definitions of FSS and DBS satellites outside of North America, especially in Europe, are a
bit more ambiguous. Most satellites used for direct-to-home television in Europe have the same

high power output as DBS-class satellites in North America, but use the same linear polarization
as FSS-class satellites. Examples of these are the Astra, Eutelsat, and Hotbirdspacecraft in orbit
over the European continent. Because of this, the terms FSS and DBS are more so used
throughout the North American continent, and are uncommon in Europe.

Mobile Satellite:

Initially available for broadcast to stationary TV receivers, by 2004 popular mobile direct
broadcast applications made their appearance with that arrival of two satellite radio systems in
the United States: Sirius and XM Satellite Radio Holdings. Some manufacturers have also
introduced special antennas for mobile reception of DBS television. Using Global Positioning
System (GPS) technology as a reference, these antennas automatically re-aim to the satellite no
matter where or how the vehicle (on which the antenna is mounted) is situated. These mobile
satellite antennas are popular with some recreational vehicle owners. Such mobile DBS antennas
are also used by JetBlue Airways for DirecTV (supplied by LiveTV, a subsidiary of JetBlue), which
passengers can view on-board on LCD screens mounted in the seats.

Satellite radio
Main article: Satellite radio

Satellite radio offers audio services in some countries, notably the United States. Mobile services
allow listeners to roam a continent, listening to the same audio programming anywhere.

A satellite radio or subscription radio (SR) is a digital radio signal that is broadcast by a
communications satellite, which covers a much wider geographical range than terrestrial radio

Satellite radio offers a meaningful alternative to ground-based radio services in some countries,
notably the United States. Mobile services, such as Sirius, XM, and Worldspace, allow listeners to
roam across an entire continent, listening to the same audio programming anywhere they go.
Other services, such as Music Choice or Muzak's satellite-delivered content, require a fixed-
location receiver and a dish antenna. In all cases, the antenna must have a clear view to the
satellites. In areas where tall buildings, bridges, or even parking garages obscure the signal,
repeaters can be placed to make the signal available to listeners.

Radio services are usually provided by commercial ventures and are subscription-based. The
various services are proprietary signals, requiring specialized hardware for decoding and
playback. Providers usually carry a variety of news, weather, sports, and music channels, with the
music channels generally being commercial-free.

In areas with a relatively high population density, it is easier and less expensive to reach
the bulk of the population with terrestrial broadcasts. Thus in the UK and some other
countries, the contemporary evolution of radio services is focused on Digital Audio
Broadcasting (DAB) services or HD Radio, rather than satellite radio.

Satellite Internet
Main article: Satellite Internet access

After the 1990s, satellite communication technology has been used as a means to connect to
the Internet via broadband data connections. This can be very useful for users who are located in
very remote areas, and cannot access a broadband connection.
Military uses
Communications satellites are used for military communications applications, such as Global
Command and Control Systems. Examples of military systems that use communication satellites
are the MILSTAR, the DSCS, and the FLTSATCOM of the United States, NATO satellites, United
Kingdom satellites, and satellites of the former Soviet Union. Many military satellites operate in
the X-band, and some also use UHF radio links, while MILSTAR also utilizes Ka band.