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Satellite Communication

Lecturers: Morteza Tahzibi Ali Reza Katani Advisor: Dr. Golestani

Satellite is a microwave repeater in the space. There are about 750 satellite in the space, most of them are used for communication. They are:

Wide area coverage of the earths surface. Transmission delay is about 0.3 sec. Transmission cost is independent of distance.

Satellite Missions

Satellite History Calendar

1957 October 4, 1957: - First satellite - the Russian Sputnik 01 First living creature in space: Sputnik 02 1958 First American satellite: Explorer 01 First telecommunication satellite: This satellite broadcast a taped message: Score 1959 First meteorology satellite: Explorer 07 1960 First successful passive satellite: Echo 1 First successful active satellite: Courier 1B First NASA satellite: Explorer 08 April 12, 1961: - First man in space- Boctok voyager 1962 First telephone communication & TV broadcast via satellite: Echo 1 First telecommunication satellite, first real-time active, AT&T: Telstar 1 First Canadian satellite: Alouette 1 On 7th June 1962 at 7:53p the two-stage rocket; Rehbar-I was successfully launched from Sonmiani Rocket Range. It carried a payload of 80 pounds of sodium and soared to about 130 km into the atmosphere. With the launching of Rehbar-I, Pakistan had the honour of becoming the third country in Asia and the tenth in the world to conduct such a launching after USA, USSR, UK, France, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Japan and Israel. Rehbar-II followed a successful launch on 9th June 1962 1963 Real-time active: Telstar 2 1964 Creation of Intelsat First geostationary satellite, second satellite in stationary orbit: Syncom 3 First Italian satellite: San Marco 1

Satellite History Calendar

1965 Intelsat 1 becomes first commercial comsat: Early Bird First real-time active for USSR: Molniya 1A 1967 First geostationary meteorology payload: ATS 3 1968 First European satellite: ESRO 2B July 21, 1969: - First man on the moon 1970 First Japanese satellite: Ohsumi First Chinese satellite: Dong Fang Hong 01 1971 First UK launched satellite: Prospero ITU-WARC for Space Telecommunications INTELSAT IV Launched INTERSPUTNIK - Soviet Union equivalent of INTELSAT formed 1974 First direct broadcasting satellite: ATS 6 1976 MARISAT - First civil maritime communications satellite service started 1977 EUTELSAT - European regional satellite ITU-WARC for Space Telecommunications in the Satellite Service 1979 Creation of Inmarsat

Satellite History Calendar

1980 INTELSAT V launched - 3 axis stabilized satellite built by Ford Aerospace 1983 ECS (EUTELSAT 1) launched - built by European consortium supervised by ESA 1984 UK's UNISAT TV DBS satellite project abandoned First satellite repaired in orbit by the shuttle: SMM 1985 First Brazilian satellite: Brazilsat A1 First Mexican satellite: Morelos 1 1988 First Luxemburg satellite: Astra 1A 1989 INTELSAT VI - one of the last big "spinners" built by Hughes Creation of Panamasat - Begins Service 1990 IRIDIUM, TRITIUM, ODYSSEY and GLOBALSTAR S-PCN projects proposed - CDMA designs more popular EUTELSAT II 1992 OLYMPUS finally launched - large European development satellite with Ka-band, DBTV and Ku-band SS/TDMA payloads - fails within 3 years 1993 INMARSAT II - 39 dBW EIRP global beam mobile satellite - built by Hughes/British Aerospace 1994 INTELSAT VIII launched - first INTELSAT satellite built to a contractor's design Hughes describe SPACEWAY design DirecTV begins Direct Broadcast to Home 1995 Panamsat - First private company to provide global satellite services.

Satellite History Calendar

1996 INMARSAT III launched - first of the multi-beam mobile satellites (built by GE/Marconi) Echostar begins Direct Broadcast Service 1997 IRIDIUM launches first test satellites ITU-WRC'97 1999 AceS launch first of the L-band MSS Super-GSOs - built by Lockheed Martin Iridium Bankruptcy - the first major failure? 2000 Globalstar begins service Thuraya launch L-band MSS Super-GSO 2001 XM Satellite Radio begins service Pakistans 2nd Satellite, BADR-B was launched on 10 Dec 2001 at 9:15a from Baikonour Cosmodrome, Kazakistan 2002 Sirius Satellite Radio begins service Paksat-1, was deployed at 38 degrees E orbital slot in December 2002, Paksat-1, was deployed at 38 degrees E orbital slot in December 2002 2004 Teledesic network planned to start operation 2005 Intelsat and Panamsat Merge
VUSat OSCAR-52 (HAMSAT) Launched CubeSat-OSCAR 56 (Cute-1.7) Launched K7RR-Sat launched by California Polytechnic University


2007 Prism was launched by University of Tokyo 2008 COMPASS-1; a project of Aachen University was launched from Satish Dawan Space Center, India. It failed to achieve orbit.

Satellite-Related Terms

Earth Stations : antenna systems on or near


Uplink : transmission from an earth station to

a satellite.

Downlink : transmission from a satellite to an

earth station.

Transponder : electronics in the satellite that

convert uplink signals to downlink signals.

Geometry Terms

Elevation angle :

the angle from the horizontal to the point on the center of the main beam of the antenna when the antenna is pointed directly at the satellite

Minimum elevation angle Coverage angle : the measure of the portion

of the earth's surface visible to the satellite


Minimum Elevation Angle

Reasons affecting minimum elevation angle of earth stations antenna (>0o)

Buildings, trees, and other terrestrial objects block the line of sight Atmospheric attenuation is greater at low elevation angles Electrical noise generated by the earth's heat near its surface adversely affects reception


Satellite Link Performance Factors

Distance between earth station antenna and satellite antenna For downlink, terrestrial distance between earth station antenna and aim point of satellite

Displayed as a satellite footprint (Next Figure)

Atmospheric attenuation
Affected by oxygen, water, angle of elevation, and higher frequencies


Satellite Footprint


Atmospheric Losses

Different types of atmospheric losses can disturb radio wave transmission in satellite systems:
Atmospheric absorption Atmospheric attenuation Traveling ionospheric disturbances



Atmospheric Absorption

Energy absorption by atmospheric gases, which varies with the frequency of the radio waves. Two absorption peaks are observed (for 90 elevation angle):
22.3 GHz from resonance absorption in water vapor (H2O) 60 GHz from resonance absorption in oxygen (O2)


Atmospheric Attenuation

Rain is the main cause of atmospheric attenuation (hail, ice and snow have little effect on attenuation because of their low water content). Total attenuation from rain can be determined by:
A = L [dB] where [dB/km] is called the specific attenuation, and can be calculated from specific attenuation coefficients in tabular form that can be found in a number of publications where L [km] is the effective path length of the signal through the rain; note that this differs from the geometric path length due to fluctuations in the rain density.


Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances

Traveling ionospheric disturbances are clouds of electrons in the ionosphere that provoke radio signal fluctuations which can only be determined on a statistical basis. Scintillation
variations in the amplitude, phase, polarization, or angle of arrival of radio waves, caused by irregularities in the ionosphere which change over time.( timevarying model)
The main effect of scintillations is fading of the signal.


What is Polarization?

Polarization is the property of electromagnetic waves that describes the direction of the transverse electric field. Since electromagnetic waves consist of an electric and a magnetic field vibrating at right angles to each other. it is necessary to adopt a convention to determine the polarization of the signal. Conventionally, the magnetic field is ignored and the plane of the electric field is used.


Types of Polarization

Linear Polarization (horizontal or vertical):

the two orthogonal components of the electric field are in phase; The direction of the line in the plane depends on the relative amplitudes of the two components.

Circular Polarization:
The two components are exactly 90 out of phase and have exactly the same amplitude.

Linear Polarisation Circular Polarisation

Elliptical Polarisation

Elliptical Polarization:
All other cases.

Satellite Communications

Alternating vertical and horizontal polarization is widely used on satellite communications This reduces interference between programs on the same frequency band transmitted from adjacent satellites (One uses vertical, the next horizontal, and so on) Allows for reduced angular separation between the satellites.


Classification of Satellite Orbits

Circular or elliptical orbit

Circular with center at earths center Elliptical with one foci at earths center

Orbit around earth in different planes

Equatorial orbit above earths equator Polar orbit passes over both poles Other orbits referred to as inclined orbits

Altitude of satellites
Geostationary orbit (GEO) Medium earth orbit (MEO) Low earth orbit (LEO)


LEO: Low Earth Orbit.

Low power, Footprint Low latency, More Satellites, Small

MEO: Medium Earth Orbit

High bandwidth, High power, High latency

GEO: Geostationary Earth Orbit

36000 Km = 22300 Miles, equatorial, High latency


LEO Satellite Characteristics

Circular/slightly elliptical orbit under 2000 km Orbit period ranges from 1.5 to 2 hours Diameter of coverage is about 8000 km Round-trip signal propagation delay less than 20 ms Maximum satellite visible time up to 20 min System must cope with large Doppler shifts

LEO Categories

Little LEOs
Frequencies below 1 GHz 5MHz of bandwidth Data rates up to 10 kbps Aimed at paging, tracking, and low-rate messaging

Big LEOs
Frequencies above 1 GHz Support data rates up to a few megabits per sec Offer same services as little LEOs in addition to voice and positioning services

MEO Satellite Characteristics

Circular orbit at an altitude in the range of 5000 to 12,000 km Orbit period of 6 hours Diameter of coverage is 10,000 to 15,000 km Round trip signal propagation delay less than 50 ms Maximum satellite visible time is a few hours


GEO Orbit

Advantages of the GEO orbit

No problem with frequency changes Tracking of the satellite is simplified High coverage area

Disadvantages of the GEO orbit

Weak signal after traveling over 35,000 km Polar regions are poorly served Signal sending delay is substantial


At the Geostationary orbit the satellite covers 42.2% of the earths surface. Theoretically 3 geostationary satellites provides 100% earth coverage



Satellite Orbits


Ways to Categorize Communications Satellites

Coverage area
Service type

Global, regional, national Fixed service satellite (FSS) Broadcast service satellite (BSS) Mobile service satellite (MSS)

General usage

Commercial, military, amateur, experimental


Frequency Bands Available for Satellite Communications




What is the problem?

HOW can we divide a common source between some users?

wasting channel resource large delay at low loads

Statistical Multiplexing
Low delay at low load wasting channel resource at collisions.


What is the best choice for satellite

Large BDP (bandwidth delay product).

there will be much resource waste when collision resolution. TDM or SM A reservation system!
a combined version of TDM and statistical Multiplexing.


The most widely used method for satellite communication



Reservation system

A reservation system with 4 users


Reservation system

Throughput is
1. Reservation contain no data:

2. Reservation carry some portion of data:


Reservation system
Transmission interval for user 1

Arrival interval for user 1 in an exhaustive system

Arrival interval for user 1 in a partially gated system

Arrival interval for user 1 in a gated system

Packets arriving in the arrival interval shown are transmitted in the transmission interval shown

Single user reservation system

E{Wi } E{Ri } E{ N i } i E{Vl ( i ) }


Multiuser reservation system

E{Wi } E{Ri } E{N i } i E{Yi }


Delay formulas for reservation system

A single user reservation system

A multiuser reservation system


How to use reservation system in satellite networks?


Is the above relation true? NO


Disadvantages of the proposed algorithm

If any error happen in feedback signal received from channel by user synchronization will lost. Violating of fairness.

What to do now??
Fix the frame time slot to a specified value larger than channel propagation delay. Using a separate frequency channel for sending reservation.(to obtain a closed form expression for delay)

Analyzing Delay formula


Additional points
We can not increase number of users Increasing users mean wasting bandwidth!(=m/2)

What is the solution? Use the below system!


Is suitable and can be general for satellite use



IFFO-System consideration
GEO satellite Time is normalized to 22.5 millisecond (one slot duration) M users with infinite buffer capacity Arrival process is Bernoulli with parameter Each frame duration is at least 12 slot


Interleaved Frame Flush Out


How this protocol work?


Different kinds of IFFO!

PR-IFFO: Pure Reservation IFFO F-IFFO: Fixed Contention IFFO C-IFFO: Controlled Contention IFFO






Performance evaluation


Infinite Markov chain


Performance evaluation

PDF of not transmitted packets


Performance evaluation


Performance evaluation


Performance evaluation

The main issue in C-IFFO is obtaining the optimum set for sending probabilities


They all have the same basics for transmitting data



What is the problem?

the kind of traffic that we should pass through satellite is bur sty.
Web based traffic. Position reporting or other signaling information in mobile networks.

DAMA (demand assignment multiple access protocols) is not a suitable choice for this kind of traffic.


What is the problem?

RA are robust to this kind of traffic. RA is not suitable for satellite links. RA use in initial network logging and the transmission of capacity requests in contention mini slot. Solution is the combination of RA and DAMA.



these protocols will work well under bursty traffic generated by large population of users




Diversity Slotted ALOHA has used in TDMA systems with low efficiency and reliability typically for logging into the network.
It has very low throughput.

Contention Resolution DSA.

Diversity such as DSA but with additional signaling to indicate the twin packet location.


Contention Resolution DSA.

In successful packet reception allows to locate the twin packet within the frame and to accurately cancel it in addition to the one successfully decoded. By iterating the process a number of times some of the initially lost packets can be recovered and the DSA performance enhanced.


Enhancement of DSA with additional signaling information indicating the location of twin packet in CRDSA Throughput versus load


Throughput is not so high!

Increased number of packet repetitions(3-5) exploitation of the received packets power unbalance to further boost the RA performance.


Throughput versus load

The increased diversity allow to better clean up the collisions through iterative processing



CRDSA++ performance are further enhanced by power unbalance.

Successive interference cancellation is inherently enhanced by the received packet power unbalance allowing to resolve collisions that were destructive otherwise.


Questions without answers!

How to combine CRDSA with DAMA? Adjusting the coding rate and transmit energy in a fading environment for CRDSA. Power control issues for SSA protocols Interference cancelation for E-SSA


Some simple sample protocols



LEO Protocols

Is relatively simple to realize. It can not adapt well to dynamic traffic pattern.

VCR-SALOHA(varying call rate SALOHA)

Can adapt to load changes. Its maximum efficiency is 38%. Its reservation period length is fixed.

AP-SALOHA(adaptive polling and SALOHA)(is for terrestrial stations).

Variation of reservation interval adaptively with respect to load. 19% improvement over VCR-SALOHA.


1993 in PACSAT time = channel reservation period(SALOHA) +message delivery period. An invitation frame is broadcast by the satellite to start a reservation period of N request slot long A station waits a random number (between 0 and N -1) of time slots before it sends its request. Main problem is: N is constant but M (the number of users) and traffic are time varying


Success probability is heavily dependent on M and N

Success probability versus M the number of users


Reservation period Gnd1-TX Gnd1-RX Sat-TX Sat-RX

(1)U/D Req


(1)U/D Req Request slot-1

(2)U/D Req
Request slot-N

Gnd2-TX Back off N-1 slot Gnd2-RX


(2)U/D Req



Improvement with respect to SALOHA:

Sending invitation packet is adjusted by change of station request traffic. Adjust the calling rate to maintain the maximum 38% throughput.

Additional control packet to adjust success probability. N is fixed. More overhead in bandwidth. Maximum throughput is 38%


Question: Why we should change N adaptively with respect to M?

with decreasing N we can use channel in favor of sending more data than reservation packets but success probability will decrease and vice versa. for every fix M there is an optimum value for N in which success probability is maximized.


When satellite is invisible there will be more packet arrival in terminal. We will use this property in APSALOHA Visible station are divided to

High probability set. Low probability set.

Station after viewing the satellite is in high probability set and after serving all waiting packets it go to low probability set. If its probability of having data packets is higher than a threshold it goes to high probability set.


Reservation interval is divided into polling part and SALOHA part.

Polling part is for stations in high probability set. S-ALOHA part is for stations in low probability set

Advantages of Satellite Communication

Can reach over large geographical area Flexible (if transparent transponders) Easy to install new circuits Circuit costs independent of distance Broadcast possibilities Temporary applications (restoration) Niche applications Mobile applications (especially "fill-in") Terrestrial network "by-pass" Provision of service to remote or underdeveloped areas


Disadvantages of Satellite Communication

Large up front capital costs (space segment and launch) Terrestrial break even distance expanding (now approx. size of Europe) Interference and propagation delay Congestion of frequencies and orbits


When to use Satellites

When the unique features of satellite communications make it attractive When the costs are lower than terrestrial routing When it is the only solution Examples:

Communications to ships and aircraft (especially safety communications) TV services - contribution links, direct to cable head, direct to home Data services - private networks Overload traffic 1 for N diversity


When to use Terrestrial

PSTN - satellite is becoming increasingly uneconomic for most trunk telephony routes but, there are still good reasons to use satellites for telephony such as: thin routes, diversity, very long distance traffic and remote locations. Land mobile/personal communications - in urban areas of developed countries new terrestrial infrastructure is likely to dominate (e.g. GSM, etc.) but, satellite can provide fill-in as terrestrial networks are implemented, also provide similar services in rural areas and underdeveloped countries


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Satellite communications systems engineering, by Louis J. Ippolito, 2008 JohnWiley & Sons Ltd. The Satellite Communication Applications Handbook, by Bruce R. Elbert. Satellite Communications, by Dennis Roddy. Satellite Communications Tutorial, by John P. Silver, RF,RFIC and microwave theory, Design. Modeling the Effects of Ionospheric Scintillations on LEO Satellite Communications, by Sheng-Yi Li and C. H. Liu, Fellow, IEEE, IEEE


6. 7. 8.

10. 11.


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