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The Future of Satellite

Communications
Joel Klooster
ENGR 302
May, 2002
History
Sputnik - Russian (Oct 4, 1957)
Only lasted 92 days in orbit
Echo - 1st TV satellite (1960)
Telstar - 1st active TV satellite (1962)
Syncon - 1st earth synchronous (1964)
Types of Orbits
Geosynchronous
Same rotational velocity as earth
Maintains position relative to earth
Altitude - 35 786 km
Velocity - 11 300 km/hr
Asynchronous
Much lower altitude = much higher velocity
Position over earth constantly changing

Operation of Satellites
Transmission
Reception
Low Noise Converter
Polarization
Tuner
Antennas
Radio Signal Propagation
Free Space Propagation Model
Line-of-sight with no obstructions
Friis free space equation
P
r
d ( )
P
t
G
t
G
r

2

4 t
( )
2
d
2
L
G
4 t A
e

2
Path Loss (PL)
Fading of electromagnetic signal
Positive difference between received
power and transmitted power (in dB)
PL 10 log
G
t
G
r

2

4t
( )
2
d
2

(
(
(

The Solution??
Lasers!!
Advantages of Laser
Communications
Frequencies 7 - 8x higher
Higher bandwidth
Smaller beam divergence
Smaller antennas
Higher data rates
What type of Laser is
used?
Neodymium: yttrium, aluminum, garnet
(Nd:YAG) most common type
Rod of crystalline YAG lightly doped with
Nd is used as the amplifier
Optical energy excites Nd atoms to higher
energy state
Return to normal energy state emits
energy at wavelength of 1.664 um
Modulation
What actually drives the communication
Birefringence modulator most useful
Uses electric-field induced birefringence
of the crystal to rotate polarized light
Optical Detectors
Receiver must somehow convert the
laser energy to an electric current
Photon-wave theory of light
Photons have some momentum that exerts
a force on the receiver
Frees electrons from atoms of cathode
Photoelectrons attracted to anode, creating
a current
Optical Modulation
Formats
Based on short energy pulses with a
high peak power and low duty cycle
Three Types
Pulse Gated Binary Modulation (PGBM)
Pulse Polarization Binary Modulation
(PPBM)
Pulse Interval Modulation (PIM)
Pulse Interval
Modulation
Most efficient type of modulation
N separate time slots in pulse interval
Transmit log
2
(N) bits per pulse
Pulse sent during one of these time
slots
Time slot is value of the word
Translated in binary data

Example of PIM
Conclusion
Satellites very important for modern
communications
Radio Frequency communication
reaching the end of its usefulness
Laser Communications will eventually
be the method of choice for satellites
Questions