Satellite Communications Systems: Systems, Techniques and Technology

Satellite Communications Systems: Systems, Techniques and Technology

Gerard Maral, Michel Bousquet

Preference :

Satellite communications are the outcome of research in the area of communications and space
technologies whose objective is to achieve ever increasing ranges and capacities with the lowest
possible costs.
The Second World War stimulated the expansion of two very distinct technologies—missiles
and microwaves. The expertise eventually gained in the combined use of these two techniques
opened up the era of satellite communications. The service provided in this way usefully
complements that previously provided exclusively by terrestrial networks using radio and cables.
The space era started in 1957 with the launching of the first artificial satellite (Sputnik).
Subsequent years have been marked by various experiments including the following: Christmas
greetings from President Eisenhower broadcast by SCORE (1958), the reflecting satellite ECHO
(1960), store-and-forward transmission by the COURIER satellite (1960), powered relay satellites
(TELSTAR and RELAY in 1962) and the first geostationary satellite SYNCOM (1963).
In 1965, the first commercial geostationary satellite INTELSAT I (or Early Bird) inaugurated
the long series of INTELSATs; in the same year, the first Soviet communications satellite of the
MOLNYA series was launched.

The first satellites provided a low capacity at a relatively high cost; for example, INTELSAT I
weighed 68 kg at launch for a capacity of 480 telephone channels and an annual cost of $32 500 per
channel at the time. This cost resulted from a combination of the cost of the launcher, that of the
satellite, the short lifetime of the satellite (1.5 years) and its low capacity. The reduction in cost is
the result of much effort which has led to the production of reliable launchers which can put
heavier and heavier satellites into orbit (typically 5900 kg at launch in 1975, reaching 10 500 kg by
Ariane 5 ECA and 13 000 kg by Delta IV in 2008). In addition, increasing expertise in microwave
techniques has enabled realisation of contoured multibeam antennas whose beams adapt to the
shape of continents, frequency re-use from one beam to the other and incorporation of higher power transmission amplifiers. Increased satellite capacity has led to a reduced cost per telephone

Satellite Communications Systems: Systems, Techniques and Technology

Content :
  • Introduction
  • Orbits and Related Issues
  • Baseband Signals and Quality of Service
  • Digital Communications Techniques
  • Uplink, Downlink and Overall Link Performance; Intersatellite Links
  • Multiple Access
  • Satellite Networks
  • Earth Stations
  • The Communication Payload
  • The Platform
  • Satellite Installation and Launch Vehicles
  • The Space Environment
  • Reliability of Satellite Communications Systems

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