UCLA Extension

Satellite Communications Networks and Applications

January 23-25

This intensive 3-day course provides a state-of-the-art review of satellite communications networks and applications from system and service perspectives. Owing to innovations in high-throughput satellites, advanced modulation and coding (MODCOD), solid state power amplification and mobile antennas, service reach and profitability require advanced thinking and innovation. Technical, operations, and business professionals, as well as newcomers to satellite technology learn the fundamentals, architecture, and development of modern satellite networks, with emphasis on cutting-edge broadcast, broadband interactive, and mobile applications. Topics include satellite and ground station principles, basic satellite link budgets, digital image and full-motion video for broadcast distribution using the MPEG 4 and DVB-S2 standards and extensions, Internet Protocol (IP)-based data performance optimization over satellite; Ku- and Ka-band Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) applied to fixed networks as well as those having location flexibility; and advanced broadband capabilities of high throughput satellite systems currently in use and under development. Emphasis is placed on the proper selection of requirements, technologies, and their providers (space and ground), and on the most effective ways to architect and operate the associated satellite networks.

Course Materials

The text, The Satellite Communication Applications Handbook, Second Edition, Bruce Elbert (Artech House, 2004), and a complete set of updated lecture notes are distributed on the first day of the course. The notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Bruce R. Elbert, MSEE, MBA, President, Application Technology Strategy, LLC., Georgetown, Texas; and Adjunct Professor (ret), College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Elbert is a recognized satellite communications expert and has been involved in the satellite and telecommunications industries for over 40 years. He founded ATS to assist major private and public sector organizations that develop and operate cutting-edge networks using satellite and other wireless technologies and services. During 25 years with Hughes Space and Communications (now Boeing Satellite Systems), he directed communications engineering of several major satellite projects, including Palapa A, Indonesia’s original satellite system; the Galaxy follow-on system; the development of the first GEO mobile satellite system capable of serving handheld user terminals; and the provision of multiple spot-beam Ku and Ka band satellites for local-into-local DTH and satellite broadband. Mr. Elbert also worked as a communications engineer for the INTELSAT system and developed link analysis tools while a radio officer in the U.S. Army. He has written eight books on telecommunications and IT, including Radio Frequency Interference in Communications Systems (Artech House, 2016); The Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook Third Edition(Artech House, 2014); Introduction to Satellite Communication, Third Edition (Artech House, 2008).

Course Outline

Principles of Communications Satellites and Networks

  • Architecture of the space segment: GEO and non-GEO satellites and constellations, impact on coverage and quality of service
  • Developing requirements for applications and services using systems engineering principles; commercial requirements for business use; government and military requirements for mission success
  • Network architecture: broadcast, interactive star and mesh topologies and their application
  • Information formats: speech, video, and image; the many forms of data and the associated protocols
  • Introduction to satellite system design: the communications payload (antenna and repeater) and the spacecraft bus; satellite program planning (spacecraft and ground)

Engineering of Satellite Links

  • Frequency spectrum and bandwidth: L and S band mobile links; C band, telecommunications services; X band, government applications; Ku and Ka band, telecommunications and broadcasting; millimeter-wave and optical applications
  • Introduction to line-of-sight propagation at microwave frequencies (1 to 30 GHz) on the space-earth path; atmospheric and ionospheric impairments; rain attenuation principles and prediction models
  • Design of the satellite link: introduction to assessing microwave link performance using link budgets using available software tools
  • Comparison of digital modulation and encoding techniques: QPSK, OQPSK, MSK, and GMSK; bandwidth-efficient modulation: 16QAM and 32APSK; forward error correction (FEC) using block, convolutional, concatenated, and turbo codes

IP over Satellite

  • Principles of TCP/IP design: windowing; packet loss and retransmissions; slow start and congestion, TCP extensions
  • Operation and issues of TCP/IP over satellite: bandwidth-delay product, acknowledgement and retransmissions, congestions control
  • TCP/IP acceleration and optimization techniques for satellite networks: TCP acceleration, HTTP acceleration, CIFS acceleration, compression and caching, QoS
  • Survey of available standards-based and proprietary optimization solutions: SCPS, XTP, commercial WAN optimization products, satellite-specific optimization products, application-specific optimization products, solution section criteria
  • IP multicast versus broadcast of video and multimedia traffic: IP multicast fundamentals, multicast deployment issues, solutions for reliable multicast

Satellite Direct-to-Home Broadcasting Standards and System Innovations Systems

  • Overview of digital DTH developments: comparison of systems (DIRECTV, DISH, etc.); evolving features and services (local channels, DVRs, interactivity); reference DTH system architecture
  • DTH architecture, high- and medium-power satellites to serve small receivers and digital set-top boxes, microelectronics evolution
  • Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standards: DVB-S concatenated Reed-Solomon and Viterbi convolutional coding, DVB-S2 BCH and LDPC concatenated block codes
  • Compression and multiplexing technologies: Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards
  • Requirements for video transmission networks (broadcast and cable)
  • Security, conditional access and service management systems; options for achieving interactivity

Ground Segment Planning

  • Introduction to primary ground stations and remote user terminals
  • Fixed, transportable, and mobile (on-the-move) terminals for vehicles and aircraft
  • Integration with space segment – network management and control
  • Operation and issues of TCP/IP over satellite: bandwidth-delay product, acknowledgement and retransmissions, congestions control
  • TCP/IP acceleration and optimization techniques for satellite networks: Performancing Enhancing Proxy (PEP) acceleration, HTTP acceleration, compression and caching, QoS

Interactive VSAT Data Networks

  • Network topology and implications: the star network versus full mesh architectures, “Forward” and “Return” traffic patterns, and degrees of asymmetry
  • Star networks: ALOHA, TDMA, SCPC, and CDMA variants
  • Interactive two-way satellite service using the DVB Return Channel via Satellite (DVB-RCS) standard
  • Paired Carrier Multiple Access (PCMA): carrier in carrier communications
  • Central ground station (hub) implementations: baseband equipment and interfaces to terrestrial networks
  • Capacity planning and sizing: collecting requirements for the VSAT network; protocol support; estimating delay and response time
  • Discussion and comparison of suppliers and technologies for VSATs: ViaSat, Hughes, Gilat, iDirect, COMTECH EF Data

Broadband and Multimedia Systems

  • Network topology and implications: the star network versus full mesh architectures, “Forward” and “Return” traffic patterns, and degrees of asymmetry
    Star networks: ALOHA, TDMA, SCPC, and CDMA variants
  • Interactive two-way satellite service using the DVB Return Channel via Satellite standard (DVB-RCS and -RCS2)
    Carrier cancellation frequency reuse
  • Central ground station (hub) implementations: baseband equipment and interfaces to terrestrial networks
  • Capacity planning and sizing: collecting requirements for the VSAT network; protocol support; estimating delay and response time
  • Discussion and comparison of suppliers and technologies for VSATs – ViaSat, Hughes, Gilat, iDirect, COMTECH EF Data, Newtec

Broadband and High-Throughout Satellite Systems

  • Broadband and multimedia for consumer, business-to-business services, and government use: characteristics, requirements for interactivity
  • Ku- vs. Ka-band spectrum suitability and availability; propagation considerations, rain attenuation, system noise temperature increase and de-polarization; typical link budgets
  • Multibeam satellite design: spot beams, beam forming, phased array systems, capacity and network planning
  • Inter-satellite links (millimeter wave and optical/laser)

Addressing Military and Emergency Management Requirements

  • U.S. Navy requirements and installations on ship
  • Army and Marines’ use for short-term and tactical requirements: global, regional, and theatre; comms on the move (COTM)
  • Aeronautical broadband installations: manned and unmanned
  • Providers in the marketplace: TCS, Arrowhead, Datapath, Artel, et al
  • Integration of SATCOM with other networks, particularly the Global Information Grid (GIG)
  • Satellite services in civil government: disaster recovery and business continuity; emergency communications: national, regional, state and local; e-com architecture and the role of satellite terminals and vehicles

Application and Business Planning Considerations

  • Economic modeling of satellite communications systems
  • Selecting the most appropriate satellite and transponder capacity; risk mitigation and avoidance as related to the space segment; source selection tactics and strategies

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815

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