UCLA Extension

Advances in Satellite Communications: Efficient and Reliable Transmission Systems

This course provides satellite communications engineers, system architects, and technical managers with a thorough review of innovations now applied to systems and technologies for 2012 and beyond. Over the past decade, satellite communications has been transformed from a technology for specialized situations in narrow markets into a broadly-based networking scheme that addresses the full range of fixed and mobile communications needs. Professionals are expected to understand how to apply, implement, and operate the new systems and technologies but cannot rely on outdated information.

Key advances in space platforms, broadband analog and digital payloads, and new RF and baseband devices for ground terminals are presented and analyzed. How these innovations apply to different situations for broadband fixed services in video and IP data is addressed, as well as innovations in the mobile field on how satellites may be integrated with 3G and 4G wireless systems. Because of the rapid introduction of new space and ground-based technologies, such as digital beam forming and DVB-S2 adaptive coding and modulation, new applications benefit from higher bandwidths that are cost-efficient and reliable. Consequently, engineers and managers who develop and employ satellite resources need to update their knowledge about these and other emerging technologies. Practical examples from industry and associated evaluation techniques are provided throughout the course.

At the end of the course, participants should be able to apply new satellite-based networks and gain awareness of future improvements and enhancement for service delivery to end users around the world.

Course Materials

A set of notes containing each presentation page and any reference material is distributed on the first day of the course. The notes are for participants only and are not otherwise available for sale or unauthorized distribution.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Bruce R. Elbert, MSEE, MBA, President, Application Technology Strategy, Inc., Georgetown, Texas; and adjunct professor (retired), 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 ATSI to assist major private and public sector organizations that develop and operate cutting-edge networks using satellite and other wireless technologies and services. He contributed to the engineering of a satellite network to deliver video programming to commercial aircraft, guided the introduction of Communications-on-the-Move (COTM) terminals for emergency services, evaluated a Big LEO MSS system under realistic conditions, and planned the implementation of a VSAT WAN for an international nonprofit organization. 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 Hughes-owned Galaxy satellite system; and the development of the first GEO mobile satellite system capable of serving handheld user terminals.

Mr. Elbert has written seven books on satellite communications, including The Satellite Communication Applications Handbook, Second Edition (Artech House, 2004); The Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook (Artech House, 2001); and Introduction to Satellite Communication, Third Edition (Artech House, 2008). He also was a recipient of a UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Award in 2006.

Daily Schedule

Day 1

Advanced Principles of Communications Satellites and Networks

  • The evolving 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, and government requirements tied to superior satellite solutions
  • The new generation of space platforms: large vehicles (10 to 20 kW), compact and efficient medium buses (4 to 8 kW), small satellites (under 3 kW)
  • Payload technologies for on-board and ground-based processing and beam forming
  • Discussion of satellite operator capabilities and costs of use; operation and service trends

Transmission Techniques for Optimum Satellite Links

  • Sustainable use of the frequency spectrum and bandwidth: strengths and weaknesses of L and S-bands (Ancillary Terrestrial Component); evolving role and value of C and Ku-bands: Ka-band directions and how unresolved issues, such as rain fade, can be addressed
  • Modern digital modulation and coding methods: 8, 16, and 32 APSK; current choices and trade-offs among coding methods: turbo codes, concatenated systems using LDPC
  • Standards for satellite transmission: DVB-S2 and adaptive coding and modulation; joint IP modem

Further Development of Multiple Access Systems

  • Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) variants: MF-TDMA, hybrid outbound/mesh
  • Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) for spectrum reduction and control
  • Carrier-in-carrier and paired carrier operations
  • Demand assignment and dynamic bandwidth allocation
  • Comparison and evaluation of the most appropriate equipment for a given application

Day 2

Broadband Data Networking with the Internet Protocol and IP Services

  • Update on computer networking; abbreviated network layers; TCP/IP protocol suite: TCP, UDP, IP
  • The relationship of IPv6 to the satellite network environment
  • Operation and issues of TCP/IP over satellite: bandwidth-delay product, acknowledgement and retransmissions, congestion control
  • Content distribution strategies
  • Broadband access techniques (2 Mbps and up)

RF Interference Evaluation and Control

  • The interference-limited environment (X-pol, adjacent satellite interference, adjacent channel interference, terrestrial interference); C/I estimation and mitigation
  • Noise considerations of the receiver, antenna, and transmission line: G/T, intermodulation products and satellite amplifier backoff
  • Earth station characteristics
    — Antenna characteristics (main beam, sidelobe, X-pol considerations)
    — HPA characteristics, intermodulation and sizing
    — FCC and ITU off-axis radiation (power spectral density): identification and control
  • Optimizing the link budget in an interference-limited environment

TCP/IP Acceleration and Optimization Techniques for Satellite Networks

  • TCP acceleration, HTTP acceleration, compression and caching
  • Survey of available standards-based and proprietary optimization solutions: SCPS, XTP, commercial WAN optimization products, satellite-specific optimization products, application-specific optimization products, solution selection criteria
  • Quality of service (QoS); priority/preemptive operation

IP Application Considerations

  • Voice over IP, voice quality, speech compression algorithms
  • Web-based applications: HTTP, streaming
  • VPN: resolving conflicts with TCP and HTTP acceleration
  • Network management architectures: proprietary and standards-based approaches

Day 3

Terminal Technology

  • Advances in antennas: portable and mobile installations
  • Solid-state HPA replacements: medium and high power
  • Discussion and comparison of suppliers and technologies for VSATs
  • Updated monitor and control systems
  • Interfacing the ground segment with terrestrial users; 3G and 4G air interface standards and their relationship to satellite service; backhaul

Measurement Techniques

  • Physical layer: bit error rate, E b /N 0 , power and bandwidth
  • Measuring antenna gain
  • Predicting and measuring system noise temperature and G/T

Development of New Technologies

  • Forming
  • Satellite systems based on small user terminals capable of broadband mobility
  • Consideration of future requirements and architectures
  • How satellite communications will survive in a fiber/wireless world

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310)-825-3858