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VSAT Technology

A brief history of space communication


The idea of radio transmission through space was first conceived in 1911. In 1945 British authorscientist Arthur C Clarke suggested the use of a geosynchronous earth satellite for the purpose. His
assumption of a manned space station was later revised by a US engineer, J R Pierce, in April 1955, who
was also the first one to analyze unmanned communication satellites. This idea later led to the great
success of satellite communications.
The first artificial satellite "SPUTNIK I" was launched by the erstwhile USSR, in 1957. This began a
series of space initiatives by USA and USSR.
The first satellite communication experiment was the US government's project SCORE (Signal
Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment), which launched a satellite on December 18, 1958. This
satellite circled the earth in an elliptical orbit and retransmitted messages recorded on a magnetic tape. It
lasted for about 13 days after which the batteries ran out!!
The US Army Signal Corp's Courier IB, launched in October 1960, lasted for about 17 days. It could
handle typewriter data and voice and facsimile messages.
It was a balloon, Echo 1, launched in August 1960, which led American Telephone & Telegraph
Company (AT&T) to build Telstar. Communication tests carried out by reflecting radio signals from
Echo 1's surface were completely successful.
Telstar, launched on July 1962 was the first active satellite with a microwave receiver and transmitter to
transmit live television and telephone conversations across the Atlantic. It was turned off in February
1963. Successive initiatives include NASA's Relay 1 satellite was launched in elliptical orbit in
December 1962 and Syncom 2, the first synchronous communication satellite was launched in July
1963.
In 1964 a global initiative was undertaken leading to the formation of INTELSAT, which has been one
of the major driving forces for the large scale commercial exploitation of satellite technology for
communications. Since then there has been no looking back.
Benefits of Satellite
Global Coverage
Today, satellite communication can deliver a terrestrial-grade experience with voice, video, and data that
can be accessed anywhere in the world. Ubiquitous coverage can be obtained with a global network of
multiple satellites all tying into one central network management system.
Reliability
Satellite networks are dependable, providing constant connectivity even when terrestrial networks fail.
With satellite networks, enterprises can maintain business continuity with built-in redundancy and
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automatic back-up service.


Security
Satellite networks already constitute a private network. By adding encryption technology satellite can
provide a more secure connection than terrestrial networks, making it an ideal solution for government,
military and enterprise VPN (virtual private network) solutions.
Scalability
The modularity of VSAT systems allows for quick time-to-market and fast upgrades. VSAT remotes can
be deployed rapidly and new remote locations are easily added to a network where limited terrestrial
infrastructure exists simply by configuring bandwidth to the site and having ground equipment installed.
Fast Deployment
Satellite technology is an ideal solution for quick deployment, immune to the challenges posed by
difficult terrain, remote locations, harsh weather, and terrestrial obstacles. In this rapidly expanding
market, satellite allows a service provider to get to market quickly and efficiently and provide
immediate connectivity in disaster and emergency relief scenarios.
Cost Savings
Satellite technology can deliver a communications infrastructure to areas where terrestrial alternatives
are unavailable, unreliable or simply too expensive. Satellite allows service providers to insure
scalability, profitability and maintain low operating expenses, all while overcoming a lack of existing
infrastructure.
How Satellite Works
A communications satellite is a satellite located in space for the purposes of telecommunications. There
are three altitude classifications for satellite orbits:
LEO Low Earth Orbit
LEO satellites orbit from 160-2000km above the earth, take approximately 1.5 hrs for a full orbit and
only cover a portion of the earths surface, therefore requiring a network or constellation of satellites to
provide global, continual coverage. Due to the proximity to Earth, LEO satellites have a lower latency
(latency is the time between the moment a packet is transmitted and the moment it reaches its
destination) and require less amplification for transmission.
MEO Medium Earth Orbit
MEO satellites are located above LEO and below GEO satellites and typically travel in an elliptical
orbit over the North and South Pole or in an equatorial orbit. These satellites are traditionally used for
GPS navigation systems and are sometimes used by satellite operators for voice and data
communications. MEO satellites require a constellation of satellites to provide continuous coverage.
Tracking antennas are needed to maintain the link as satellites move in and out of the antenna range.
GEO Geostationary Orbit
GEO satellites orbit at 35,786 km (22,282 mi) above the equator in the same direction and speed as the
earth rotates on its axis. This makes it appear to the earth station as fixed in the sky. The majority of
commercial communications satellites operate in this orbit; however, due to the distance from the earth
there is a longer latency.

Frequency Bands
There are four radio frequency bands that communication and military satellites operate within:
C band uplink 5.925-6.425 GHz; downlink 3.7-4.2 GHz
The C band is primarily used for voice and data communications as well as backhauling. Because of its
weaker power it requires a larger antenna, usually above 1.8m (6ft). However, due to the lower
frequency range, it performs better under adverse weather conditions on the ground.
X band uplink 7.9- 8.4 GHz, downlink 7.25 7.75 GHz
The X band is used mainly for military communications and Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)
systems. With relatively few satellites in orbit in this band, there is a wider separation between adjacent
satellites, making it ideal for Comms-on-the Move (COTM) applications. This band is less susceptible
to rain fade than the Ku Band due to the lower frequency range, resulting in a higher performance level
under adverse weather conditions.
Ku band uplink 14 GHz; downlink 10.9-12.75 GHz
Ku band is used typically for consumer direct-to-home access, distance learning applications, retail and
enterprise connectivity. The antenna sizes, ranging from 0.9m -1.2m (~3ft), are much smaller than C
band because the higher frequency means that higher gain can be achieved with small antenna sizes than
C-band. Networks in this band are more susceptible to rain fade, especially in tropical areas.
Ka band uplink 26.5-40GHz; downlink 18-20 GHZ
The Ka band is primarily used for two-way consumer broadband and military networks. Ka band dishes
can be much smaller and typically range from 60cm-1.2m (2' to 4') in diameter. Transmission power is
much greater compared to the C, X or Ku band beams. Due to the higher frequencies of this band, it can
be more vulnerable to signal quality problems caused by rain fade.
VSAT Network
Network Equipment
A network typically consists of a larger earth station, commonly referred to as a teleport, with hub
equipment at one end and a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT ) antenna with remote equipment at
the other end. The network equipment can be divided into two sets of equipment connected by a pair of
cables: the Outdoor Unit (ODU) and the Indoor Unit (IDU).

ODU
An ODU is the equipment located outside of a building and includes the satellite antenna or dish, a low
noise block converter (LNB), and a block-up-converter (BUC). The LNB converter amplifies the
received signal and down converts the satellite signal to the L band (950 MHz to 1550 MHz), while the
BUC amplifies the uplink transmission when the antenna is transmitting.
IDU
The IDU equipment at the teleport usually consists of a rack-mounted hub system and networking
equipment connected to terrestrial networks, like the PSTN or Internet backbone. There is also a device
that converts between satellite and IP protocols for local LAN applications such as PCs, voice calls and
video conferencing.
At the remote location, a router connects to a small VSAT antenna receiving the IP transmission from
the hub over the satellite and converts it into real applications like Internet, VoIP and data.
Topologies
Network topologies define how remote locations connect to each other and to the hub. The link over the
satellite from the hub to the remote is called the outbound or downlink transmission, whereas the link
from the remote to the hub is referred to as inbound or uplink.
Satellite networks are primarily configured in one of these topologies:
Star (hub & spoke) Networks
In a star network topology the hub connects to the remote, where all communications are passed back
through the hub. Virtually an unlimited number of remotes can be connected to the hub in this topology.
Smaller, lower powered BUCs can be used at the remote end since they are only connecting back to the
larger hub antenna.

Mesh Networks
A mesh network topology allows one remote VSAT location to communicate with another remote
location without routing through the hub. This type of connection minimizes delay and often is used for
very high quality voice and video conferencing applications.
With this topology, larger antennas are required and more power is needed to transmit, thereby
increasing cost.
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Hybrid Networks
A hybrid topology is a mix of star and mesh networking solutions. This topology allows the hub to send
information to the remotes, with the remotes then able to communicate with other VSAT locations.
Point to Point Connectivity
Contrary to the networking topologies, a point-to-point topology involves a dedicated connection
between two antennas. This topology is a direct pipeline with a set bandwidth capacity regardless of
usage and is typically designed with Single Carrier per Channel (SCPC) technology.
Satellite Basics
People need access to enterprise-class, high-speed voice, video and data applications wherever they
happen to be. Satellite connectivity has the power to drive communications advances across a broad
range of industries and geographies.
Whether its ship-to-shore maritime communications, Internet access for remote, rural classrooms, or
vital data and communications for petroleum operations, satellite applications meet a broad range of
needs.
iDirects communication platform enables any IP application to run reliably and efficiently over
satellite. iDirect advanced technology provides organizations with immediate global reach making
mission critical communications possible in the most challenging and diverse environments.
Communication satellites are used in fixed or mobile wireless communications to receive and transmit
radio signals from an orbiting satellite to another terrestrial location. There have been such advances in
bandwidth utilization and reliability of communications that satellite service now provides affordable,
always-on, high-speed, quality connectivity.
VSAT Today
Rising Demand in an Exciting New Era
As the global market for satellite connectivity grows across a wide range of industries, opportunities for
iDirect partners continue to expand.

High Throughput Satellites


Today, the advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology, coupled with rising demand for
satellite communications, are expected to have a profound impact on the VSAT industry. With the huge
influx of bandwidth capacity, HTS will bring both improved speeds and lower costs. Combined with
major space segment and infrastructure advances, a prime opportunity exists to accelerate overall VSAT
adoption on a much broader scale.
HTS Basics
High Throughput Satellites are a new breed of high-performance broadband satellites that today mostly
use Ka-band frequencies, but not exclusively with Intelsats announcement of EPIC we will see Ku
HTS very soon.
HTS is fundamentally different both in terms of design and the ground segment requirements. (For more
details, see HTS Whitepaper.) Traditional satellites use large regional beams covering an entire
footprint with fixed capacity. Any service provider could own a hub and teleport and offer services to
customers as long as they were in the satellite footprint. By contrast, HTS employ frequency re-use
across multiple spot beams to create a massive increase in capacity. A dedicated high bandwidth feeder
link is required to serve to the spot beams. Hub infrastructure must be located within the feeder link to
serve all the spot beams. See below:

As more and more HTS are launched they are expected, over time, to provide a huge influx of
bandwidth capacity that will deliver higher speeds at lesser cost. In fact, NSR states that high throughput
satellites are expected to supply at least 1.34 TBps of capacity by 2020.
Since bandwidth will no longer constrain how business is done, rapid adoption of satellite is expected to
open doors to new opportunities in both the enterprise and government markets.
Accelerating VSAT Adoption
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HTS, however, is only part of the story in terms of satellite going mainstream and expanding into new
markets. Other major advances in terminals and ground segment infrastructure, along with market
education, are playing a big role in the rising demand for satellite, making VSAT much easier to deploy,
use and manage. Together these factors will accelerate overall adoption of VSAT on a much broader
scale and change our business on an order of magnitude never seen before. Today were adapting our
platform to enable every iDirect partner to capture this opportunity.
Impact on Operators and Service Providers
Were already seeing many of our traditional business and service delivery models that are in play today
being adopted by satellite operators as ways to offer HTS capacity. iDirect service provider partners will
be able to choose among diverse business models to pick what best fits their business. Watch this video
to better understand the impact to service providers:
Milestones Today
iDirect is actively engaged in many HTS projects as the preferred ground segment provider.
In fact, weve already developed the industrys first major global HTS ground infrastructure for
enterprise and mobility services, Inmarsats Global Xpress, the new Ka-band HTS service.
And we are being deployed across a multitude of HTS models. Our platforms flexibility offers partners
the greatest opportunity to adopt the most effective technology and business models for them across
multiple bands, Ku, C-, and Ka.
In addition, were making numerous platform enhancements to enable greater scalability, throughout
and performance. Our platforms versatility places satellite operators and service providers in a prime
position to adopt the most flexible technology and business models for success in a vibrant HTS era.
Limitless Possibilities
Speedy adoption of broadband satellite services in HTS may well represent the greatest potential for
satellite operators to flourish across a broad range of high value vertical markets, and iDirect partners
will be there first.
What is a VSAT?
The term Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) refers to a small fixed earth station. VSATs provide the
vital communication link required to set up a satellite based communication network. VSATs can
support any communication requirement be it voice, data, or video conferencing.
The VSAT comprises of two modules - an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit consists of
an Antenna and Radio Frequency Transceiver. (RFT). The antenna size is typically 1.8 meter or 2.4
meter in diameter, although smaller antennas are also in use. The indoor unit functions as a modem and
also interfaces with the end user equipment like stand alone PCs, LANs, Telephones or an EPABX.
VSATs can typically be divided into two parts- an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit is
generally ground or even wall mounted and the indoor unit which is the size of a desktop computer is
normally located near existing computer equipment in your office.
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Outdoor Unit
The antenna system comprises of a reflector, feed horn and a mount. The size of a VSAT antenna varies
from 1.8 metres to 3.8 metres. The feed horn is mounted on the antenna frame at its focal point by
support arms. The FEED HORN directs the transmitted power towards the antenna dish or collects the
received power from it. It consists of an array of microwave passive components. Antenna size is used
to describe the ability of the antenna to amplify the signal strength.
The RFT is mounted on the antenna frame and is interconnected to the feed horn. Also termed as
outdoor electronics, RFT, in turn, consists of different subsystems.
These include low noise Amplifiers (LNA) and down converters for amplification and down conversion
of the received signal respectively. LNAs are designed to minimize the noise added to the signal during
this first stage of the converter as the noise performance of this stage determines the overall noise
performance of the converter unit. The noise temperature is the parameter used to describe the
performance of a LNA
Up converters and High Powered Amplifiers (HPA) are also part of the RFT and are used for up
converting and amplifying the signal before transmitting to the feed horn. The Up/Down converters
convert frequencies between intermediate frequency (Usually IF level 70 MHz) and radio frequency.
For Extended C band, the down converter receives the signal at 4.500 to 4.800 GHz and the up
converter converts it to 6.725 to 7.025 GHz. The HPA ratings for VSATs range between 1 to 40 watts
Interlink Facility
The outdoor unit is connected through a low loss coaxial cable to the indoor unit. The typical limit of an
IFL cable is about 300 feet.
Indoor Unit
The IDU consists of modulators which superimpose the user traffic signal on a carrier signal. This is
then sent to the RFT for up conversion, amplification and transmission. It also consists of demodulators
which receive the signal from the RFT in the IF range and demodulates the same to segregate the user
traffic signal from the carrier. The IDU also determines the access schemes under which the VSAT
would operate. The IDU also interfaces with various end user equipment, ranging from stand alone
computers, LAN's, routers, multiplexes, telephone instruments, EPABX as per the requirement. It
performs the necessary protocol conversion on the input data from the customer end equipment prior to
modulation and transmission to the RFT. An IDU is specified by the access technique, protocols handled
and number of interface ports supported.
Advantages of VSATs
If by now you believe that VSATs provide an edge over terrestrial lines only in cases where the land
lines are difficult to install, say in the case of remote locations, then consider this. Close to 50 percent of
the total VSAT population is installed in the US which also boasts of world's best terrestrial
communications.
Networking of business activities, processes and divisions is essential to gain a competitive edge in any
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industry. VSATs are an ideal option for networking because they enable Enterprise Wide Networking
with high reliability and a wide reach which extends even to remote sites.
Last Mile Problem
Let us begin with the situation where you have reliable high-speed links between city exchanges for
meeting your communication requirements. But before you begin to feel comfortable, connections from
the nearest exchange to your company's office often fail. Consequently, stretching what is technically
called the last mile problem into much longer distances. VSATs located at your premises guarantee
seamless communication even across the last mile.
Reach
You must be well aware of the limitations faced by terrestrial lines in reaching remote and other difficult
locations. VSATs, on the other hand, offer you unrestricted and unlimited reach.
Reliability
Uptime of up to 99.5 percent is achievable on a VSAT network. This is significantly higher than the
typical leased line uptime of approximately 80 to 85 percent.
Time
VSAT deployment takes no more than 4-6 weeks as compared to 4 to 6 months for leased lines.
Network Management
Network monitoring and control of the entire VSAT network is much simpler than a network of leased
lines, involving multiple carriers at multiple locations. A much smaller number of elements needs to be
monitored incase of a VSAT network and also the number of vendors and carriers involved in between
any two user terminals in a VSAT network is typically one. This results in a single point of contact for
resolving all your VSAT networking issues. A VSAT NMS easily integrates end-to-end monitoring and
configuration control for all network subsystems.
Maintenance
A single point contact for operation, maintenance, rapid fault isolation and trouble shooting makes
things very simple for a client, using VSAT services. VSATs also enjoy a low mean time to repair
(MTTR) of a few hours, which extends upto a few days in the case of leased lines. Essentially, lesser
elements imply lower MTTR.
Flexibility
VSAT networks offer enormous expansion capabilities. This feature factors in changes in the business
environment and traffic loads that can be easily accommodated on a technology migration path.
Additional VSATs can be rapidly installed to support the network expansion to any site, no matter
however remote.
Cost
A comparison of costs between a VSAT network and a leased line network reveals that a VSAT network
offers significant savings over a two to three years timeframe. This does not take into account the cost of
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downtime, inclusion of which would result in the VSAT network being much more cost - effective. Payby-mile concept in case of leased line sends the costs spiraling upwards. More so if the locations to be
linked are dispersed all over the country. Compare this to VSATs where the distance has nothing to do
with the cost. Additionally, in case of VSATs, the service charges depend on the bandwidth which is
allocated to your network in line with your requirements. Whereas with a leased line you get a dedicated
circuit in multiples of 64Kbps whether you need that amount of bandwidth or not.
VSAT System Architecture
A VSAT system consists of a satellite transponder, central hub or a master earth station, and remote
VSATs. The VSAT terminal has the capability to receive as well as transmit signals via the satellite to
other VSATs in the network. Depending on the access technology used the signals are either sent via
satellite to a central hub, which is also a monitoring centre, or the signals are sent directly to VSATs
with the hub being used for monitoring and control.
Topologies
The network of VSATs at different locations adopts different topologies depending on the end
applications traffic flow requirements. These topologies could be Star or Mesh.
The most popular of these is Star topology. Here we have a big, central earth station known as the hub.
Generally the hub antenna is in the range of 6-11metre in diameter. This hub station controls, monitors
and communicates with a large number of dispersed VSATs. Since all VSATs communicate with the
central hub station only, this network is more suitable for centralized data applications. Large
organizations, like banks, with centralized data processing requirements is a case in point.
In a mesh topology a group of VSATs communicate directly with any other VSAT in the network
without going through a central hub. A hub station in a mesh network performs only the monitoring and
control functions. These networks are more suitable for telephony applications. These have also been
adopted to deploy point to point high speed links.
However, in actual practice a number of requirements are catered to by a hybrid network topology.
Under hybrid networks a part of the network operates on a star topology while some sites operate on a
mesh topology.
Access Technologies
The primary objective and advantage of these networks is to maximize the use of common satellite and
other resources amongst all VSAT sites. The method by which these networks optimize the use of
satellite capacity, and spectrum utilization in a flexible and cost effective manner are referred to as
satellite access schemes. Each of the above topologies is associated with an appropriate satellite access
scheme. The most commonly used satellite access schemes are:

Time Division Multiple Access(TDMA)

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Frequency Division Multiple Access(FDMA)

Code Division Multiple Access(CDMA)

Demand Assigned Multiple Access(DAMA)

Pre-Assigned Multiple Access(PAMA)

Frequency-Time Division Multiple Access(FTDMA)

VSAT Access Technologies


Time Division Multiple Access(TDMA)
Direcway Satellite Services - TDM/TDMA : TECHNOLOGY SIMPLIFIED
It seems many of us are working backwards in this age of technology. It is amusing but true to a large
extent.
Instead of explaining the new technologies in a simple way, we end up bombarding the audience with a
broadcast of Jargons. As a result instead of developing an appreciation and clear conceptual
understanding for the technology, the listener becomes entangled in a game of scrabble, where he tries
to arrange the jargons in a meaningful sequence, but unfortunately, often fails to do so. In this article we
have tried to be different. Through a simple analogy we have tried to explain the TDM/TDMA
Technology, which is in operation in various flavors in more than 75% of the VSATs installed globally
and more than 90% of VSATs installed in India.
Consider a class of students with a teacher. Lets closely observe analyze and understand the way the
teacher conducts the class and the way the students communicate among themselves. After all we are
talking about effective and efficient communication.
The rule of the institution instructs the student to communicate among each other through the Teacher.
So the students speak with the teacher (and mention whom it is intended for) and the teacher repeats the
information to the appropriate recipient. Thus the students cannot communicate among themselves
directly; they have to necessarily communicate through the teacher. However the teacher does not
analyze or validate the content of the information.
But the teacher has the option to analyze the content in case the students are unable to communicate
among themselves properly. Additionally to ensure that the smooth conduct of the class; the teacher
enquires from all the students regarding their status at regular periodic intervals.
Now the teacher has several options to make the students communicate with each other. The first mode
is to allow everyone to speak whenever anyone wants to. In this case if two students speak
simultaneously, then the teacher cannot understand what each one is trying to communicate. Hence the
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teacher requests the students to express their opinion again assuming that they will not speak at the same
time again. This assumption would be true if the class size is very small or if every one is trying to send
very short messages.
Another way for student to student communication is on the basis of student requests i.e. if the student
wants to communicate, he/she requests the teacher. In the request he/she informs the amount of
information it has to send and the time required to send it. The teacher in turn informs the student its
allocated time slot. Thus the student communicates in that allocated time slot. If the student is not able
to finish the conversation in the allocated time interval then it again sends a request to the teacher for
another time slot.
Yet another way adopted by the teacher is to divide the period in several time slots or time intervals.
The teacher then and informs/instructs each student when he or she can speak i.e. in which time interval
the student can speak.
Thus each student takes its turn to speak to the teacher who in turn tells it to other students. Now there
are a few students in the class who are more intelligent and hence want to speak for longer time. Thus
the teacher recognizes them and permits them to speak for longer duration and the duration being an
integral multiple of the basic duration allocated to every student. Now the teacher does not know who is
really intelligent and requires more time. Hence the teacher reserves a time slot in the period (say the
last ten minutes); where in the few student who have more information to convey can speak. Now the
teacher allocates more time duration only when requested by the student.
Now the teacher being an intelligent person can handle requests from multiple students nearly
concurrently. So the teacher handles multiple student group simultaneously. Now it is possible that in a
class a student requests for a time slot but the teacher finds that the reserved time slots are already
allocated to other students. So the teacher looks at the other class he/she is managing and realizes that
there are fewer students and time slots are available.
So the teacher shifts the student to another class.
In order to avoid overlapping communication (i.e. a student starts speaking before the other finishes),
the teacher allocates a minimum time interval after a student stops speaking and the next student starts
speaking. Though this eats up time, but the apparent time efficiency is offset by gain is terms of efficient
and clear communication. In other words this is a necessary evil.
The student in order to derive maximum benefit from the allotted time slot uses several means to send
maximum information in the allocated time slot. For example the student uses acronyms, abbreviated
statements, symbolic statements to send maximum information. The student also prioritizes the
information that he/she desires to send.
The student keeping the teacher well informed carries out these actions.
In a class different students can have different needs. Some may want to exchange multiple short
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messages, while others might exchange long messages. So the teacher can logically divide the class into
several groups and each group will have its own way to communicate among themselves.
Now lets closely examine what happens when a new student joins the class. The teacher has to first
include the student as the part of the class. The teacher does so by documenting the various details about
the student in the register. In the next step the teacher allocates a definite time slot to the student where
he/she can speak or convey his/her information.
Perhaps it is hard to believe that the entire operation of the TDM/TDMA system has been explained in
the above analogy along with various bandwidth allocation schemes.
The entire system comprising of the teacher, the students, their modes of communication with each
other correspond to the Integrated Service Business Network or ISBN. It's simple to observe that the
teacher has all the attributes of the HUB and the students are the remote VSATs. The fact that all the
students have to communicate through the teacher emphasizes double hop nature of VSAT connectivity
i.e. all the VSATs have to communicate through the Hub.
The Hub is the central intelligent entity that controls and monitors all the remote VSATs.
Now each class represents an Inroute. Inroute is a frequency channel, which is used by all the VSATs in
a shared basis, though the ISBN system provides schemes to dedicate bandwidth to a VSAT. The way
the students communicate with the teacher denotes the Inroute access method. The logical grouping of
students in a class denotes the fact that in an Inroute different VSATs can use different Inroute access
methods depending on their specific data transmission requirements. The fact a teacher is controlling
multiple classes denotes the fact that the Hub supports multiple Inroutes.
The fact that if a student requests for additional time duration and if the required time duration is not
available, then the teacher transfers the student to another class illustrates the concept of Inroute
Switching. This is beneficial since the traffic pattern for a particular device connected to a VSAT may
not be consistent throughout the day and hence it is desirable to change the bandwidth access
mechanism when its traffic pattern changes.
The single most parameter that determines the efficiency of any TDM/TDMA System is bandwidth
allocation. In the analogy teacher divides the available time interval to allow multiple students to
communicate. This illustrates the basic characteristic of Time Division Multiple Assess or TDMA
operation.
In the first mode of communication where each student communicates randomly illustrates the User
Aloha bandwidth assignment technique. Here a part of the Inroute is set aside to be contended for by an
assigned set of remote VSATs. The User Aloha technique is useful for light traffic that has small,
uniform message sizes.
In the second mode of communication where the student requests the teacher to allocate a time slot to
communicate illustrates the Transaction Reservation bandwidth assignment technique. Here when a
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remote VSAT configured for transaction determines that it has one or more packets ready for
transmission, it sends a transaction request to the Hub. The request includes the number of packets and
their sizes. The Hub allocates a time slot and returns a transaction response message to the VSAT. The
remote VSAT then transmits as many packets as will fit into the allocated time slot. If there are more
packets, then the VSAT sends another transaction request.
In the third mode of communication where each student is pre-allocated a time slot for communication
illustrates Stream bandwidth assignment. This technique provides fixed, periodic transmission
opportunities during each superframe to a remote VSAT. The Stream technique can be most efficient
capacity allocation technique for high throughput applications, and it can be used to provide very good
and consistent response time.
The use means like acronyms, abbreviated statements, and symbolic statements to send maximum
information illustrates the features of data compression and data prioritization provided by the VSAT to
improve transmission efficiency. It minimizes average response time, but on account of packet
retransmission bandwidth utilization is poor.
Multiple - Frequency Time Division Multiple Access(M - FTDMA)
Sharing Bandwidth (FDMA)
Using the analogy above, FDMA is simply having all the students talking together but only listening to
one teacher.
In the same way, the teacher has to tune in to one student and filter out the rest. This is perhaps simple to
understand since radio and tv has traditionally used this principle, albeit one way from transmitter to
receiver.
Sharing Bandwidth & Time (FTDMA)
Now if the students take turns to talk to the teacher then the teacher can talk to every student. The
teacher can choose which student can talk and when they can talk. Sounds like a dream situation for
some teachers.
M-FTDMA is the same system, each student has a frequency or groups of students have a frequency and
the teacher has a frequency. The result is an extremely efficient access scheme for many VSAT users to
communicate with the network via satellite.
Code Division Multiple Access(CDMA)
ACCESS SCHEMES
For radio systems there are two resources, frequency and time. Division by frequency, so that each pair
of communicators is allocated part of the spectrum for all of the time, results in Frequency Division
Multiple Access (FDMA). Division by time, so that each pair of communicators is allocated all (or at
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least a large part) of the spectrum for part of the time results in Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).
In Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), every communicator will be allocated the entire spectrum
all of the time. CDMA uses codes to identify connections.
CDMA uses unique spreading codes to spread the baseband data before transmission. The signal is
transmitted in a channel, which is below noise level. The receiver then uses a correlator to despread the
wanted signal, which is passed through a narrow bandpass filter. Unwanted signals will not be despread
and will not pass through the filter.
Codes take the form of a carefully designed one/zero sequence produced at a much higher rate than that
of the baseband data. The rate of a spreading code is referred to as chip rate rather than bit rate.
CODES
CDMA codes are not required to provide call security, but create a uniqueness to enable call
identification. Codes should not correlate to other codes or time shifted version of itself. Spreading
codes are noise like pseudo-random codes, channel codes are designed for maximum separation from
each other and cell identification codes are balanced not to correlate to other codes of itself.

THE SPREADING PROCESS


WCDMA uses Direct Sequence spreading, where spreading process is done by directly combining the
baseband information to high chip rate binary code. The Spreading Factor is the ratio of the chips
(UMTS = 3.84Mchips/s) to baseband information rate. Spreading factors vary from 4 to 512 in FDD
UMTS. Spreading process gain can in expressed in dBs (Spreading factor 128 = 21dB gain).
POWER CONTROL
CDMA is interference limited multiple access system. Because all users transmit on the same frequency,
internal interference generated by the system is the most significant factor in determining system
capacity and call quality.
The transmit power for each user must be reduced to limit interference, however, the power should be
enough to maintain the required Eb/No (signal to noise ratio) for a satisfactory call quality. Maximum
capacity is achieved when Eb/No of every user is at the minimum level needed for the acceptable
channel performance.
Demand Assigned Multiple Access(DAMA) & Pre-Assigned Multiple Access(PAMA)
TECHNOLOGY SIMPLIFIED SCPC (DAMA/PAMA)
Possessiveness is a basic human instinct. One really doesnt like to share resources. You want your own
PC. You want a dedicated LAN connection. You want your own home page. You want your own
telephone. Well the list is long. But this is in direct contradiction to the fact that Networking was born
15

and has evolved on the philosophy of resource sharing, first across premises and eventually across
geographies.
So we are going to talk about two things
a) Dedicated resources in a shared environment and
b) Shared resources in a dedicated environment.
This means that if you dont want to travel in a bus you can buy a car (its your dedicated resource), but
you cannot buy the road (its a shared resource).
Lets come to the point directly. We are talking about Satellite Communication. Today there is a plethora
of products and technologies available in the market place. It is indeed a formidable task to select the
appropriate technology. The even more difficult task is to select the appropriate product. This documents
aims to demystify the concepts involved with an established technology the Single Channel Per
Carrier or SCPC technology.
The service provider providing SCPC connectivity services has a deep resemblance to a Courier
company. After all it is also a service provider. We ask the service provider much the same questions as
we do while selecting a Courier company. Now since we all are familiar with Courier business, lets take
a close look how the business operates, how the customers interests are taken care of and what are the
trade-off involved.
SCPC provides clear channel communication. To understand this lets the situation where you have to
send large equipment. Now then there are two ways to send it. You either send it as a single piece or you
disassemble it into small parts and then send it. In the later option you have to first disassemble the
equipment, send adequate information with each component to that it can be re-assembled in the proper
order. Now if one of the components does not arrive in time then the whole consignment waits till it
arrives. The former case represents clear channel communication and the later represents packetised
data/voice transmission.
The Courier Company picks up the goods from your premises and delivers to you premises in another
location and thus it provides end-to-end delivery. Similarly SCPC provides end-to-end data, voice and
video connectivity. Its just not sufficient to deliver the information, it should be delivered at the earliest.
Now there are two ways to it. If you observe the geographic distribution of your organization, you can
surely identify locations between which you transfer goods very frequently. So the Courier Company
can reserve a definite space in their flights to carry your goods everyday. If your goods volume is very
large then you can ask the Courier Company to reserve a flight for you.
Of there is a cost attached to it. At the same time once the flight is dedicated to you, any type of goods
can be sent through. However if you dont load the flight fully, then you are at loss as the cost of
operating the flight still remains the same. But there is a way to optimize or distribute the cost. Use the
flight to cove all your locations sequentially, taking a pair at a time.
16

In parlance of SCPC connectivity, the flight illustrates the concept of a frequency carrier. Thus the
frequency carrier can either be permanently assigned between two VSATs giving way to Permanently
Assigned Multiple Access (PAMA). Thus a permanently assigned frequency channel provides dedicated
bandwidth, through which you can send data, voice or video. This illustrates the concept of Dedicated
Resource in Shared Environment. Here the frequency channel is dedicated to you but the basic Satellite
resource is shared by many.
Now the assigned frequency carrier in PAMA can either be used for voice or for data. But what if you
want to use one carrier for data and voice. Of course this is possible. How ever it calls for the use of a
call of device called Voice Data Multiplexer (VDM) which combines or aggregates several data and
voice channels into one trunk line which in turn is interfaced to the VSAT equipment. The VDM is
chosen primarily keeping in mind the number of voice channels required. A typical VDM configuration
comprises of one LAN interface and multiple voice interface.
Alternately the frequency carrier can be assigned between any two VSATs on a demand basis giving
way to Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA). Thus several VSATs share a floating link. Now as
the number of VSAT grows, one floating channel becomes insufficient. Thus a pool of floating is
assigned for the group of VSATs. It should be noted that in DAMA after the link is established it
becomes equivalent in every respect to PAMA. Thus DAMA involves a call establishment cycle which
is not there in PAMA.
The link establishment in DAMA is quite similar to making a long distance telephone call. If your phone
has STD facility then you just dial the destination number and get connected. In the absence of the ISD
felicity you request the telephone operator to dial the destination number and connect you through. But
once you are connected the operator does not come in picture. Thus in DAMA call setup procedure the
end equipment first data transmission request to the VSAT. The VSAT then sends another request to the
Network Control Center (NCS). The NCS then sends another request to the destination VSAT to
confirm if it is busy. If it is not busy then it allocates a pair of frequency to the two VSATs. Thus the
clear channel circuit is established end-to-end. Thus the NCS is only involves in call establishment.
A logical question that arises here is what should be the capacity of the satellite channel established
between two locations.
Going back to the courier analogy, if you notice there are weight slabs fixed by the courier company e.g.
0 to 1Kg, 1 to 5 Kg, 5 to 20 kg, 20 to 50kg and so on. This implies that whether you want to send a 1.5
kg object or a 4.9 Kg object, the charges are the same. Of course you would like the range to be
narrower. Similarly in the case of SCPC the capacity of the Satellite channel cannot be arbitrary. The
commonly available steps are 4.8 Kbps, 9.6 Kbps. 16 Kbps, 19.2 Kbps, 32 Kbps, 64 Kbps and 128
Kbps. Thus depending on traffic requirement appropriate channel size is allocated.
A network can have a mix of both PAMA and DAMA Links. Generally PAMA is preferred for data and
DAMA for voice. Also there can be multiple DAMA and PAMA from the same location. Finally the
DAMA link can be easily transformed into a PAMA link. This does not call for any hardware chance.
17

This can be seamlessly carried out from the Network Control System (NCS).
Now an obvious question is what determines how many frequency channels or carriers can be
established from one location. Well there are two things in this. One is the Channel Unit and the other is
the RF Unit. The Channel Unit is the satellite modem (the counterpart of the familiar Landline modem).
Every frequency carrier PAMA or DAMA requires a Channel Unit. These Channel Units are housed in a
modular chassis having multiple slots. So it is obvious that if you are using a four slot chassis, you can
have up to four carriers. Now the RF Unit, which is collocated with the antenna, actually transmits four
frequency carriers. Now there is certain amount of power associated with each carrier depending on its
bandwidth i.e. the RF unit has to radiate more power to transmit a 64 Kbps carrier that a 19.2 Kbps
carrier. Thus every RF unit has a definite power rating and that has to be considered while determining
the number of carriers supported. Normally RF units are available with power ratings of 2W, 5W, 10W
and 20W. For example a 5W RF unit can support either two 64 Kbps Carriers or seven 19.2 Kbps
Carriers or fourteen 9.6 Kbps Carriers. Thus if you need three voice channels (@ 16 Kbps per channel)
and two 19.2 Kbps and one 64 Kbps data channel then you will require a 10W RF unit.
Space Segment Support
The ideal orbit for a communications satellite is geostationary , or motionless relative to the ground.
Satellites used for communications are almost exclusively in the geostationary orbit, located at 36000
km above the equator. In line with ITU stipulations, for avoiding interference, all satellites are placed 2
degree apart. This places a maximum limit of 180 satellites operating in a geostationary orbit.
However, with a view to maximize the utilization of orbital slots, Co-located satellites are being
deployed. Co-located satellites are separated by 0.1 degree in space or approximately 30 kms. Signal
interference from the Co-located satellites is prevented by using orthogonal polarizations. Hence a
ground station equipment can receive signals from two Co-located satellites without any reorientation of
the antenna. The signals can be differentiated based on their polarization.
Space segment : Space Segment is available from organizations which have procured satellites, arranged
launches and conducted preliminary tests in-orbit and who then operate these satellites on commercial
basis.
Transponders :
A communications satellite's transponder, is the series of interconnected units which form a
communications channel between the receiving and the transmitting antennas.[1] It is mainly used in
satellite communication to transfer the received signals.
A transponder is typically composed of:

An input band limiting device (a band pass filter)

An Input low-noise amplifier (LNA), designed to amplify the (normally very weak,
because of the large distances involved) signals received from the earth station

A frequency translator (normally composed of an oscillator and a frequency mixer)


18

used to convert the frequency of the received signal to the frequency required for
the transmitted signal

An output band pass filter

A power amplifier (this can be a traveling-wave tube or a solid state amplifier)

Most communication satellites are radio relay stations in orbit, and carry dozens of transponders, each
with a bandwidth of tens of megahertz. Most transponders operate on a "bent pipe" principle, sending
back to earth of what goes into the conduit with only amplification and a shift from uplink to downlink
frequency. However, some modern satellites use on-board processing, where the signal is demodulated,
decoded, re-encoded and modulated aboard the satellite. This type, called a "regenerative" transponder,
has many advantages, but is much more complex.
With data compression and multiplexing, several video (including digital video) and audio channels
may travel through a single transponder on a single wideband carrier.
Original analog video only had one channel per transponder, with subcarriers for audio and automatic
transmission identification service ATIS. Non-multiplexed radio stations can also travel in single
channel per carrier (SCPC) mode, with multiple carriers (analog or digital) per transponder. This
allows each station to transmit directly to the satellite, rather than paying for a whole transponder, or
using landlines to send it to an earth station for multiplexing with other stations.
NASA distinguishes between a "transponder" and a "transceiver", where the latter is simply an
independent transmitter and receiver packaged in the same unit, and the former derives the transmit
carrier frequency from the received signal. This linkage allows an interrogating ground station to
recover the Doppler and thus infer range and speed from a communication signal without allocating
power to a separate ranging signal
Contained in the satellite
There are a number of transponders, or repeaters. These transponders perform the following functions :

Signal Reception - it receives the signal uplinked by a VSAT and/or hub

Frequency Translation - the frequency of the received signal is translated to a different


frequency, known as the downlink frequency. The frequency translation ensures that there is no
positive feedback and also avoid interference related issues.

Amplification - the transponder also amplifies the downlink signal.

The number of transponders determines the capacity of a satellite. The INSAT series of satellites have
typically 12 / 18 transponders in various frequency bands. Each transponder typically has a bandwidth
of 40 Mhz. The various frequency bands are as below 19

Frequency Band

Uplink
Earth Station to satellite

(GHz) Downlink
Satellite to Earth Station

C Band

5.925 to 6.425

3.700 to 4.200

Extended C Band

6.725 to 7.025

4.500 to 4.800

Ku Band

14.000 to 14.500

10.950 to 11.700

(GHz)

Internationally Ku-Band is a popular frequency band in use. The Ku- Band by virtue of its higher
frequency can support traffic with smaller antenna sizes in comparison to C / Ext-C Band. It is ,
however, susceptible to rain outages making it unsuitable for use in South East Asian regions. Indian
service providers are presently allowed to hire space segment only on the INSAT series and operate in
Ext-C band only. Ext-C band is available only on the INSAT series of satellites and is not a standard
band available internationally.
Link Budgets : Ascertains that the RF equipment would cater to the requirements of the network
topology and satellite modems in use. The link Budget estimates the ground station and satellite EIRP
required. Equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) is the power transmitted from a transmitting
object. Satellite ERP can be defined as the sum of output power from the satellites amplifier, satellite
antenna gain and losses.
Calculations of signal levels through the system (from originating earth station to satellite to receiving
earth station) to ensure the quality of service should normally be done prior to the establishment of a
satellite link. This calculation of the link budget highlights the various aspects. EIRP required at the
transmitting VSAT, Satellite EIRP which will be required for a desired specified gain of this receiving
system. Apart from the known losses due to various cables and inter - connecting devices, it is
customary to keep sufficient link margin for various extraneous noise which may affect the
performance. It is also a safeguard to meet eventualities of signal attenuation due to rain/snow. As
mentioned earlier a satellite provides two resources, bandwidth and amplification power. In most VSAT
networks the limiting resource in satellite transponder is power rather than bandwidth.
With all their advantages, VSATs are taking on an expanding role in a variety of interactive, on-line
data, voice and multimedia applications. Whether it is gas station service, rural telephony,
environmental monitoring, distance learning / remote training or the Internet, VSATs are truly poised to
be the Space Age Technology.
VSAT Network Options
Communicate with full local area network (LAN) capabilities to your remote offices, regardless of
location. IPX offers secure, reliable, VSAT networking solutions based on custom-engineered very small
aperture terminal (VSAT) communications for land and sea. VSAT technologies ensure link security and
reliability, with genuine end-to-end management and comprehensive in-country local customer support
systems.
20

Topology Solutions
Depending on your communications requirements and the complexity of your network, IPX provides a
choice of topology solutions that can be implemented. All VSAT solutions are based on a detailed
requirement analysis and design process, so that your satellite communication needs are matched with the
correct VSAT technology.
SCPC VSAT Solutions
A private, secure point-to-point VSAT solution that provides a dedicated link and dedicated bandwidth
between two locations. This VSAT system is Ideal for static environments, where communications
requirements are clearly established - supports voice, data, video communications.
TDMA VSAT Solutions
Also known as Single Hop, bandwidth-on-demand technology. A fully meshed network solution allows all
connected sites to communicate directly with each other, using a shared pool of bandwidth - optimizing
performance and cost effectiveness. This VSAT system is ideally suited to regionally distributed remote
operations that need to communicate both locally and centrally but whose demand for network capacity
fluctuates supports voice, data, video communications - eLearning and telemedicine.
DVB - Multi-Point IP Based VSAT Network Solutions
An IP based multi-point solution providing a partial mesh or star topology where each remote site can
communicate with the others via the central hub (double hop). Like our TDMA offering, bandwidth is
shared between the remote sites providing a cost-effective VSAT solution. In addition, DVB addresses
and transmits the packets in an optimum manner providing a best-in-class quality of service.

VSAT Engineering Services


If you're in business and need to get more out of your technology and communications budget, we believe
you've come to the right place.
IPX has made it our business to help other businesses adopt or enhance technology to improve
communications that serve their customers better and increase profitability. IPX provides the highest
quality VSAT systems and engineering to achieve the best in satellite communications.
IPX works closely with main supply partner, Satcom Resources to provide the highest quality and most
cost effective VSAT equipment on the market.
VSAT Engineering Services Include:

VSAT Relocation Services

21

Maritime, Rig Sites, Microwave

Maintenance and Spare Parts

Site Survey

Frequency Clearance & Licensing

Civil Engineering & Electrical Engineering

Antenna Mounts, LNBs, Feeds and Covers

Broadband on the Move Antennas and service

Lightning and Power Engineering

Surge Suppressors

Voltage Stabilizers

Generator sets

IF Cable - 100% Sweep Tested Cable

Point Dish on Carrier Create Pathways to Adjust and Manage the Systems

VSAT HUB Installation, Management and Service

IPX Teleport Services


IPX provides our clients the best in teleport functions. Teaming with the world's premier VSAT providers,
IPX has negotiated the best economies of scale and prices and passes those along to our customers.
IPX TELEPORT Services is a support system of co-located network hubs and voice gateways, combined
with the satellite, VSAT terminals, VOIP systems and earth stations at remote sites locations, which
provide a seamless network of the highest quality.
This networking system seamlessly connects private networks and business units in remote regions to the
central hub enabling the network to transmit and receive voice and data from anywhere in the world.
We offer a complete range of teleport and gateway services for the interconnection of traffic globally:

Links to high speed Internet anywhere in the world

Global maritime services for vessels and exploration and production rigs

Private Line Service for secure networks


22

Server and voice systems hosting

Dial tone and prepaid calling services from USA, Europe and global locations

Security, data and fax portals

Operational support services

Extensive terrestrial infrastructure insures integration interface with existing systems digital &
analog, 7/24 monitoring

Network interface with satellite earth stations and teleports around the world

Other IPX Teleport Facilities Include:

Fuchsttadt, Germany

Telespazio Lario, Italy

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Telekom Austria, Aflenz, Austria

Telenor, Eik, Norway

Telesat, Ottawa, Canada

Bangkok, Thailand

Lease VSAT Network Solutions


IPX has successfully supported work flows, for many critical oil field operations with our VSAT systems.
Exploratory wells, seismic programs, pipeline, and drilling projects, all have common denominators, such
as:

Tight Schedules

Short Term Deployments

Support Large Crew of Workers

Segregation of Public and Private Networks for Contractors

Critical Requirements for Safety and 100% Uptime

23

IPX has designed specific solutions for these types of requirements. These short term critical projects rely
on short term reliable VSAT solutions that can be quickly mobilized and setup for operations in the field.
With the IPX VSAT Lease plan, affordable packages are available that provide:

Ruggedized Cases That Can Be Easily Transported

All VSAT and Network Equipment

Flexible and Powerful Bandwidth Plans

Eliminate CAPEX expenditures

Internet and Email Applications

Large Data File Delivery Capabilities

VOIP Phones

Local and International Phone Lines

Phone Lines with Links to Main Offices and Global Dial Tone

eFax

Local Networks with Firewalls and Switches

Includes MOB DEMOB & Project Management for Rig Site and Camp Operations

Definition:
A Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), is a two-way satellite ground station with a dish antenna that
is smaller than 3 meters (most VSAT antennas range from 75 cm to 1.2 m). VSAT data rates typically
range from narrowband up to 4 Mbit/s. VSATs access satellites in geosynchronous orbit to relay data from
small remote earth stations (terminals) to other terminals (in mesh configurations) or master earth station
"hubs" (in star configurations).
VSATs are most commonly used to transmit narrowband data (point of sale transactions such as credit
card, polling or RFID data; or SCADA), or broadband data (for the provision of Satellite Internet access
24

to remote locations, VoIP or video). VSATs are also used for transportable, on-the-move (with phasedarray antennas) or mobile maritime (such as Inmarsat or BGAN) communications.
History and Usage:
The first commercial VSATs were C band (6 GHz) receive-only systems by Equatorial Communications
using spread spectrum technology. More than 30,000 60 cm antenna systems were sold in the early 1980s.
Equatorial later developed a C band (4/6 GHz) 2 way system using 1 m x 0.5 m antennas and sold about
10,000 units in 1984-85.
In 1985, Schlumberger Oilfield Research co-developed the world's first Ku band (12-14 GHz) VSATs
with Hughes Aerospace to provide portable network connectivity for oil field drilling and exploration
units. Ku Band VSATs make up the vast majority of sites in use today for data or telephony applications.
The largest VSAT network (more than 12,000 sites) was deployed by Spacenet and MCI for the US Postal
Service. Other large VSAT network users include Walgreens Pharmacy, Dollar General, Wal-Mart, CVS,
Riteaid, Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and other Quick Service Restaurant
chains), GTECH and SGI for lottery terminals. VSATs are used by car dealerships affiliated with
manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors for transmitting and receiving sales figures and orders, as
well as for receiving internal communications, service bulletins, and interactive distance learning courses
from manufacturers. The FordStar network, used by Ford and its local dealers, is an example of this.
VSAT technology is also used for two-way satellite Internet providers such as HughesNet, StarBand and
WildBlue in the United States; and Bluestream, SatLynx and Technologie Satelitarne in Europe, among
others. These services are used across the world as a means of delivering broadband Internet access to
locations which cannot get less expensive broadband connections such as ADSL or cable internet access;
usually remote or rural locations.
Nearly all VSAT systems are now based on IP, with a very broad spectrum of applications. As of
December 2004, the total number of VSATs ordered stood at over 1 million, with nearly 650,000 in
service. Annual VSAT service revenues were $3.88 billion (source: www.comsys.co.uk).
Configuration:
Most VSAT networks are configured in one of these topologies:
A star topology, using a central uplink site, such as a network operations center (NOC), to
transport data back and forth to each VSAT terminal via satellite,
A mesh topology, where each VSAT terminal relays data via satellite to another terminal by acting
as a hub, minimizing the need for a centralized uplink site,
A combination of both star and mesh topologies. Some VSAT networks are configured by having
several centralized uplink sites (and VSAT terminals stemming from it) connected in a multi-star
topology with each star (and each terminal in each star) connected to each other in a mesh
topology. Others configured in only a single star topology sometimes will have each terminal
connected to each other as well, resulting in each terminal acting as a central hub. These
configurations are utilized to minimize the overall cost of the network, and to alleviate the
25

amount of data that has to be relayed through a central uplink site (or sites) of a star or multi-star
network.
Star topology services like HughesNet, Spacenet Connexstar/StarBand, WildBlue and others can be used
to provide broadband wide area networks, as well as to provide broadband Internet access. Applications of
this include intranet networking for front and back office applications, managed store and forward
solutions such as digital signage, and interactive distance learning.
Configuration:
VSAT Frequency Spectrum Allocation
This table acts as a guide only.
Band
Frequency GHz
Band C 3 to 7
Band Ku 10 to 18
Band Ka 18 to 31
Technology:

Area Foot-print
Large
Medium
Small

Delivered Power
Low
Medium
High

Rainfall effect
Minimum
Moderate
Severe

VSAT was originally intended for sporadic store-and-forward data communications but has evolved into
real-time internet services. VSAT uses existing satellite broadcasting technology with higher powered
components and antennas manufactured with higher precision than conventional satellite television
systems. The satellite antenna at the customer's location includes, in addition to the receiver, a relatively
high-powered transmitter that sends a signal back to the originating satellite. A very small portion of a
transponder is used for each VSAT return path channel. Each VSAT terminal is assigned a frequency for
the return path which it shares with other VSAT terminals using a shared transmission scheme such as
time division multiple access.
An innovative feature of VSAT is that the technology has evolved to the point that something that
previously could only be done with large, high-powered transmitting satellite dishes can now be done
with a much smaller and vastly lower-powered antenna at the customer's premises. In addition, several
return-path channels can co-exist on a single satellite transponder, and each of these return-path channels
is further subdivided using to serve multiple customers.
In the system used by WildBlue, 31 different spot beams are used to serve the continental United States
instead of the one beam used by conventional satellites. Thus, the same Ka-band transponders and
frequencies are used for different regions throughout the United States, effectively re-using the same
bandwidth in different regions.
The return path is transmitted from the customer's receiver in the L-band to a device called a low-noise
block upconverter. There it is converted into the much higher frequency satellite transmission frequency,
such as Ku-band and Ka-band, and amplified. Finally the signal is emitted to the dish antenna which
focuses the signal into a beam that approximately covers the satellite with its beam. Because the
transmission cannot be precise in these smaller dishes there is some effort to use frequencies for the
uplink that are not used by adjacent satellites otherwise interference can occur to those other satellites.
Another satellite communications innovation, also used by satellite trucks for video transmission, is that
only a small portion of a single satellite transponder is used by each VSAT channel. Previously a single
26

transponder was required for a single customer but now several customers can use one transponder for the
return path. This is in addition to time-based subdivision.

VSAT Technology
VSAT stands for Very Small Aperture Terminal.
What does VSAT stand for?
A VSAT is a small-sized telecommunications earth station that
transmits and receives via satellite. The terminal size is 1.2 to 2.4
What is a VSAT ?
meter in diameter.
VSAT systems generally connect a large number of geographically
dispersed sites to a central location. VSAT networks may transmit
For what are VSATs used?
voice, data, fax, or video conferencing.
A typical VSAT site consists of a parabolic-shaped antenna mounted
What are the components in a on the roof of a building, connected by a cable to a chassis inside the
building. Operators install these antennas at customer sites and buy
VSAT site?
transmission capacity on satellites.
A typical VSAT unit contains a modem for translating satellite
What does the VSAT unit transmissions back into data (and vice versa) and terrestrial interfaces
for connecting customer equipment.
contain?
A satellite transponder is a combination receiver, frequency converter,
What is a satellite transponder? and transmitter package. It is physically part of a communications
satellite. Communications satellites typically have 12 to 24 onboard
transponders.
VSAT networks can be arranged in point-to-point, star, mesh,
What are the typical VSAT star/mesh, and broadcast configurations. The preferred arrangement
depends on the kind of information flow the network will service.
network configurations?
A point-to-point network allows two-way communications between
What is a point-to-point VSAT two VSAT sites.
network?

What is a star VSAT network?

A star network allows any number of VSAT sites to have two-way


communication with a central hub.

A mesh network allows two-way communications between any VSAT


What is a mesh VSAT network? sites in a network. A central hub is not necessary. Each site
communicates to another site with a single satellite hop.
There are three basic VSAT transmission types: TDMA, time-division
What are the different VSAT multiple access; DAMA, demand-assigned multiple access; and SCPC
/ MCPC, single/multiple channel per carrier.
transmission methods?
27

TDMA is a form of multiple access in which a single carrier is shared


What are the characteristics of a by many users. When signals from earth stations reach the satellite,
they are processed in time segments without overlapping. TDMA is
TDMA transmission type?
typically used in a packet switched environment when small or
moderate amounts of data are to be transferred.
The DAMA protocol is used to share bandwidth in a time division
What are the characteristics of a mode. Typically DAMA transmission is used in a packet-switched
environment when large amounts of data are to be transferred. Is a
DAMA transmission type?
highly efficient means of instantaneously assigning telephony
channels in a transponder according to immediate traffic demands.
DAMA is also applicable in a circuit-switched environment and is
usually characterized by allowing each user a variable slot of time on
a demand (or request) basis.
SCPC / MCPC systems use a dedicated satellite link between a few
What are the characteristics of a distinct locations. These links can support either a single telephone
SCPC / MCPC transmission line or several telephone or data lines. Such links generally are
permanently assigned with no carrier switching or rerouting over the
type?
satellite.
SCPC-DAMA systems provide a control network on top of an SCPC
What
is
SCPC-DAMA network. When a particular station wishes to make a telephone call,
the control network is used to forward that request to a central
transmission?
processor that sets up a dedicated SCPC link between the two sites.
When the call is finished, the link is taken down and the satellite
resources can be used for a different call. SCPC-DAMA best supports
applications in which there are few telephone lines per site and
telephone calls are infrequent.
TDM-TDMA networks are designed for interactive data applications.
What
is
TDM-TDMA TDM-TDMA systems feature a large expensive hub that provides
basic data communications to very inexpensive remote sites. The
transmission?
architecture supports many remote stations using a small amount of
satellite bandwidth. Data rates supported at the remote sites are
typically between 1.2 kbps and 9.6 kbps; however, this type of traffic
has a very low average data rate. Each station may transmit bursts of
9.6 kbps data, but they generally average less than 100 bps. Typical
applications are transactional in nature. Examples include credit card
verifications, point-of-sale systems, SCADA systems, and inventory
control.
TDMA-DAMA networks have the same demand assignment
What
is
TDMA-DAMA capability as SCPC-DAMA networks, but also have division
multiplexing to reduce the need for multiple modems at each site.
transmission?
TDMA-DAMA networks allow many telephone calls to be placed
simultaneously to different destinations through a single station.
FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access) uses a single modem
What is FDMA transmission? for all communication from a site and transmits for very short
intervals and at higher data rates. FDMA uses multiple carriers within
the same transponder within which each uplink has been assigned
frequency slot and bandwidth. It is usually used in conjunction with
frequency modulation.
28

TDMA-DAMA systems support many telephone lines with very little


What is the advantage of a incremental cost. E1 or T1 interfaces can be provided for direct digital
connections to PBXs or telephony switches. TDMA-DAMA systems
TDMA-DAMA system?
are also flexible in supporting applications such as data, video
conferencing, broadcast, and the like. In addition, TDMA networks are
hubless, which eliminates the high cost of a hub and a single point of
failure within the network.
TDMA-DAMA networks support applications with mesh connectivity
What applications do TDMA- and applications that require multiple services that are integrated into
DAMA networks best support? a single network such as telephony, low-to-high speed data imaging,
fax, and interactive video conferencing.

VSAT Network
Network Equipment
A network typically consists of a larger earth station, commonly referred to as a teleport, with hub
equipment at one end and a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT ) antenna with remote equipment at the
other end. The network equipment can be divided into two sets of equipment connected by a pair of
cables: the Outdoor Unit (ODU) and the Indoor Unit (IDU).

ODU
An ODU is the equipment located outside of a building and includes the satellite antenna or dish, a low
noise block converter (LNB), and a block-up-converter (BUC). The LNB converter amplifies the received
signal and down converts the satellite signal to the L band (950 MHz to 1550 MHz), while the BUC
amplifies the uplink transmission when the antenna is transmitting.
IDU
The IDU equipment at the teleport usually consists of a rack-mounted hub system and networking
equipment connected to terrestrial networks, like the PSTN or Internet backbone. There is also a device
that converts between satellite and IP protocols for local LAN applications such as PCs, voice calls and
video conferencing.
At the remote location, a router connects to a small VSAT antenna receiving the IP transmission from the
hub over the satellite and converts it into real applications like Internet, VoIP and data.
Topologies
Network topologies define how remote locations connect to each other and to the hub. The link over the
satellite from the hub to the remote is called the outbound or downlink transmission, whereas the link
from the remote to the hub is referred to as inbound or uplink.
29

Satellite networks are primarily configured in one of these topologies:


Star (hub & spoke) Networks
In a star network topology the hub connects to the remote, where all communications are passed back
through the hub. Virtually an unlimited number of remotes can be connected to the hub in this topology.
Smaller, lower powered BUCs can be used at the remote end since they are only connecting back to the
larger hub antenna.

Mesh Networks
A mesh network topology allows one remote VSAT location to communicate with another remote location
without routing through the hub. This type of connection minimizes delay and often is used for very high
quality voice and video conferencing applications.
With this topology, larger antennas are required and more power is needed to transmit, thereby increasing
cost.

Hybrid Networks
A hybrid topology is a mix of star and mesh networking solutions. This topology allows the hub to send
information to the remotes, with the remotes then able to communicate with other VSAT locations.
Point to Point Connectivity
Contrary to the networking topologies, a point-to-point topology involves a dedicated connection between
two antennas. This topology is a direct pipeline with a set bandwidth capacity regardless of usage and is
typically designed with Single Carrier per Channel (SCPC) technology.
Value Chain
Equipment Vendors
Equipment vendors are generally distinguished between pure antenna manufacturers and satellite
equipment manufacturers that produce indoor or outdoor ground equipment including antennas, LNBs,
BUCs, hubs, routers, software and network management systems.
Satellite Operators
Satellite operators are responsible for the planning and cost of the construction and launch of satellite into
space. They own and manage a constellation of satellites and determine coverage and geographic areas.
30

Satellite operators lease this bandwidth to service providers, government entities, television broadcasters,
enterprises and sometimes direct to the end consumer.
Service Providers/ Network Operators
Service providers, sometimes known as network operators, are telecommunication companies or
specialized satellite service companies who sell a full service package to the end customer. They lease
capacity from satellite operators, purchase and operate the network equipment and the antenna, and are
responsible for the installation and maintenance of the network.
Customers
Customers are the enterprises, organizations and consumers who use satellite communication services.
Governments or large corporate customers may operate as their own service provider by managing the
equipment directly and leasing bandwidth from satellite operators. Individuals and smaller enterprises
typically work with service providers who manage the equipment and connections.
Applications
Always-on, high-speed connectivity is needed for a variety of applications. Whether broadcasting radio to
consumers or multi-casting data for enterprise networks, satellite can support all of a users networking
requirements, including:
VoIP
Email
Internet
Video
Data
VPN
Broadcasting
Satellite can provide the right solution for a number of applications, whether extending the edge of the
terrestrial networks to remote places or as a stand-alone solution, such as:
Enterprise Connectivity
Retail Transactions
Internet Connections (ISPs)
Video/TV Direct to Home
Maritime
Cellular Backhaul
Military Defense
Energy & Utilities
Oil & Gas
Business Continuity
Disaster Recovery/Emergency Relief
Education & Training
Aeronautical Connectivity
Enterprise Connectivity
Support mission critical business applications with secure, high-speed connections

31

Global connectivity is essential. Organizations need a single, integrated IP network that merges voice,
data and video and supports all business applications across the enterprise anyplace, anytime.
The need for uninterrupted enterprise connectivity is fueling the growth of broadband services that can
support many enterprise IP applicationsfrom data to voice to video and extend to any location; be it
land, sea, or air. Advances in satellite technology have made IP-over-satellite the cost-effective solution
for enterprises that want to expand connectivity to every location and individual no matter where they are,
ensuring total business continuity under any circumstances and in any environment.
Benefits
The benefits of true enterprise connectivity via iDirect technology touch nearly every facet of the
business:

Greater efficiencies

Lower operating costs

Increased productivity

Whether its enabling faster, more secure financial transactions, assuring business continuity despite
network failures, or keeping a mobile, dispersed workforce connected, IP connectivity drives business
success in the enterprise.
Solution Overview
iDirects technology is trusted worldwide to support critical IP applications across the enterprise,
providing the essential integration across terrestrial and satellite networks and platforms.
If its VoIP, VPN, streaming media, Internet access or data backup, iDirects advanced technology is an
essential part of global enterprise networks everywhere, enabling workers from headquarters to the most
remote offices to better connect and collaborate, and share information.
The iDirect Intelligent Platform is an IP-based satellite communications system engineered to deliver
quality broadband connectivity wherever and whenever its needed. It changes the nature of what satellite
communications is capable of achieving, transforming satellites reach into a mainstream solution able to
extend high-speed, secure connectivity to any geography, environment or communications application
within the enterprise. The Intelligent Platform is a key driver in evolving the VSAT market by helping our
customers optimize networks, reduce costs, differentiate service, enter into new markets, and grow
revenue.
SatManage is a sophisticated suite of Web-based software tools for automation, monitoring and
integration of hybrid networks and NOC based applications.
The iDirect Intelligent Platform is an IP-based satellite communications system engineered to deliver
quality broadband connectivity wherever and whenever its needed. The Platform changes the nature of
what satellite communications is capable of achieving, transforming satellite communications into a
mainstream solution able to extend high-speed, secure connectivity to any geography, environment or
communications application. The Intelligent Platform is a key driver in evolving the VSAT market by
helping our customers optimize networks, reduce costs, differentiate service, enter into new markets, and
grow revenue.
32

Elements of the Intelligent Platform


The Intelligent Platform consists of a flexible, universal hub and line card system, a versatile series of
remotes, plus fully integrated operating and management software that forms a unified IP-based satellite
communications architecture. Every element from hardware components to software features
embedded in the Platform shares a common development approach based on performance, efficiency,
flexibility, and functionality.
The value of the Platform lies in the integration of the hardware and software architecture along with a
dynamic feature set that makes it flexible in its ability to handle diverse market needs enabling
everything from basic Internet and VoIP to sophisticated application suites, such as video conferencing
and digital signage in fixed and mobile environments.
With this single, unified platform, customers have the core functionality needed to efficiently establish a
reliable, shared satellite service able to deploy the widest range of applications.
Software enhancements continually fuel the Intelligent Platform, delivering innovations ranging from
remote performance gains and faster processing speeds to network scalability improvements and
expanded functionality throughout the Platform.
With the Intelligent Platform, customers can invest in an innovative technology mindset aligned with a
long-term business strategy.
The Intelligent Platform: Top Five Distinguishing Attributes

The Intelligent Platform mirrors the quality and reliability of terrestrial services, ensuring
a first-class user experience

The Intelligent Platforms superior flexibility enables service providers to create the most
bandwidth- efficient network designs and customer service plans

The Intelligent Platforms modular hub and line card design, combined with a versatile
remote series and powerful software, deliver equal parts flexibility and cost effectiveness
to meet the most diverse range of markets and applications

The Intelligent Platform has the ready-to-access mobility and portability functionality that
enables service providers to offer the same high-quality, reliable user experience for
Communications-on-the-Move (COTM)

Comprehensive network management software tools enable service providers to optimize


their growing networks, keep up with customer demands and increase customer
satisfaction

Maritime Connectivity
One Solution for Always-On Access at Sea
Satellite communications play a vital role within the maritime industry and iDirect is a technology
leader providing the platform of choice for service providers connecting vessels at sea. iDirects VSAT
33

technology is the most broadly deployed solution across the growing ranks of broadband-enabled
vessels.

With over 90 percent of worldwide trade served by the maritime market, vessels at sea rely on broadband
connectivity and VSAT technology to stay in touch with operations on land, increase work productivity
and improve the quality of life for the 1.2 million seafarers that are the backbone of the maritime industry.
VSAT networks supporting connectivity at sea have seen exponential growth over the past five years. A
recent research report by maritime consultants Stark Moore MacMillan estimated that 30% of the global
shipping industry will be trialing or fitting VSAT in the next 24 months.
The growth and implementation of VSAT technology is a result of the increased use of IP applications on
board vessels. VSAT technology is not only being deployed for crew connectivity, Internet access, email
and mobile phone connectivity, but its being used to improve the operational efficiency on board a vessel
while providing improved access and interaction with resources on shore. As VSAT technology continues
to develop, it will play a dominant role in providing broadband connectivity for vessels around the globe.
iDirects innovations in IP broadband provide a cost-effective, scalable solution with always-on
connectivity. The flexibility of the iDirect system allows a maritime service provider to start small, with
minimum investment, and scale networks as business grows.
From regional services to global Ku-, C, or the latest Ka-band networks being developed, iDirect
technology maximizes capacity while it enables maritime providers to guarantee service levels that meet
any customer demand.
Features of the iDirect Maritime Solution
The iDirect Intelligent Platform reduces bandwidth by dynamically allocating capacity to maritime
vessels based on real-time demand using a centralized pool of shared bandwidth. Platform highlights
include:

Automatic Beam Switching As a vessel travels across various satellite footprints seamless
connectivity is maintained enabling global coverage without intervention from the crew

Group Quality of Service Manage the use of bandwidth across fleets, for multiple ships or even
prioritized for individual applications or specific requirements on board a single vessel

Global Network Management Enables a service provider to ensure a consistent connection for
each vessels router as it passes through networks around the globe

SatManage Advanced suite of software providing unparalleled insight into network


management and reliability allowing operators to provide detailed reports and manage SLAs

OpenAMIP open protocol that enables easier communication and integration between satellite
routers
and
the
industry
leading
stabilized
VSAT
antennas

34

Cellular Backhaul
Extend your reach and expand market opportunities
As the demand for wireless voice and data services increases so does the challenge for mobile
operators to cost effectively expand their networks. Whether it is for network fill in or expanding
capabilities into remote and rural areas, satellite technology plays a key role in backhauling voice and
data traffic and will continue to be a valuable solution for 2G, 3G and beyond.
The world has embraced mobile technology. Mobile networks have enabled voice services for over 90%
of the world and now the increase in smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices are making mobile
networks the platform of choice for data services. This demand has brought with it new challenges for
operators looking to expand services, grow subscribers and maintain leadership in a very competitive
industry. Cellular backhaul over satellite has proven to be a necessary and cost effective technology
helping
mobile
operators
around
the
globe
extend
their
reach.
Building a terrestrial backhaul network to connect base stations to the core network isnt always possible;
it can be cost prohibitive or technically challenging because of the terrain. Yet, operators want to expand
services, grow subscribers and maintain leadership in a competitive marketplace. With iDirects Cellular
Backhaul satellite technology, it is possible to provide backhaul from the farthest corners of the world.
Satellite remains a viable and competitive option for bringing cellular service to remote and rural areas.
Satellite technology has a number of positive attributes that make it a perfect solution for supporting the
cellular industry:

Offers ubiquitous coverage with high reliability

Can be installed quickly

Cost effective to operate and maintain

The current generation of wireless communications technology, 3G / HSPA, allows operators to offer
high-speed wireless data services to customers, no matter their location. The cellular backhaul demand
from subscribers increases as the mobile phone becomes the primary communication device. The iDirect
platform offers mobile operators the ability to fill in network gaps in urban or suburban areas or to expand
their reach and grow their business in remote locations as demand requires.
iDirects Cellular Backhaul Solution
Built from the ground up to support IP, the iDirect platform easily integrates with the latest IP base
stations from the leading cellular infrastructure manufacturers. iDirects technology has unique features
that maximize bandwidth efficiency while enabling superior voice quality and high-speed data
throughput.
With iDirects flexible, scalable platform operators will find:

TDMA and SCPC on a single platform - start small with minimal bandwidth commitment using
TDMA and transition to SCPC if and when demand grows, without changing hardware in the field
35

Real Time Traffic Management (RTTM) features such as time-slot feathering, UDP header
compression and free-slot allocation for superior voice quality and high-data speeds

Group Quality of Service (GQoS) offers total control of bandwidth management and prioritization
to ensure terrestrial-grade link quality and higher reliability for voice and data services

Why Use iDirect for Your Cellular Backhaul Solution?


iDirects technology is used all over the world to improve connectivity to remote and rural areas. Our
partnerships with the top cellular infrastructure manufacturers means we can offer you the tested, proven
solutions to meet your network requirements. As the demand for mobile voice and data services continues
to explode satellite technology will play an integral role in expanding the coverage areas and opening up
new revenue opportunities for mobile operators.
International Defense and Government
Fast, efficient and reliable broadband for globally assured access
Militaries not only need secure and reliable communications to connect soldiers in the field with central
operations, but also to provide recreation and welfare services for troops deployed far from home.
Militaries not only need secure and mobile communications to connect soldiers in the field with central
operations, but also to provide recreation and welfare services for troops deployed far from home.
Governments and Civil Agencies need flexible, secure and reliable solutions for ensuring diplomatic
connectivity and public safety.
The ability to quickly deploy and manage a network that can easily scale without the restrictions of an
existing communications infrastructure is essential to military and government operations. Solutions need
to be highly secure and reliable to provide assured access to any need, anywhere.
Solutions Overview
iDirect offers a highly reliable and extremely scalable satellite network that can be deployed on multiple
satellites in C-, Ku, Ka or X-band, from a central hub. iDirect s broadband capabilities provide the
connectivity for all voice, video and data communications and specialized applications even in the most
remote areas.
With built-in AES encryption and optional TRANSEC along with FIPS 140-2 compliance, security is
never compromised.
Industrialized, light weight and tamper-proof equipment that is easy to carry, maintain and quickly
deployable has been designed specifically for use in field operations.
The iDirect Intelligent Platform provides true mobility with spread spectrum mobile waveform and
high-speed comms-on-the-move features enabling military vehicles, ships or aircrafts to broadband
connectivity via very small antennas.
iDirects Solution At-a-Glance:

Flexible platform supporting multiple satellites and bands- X, C, Ku and Ka


36

Quickly deployable, robust and lightweight remotes for field operation

Enabling high-speed comms-on-the-move applications

Enhanced capabilities for IP system interoperability

Compliant with TRANSEC, FIPS 140-2 and STANAG security standards

Energy & Utilities


Enable network connectivity across the entire Utility smart grid
Energy and Utilities are making progress developing a next-generation communications network capable
of running their smart grid, but many Utilities need to plan how to affordably and reliably extend this
communications network to the difficult to reach locations of their service territory.
Satellite connectivity enables Utilities to bring the smart grid anywhere it is required, especially to remote
substations, AMI collector sites and customer locations beyond the reach of primary networks.
Providing Customized Communication Solutions
iDirect and our partners work with Utilities to provide IP-based satellite communication solutions that
integrate into their core networks to help meet smart grid objectives.
Through the iDirect technology, Utilities gain a secure and reliable network solution to monitor SCADA
(Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) devices, with the ability to extend broadband applications
such as video surveillance, VoIP and corporate data access to remote substations where other traditional
communications technologies fall short.
iDirects technology is leveraged by Utilities to support the need to backhaul smart meter data from
aggregation sites and manage green energy sites that may be in remote or difficult to reach locations.
Utilities depend on satellite technology to not only provide constant connectivity, but also as backup to
the overall communications network in the wake of catastrophic events or circuit failures.
The iDirect Benefits
Whether you are an integrator or a Utility, there is a compelling case for including iDirect technology as
part of your communications network.
Learn what industry experts are saying about recent research with Utility professional commissioned by
iDirect with the Utilities Telecom Council.

Industry Expert Videos

Strategic Assessment Of Satellite Usage In The Utility Industry

Here are a few iDirect Utility solution benefits:

Affordability: Satellite technology has changed from a costly niche solution to a more affordable
technology that is used today across nearly every industry
37

Speed: Satellite data rates have advanced from narrowband serial connections to reach broadband
speeds capable of supporting real-time, bandwidth-intensive applications like video and Voice
over IP

Reliability: Satellite technology advancements have innovated to almost eradicate latency,


overcome weather conditions and ensure data security

Ease of use: Network management technology has evolved to make satellite networks easier to
deploy, monitor and optimize

Build or Outsource: Utilities have the flexibility to build and operate their own satellite
communications network or can outsource partial or complete management of the satellite network
through one of iDirects service provider partners

Oil & Gas


Ensure profitable operations with reliable connectivity to any location in the world
Oil and Gas companies need to operate in any environment across the globe. Satellite IP communications
plays a critical role in providing connectivity to any location to protect operations, facilities and crew.
Greater Productivity and Interaction
Whether its remote land-based drilling operations or offshore drilling platforms, the appetite for satellite
broadband is rapidly growing. Communications links that may have sufficed in the past for basic
connectivity cant handle the bandwidth-hungry needs of todays applications for commercial monitoring,
control functions, safety management and crew welfare within the Oil and Gas sector.
As bandwidth demand increases, its more critical to operations that the network doesnt fail in any
scenario. With daily rates in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, any minute lost in
communications is a loss in profits.
Oil and Gas global service providers are facing pressure from their customers to deliver unified nextgeneration capabilities that provide higher availability, better bandwidth utilization and seamless global
coverage - even in the most remote locations.
iDirect solutions allow service providers to deliver more flexible, reliable communications solutions to
offshore and land-based Oil and Gas operations.
With our solution your Oil and Gas team can send any images, video and test results back to your home
base for instant analysis. This saves manpower hours and enables your company to operate more
efficiency.
iDirect solution benefits include:
Reliability. Maximum uptime in any operational environment or weather condition.

38

Bandwidth efficiency. Higher throughput efficiency for emerging voice, video and data
applications that require more bandwidth.
Advanced Mobility. A single network that provides total coverage for every location, user and
application.
Diverse Application Support. For a variety of new applications including integrated exploration
and production operations, improved productivity and collaboration as well as ensured safety
and security of critical assets.
Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness
Be prepared during network failures
A good business continuity and disaster preparedness plan must be fast, reliable and able to provide
the same functionality as the wireline network.
Many types of services need the security of alternate routing in case their primary communications link
goes down. Sometimes the justification is purely commercial; a retail store offline for the shortest time
can be very costly. Other services need backup for strategic reasons, such as key control points in the
electricity and pipeline businesses or to keep emergency communications running when terrestrial links
fail.
Satellite plays a key role in Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery for these reasons:

iDirect satellite infrastructure can be completely independent of other terrestrial communications


ensuring there are no single points of failure.

The reliability required for back-up links can be engineered to meet the business need.

An iDirect satellite backup service is economic because the network can allocate bandwidth on
demand when required, and reallocate that bandwidth eight (8) times per second to exactly match
the instantaneous demands of each site needing backup services.

This eliminates the need to allocate bandwidth for every site that might need alternate capacity,
just for the percentage that might be needed at any moment.

iDirect remotes can be part of a global IP or MPLS network, switching traffic seamlessly and
automatically when needed.

Some of the worlds largest companies use iDirect technology to offer business continuity and disaster
recovery for their terrestrially connected customers, relying on our advanced management systems,
including iVantage and SatManage.
Emergency Relief
Leverage satellite communications to provide life-saving services
39

Success in emergency relief is measured by quick response times and the ability to access real-time
Internet voice, video and data from a scene, command center, news source or weather station.
Disasters are unpredictable, which is why its important to have a communications plan with progressive
technology that is quickly deployed in any environment and under any circumstance. Using satellite is
ideal because it is independent of terrestrial infrastructure.
iDirect offers a satellite solution that provides the reliability and global coverage that you can depend on
during an emergency, and the technology that can support many types of emergency relief deployment:

Fast set up and connectivity while first responders assess the emergency

Emergency vehicles equipped with auto-pointing antennas that can be on the air in mere minutes

Communications-on-the-Move technology allows vehicles to remain connected while traveling to


the emergency

Supports voice, data and video in real-time and advanced services such as mobile cell sites for
GSM or 3G services, or mobile TETRA radio base stations

With the iDirect Intelligent Platform first responders have full communications capabilities with
voice, data and video whether in a densely populated urban area where the infrastructure is damaged, or a
remote and isolated location where no infrastructure exists.
Easy set-up and operation is guaranteed with iDirects compact satellite router including a satellite
modem, IP router, TCP optimization over satellite, Group QoS/prioritization and AES encryption. The
routers are user-friendly and reliable, enabling field teams with little or no technical expertise to easily set
up
and
activate
the
system
from
any
location.
Global mobility can be achieved with iDirects Global NMS and Automatic Beam Switching (ABS). With
ABS, emergency relief vehicles equipped with iDirect remotes can move across satellite footprints,
maintaining seamless connectivity with no need for manual intervention by field technicians. A simple
Global NMS enables the organization or network operator to manage each traveling remote, ensuring a
consistent connection as it passes through separate networks around the world.
iDirects emergency relief solution is critical for public safety agencies, providing reliable, always-on
communications technology in the event of a crisis or disaster.
Education/Training
Enable lessons, lectures and opportunities for students
Schools in remote areas need not be at an educational disadvantage. Whether its Internet access for rural
classrooms beyond the reach of terrestrial broadband or distance learning via video streaming for
universities, iDirect technology opens doors for any educational network.
As more people than ever seek higher education, distance learning has become a strategic initiative for the
worlds colleges and universities, and satellite communication plays an important role in education and
40

training. iDirects broadband technology enables interactive distance learning that improves productivity,
provides an easily accessible forum for anyone, anywhere, and is cost effective. Regardless of a students
location around the globe, satellite communication reaches every corner so that quality education and
training is assured.
Whether its providing an IP-based satellite solution to students abroad, or governments providing
training for their countrys citizens, education and training are vital for a countrys economic health and
general morale.
Reasons for Satellite Communications

Satellite broadband technology allows rural communities to experience the same level of
education and services that are within urban centers. Satellite connectivity can be delivered
anywhere in the country or across the globe. With no wires needed, satellite is quick to deploy
wherever the school or training center is located.

Satellite is cost-effective for education and training. While educational facilities yearn to break
down the barriers that separate distance classrooms from their main campus counterparts, they also
seek to improve the efficiency and cost of delivering courses remotely.

Utilizing satellite enables videoconferencing, live lectures via telephone and even real-time
collaborative tools, such as a digital whiteboard where content can be modified in real time, all at
a low cost.

Features of the iDirect Education and Training Solution


The iDirect Intelligent Platform reduces bandwidth by dynamically allocating capacity based on realtime demand using a centralized pool of shared bandwidth. Platform highlights include:

Adaptive Coding and Modulation When rain fade and other weather threatens to compromise
data quality, ACM automatically adjusts the modulation settings on a satellite router to optimize
link performance. No matter the environment, students can be assured of constant connectivity.

Group Quality of Service iDirects Group Quality of Service (QoS) technology can manage
traffic across multiple sites and a wide variety of end users. Group QoS prioritizes traffic by data
type, site, router, application and other criteria. With this feature, educational facilities can
categorize and prioritize all network traffic according to its own usage criteria. This is a critical
requirement for ensuring the integrity of real-time applications.

Security In addition, the network allows government agencies needing a secure connection to be
separated on the hub using VLANs to provide secure access between their sites.

Aeronautical Connectivity
Enable high-speed broadband access in the air
With nearly a billion worldwide travelers taking to the skies each year, in-flight Internet broadband is a
prime opportunity, with a captive market of travelers ready and willing to pay to get online from the sky.
41

Aeronautical connectivity is required from a range of different platforms ranging from drones and
unmanned aerial vehicles through military aircraft, business jets and commercial airlines. iDirect has an
IP connectivity solution that covers all of these platforms. Despite the widely differing environments in
which aeronautical connectivity has to operate, there a few features common to all of them:

High throughput, bandwidth-efficient IP connectivity to the ground to carry data, video and voice
services reliably. iDirects carrier class systems are respected throughout the aeronautical industry
for the ability to have terrestrial-like performance for the most stringent applications especially
jitter sensitive voice and video services.

iDirect created the standard when it comes to connecting to ultra-small steerable satellite antennas:
OpenAMIP. This protocol lets iDirect communicate with all major manufacturers of airborne
antennas to tell them where to point and what frequency sub-band and polarization to use.

Small antennas have two issues:


1. A small receive aperture means that received signal-to-noise can be poor.
2. A broad transmit beam risks interfering with services on satellites adjacent to the target
satellite.

iDirect has the solution to these issues through its highly efficient Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
(DSSS) modulation options. Either or both the uplink and downlink can be spread to improve the S/N on
the downlink and reduce power flux density on the uplink. The degree of spreading can be configured to
exactly meet the needs of the planned satellite link.

Mobility across different beams or on different satellites as the aircraft moves rapidly across the
available footprints in Ku, X or Ka bands. iDirects Automatic Beam Switching (ABS) has been in
service for more than five years on planes, ships and terrestrial vehicles. Our Mapserver software
ensures that the best beam coverage is used at all times and that switching beams occurs at the
optimal point. At the same time the Global NMS ensures that IP connectivity is maintained even as
an aircraft hands over from one ground station to another on its voyage across the globe.

Aeronautical communications implies high-speed communications capability, up to 1000 km/hr.


This requires the advanced Doppler cancellation that is a licensable software feature available
across our hub range.

The iDirect aeronautical solution is already in service on major airlines providing IP connectivity for
passengers via the IFE system as well as in a variety of military and business jet customers.
High-speed Internet, along with emailing and VPN access, is just part of the story. Applications such as
live video programming, interactive premium entertainment and even voice applications are new ways to
increase both revenue and customer loyalty.
In-flight connectivity also improves interactions between operations in the air and on the ground with the
ability to monitor and report critical flight information in real time. All these broadband applications hold
exciting potential in the next generation aeronautical world.
Solution Overview
Along with advancements in airborne electronic systems, iDirects innovations in IP broadband satellite
42

provide a cost-effective, scalable solution to always-on connectivity for airline passengers and crew in the
aeronautical industry.
The iDirect Intelligent Platform provides true mobility with spread spectrum mobile waveform that
enables aircrafts to use extremely small antennas or phased array antennas. With iDirects spread
spectrum, airlines can not only maintain a reliable link while in flight; since our spread spectrum uses a
highly efficient direct sequence spreading, more space segment is conserved, thus lowering overall
bandwidth.
iDirect has also implemented technologies to deal with high Doppler shifts and frequent beam switching
as planes travel across satellite footprints, maintaining seamless connectivity with no need for manual
intervention by crew members onboard. Global coverage can further be achieved with iDirects Global
NMS enabling the management of each aircrafts remote from a single site as it passes through separate
networks around the world.
Mobile Broadband Solutions
Inmarsat BGAN
Inmarsat BGAN is accessible via small, lightweight satellite terminals, providing performance options to
suit different operational needs.
Standard terminals are highly portable and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Vehicular systems
comprise an interior terminal and a discreet tracking antenna, which is mounted on the vehicle roof. The
Inmarsat BGAN VSAT solution is ideal for oil, gas, & first responders.

About Inmarsat BGAN - Voice and Data, Single-User Device

The single-user VSAT system combines a highly portable, robust design with all-round performance. It
provides the single-user with a cost-effective voice and high-speed data solution for remote corporate
network access.
BGAN Vehicular Terminals

System comprises a robust, compact, roof-mounted antenna, which constantly tracks


the satellite while on the move, and a transceiver which is positioned inside the vehicle. System boasts
43

multiple voice and data interfaces including four Ethernet ports for multiple users. It provides Streaming
IP up to 256kbps for higher quality live video streaming, video conferencing, telemedicine and other
streaming applications. It has been specifically designed to provide optimal broadband on the move for
military, civil government, media and other commercial sector organizations.
ViaSat Mobile Broadband IP
IPX owns and operates a Viasat Linkway Hub in Fuchstaddt Teleport today. With this new Viasat Ku-band
mobile broadband system technology, IPX can provides operations for both commercial and military
applications. With the only FCC-approved Ku-band mobile broadband service on the market, were able
to provide you with higher speeds and lower costs. The mobile satellite broadband system uses a spread
spectrum waveform similar to CDMA that creates a number of advantages over other mobile satellite
services.
ViaSat Mobile Broadband IP is ideal for telemedicine, first responders, and military applications.
About ViaSat's On-the-Move Service

Use this VSAT service to maintain office-like productivity while on the move. This mobile
communications service includes Internet connectivity at cable-modem-like speeds on a monthly
subscription basis. Get connected and use IP-based applications while on-the-go with this affordable
service. Multiple VSAT service options are available to meet your specific needs.
ViaSats Ground Mobile Terminal offers true broadband IP access to vehicles needing beyond-line-ofsight network access while on the move. The VMT-1220 series supports channel speeds of up to 10 Mbps
from the hub gateway to the vehicle and up to 512 kbps from the vehicle to the hub.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Glossary of Satellite Terms


AES
Advanced Encryption Standard is an encryption standard comprised of three blocks of ciphers AES128,
AES192, and AES256
ACM
Adaptive Coding and Modulation uses an algorithm to dynamically change the coding and modulation
scheme based on atmospheric conditions and network configurations
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APSK
Amplitude and Phase Shift Key is a modulation scheme that changes the amplitude and phase of the
carrier wave
Analog transmission
Transmission of information using a continuous signal that varies based on amplitude, phase, or other
proportion
Antenna
Equipment that typically transmits and receives electromagnetic waves, usually referred to as the satellite
dish
Aperture
The cross-sectional portion of the satellite antenna that transmits and receives the signal
A-TDMA
Adaptive Time Division Multiple Access is a channel access method that allows the return channel
configuration to optimally change based on link conditions and spectral degradation
Attenuation
Fixed signal loss due to cabling or reduction of signal strength due to atmospheric conditions (see also
Rain Fade)
BUC
Block Up Converter. Used for uplink satellite transmission that converts a band from a lower frequency to
a higher frequency
Bandwidth
A range of frequencies within a spectrum, expressed in Hertz. Can also be the data transfer rate or
throughput, expressed in bits per second
BGP
Border Gateway Protocol is a core routing protocol of the Internet
Bit Rate
Speed of transmission, measured in bits per second (bps)
BPSK
Binary Phase Key Shifting is a modulation scheme that uses two phases separated 180 degrees
Broadcasting
Sending a single transmission to multiple sites that are capable of receiving the signal
CDMA
Code Division Multiple Access is a radio communication technology that uses channel access method
Cband
Frequency band with uplink 5.9256.425 GHz, downlink 3.74.2 GHz. The C band is primarily used for
voice and data communications as well as backhauling
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Cellular Backhaul
Transmission of cellular voice and data signals, typically from a base station to a remote site
Carrier to Noise Ratio (C/N)
The ratio of the received carrier power and the noise power in a given bandwidth, expressed in dB. This
figure is directly related to G/T and S/N. Typically in a signal, the higher the C/N, the better the quality
Channel
The transmission medium over which a signal is sent and received
CIR
Committed Information Rate is the minimum bandwidth guaranteed by a service provider, typically
expressed in kilobytes per second
Circular Polarization
Refers to a method of transmitting signals from a satellite. On some satellites, both righthand rotating
and lefthand rotating signals can be transmitted simultaneously on the same frequency; thereby doubling
the capacity of the satellite to carry communications channels
Coverage
Footprint or the area on the earth's surface that is covered by a satellite's transmission beam
dBW
The ratio of the power to one Watt expressed in decibels. Typically the E.I.R.P of satellite beams are
measured in dBW
DTDMA
Deterministic Time Division Multiple Access iDirects patented access technology that provides
simultaneous access to shared upstream channels using dynamically assigned time slots
Delay
The time it takes for a signal to go from the sending station through the satellite to the receiving station.
This transmission delay for a single hop satellite connection is very close to 240 ms
Demodulation
The decoding of a carrier wave by amplitude or frequency or phase
Demodulator
A device used to extract information from the carrier wave
Double Hop
Transmission of information from one terminal to another terminal in two stages, first from a remote site
VSAT up to the satellite to the network hub or from the network hub up to the satellite then to another
remote site
Downlink
Transmission of a signal from the satellite to the earth. In a network it is typically referred to the link
between a network hub over the satellite to a remote site
Dielectric Resonator Oscillator (DRO)
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An electronic component that exhibits low phase noise and high resonance for a narrow range of
frequencies; DRO based products do not provide the same frequency stability as PLL based products, but
operate well at low symbol rates and are much less expensive
DVBS2
Digital Video Broadcasting Satellite Second Generation is the enhanced version of the DVBS
satellite broadband transmission standard and has forward error correction and modulation specifications
Earth Station
Ground equipment that transmits and receives electromagnetic waves, also referred to as an antenna
EIRP
Effective Isotropic Radiated Power. This term describes the strength of the satellite signal in dBW and is a
result of the transponder output power and the gain of the satellite transmit antenna
EMEA
World Region including Europe, Middle East and Africa
Evolution
iDirects nextgeneration product line of routers, line cards, and iDX software, all built on the DVBS2
standard with Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM)
FAP
Fair Access Policy is a bandwidth cap that limits the transfer of a specified amount of data over a period
of time, particularly when a channel is intended to be shared by multiple users but may become
overloaded by a few users
FDMA
Frequency Division Multiple Access. It is a channel access method that allocates each application or user
a different frequency band
FEC
Forward Error Correction. It is the system for error control that has the sender include redundant data so
errors can be detected and corrected at the receiver
FIPS 1402
Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 1402 is a U.S. government computer security
standard that accredits cryptography modules
Footprint
The area on the earth's surface that is covered by a satellite's transmission beam
FSS
Fixed Satellite Service is the classification for geostationary communications satellites used for broadcast
feeds for television stations and radio stations and broadcast networks, as well as telephony,
telecommunications and data communications
Gain
A measure of amplification expressed in dB
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GEO
Geostationary Earth Orbit satellites orbit at 35,786 km (22,282 mi) above the equator in the same
direction and speed as the earth rotates on its axis, making them appear as fixed in the sky
GSM
Global System for Mobile communications is a standard for digital wireless communications to mobile
phones
GQoS
Group Quality of Service is iDirects bandwidth allocation and prioritization algorithm that allows for
countless possibilities of quality of service levels, bandwidth management and traffic prioritization
G/T
A figure of merit of an antenna and low noise amplifier combination expressed in dB. "G" is the gain of
the system and "T" is the noise temperature. The higher the G/T, the better the system
Guard Band
Transmission carriers are separated on a transponder by spacing them several kilohertz apart. This unused
space serves to prevent the adjacent transmission carriers from interfering with each other
GUI
Graphical User Interface is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices
using images rather than text commands
HNO
Host Network Operator is a network operator who leases out hub space to smaller service providers
HTS
High Throughput Satellites is a classification for communications satellites that provide at least twice,
though usually by a factor of 20 or more, the total throughput of a classic Fixed Satellite Service (FSS)
satellite for the same amount of allocated orbital spectrum thus reducing cost-per-bit
HTTP
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is an application level protocol used to request and transfer objects across
the web
Hub
Satellite network equipment that controls the satellite bandwidth allocation, often located at a teleport.
It usually consists of a chassis and other equipment connected to terrestrial networks
IDU
Indoor Unit is network equipment typically located inside a building that consists of a modem and router
(or hub if it is inside a teleport) connected to the corporate LAN or terrestrial infrastructure
IP
Internet Protocol is a protocol used for data communication across a packet switched network. Typically
used with TCP, a higher level protocol
ISO
International Organization for Standardization is a standard setting body composed of multiple national
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standards organizations
ISP
Internet Service Provider is a company that offers Internet access to customers
ITU
International Telecommunication Union is a United Nations organization helping governments and private
organizations coordinate global telecommunications usage
Inbound
Transmission of a signal to the satellite. In a network it is typically referred to as the transmission from
the remote router to a satellite to a hub
Inroute
See Inbound
iNFINITI
iDirects product line of routers and line cards, built on iDirects proprietary implementation of the TDM
protocol
Ka Band
Frequency band with uplink 26.540GHz; downlink 1820 GHZ, this band was previously known for
consumer broadband applications and is now widening to enterprise and military use
Kbps
Kilobits per second. Refers to transmission speed of 1,024 bits per second
Ku Band
Frequency band with uplink 14 GHz; downlink 10.912.75 GHz, with more powerful transmission from
the satellite more susceptible to rain fade than CBand
LAN
Local Area Network is a computer network that covers a small physical area
Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)
This is the preamplifier between the antenna and the earth station receiver. For maximum effectiveness, it
must be located as near the antenna as possible, and is usually attached directly to the antenna receive port
Low Noise Block Downconverter (LNB)
A combination Low Noise Amplifier and downconverter built into one device attached to the feed. It is
used for the downlink satellite transmission by converting a band from a higher frequency to a lower
frequency
LBand
Frequency band from 1 to 2 GHz, this band is the result of the downconversion of the received downlink
satellite signal from the LNB
LDPC
Low Density Parity Check is a forward error correction code that is currently the most efficient scheme,
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used with DVBS2


LEO
Low Earth Orbit satellites orbit from 1602000km above the earth and take approximately 1.5 hrs for a
full orbit and only cover a portion of the earths surface
MEO
MEO satellites are located above LEO and below GEO satellites and typically travel in an elliptical orbit
over the North and South Pole or in an equatorial orbit
Mesh Network
Topology whereby a remote VSAT location communicates with another remote location without routing
through the hub
MFTDMA
MultipleFrequency Time Division MultipleAccess is a broadband access method where different data
streams are put into different slots that are separated by both frequency and time
MIR
Maximum Information Rate is the theoretical maximum amount of bandwidth available to a subscriber,
typically expressed in kilobits per second
Modem
A piece of network equipment containing a modulator and demodulator for receiving or transmitting
satellite signals
Modulation
The encoding of a carrier wave by amplitude or frequency or phase
Modulator
A device which modulates a carrier
Multicast
Multicast is a subset of broadcast whereby the signal can be sent to many sites within a defined group, but
not necessarily to all sites in that group
Multicast FastPath
iDirect feature that allows the transmission of the same data to a select group of workstations, improving
multicast performance by bypassing most regular processing and forwarding the data directly to the
Ethernet port
Multi-Channel Demodulation (MCD)
iDirect feature on certain line cards (e.g. XLC-M) that allows multiple TDMA or SCPC channels to be
received by a single line card, improving hub scalability
Multiplexing
Sending multiple signals or streams of information on a carrier simultaneously transmitting on a single
signal
Narrowband
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Refers to satellite communications of 128 kbps or lower (per Frost & Sullivan)
NOC
Network Operations Center is a centralized location where control over operation of a network is
managed and monitored
Noise
Any unwanted and unmodulated energy that is always present to some extent within any signal
NMS
Network Management System is the hardware and software that monitors and controls a satellite network
NTP
Network Time Protocol is a networking protocol for clock synchronization between computer systems
over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks
ODU
An Outdoor Unit is the equipment located outside of a building close to the satellite dish or antenna and
typically includes, a low noise block converter (LNB), and a blockupconverter (BUC)
OSS
Operational Support System refers to network systems dealing with the telecom network itself, supporting
processes such as maintaining network inventory, provisioning services, configuring network
components, and managing defaults
Outbound
Transmission of a signal from the satellite to an antenna. In a network it is typically referred to as the
transmission from the hub to a satellite to a remote router
PBX
A Private Branch Exchange is a telephone exchange that connects a private enterprise or organization to
the public switched telephone network
PCMA
The Paired Carrier Multiple Access (PCMA) Hub Canceller is a satellite signal canceller that maximizes
the capacity of satellite networks by using ViaSats patented PCMA technology to reduce satellite
bandwidth as much as 50 percent
PDU
Power Distribution Unit is a device fitted with multiple outlets designed to distribute electric power,
especially to racks of computers and networking equipment located with the data center
Phase-Locked Loop (PLL)
A type of electronic circuit used in a wide variety of telecommunications equipment. PLL circuits
generate an output signal which is phase-locked to an input signal, leading to more stable output
frequencies that are less affected by noise and temperature. For example, the frequency output from a PLL
LNB will be more stable than the output from a regular LNB
Polarization
A technique used by satellite operators to reuse the satellite transponder frequencies when transmitting
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these signals to Earth. Two methods are possible: linear and circular. To successfully receive and decode
these signals on earth, the antenna must be outfitted with a properly polarized linear or circular feedhorn
to select the signals as desired
PSK
Phase Shift Key is a digital modulation scheme that changes the phase of the carrier wave
PSTN
Public Switched Telephone Network is an international network for public circuitswitched voice
telephony
QEF
Quasi Error Free is a condition where the transmission system or storage medium used to transfer a signal
has a relatively low bit error rate
QoS
Quality of Service provides priority and guarantees a certain level of network response time and other
performance factors for each application and user
QPSK
Quadrature Phase Key Shifting is a modulation scheme that uses four phases
Rain Fade
Decrease of satellite signal strength due to rainfall. This occurs typically at Ku Band frequencies due to its
increased sensitivity to noise temperature
RF
Radio Frequency is the electromagnetic frequencies for wireless transmission that is above the audio
range and below infrared light; typically used in the satellite industry in the context of RF-equipment
(antenna system and BUC)
RIP
Routing Information Protocol is a dynamic routing protocol used in local area and wide area networks
Router
A device connected to the modem and the antenna on one side and the computers and other LAN devices
on the other side. It forwards IP packets based on network layer information and enables applications such
as VoIP, Video and data
RTTM
Real Time Traffic Management is an iDirect feature set that is designed to enable highquality
transmission of voice applications that are less tolerant to delay or jitter that can occur on satellite links
Satellite
Communications satellites orbit the earth and transmit and receive radio signals from earth stations
SCADA
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is the system that monitors and controls industrial or facility
based remote devices
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SingleChannelPerCarrier (SCPC)
A satellite access method that dedicates one channel to each remote site, sometime used for very high
capacity links. See also TDMA
Signal To Noise Ratio (S/N)
The ratio of the signal power and noise power. The higher the number the better the quality
Single Hop
Transmission of information from one remote site to another antenna. Typically it describes the path
between two remote stations in a mesh network. Single hop occurs when transmission is passed from one
remote directly to another mote without having to go to the hub (double hop)
SNG
Satellite news gathering typically done from a transportable unit (truck or mobile entity) to transmit video
and voice feeds back to the studios
Space Segment
The portion of the satellite bandwidth and transmission power assigned to the communication network
Spot Beam
A spot beam is a satellite signal that covers a concentrated geographic area so only antennas in that area
will receive the signal
Spread Spectrum
Eliminates adjacent satellite interference by spreading the signal over the available bandwidth to enable
extremely small antennas or phased array antennas in mobile operations
Star Network
Topology whereby a remote VSAT location communicates with another remote location by routing
through the hub
TCP
Transmission Control Protocol is a core Internet protocol that is a higher level protocol often combined
with IP
TDM
Time Division Multiplex is a type of digital multiplexing in which two or more signals are transferred
simultaneously as sub-channels in one communication channel, but are physically taking turns on the
channel through several recurrent timeslots of fixed length
TDMA
Time Division Multiple Access is channel access method that allows applications or users to share the
same frequency by dividing the full bandwidth into specific timeslots
Transponder
Receives outbound signal at the satellite and amplifies the signal before retransmitting it to an earth
station
TRANSEC
Transmission Security secures VSAT transmissions with encryption to prevent from interception and
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exploitation
Unicast
Transmission between a single sender and a single receiver over a network. Contrast with Multicast,
which is transmission between a single sender and multiple receivers.
Uplink
Transmission of a signal from the remote router to a satellite to a hub
VLAN
Virtual LAN is a group of hosts that simulates a LAN although they are not located locally on the same
network switch
VNO
Virtual Network Operators lease hub space from HNOs while keeping complete control of their network
and their remotes. iDirect offers this capability by assigning each VNO operator its own line cards and
NMS servers and protocol processors. The VNO commissions, controls and operates its remote sites in
the proprietary network as if it owns a physical hub
VSAT
Very Small Aperture Terminal is an antenna that is typically less than 3 meters in diameter
WAN
Wide Area Network is a computer network that covers a broad area that connects multiple remote
locations
WGS
Wideband Global Satcom is a satellite communication system used by the U.S. Department of Defense
XBand
Frequency band with uplink 7.9 8.4 GHz, downlink 7.25 7.75 GHz, this band is primarily used for
military communications and Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) systems

54