Satellite communication systems are playing a significant role in the exchange and delivery of many types of information, from voice communications to high definition television and Internet services . Satellites are particularly appealing whenever large coverage is desired, and when either collect or broadcasting applications are considered. High reliability and flexibility for setting up links make satellites unique for specific applications.

There are also used to complement terrestrial networks. However, satellites communications are faced with links impairments, limited bandwidth and power, and should allow access from multiple users with limited amount of interference.

From system designer to service provider, one should understand the specific constraints and opportunities of satellite communications.

Satellite Communication
Satellite Communication


This course presents the techniques that are used and points out the limitations and performance that can be expected from geostationary satellite systems. Emphasis is placed on the trade-offs that can be exercised within the constraints of technology and regulations.

The course is as practical as possible, underlying those techniques that are, or soon will be in use, with emphasis on performance trade-offs.

The course is designed to provide the attendees with the relevant knowledge on satellite link design and communications techniques, including those used for broadcasting and multimedia communications (DVB-S, DVB-S2). Networking aspects are introduced, focussing on physical and access layers and satellite network architectures. Specific issues in connection with the operation of multibeam satellites and on-board regeneration are dealt with.

A detailed overview on satellite communication payload, repeater and antennas, and earth station technology is given. Satellite communications engineering requires a combination of know-how in many various fields such as propagation, RF systems, antennas, signal processing, communications techniques, etc.

Several practical exercises are to be solved during the course to allow the attendees to practice the acquired knowledge.

It includes a project on the design of a European multibeam satellite communications system. The design considers performance and technology trade-off and aims at a cost efficient design of the earth segment.


  • Engineers, scientists and technical managers involved in the planning, design and operation of satellite communications systems
  • Designers and technical salesmen concerned with the manufacturing of satellite communication systems equipment
  • Technicians involved in the operation and maintenance of earth station or in the control of the satellite
Satellite Communication Systems

Day 1

Introduction to Satellite Communications Systems

  • Satellite Communication Systems Architectures and components
  • Types of Orbits
  • Radio Regulations
  • Applications of Communication Satellite; Examples of Systems

Link Analysis

  • Carrier and Noise Power Budget
  • Influence of Rain
  • Overall Carrier to Noise Power Spectral Density (C/No) Ratio
  • Intermodulation and Interference

Day 2

Digital Communications

  • Link Performance Evaluation and Availability Performance Objectives
  • Digital Transmission Techniques: M-PSK and APSK modulations
  • Spectral Efficiency, BER vs E/No Performances
  • Channel Coding and Decoding, Concatenated Coding
  • Use of Channel Coding for Bandwidth and Power Trade-off
  • DVB-S, DVB-S2; Interest of Adaptivity

Satellite Networking

  • Multiple Access Techniques: Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
  • Network Architectures: Mesh, star; network connectivity requirements
  • Satellite Dependent Layers with Broadband Satellite Multimedia (BSM) Protocol Architecture
  • DVB-S2 and DVB-RCS Systems

Project Work: European Multibeam Communications Satellite System, Step 1

Day 3

Multibeam Satellite Systems

  • Advantages and Constraints
  • Beam-to-Beam Interconnectivity: Transponder Hopping, On-board Switching

Regenerative Satellite Systems

  • Link Budget for Regenerative Systems
  • Performance Comparison with Transparent Systems
  • On-board Processing Features
  • FDMA/TDM Systems, Impact on Earth Stations

Satellite Communication Payload

  • Performance Objectives and Functions
  • Repeater Architecture: Channelisation concept, redundancy

Project Work: European Multibeam Communications Satellite System, Step 2

Day 4

Satellite Communication Payload (continued)

  • Characteristics of Repeater Equipment
  • Antenna Subsystem Coverage Concepts
  • Antenna Technologies
  • Examples of Payloads

Project Work: European Multibeam Communications Satellite System, Step 2 (cont'd), Step 3

Day 5

Earth Station Technology

  • Earth Station Architecture
  • Antennas and Tracking Equipment
  • RF Equipment (Low Noise and High Power Amplifiers)
  • Ground Communications Equipment (Up-Down Converters, Modems)
  • Interface with Ground Networks (Echo Control, DSI, DCME)

Project Work: European Multibeam Communications Satellite System, Step 4 and Conclusion

Said about the course from previous participants:

"Very skilled instructor!"

"Parallel exercise to compare theory and real life problems."

"General scope, practical exercises. Completeness, interactivity."

"The professionalism of the lecturer, way of explaining things."

"Ability to make us understand without too much maths, technical insight."

"Good overview, simple explanations of complex matters."

"Gave a good overview of "all" aspects of Satellite Communications."