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Satellite Frequency Bands

Key Takeaways

  • Most satellite communication systems are used for providing service to an assigned geographical area on the Earth’s surface. 

  • The satellite wireless communication infrastructure uses two resources: orbit and spectrum. 

  • Frequency bands are only utilized part of the time at different locations, offering the opportunity to use the same frequency band for other services on a temporal basis.

Satellite frequency bands

 Most communication services utilize various satellite frequency bands, which are part of the electromagnetic spectrum

The wireless communication services that we use on a daily basis – mobile telephone systems, internet access, television – are provided by satellite infrastructure. Most of these services utilize various satellite frequency bands, which are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In this article, we will explore satellite communication and the frequency bands employed for establishing communication systems.

Satellite Communication

The figure below gives the schematic of a satellite communication system.

Schematic of the satellite communication system

The flow of a satellite communication system is as follows:

  1. Data from the user reaches the satellite  ground station
  2. Digital data is modulated with a carrier
  3. The carrier frequency is modified in order to occupy the desired up-link frequency range of the satellite communication
  4. The carrier signal is amplified and the ground station transmits the carrier to the satellite using an antenna
  5. The satellite receiving the carrier signal down converts its frequency to the downlink frequency band, and the resulting signal is amplified
  6. The satellite antenna transmits the amplified carrier signal to the Earth station
  7. The Earth station antenna receives the carrier and amplifies and demodulates the signal
  8. The original data is received from the carrier

Satellite Applications in Telecommunication Systems

Telecommunication is one of the major areas of satellite applications; in fact, there are satellites that are exclusively launched for telecommunication purposes. 

 Satellites launched for telecommunication

Most satellite communication systems are used for an assigned geographical area. There is wireless communication infrastructure based on terrestrial infrastructure as well.

Advantages of Satellite-Based Wireless Communication Systems

  • Satellite communication can span a large area

  • Through satellite-based communication, it is possible to connect geographical areas that are thousands of miles apart

  • Broadcast is possible for a large number of entities such as businesses, homes, and military installations

  • Mobile facilities are also reachable by satellite and enable communication when the source is moving

  • It is possible to connect to a location without infrastructure

  • Satellites adopt and ensure reliable communication despite ever-changing requirements

Geostationary Satellites and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Satellite infrastructure provides broadband, broadcast, and interactive services. The satellite utilizes frequency bands that are part of the electromagnetic spectrum to establish wireless communication.

Satellite wireless communication infrastructure uses two resources: orbit and spectrum. A satellite should be present in the orbit to harness the spectrum band allocated for a particular service.

Generally, communication satellites are placed in a geostationary orbit and allow a fixed position. Geostationary orbits are the area of space that is six earth radii above the equator. Geostationary satellites are preferred for communications, as they act as trustworthy relay platforms for messages or data transmitted between two geographically isolated communication sources. However, to establish a dependable platform for communications, satellite infrastructure utilizes frequency bands in the electromagnetic spectrum. From the communication satellite, the data or messages are transmitted as signal patterns superimposed upon certain frequency bands present in the electromagnetic spectrum.

International Telecommunication Union

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the international agency that coordinates the global use of the electromagnetic spectrum. The ITU allocates spectrum bands to specific services. Some frequency bands are dedicated only to satellite communication, whereas there are frequency bands that are shared with terrestrial communication services.

Satellite Frequency Bands

When describing a satellite communication system, it is necessary to mention frequency bands. Depending on the application, the frequency band changes. The table below shows some of the satellite frequency bands in use.

 Satellite frequency bands

Satellite Frequency Band Sharing

Satellite frequency bands ensure the transmission of information concurrently across continents. It is necessary that the frequency band associated with the satellite is available across the entire satellite footprint. Cadence’s design and analysis tools can help you develop systems that utilize electromagnetic frequency bands such as RF systems and microwave circuits. Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.