Satellite Communication System

Imagine what would our life be without any mode of communication among individuals? The world would have been a dead place where no body could interact with each other or communicate amongst themselves. There would be no knowledge sharing and great ideas could never be implemented.

In a layman’s language, communication simply helps in the transfer of information from the sender to the receiver for him to respond accordingly. There has to be a medium with the help of which information, data or signal can travel from the sender to the receiver. The recipients receive signals from the sender, decode it and resend it back to the sender to facilitate the process of communication. Communication can take place with the help of light as in optical communication system or with the help of radio signals as in the case of radio communication system.

Telecommunication also takes place with the help of satellite. Let us study it in detail.

Satellite communication system

One can interact with a friend settled at a far off place with the help of a mobile or a fixed line. Even the internet would help them to keep in touch. How would an individual putting up at a remote place where the mobile technologies fail to operate communicate with his friend or relative?

The answer to the above question is through satellite communication

As the name itself suggests satellite communication is a mode of communication which uses the artificial satellite for communication.

The artificial satellite is positioned in the space to facilitate the communication among the various points on the earth.

How did satellite communication come into picture?

A short story named “Brick moon” penned by Edward Everett Hale and published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1869-70 first talked about the concept of satellite communication. Royal Air Force Officer Arthur C. Clarke came out first with the practical concept of satellite communication which was published in the paper named “Extra Terrestrial Relays”.

The first artificial satellite was launched successfully by Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 and was named Sputnik 1. Sputnik 1 was only 58 cms in diameter and was the first to initiate satellite communication system. It was the launch of Sputnik 1 which brought Soviet Union into limelight and at par with other nations.

What is a satellite ?

In a satellite communication, the satellite which is stationed in the space system for transmission of signals plays a significant role. The scientists after a lot of hard work launch the satellite in the space after undergoing a lot of tests for the satellite to survive in the hostile conditions of the space. Satellite launching involves a lot of investment and hard labour by scientists. The satellites ought to be light weight and durable. The satellites are generally equipped with an antenna and transponder to facilitate the communication process. The satellite majorly works on the solar power which is continuously received by the satellite’s solar panels.

There are broadly three major types of satellite system.

  1. Fixed Satellite System - The fixed satellite system helps in the transfer of numerous data and information across the countries through fixed point on the earth’s surface.

  2. Mobile Satellite System - It is helpful in connecting ships, aircrafts at distant and remote places.

    Research Satellite System - Research Satellite System is primarily helpful in various research processes for the scientists. The scientists can gather all the necessary and useful data through the research satellite system.

How does Satellite communication work ?

It works on two main components:

  • Ground base or the Earth
  • Space component

In this mode of communication, the satellite stationed at the space receives signals from the earth with the aid of an antenna. The signals are amplified to an optimum level and then with the help of transponders they are retransmitted back to the earth. The earth station then receives the signal from the satellite, and reamplifies it and helps in the communication. Hence in this mode of communication, it was the satellite which helped in the transmission of signals from the earth and then back to the earth, thus justifying the name.

Where is it used ?

In ships, where generally mobile phones fail to operate, satellite phones are helpful in communication. Satellite phones work on the above principle. Satellite radio, satellite television as well as Satellite internet also operate on the principle of satellite communication. Satellite mode of communication is primarily helpful in remote areas where broadband facilities fail to operate.


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