High Throughput Satellites

Communications Payload, Ground Segment, and Technology in the 10-30 GHz Frequency Range

Instructor: Bruce R. Elbert

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 - 9:00am to 4:30pm EDT

Online via WebEx

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$279 IEEE/ComSoc member
$349 IEEE member
$459 non-member

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Course Description

This day-long course presents the configuration and application of high throughput satellite (HTS) systems that were first introduced around 2000 and represent an important capability to provide broadband interactive services from space-based repeaters. We address the selection of orbit, frequency band (generally those between 10 and 30 GHz), and how best to configure the satellite communications payload for the intended service. Essential elements include: spot beams for frequency reuse and elevated levels of EIRP and G/T; cross connect systems including physical connections and digital processing “channelizer” configurations; high-power platforms in GEO; and efficient amplifier designs. Users of these capabilities would represent individual consumers, enterprises and governments, for fixed and mobile platforms. Technology for implementing the ground segment, user terminals, and applications will be addressed at the subsystem level, with identification of key technologies to facilitate a cost/effective application system. Limitations will be discussed that relate to the available spectrum, GEO and non-GEO orbits, radiowave propagation, amplifiers and antennas, and interface with the public Internet and private networks.

Who Should Attend

Participants should have a degree in physics or electrical/electronics engineering or equivalent and some familiarity with satellite communications and microwave systems.


High Throughput Satellites

Bruce R. Elbert

BEE, MSEE, MBA, President, Application Technology Strategy, LLC

Bruce R. Elbert is president of his own satellite technology consulting firm, Application Technology Strategy, L.L.C., Austin, Texas; and retired Adjunct Professor (ret), College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Elbert is a recognized radio engineer and satellite communications expert, and has been involved in the satellite and telecommunications industries for over 40 years. His consulting practice has assisted major organizations, both public and private, in the selection of the best space and ground resources, and the optimization of elements of the system at the user and provider ends. During 25 years with Hughes Electronics (in divisions now part of Boeing Satellite Systems, Intelsat and DIRECTV), he directed communications engineering of several major satellite projects, including Palapa A, Indonesia's original satellite system; the Galaxy follow-on system; direct-to-home-satellite broadcasting satellites at Ku and Ka bands, and the development of the first GEO mobile satellite system capable of serving handheld user terminals. Mr. Elbert also worked as a communications engineer for the INTELSAT system, contributing to the early development of Ka-band satellite-switched multi-beam systems and mobile satellite service to ships and aircraft. He was a radio officer in the U.S. Army and taught microwave and VHF radio at the Signal School. He has written eight books on telecommunications and IT.

Learning Objectives

Take this course to: 

  • Understand where HTS fits within the general structure of satellite communications systems
  • Assess how HTS addresses needs for broadband interactive services (video and data) to fixed and mobile end users
  • Based on current and evolving technology, configure the architecture of an HTS system, in terms of the type and number of satellites
  • Develop a ground segment strategy and understand critical technology and integration issues
  • Understand the tradeoffs among choices for orbit (GEO and non-GEO), frequency band, link characteristics, and terminals

Course Content

  • High Throughput Satellite (HTS) requirements in the private and government sectors
  • Radiowave propagation in the 10 to 30 GHz range on space-to-earth paths: rain models and their application; other atmospheric impairments (clouds, ice particles, scintillation)
  • Orbit considerations for broadband systems – Geostationary and non-Geostationary
  • Selection of transmission system design (data rates, modulation and coding, and multiple access)
  • The satellite communications payload design and technology for HTS, considering both analog and digital electronics (digital channelization and beam forming)
  • Spacecraft multi-beam antennas: multi-feed systems vs. direct radiating arrays
  • Ground segment structure in relation to space resources and integration with the overall network; overcoming rain fade through adaptive coding and modulation, power control, and space diversity
  • Review of end-user terminals and critical technologies – antennas (fixed and tracking), amplifiers (high efficiency GaFET and GaN), modems
  • Conclusions - the most effective architecture and strategies

Course Materials

Each registered participant receives a copy of instructor slides and access to the recording of the course for 15 business days after the live lecture. Earn 0.6 IEEE Continuing Education Units for participating.

Course Cancellation and Refund Policy: Requests for online course cancellations must be received 3 business days prior to the course date for a full refund. Once course materials have been shared with a participant, a cancellation request cannot be accommodated.

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