A satellite orbits the Earth in a circular or elliptical path – typically at a height of between 160 and 35,800 kilometers. Satellite communication requires a free line of sight between a satellite and a station or terminal on Earth. The satellite’s view of Earth and, accordingly, the area that can be served by it, varies according to the altitude of the satellite’s orbit. There are three primary altitudes where communication satellites are placed; see the image on the right.

Communication is conducted via radio frequencies

A satellite orbits the Earth in a circular or elliptical path – typically at a height of between 160 and 35,800 kilometers. Satellite communication requires a free line of sight between a satellite and a station or terminal on Earth. The satellite’s view of Earth and, accordingly, the area that can be served by it, varies according to the altitude of the satellite’s orbit. There are three primary altitudes where communication satellites are placed; see the image on the right.

  • Frequency bands with a higher frequency typically have greater available bandwidth, which in theory entails higher data rates and higher total capacity.
  • Higher frequencies are affected and dampened more by atmospheric effects and weather conditions.

The most common frequency bands used by GEO communication satellites are:

1. Ku- and Ka-bands (10 – 31 GHz):
The bands are typically used for TV broadcasting, VSAT networks, and maritime and aeronautical services. The Ku-band is the band used for Ovzon’s services.

2. C-band (4 – 6 GHz):
Generally used for TV broadcasting, data and voice communication, especially in areas of heavy precipitation.

3. L-band (1.5 – 1.6 GHz):
The L-band is used for purposes such as satellite phones. The relatively narrow spectrum entails major constraints on the total data rate.

4. X-band (8 – 12 MHz):
Mainly used for defense applications.

LEO / Low Earth Orbit, up to 2,000 km from Earth
MEO / Medium Earth Orbit, 2,000–36,000 km from Earth
GEO / Geostationary Earth Orbit, 36,000 km from Earth. The orbit is in the Earth’s equatorial plane and the satellite’s orbital period matches the Earth’s rotation. Accordingly, a GEO satellite appears to be fixed in the sky when viewed from Earth. The satellite’s view of the Earth corresponds to approximately one third of the planet’s surface, and the entire Earth can thus be covered with only four satellites. For this reason, GEO satellites are used for more than 90 percent of all satellite telecommunication. Ovzon’s service currently uses GEO satellites and the company’s planned proprietary satellite will also be located in a geostationary orbit.

The satellite communication market consists of two major segments:

  • Fixed Satellite Services (FSS): Satellite service between fixed earth stations and one or more satellites. Typical use cases include: radio and TV broadcast, business networks, internet backbone and mobile network backbone.
  • Mobile Satellite Services (MSS): Satellite service between mobile earth stations using one or more satellites. Common areas of application are high-definition video, real-time sensors, broadband Internet access, phones from the ground or aircraft, maritime services (crew communication, for example) and hand-held “manpack” terminals.

 

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