Satellite Telecommunications

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  • Topic: Satellite, Communications satellite, Geosynchronous orbit
  • Pages : 14 (3926 words )
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  • Published : October 5, 2005
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Satellite Telecommunications
Network and Telecommunications Concepts 360
September 11, 2005

Table of Contents


•Satellite Communications History

•Sputnik Changed Everything

•America's Response

•Future Trends in Satellite Communications

•GEO vs. LEO

•Bent-Pipe Satellite Relay vs. the Switch in the Sky

•Companies Involved in Satellite Communications

•Regulatory Issues in Satellite Communications

•Global implications for the area


•Figure 1-1 – Satellite System Diagram



Telecommunications was forever changed when the then Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth. Since that first launch back in 1957 the telecommunication industry has exploded. So what it is a satellite and what can it do for us? What is the technology involved in making Satellites? What trends will we see in the telecommunications industry because of satellites? Who uses satellites? Are there regulatory issues concerning the use of satellites, and what are the global implications of using satellites? These are some of the issues that are common when people discuss the use of satellites, so throughout this paper we will try to thoroughly answer those questions and hopefully provide a better understanding of satellites and what they can do for us.

Before we venture in the world of satellite communication, let's get a clear understanding of what a satellite is. A satellite is an object that orbits another object. It could either be a natural object like the moon or it can be a technological device that is man made. For the purpose of this paper we will be discussing the man made satellites. Satellites are used for things like sending and receiving television signals. The television signal is sent from Earth to a satellite, and then it is rebroadcast to multiple locations back on Earth. Satellites are also used for sending and receiving telephone, fax, and computer communications. Because of these satellites we are capable of communicating with anyone in the world. Satellites are also used for observing activity on Earth. The Military uses satellites for things like locating the enemy or guiding missiles. The National Weather Service uses satellites to track storms. A perfect example was their ability to track Hurricane Katrina, just think of how much worse the storm could have been if satellite images were not available to give warnings of such horrible storms. Satellites are also used for taking pictures of the Earth. Scientists use these images to determine changes happening with the planet and its ecosystem. These are just some of the things that having the ability to orbit man made satellites offers us here back on Earth.

Satellite Communications History
Sputnik Changed Everything

July 1957 – December 1958 was to be the high-point in the eleven year cycle of sunspot activity. To take advantage of the once-in-a-decade-plus opportunity, Lloyd Berkner, of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) proposed in 1952 a series of global geophysical activities.

In March of 1953, the NAS appointed a US National Committee to oversee US participation in the IGY. The US program included investigations of aurora and airglow, cosmic rays, geomagnetism, glaciology, gravity, the ionosphere, determinations of longitude and latitude, meteorology, oceanography, seismology, solar activity, and the upper atmosphere. In connection with upper atmosphere research, the US undertook to develop an orbiting satellite program. It was from the IGY rocket and satellite research that the US developed its space program -- with the advice of the NAS Space Science Board. (NASA, 2005)

In October 1954, the ICSU called for the launching of artificial satellites to assist in mapping of the Earth's surface. In July 1955, the White House made it's plans for the Vanguard satellite known to the...
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