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Commercial communications satellites in the post-2020 era

Commercial communications satellites in the post-2020 era

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Advances in Communications Satellite Systems: Proceedings of the 37th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC-2019) — Recommend this title to your library

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The commercial segment of the satellite communications industry has led the way in terms of innovation and investment. Beginning with the launch of Intelsat 1, Early Bird, in 1965, the size and coverage of satellites in general and geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) systems in particular, have complemented and sometimes matched that of both fiber optic and wireless resources. The latest trend toward high-throughput satellites and non-GEO constellations assures that space is still vital to a variety of users who can depend on the robustness and bandwidth offered by satellite links. Perhaps we are at a point of inflection reminiscent of the 1980s when cables began to take over long-haul telecom demands, and again in the 1990s when satellite TV took front stage in terms of monetary gains and general knowledge of space broadcasting. The Internet exploded in the late 1990s to become a foundation for almost all forms of communication and even product marketing. Satellites responded with the very small aperture terminal that could deliver medium data rates, but cable modems and 3G wireless proved the master. Post-2000, satellite links came back by proving their effeteness in supporting remote locations to extend cellular systems, serve ships and aircraft, and aiding the success of our defense forces by reaching beyond line-of-sight. This brings us to the current day where our ability to use space is unparalleled, yet some doubt that satellites can be relevant and even retain an innovative posture as the world adopts 5G. To this, we can point to how the fundamentals cannot change as to the advantages of the space link and coverage of the planet, and of outer space for that matter. We discuss construction of space systems to apply low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO), and GEO, with advanced features to reach all people and places, providing them with information and critical support no matter their access to terrestrial wireless or fiber. We describe the processes needed to allow the space segment and satellite terminal devices to adapt to the user's situation, dependent on network connectivity and handoff performance. Ground facilities to access networks and resources will likewise arise from cloud technologies and intelligence to build infrastructure that can overcome prior disadvantages in remoteness and susceptibility to outage and other threats. This is the promise of the renewed commercial satellite communications segment, precisely because this is where innovators reside and where investment will always find a home.

Chapter Contents:

  • Nomenclature
  • 29.1 Introduction
  • 29.2 New and evolving GEO systems
  • 29.2.1 High-throughput satellites
  • 29.2.2 GEO system strategies going forward
  • 29.2.3 How these strategies will change
  • 29.3 Non-GEO systems in development
  • 29.3.1 Fully interconnected processor-based LEOs
  • 29.3.2 Issues with broadband LEO constellations
  • 29.4 Assessing the near-term and long-term communications satellites
  • 29.5 Conclusion
  • References

Inspec keywords: satellite links; modems; 3G mobile communication; radio-over-fibre; telecommunication cables

Other keywords: medium Earth orbit; space broadcasting systems; low Earth orbit; outer space systems; satellite terminal devices; satellite communications industry; MEO; LEO; space link systems; cloud technologies; nonGEO constellations assures; wireless resources; terrestrial wireless fiber; long-haul telecom demands; space segmentation; 5G; geostationary Earth orbit systems; satellite TV link systems; renewed commercial satellite communications segmentation

Subjects: Satellite communication systems; Free-space optical links; Modems; Mobile radio systems

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