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10451 Twin Rivers Road
Suite 292
Columbia, MD 21044
Corporate Phone:
1.877.444.6060 or 301.880.0242
Corporate Fax: 1.877.444.4515

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Satellite Services

X-band Satellite Services

For military communications satellites, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has assigned the X band uplink frequency band (for sending modulated signals) as from 7.9 to 8.4 GHz. The ITU-assigned downlink frequency band (for receiving signals) is from 7.25 to 7.75 GHz. The US military uses all frequencies in this spectrum; however, they use select signals on the frequencies throughout this spectrum. The typical local oscillator frequency of an X band low-noise block converter (LNB) is 6300 MHz. Both of these frequency bands are 500 MHz wide.In engineering, this pair of frequency bands may be referred to as the 8 / 7 GHz X band satellite communications system.

Portions of the X band are assigned by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) exclusively for deep space telecommunications. The primary user of this allocation is the American NASA Deep Space Network (DSN)[citation needed]. DSN facilities are located in Goldstone, California (in the Mojave Desert), near Canberra, Australia, and near Madrid, Spain.

These three stations, located approximately 120 degrees apart in longitude, provide continual communications from the Earth to almost any point in the Solar System independent of Earth rotation. DSN stations are capable of using the older and lower S banddeep-space radio communications allocations, and some higher frequencies on a more-or-less experimental basis, such as in the K band.

Notable deep space probe programs that have employed X band communications include the Viking Mars landers; the Voyagermissions to Jupiter, Saturn, and beyond; the Galileo Jupiter orbiter; the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt, theCuriosity rover and the Cassini-Huygens Saturn orbiter.

An important use of the X band communications came with the two Viking program landers. When the planet Mars was passing near or behind the Sun, as seen from the Earth, a Viking lander would transmit two simultaneous continuous-wave carriers, one in the S band and one in the X band in the direction of the Earth, where they were picked up by DSN ground stations. By making simultaneous measurements at the two different frequencies, the resulting data enabled theoretical physicists to verify the mathematical predictions of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. These results are some of the best confirmations of the General Theory of Relativity.

KA Band Satellite Services

covers the frequencies of 26.5–40 GHz.[1](I.e. wavelengths from slightly over one centimeter down to 0.75 centimeters.[2]) The Ka band is part of the K band of the microwave band of theelectromagnetic spectrum. This symbol refers to "K-above" — in other words, the band directly above the K-band. The 30/20 GHz band is used in communications satellites, uplink in either the 27.5 GHz and 31 GHz bands,[3] and high-resolution, close-range targeting radars aboard military airplanes. Some frequencies in this radio band are used for vehicle speed detection by law enforcement.[4] Kepler Mission uses this frequency range to downlink the scientific data collected by the space telescope.

The designation "Ka-band" is from Kurz-above, which stems from the German word "kurz" meaning short.[5]

In satellite communications, the Ka band allows higher bandwidth communication, and is going to be used in the upcoming Newsat Jabiru,[6] Inmarsat I-5[7] and Iridium Next satellite series, for instance. Unlike the Ku and the C bands, however, it is far more susceptible to signal attenuation under rainy conditions.

KU Satellite Services

is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies. This symbol refers to "K-under" (originallyGerman: Kurz-unten)—in other words, the band directly below the K-band. In radarapplications, it ranges from 12-18 GHz according to the formal definition of radar frequency band nomenclature in IEEE Standard 521-2002.[1][2]

Ku band is primarily used for satellite communications, most notably for fixed and broadcast services, and for specific applications such as NASA's Tracking Data Relay Satellite used for both space shuttle and ISS communications. Ku band satellites are also used for backhauls and particularly for satellite from remote locations back to a television network's studio for editing and broadcasting. The band is split into multiple segments that vary by geographical region by theInternational Telecommunication Union (ITU). NBC was the first television network to uplink a majority of its affiliate feeds via Ku band in 1983.

Some frequencies in this radio band are used for vehicle speed detection by law enforcement, especially in Europe.

C-Band Satellite Services

The C band is a name given to certain portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, including wavelengths of microwaves that are used for long-distance radio telecommunications. The IEEE C-band (4 GHz to 8 GHz) - and its slight variations - contains frequency ranges that are used for many satellite communications transmissions, some Wi-Fi devices, some cordless telephones, and some weather radar systems. For satellite communications, the microwave frequencies of the C-band perform better under adverse weather conditions in comparison with Ku band (11.2 GHz to 14.5 GHz) microwave frequencies, which are used by other communication satellites.[1] The adverse weather conditions, collectively referred to asrain fade, all have to do with moisture in the air, including rain and snow.

L-Band Satellite Services

Services refers to four long different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum: 40 to 60 GHz (NATO), 1 to 2 GHz (IEEE), 1565 nm to 1625 nm (optical), and around 3.5 micrometres (infrared astronomy).

In the United States and overseas territories, the L band is held by the military for telemetry, thereby forcing digital radio to in-band on-channel (IBOC) solutions. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is typically done in the 1452–1492-MHz range as in most of the world, but other countries also use VHF and UHF bands.

The Global Positioning System carriers are in the L band, centered at 1176.45 MHz (L5), 1227.60 MHz (L2), 1381.05 MHz (L3), and 1575.42 MHz (L1) frequencies.

The Galileo Navigation System uses the L-band similarly to GPS.
The GLONASS System uses the L-band similarly to GPS.

GSM mobile phones operate at 800–900 and 1800–1900 MHz. Iridium Satellite LLC phones use frequencies between 1616 and 1626.5 MHz[1] to communicate with the satellites. Inmarsat and LightSquared terminals use frequencies between 1525 and 1646.5 MHz to communicate with the satellites. Thuraya satellite phones use frequencies between 1525 and 1661 MHz to communicate with the satellites.

BGAN Satellite Services

The Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) is a global Satellite Internet Network with telephony using portable terminals. The terminals are normally used to connect a laptop computer to broadband Internet in remote locations, although as long as line-of-sightto the satellite exists, the terminal can be used anywhere. The value of BGAN terminals is that unlike other satellite Internet services which require bulky and heavy satellite dishes to connect, a BGAN terminal is about the size of a laptop and thus can be carried easily. The network is provided by Inmarsat and uses three geostationary satellites called I-4 to provide almost global coverage.

Downlink speeds of high-end BGAN terminals are up to 492 kbit/s and upload speeds are also up to 492 kbit/s - Best Effort as BGAN Background IP (BIP) is a contended (shared) channel. As with all geosynchronous satellite connections, latency is an issue. Common latency is 1–1.5 seconds round trip for the Background IP service. It is slightly better for the Streaming services at 800 ms – 1 second. This latency is mainly due to the great distance that has to be traveled before a packet can reach the Internet, but is slightly exacerbated by the back-end technology as normal latency over a VSAT system is roughly 550ms. BGAN users frequently use PEP software or other TCP packet accelerators to improve performance.

BGAN terminals are made by multiple manufacturers. They all have similar capabilities. The main two that apply to basic BGAN usage are the Standard Background IP (Internet) and Telephone Voice. Data costs from the many ISPs that offer BGAN service averages about US$7.50 per Background Megabyte. Voice calling is on average US$1 per min and varies slightly based on the destination of the call (Land lines, Cell phones, other Satellite phones which are the most expensive).

BGAN is currently the fastest global data link available via a portable terminal. It can be easily set up by anyone, and has excellent voice calling quality. It works on the L band, avoiding rain fade and other issues of traditional larger satellite systems.

BGAN M2M Service, launched in February of 2012, is a low-bandwidth service for remote SCADA or M2M (machine to machine) equipment monitoring and control. BGAN M2M service is offered in 2, 5, 10 and 20 Megabyte monthly service plans. BGAN M2M service does not charge for overhead communication, and the smallest billing increment is 1 kilobyte, which is ideal for M2M communication (standard BGAN service has a 50 Kilobyte minimum transfer increment). BGAN M2M service is currently only available to the Hughes 9502 BGAN terminal.
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