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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Electronic Engineering Short Name: EEM.SCMB
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: SUN Z Prof (Elec Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern


Components of Assessment
Percentage Weighting
Written, closed-book, examination paper.
Report on assignments
Module Overview
This module covers advanced topics on satellite communications and networks, following the satellite communications A (EEM.scmA).

EEM.scmA – Satellite Communications A. 

(It is also advisable to take the EE3.dcm
the Modulation & Coding module

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to build onto the knowledge gained in EEM.scmA and provides the student with a detailed understanding of the techniques used and applications in modern Satellite Communications and Networks. In addition, to provide the student with familiarity of simulation techniques used in the design and analysis of Satellite Communications links.

Learning Outcomes

Students taking this module will have a detailed knowledge of modern satellite communication techniques and systems as well as an appreciation of all the current application areas. In particular the students will have obtained the skill of simulating a satellite communication link using a commonly available and industry standard software package.

Module Content

1. Modulation and channel coding (BGE)
Review of the standard modulation formats (PSK, QAM) and introduction to variations used in satellite systems, such as OQPSK, MPSK, APSK. Introduction to Turbo Codes and Low Density Parity Check Codes (LDPC). Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) in satellite systems. OFDM principles and practical applications in satellite communications systems.


2. Digital Broadcasting (BGE)
Review of analogue FM transmission of FDM-TV. Infrastructure of broadcasting - Digital TV - source encoding and MPEG compression leading to PES packets – DVB-S & S2 channel coding and modulation. ACM and enhanced performance. Satellite radio systems SDR and SDAB. DMB and SDMB--architecture with gap fillers S-UMTS. DVB-H competition and new developments in satellite DVB for mobiles.


3. Multiple access schemes (GA)
Review of FDMA, TDMA and CDMA in a fixed satellite network and MF-TDMA. Random access schemes ALOHA and CSMA. CDMA operation in mobile satellite systems-satellite diversity and Rake receivers.


4. Radio resource management issues (GA)
Overview of forward and return link capacity management issues in satellite networks, including bandwidth-on-demand mechanisms, connection admission control, packet scheduling and adaptive coding & modulation. Also introduction to cross-layer approaches for the issues listed above.


5. Networking introduction (ZS)
Review of satellite networking. Satellite services, network services, network protocols and reference models, network architecture, network performance and QoS issues of networking over satellites, ITU-R hypothetical reference digital path (HRDP) and performance objectives, internetworking with terrestrial networks and concept of switch on board satellite.


6. IP over satellite issues (ZS)
Review of Internet Protocol (IP) over satellite. IP packet encapsulation, satellite IP networking, TCP slow start and congestion avoidance schemes, TCP enhancement for satellite networks, IP multicast over satellite. IP QoS and performance over satellite based on DiffServ and IntServ architectures.


7. DVB-S/RCS standards for networking and security (ZS)
Review of source coding (MPEG2) for Digital Video Broadcasting over Satellites (DVB-S); and the DVB-S systems and networking issues. Detailed presentation of MPEG multiplexing, transport streams and IP packet encapsulation (Multi Protocol Encapsulation, MPE), Unidirectional Lightweight Encapsulation (ULE). DVB-S with return channel (DVB-RCS). Security aspects for DVB-S and DVB-RCS.


8. VSAT systems and performance (GA)
Review of VSAT – pros and cons. Structure of VSAT networks - star/mesh Traffic types and description. Choice and comparison of multiple access system - design for efficiency. Capacity, throughput analysis - protocols and network interfaces. VSAT system design drivers. Regulatory and licensing aspects.


N9. Non-GEO satellite systems (GA)
Satellite constellation review and properties; network architectures - entities, mobility management, call control - handover issues and integration with GSM terrestrial system. Traffic and signalling channels. Business and regulatory aspects. IMT-2000-UMTS air interface and multimedia aspects of traffic.


10. Advanced Payload Concepts (BGE)
Size/power trends in payloads FSS/MSS. Multi beam antennas (MBA's) - reflector geometries gain and polarisation, contoured beams and phase array generation of spot beams, deployables, PIMS. System advantages of MBA's, connectivity--frequency hopping and SS-TDMA, interference issues. OBP--system advantages, MCDM's regeneration, switches, DSP configurations for FSS and MSS--technology examples mass/volume/power, flexibility. ISL's GEO-GEO, LEO-LEO, LEO-GEO, IOL's, optical and millimetre wave examples and payload trade-offs.



Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures: Total 30 hours of lectures (3 per week)

Labs: none

Assignment(s): Satellite System Simulation Assignment using the MATLAB software package (or alternative) - (issued week 4, due in week 11). (Compulsory, minimum mark 30%)

Channel modelling



Trade-off between BER and Eb/No

Selected Texts/Journals

(B) Maral, G, VSAT Networks, J. Wiley & Sons. 0471-953024

(B) Maral, G & Bousquet, M Satellite Communication Systems, 3rd ed, J Wiley & Sons 0471-971669

(B) Evans, B.G, Satellite Communication Systems, 3rd ed, IEE Press (Telecoms Series 38), 085296899X

(B) Z. Sun, “Satellite Networking”, J. Wiley & Sons, 0470870273, August 2005

(B) Lutz, E., Werner, M & Jahn, A. Satellite Systems for Personal & Broadband Communications Springer 3540668403

(B) Benoit, H. Satellite Television: techniques of analogue and digital television Arnold 0471238104    

(B) Benoit, H. Digital Television, Arnold 04713584x

(B) Sheriff, R. & Fun Hu. Mobile Satellite Communication Networks J Wiley & Son 047172047x

(B) John G. Proakis, Digital Communications, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill.

Last Updated

30th July 2009