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Satellite Communication

Chapter Overview

A satellite is a physical object that orbits, or rotates about, some celestial body. Satellites occur in nature, and our own solar system is a perfect example. The earth and other planets are satellites rotating about the sun. The moon is a satellite to the earth. A balance between the inertia of the rotating satellite at high speed and the gravitational pull of the orbited body keeps the satellite in place.

Satellites are launched and orbited for a variety of purposes. The most common application is communication in which the satellite is used as a repeater. In this chapter, we introduce satellite concepts and discuss how satellites are identified and explained. We summarize the operation of a satellite ground station and review typical satellite applications, with particular emphasis on the Global Positioning System, a worldwide satellite-based navigational system.

Chapter Outline

17-1 Satellite Orbits
17-2 Satellite Communication Systems
17-3 Satellite Subsystems
17-4 Ground Stations
17-5 Satellite Applications
17-6 Global Positioning System

Chapter Objectives

  • Define the terms posigrade, retrograde, geocenter, apogee, perigee, ascending, descending, period, angle of inclination, geosynchronous, latitude, longitude, and meridian.
  • State the operative physical principles of launching a satellite and maintaining its orbit.
  • Draw a block diagram of the communication system in a communication satellite, give its name, and explain how it works.
  • List the six main subsystems of a satellite.
  • Draw a block diagram of a satellite ground station, identifying the five main subsystems and explaining the operation of each.
  • Name three common applications for satellites and state which is the most common.
  • Explain the concept and operation of the Global Positioning System. Draw a block diagram of a GPS receiver and explain the function of each component.

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