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Satellite Communications Equipment Information

Satellite communications equipmentSatellite communications equipment is used for the transmission, conditioning, and reception of satellite signals in worldwide telecommunications. General specifications include product type, mounting style, and connector type or interface. Impedance is also an important parameter to consider. In terms of performance, satellite communications equipment differs in terms of frequency, operating voltage, output power, gain, return loss, operating temperature, and operating humidity. Products with features such as remote control, an integrated heatsink, and an embedded power supply are commonly available.

Types of Satellite Communications Equipment

There are many different types of satellite communications equipment.

Amplifiers are used to regenerate and amplify signals.

Antennas are structures used to collect or radiate electromagnetic waves, and may be categorized as receiving antennas or transmitting antennas.

Block upconverters (BUC) are used to transmit (uplink) satellite signals. As their name suggests, they convert a band or a block of frequencies from lower to higher frequencies.

Low-noise block converters (LNB) are downconverters that are used to receive (downlink) satellite signals.

Equalizers are satellite communications equipment used to alter or adjust the frequency response of a device.

Frequency converters are integrated component assemblies that are required for converting microwave signals into lower, intermediate, or higher frequency ranges for further processing. This type of satellite communications equipment generally consists of an input filter, a local oscillator filter, an intermediate frequency (IF) filter, a mixer, and, frequently, an LO frequency multiplier, plus one or more stages of IF amplification.

Power amplifiers and solid state power amplifiers (SSPA) are also available.


Categories of satellite communications equipment include:

  • RF receivers
  • satellite modems
  • splitters
  • switchover units
  • transceivers
  • translators
  • transmitters

RF receivers separate radio signals from one another and convert specific signals into audio, video, or data formats. Satellite modems are used for satellite transmissions. Splitters are used to divide a signal into two or more signals. Switches are used to route signals to different paths. Switchover units or redundancy switching units (RSU) are used to monitor the status of a device. Transceivers have both a transmitter and a receiver. Translators are designed to translate transmitter bands to the receiver band. Transmitters are satellite communications equipment that send signals to a network or to the air (wireless).

Related Information

Electronics360—Rad Hard CAN Transceivers Eye Satellite Communications

IEEE Spectrum—Could Satellite Messaging Startup Higher Ground Bring Down the 911 System?

IEEE Spectrum—U.S. Air Force's Plug-and-Play Satellites



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