Use of Ka-Band for transmitting and receiving high bandwidth video, voice and data is increasing globally. Fixed antenna stations and mobile terminals are being deployed to accommodate the expanding military and commercial applications.
Dr. Fernando Nocedal, Director of Marketing and Business Development at SATCOM Technologies' San Jose, California facility, addressed a regional meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Bureau in Almaty, Kazakhstan this fall on the challenges faced in the design and deployment of Ka-Band ground systems.
"The focus of the regional ITU meeting this was on 'The Prospects for Use of Ka-Band by Satellite Communications Systems,'" Dr. Nocedal said. "The ITU Radiocommunication Sector is one of the three ITU divisions. It is responsible for managing the international radio-frequency spectrum and global satellite orbit resources and for developing standards for radio communication systems to ensure the effective use of the spectrum."
Working in collaboration with Josef Duller, General Manager of SATCOM Technologies' San Jose Facility, Dr. Nocedal created a comprehensive overview of the challenges satellite ground systems providers face when designing, manufacturing and installing antennas and antenna terminals for Ka-Band applications.
The presentation focused on the types of antennas and terminals deployed for Ka-Band and their performance characteristics, and also fundamental problems and solutions in Ka-Band deployment and operation.
Among the topics discussed were:
- Structural and surface processes to counteract diurnal thermal effects
- Reflector surface accuracy requirements
- Anti-icing and mechanical accuracy
- Antenna pointing, tracking and low angle diffraction and scintillation
- Transmit waveguide losses at Ka-Band
- Radome effects and
- Antenna testing
A complete PDF copy of the SATCOM Technologies ITU briefing: "Challenges in the Design and Deployment of Ka-Band Ground Systems" is available for downloading. Click here.
Tim Shroyer, SATCOM Technologies' Chief Technology Officer, added, "Use of Ka-Band is multiplying as quickly as satellite resources come available. The potential for growth in transportable and mobile applications is significant as more high-power spot beam satellites come online to provide ever-higher data rates to transportable and mobile users wherever the satellites have been deployed. As high-power Ka-Band becomes more widespread, there will likely be more interest in mobile or transportable satellite service on these new Ka-Band satellites.
"General Dynamics was in Ka-Band from the beginning, having built the ACTS TT&C terminal and many of the VSAT terminals used for ACTS propagation testing. We anticipate significant mobile and transportable Ka-Band growth over the next five years, but the pace of user terminal installation is likely to be driven by the timing of available new Ka-Band capacity. When greater coverage areas are supported, we expect user terminal demand to increase."