New 9-Meter Antenna and 6-Port Feed Offer Cost-Saving Earth Station Installation and Maintenance
General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies has received a contract from PASCOM, a satellite communications integrator in Chile, for an innovative satellite communications antenna and feed design that can transmit and receive Ku- and DBS-bands simultaneously.
The new 9-meter antenna and 6-port feed will be produced by General Dynamics' SATCOM Technologies and delivered to PASCOM for integration and installation. The end user is CLARO, a multi-media entertainment and service provider whose satellite-based television network delivers on-demand programming directly to homes and businesses throughout Latin America.
SATCOM Technologies won the award by presenting a pioneering technology solution for CLARO's broadcast requirement.
Fernando Nocedal, SATCOM Technologies' Sales Manager, said, "CLARO wanted to transmit simultaneously at Ku-band (14 Ghz) and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)-band (18 Ghz) to multiple satellites that are co-located in the same orbital position for distribution back to CLARO's television customers throughout the region."
"Simultaneous transmission of separate Ku- and DBS Bands is very difficult because it causes intermodulation or interference on the receive band of the ground station. Our solution was to create a new Earth station design with low Passive Intermodulation (PIM) capabilities through the re-design of the antenna reflector and a new, 6-port feed."
When the system is installed, CLARO will be able to send both Ku-band and DBS signals simultaneously for DTH (Direct to Home) television distribution. This improved capability will provide CLARO a greater amount of transmission flexibility and cost savings by being able to transmit to a dual band satellite (or to two collocated satellites operating at different bands) using a single antenna, as opposed to the conventional way which requires two separate antennas.
"Use of Low PIM designs is not new to SATCOM Technologies," Nocedal added. "We have provided Low PIM satellite antenna solutions for more than 20 years to support simultaneous transmissions of other radio frequencies such as Ku and X-bands for military applications. But creation of a Low PIM design for a combined Ku/DBS operation is novel. We believe other broadcasters will benefit from this."
Tim Shroyer, SATCOM Technologies' Chief Technical Officer, said, "The essential take-away for CLARO is: General Dynamics is using one antenna to do the work that other manufacturers require two antennas to do, at up to twice the price."
"The new design created for CLARO permits one sophisticated earth station antenna to simultaneously support Direct Broadcast Satellite transmissions as well as Fixed Satellite Service transmissions simultaneously," Shroyer added. "This permits CLARO to save a considerable amount of money by installing a single, more capable earth station rather than the previous approach of using two, less capable earth stations to support both requirements."