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Questions tagged [communication-satellite]

Questions about satellites designed to aid in communications, such as phone, TV and Internet satellites.

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SpaceX's 4,425 satellite constellation - what's the method to the madness?

The BBC article SpaceX aims to launch internet from space discusses the SpaceX proposal for a dense array of over 4,000 LEO satellites for global internet coverage, and links to SpaceX non-...
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1answer
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Do antennae on the ISS have to constantly move to maintain data links?

In this question and answer pair I see that the ISS can maintain data links to earth through direct access to ground stations as well as through the TDRSS geostationary satellite network. What kind ...
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626 views

What are these very large, square panels on Inmarsat 5?

Question: What are these very large square panels on Inmarsat 5's? They seem to each have an extremely reflective mirror-like flat/smooth tiled-appearing side, and a nearly black side with a lot of ...
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2answers
375 views

At what magnitude would adjacent large geostationary communications satellites see each other?

Imagine I'm sitting on a geostationary satellite. I can see the Earth in front of me. It's about the size of a soccer ball at arm's length. To the left and right, I can see similar satellites in the ...
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2answers
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Are commercial communications satellites in GEO being constantly monitored by telescopes?

I was trying to look up GOES-17 in Spaceflight101 but got sidetracked in the search result and ended up reading this thread about AMC-9, which links to the YouTube video Rough cut video of AMC-9 ...
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2answers
338 views

For constellations of circular LEO satellites, are there allocations of available “slots” in altitudes?

The BBC article SpaceX aims to launch internet from space discusses the SpaceX proposal for a dense array of 4,425 LEO satellites distributed among 83 orbital planes in five inclination groups as ...
5
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0answers
239 views

Can they watch TV at the South Pole? What satellites are used for data, comms, and entertainment?

edit: This answer adds one more piece to the puzzle, at least for data. For navigation, I believe GPS covers the poles. For data, there is at least Iridium (see answers to What (actually) makes ...
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2answers
843 views

How to design a ground antenna for sending & receiving from a satellite?

Let's suppose there is a wifi router or a cell phone or similar transmitter in an orbit of 3000 km. How could one make a dish antenna to connect and receive the signal from that wifi router or cell ...
9
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1answer
558 views

Can I use Iridium as a receiver network for my satellite?

One of the operational costs for a satellite in orbit is maintaining a receiver ground station. Would it be feasible to send an Iridium transceiver along with my satellite, and then operate it from my ...
8
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1answer
702 views

Radiation pattern and signal strength of navigation satellite antennas

Where can I find the actual radiation pattern and signal strength of transmitting antennas used by GNSS navigation satellites/constellations (GPS, GLONASS, IRNSS, etc)?
8
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1answer
398 views

What is the expected lifetime of observable Iridium flares? [duplicate]

I enjoy spotting and occasionally attempting to photograph Iridium Flares: (Iridium flare with airplane trail) They're caused by sunlight reflecting off the antennaes of the satellites that make up ...
7
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2answers
816 views

What will be “unique” about upcoming SES-9 GTO transfer profile by SpaceX?

In the SES-9 mission press kit, SpaceX mentions: "Given this mission’s unique GTO profile, a successful landing is not expected." What is considered "unique" about this transfer orbit's profile? ...
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3answers
405 views

Could a (differently) inclined orbit remain above a Lunar pole half of every revolution?

Let's say that we want constant communication between the Lunar north pole and Earth. The 5.145° orbital inclination of the Moon means that the (mountain at) the Lunar north pole will have line-of-...
6
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0answers
193 views

Were solar concentrators on HS-702 just a stop-gap measure until triple-junction PV cells were available?

According to Gunter's Space Page discussion of early versions of the Hughes HS-702 Bus: The first version of the 702 used solar arrays with concentrators. These concentrators tended to early ...
4
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1answer
212 views

Is TDRS-M (TDRS-13) where it's supposed to be?

edit: Status 2018-Jan-01 inclination still about 7 degrees, location still not listed in Wikipedia. This question got me thinking about the location of active TDRS satellites, and the newest ...
3
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1answer
283 views

How stable is an orbit of 335.9 km?

Spacex has recently begun deployment of its satellite constellation that will provide internet services. In their initial filings with the FCC they propose that they may have over 7,000 VLEO (very low ...
2
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1answer
293 views

Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) for TV broadcast

Is ISL used for TV carriers? The information I found is that it is used for IP connectivity. I did not find any information on TV broadcast. If not, what are the applications of ISL?
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4answers
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What would be the first noticeable consequences to the general public of widespread satellite destruction?

What would most likely be the first thing I, as an average citizen of a developed nation, notice, if within a matter of hours, all major commercial and government satellites were to be destroyed in a ...
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2answers
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How do communication satellites remain positioned above a particular region?

From what I understand, an object has to keep moving in an orbit to not come crashing down to Earth. (The ISS is the first thing I think of for this.) How then, do satellites which are purpose built ...
13
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1answer
743 views

Can communication satellites be used in lunar orbit?

Because the moon always has the same orientation to earth, if we want to have communications with manned or robotic explorers on the far side some type of relay would be needed for communication. ...
12
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2answers
2k views

What (actually) makes Iridium “the world's only truly global mobile satellite communications company”?

In this article about how the SpaceX anomaly will affect Iridium it says: In its official website, Iridium describes itself as "the world's only truly global mobile satellite communications company....
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2answers
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What is the most popular programming language in space?

For the purposes of clarification - will include machine code generated by a programming language on earth. - 'in space' includes anything in orbit and deep space transit. - special mentions of ...
5
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1answer
263 views

How low is VLEO? (FCC's newest approval for SpaceX)

Engaget's SpaceX gets FCC approval to deploy thousands more internet satellites says SpaceX's plan to build a global, high-speed wireless internet network using satellites has taken another step ...
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2answers
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Would adding satellites between Earth and Mars improve communications latency?

Would adding satellites along the path from Earth to Mars decrease the amount of time it takes to send and receive messages between them?
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4answers
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Is it possible to replace Internet with LEO satellites?

Bulk information regarding anything in this world is available in a single touch through Internet. My question is whether it is possible to replace this Internet with a constellation of Cubesats in ...
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1answer
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How does QUESS, China's quantum communications satellite experiment, relay entangled signals?

China launched the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) on the satellite called MOZI or Micius today, which will be used for quantum communications between China and Europe. Popular Science ...
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1answer
281 views

How do commercial broadcast satellites in GEO produce such carefully shaped signal footprints?

SES-10 will be launched in a few days on Space-X's first commercial launch using a recycled rocket. Screenshots from the three links (Brazil, Central America, South America) on Satbeams page for SES-...
5
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1answer
799 views

How many communication antennas does a satellite need if it belongs to a constellation?

I assume (but I may be wrong) that in a communication satellite constellation such as the one spaceX plan to put into service: each full duplex link requires a dedicated antenna each satellite ...
5
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2answers
404 views

When there is more power than needed, are satellite photovoltaics shunted or open circuit?

I saw the word "shunts" in this answer about DSCOVR's upgraded photovoltaic arrays when it was unmothballed and readied for space. Reading it, I get the idea that shunts are used to dissipate the ...
5
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2answers
328 views

Is secure communication in space important?

How important is secure communication in space? Science-related research is often made public, but does that mean all communications must be unprotected?
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1answer
500 views

How much time does it take to circularize a GTO orbit using ion propulsion?

SpaceX launched two GEO comsats, and is about to launch two more, that use all-electric ion propulsion. Now, I'm wondering, how much time would it take to actually make a satellite like that ...
5
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2answers
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Difference between Tundra and Molniya orbits?

This excellent answer nicely describes both Tundra orbits and Molniya orbits. They are both repeat groundtrack orbits with periods of rational fractions of a sidereal day, and both have inclinations ...
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2answers
733 views

How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us?

How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us? What things do we study for tracking purpose? How exactly do we predict?
4
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1answer
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How will SES-9 reach geostationary orbit from inclined transfer orbit (from F9 2nd stage)

This spaceflightnow article says near the end that the Falcon 9 2nd stage will leave SES-9 in an elliptical, inclined transfer orbit. This article says that this is a super-synchronous orbit, and that ...
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2answers
442 views

How does SpaceX plan to make money with StarLink Broadband?

To me, it seems obvious that ground based optical fibres will be cheaper than a space based system by an order of magnitude. So unless say, everyone starts sea-steading and a space based broadband is ...
2
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1answer
53 views

What is OneWeb's constellation's “progressive pitch” and how does it avoid interference with Ku-band satellites in GEO everywhere on Earth?

The Wikipedia article section OneWeb satellite constellation; Design characteristics tells us: The satellites will operate in the Ku band, communicating in the microwave range of frequencies in the ...
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1answer
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Syncom-3 was the first geostationary satellite. Anyone know of a description of the onboard electronics?

I am interested in any description of the electronics on Syncom-3, the first geostationary satellite. I've been able to find quite a bit of general information. There was a pair of 2 Watt TWTs and ...
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2answers
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How did Syncom-3 achieve eight stages of frequency doubling? I only see seven in the block diagram

@BlueCoder's nice answer to Syncom-3 was the first geostationary satellite. Anyone know of a description of the onboard electronics? mentions that the the master oscillator was doubled eight times to ...
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1answer
122 views

How can the data rate be increased in the space which is full of noise?

I am curious to know what can we do to improve the data rate in the space? I see that there are some noise sources in the Space that affect the signal quality between ground stations & deep space. ...