Satellite Data Communications and VSAT Networks

Online Course

25 April 2019 – 9:00 am to 4:30 pm EDT

Registration closes 23 April 2019 at 5pm EDT

Online via WebEx


$279 IEEE ComSoc member
$349 IEEE member
$459 non-member

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Course Description

Satellite data networks have become an important tool of corporations, government agencies as well as consumers needing remote access to the Internet. In this intermediate level, one-day course the instructor reviews the design and use of such networks, which employ inexpensive very small aperture terminals (VSATs). The instructor will provide up-to-date information and methodologies to employ communications satellites specifically for data communications and the Internet. The focus is unique because it combines theory and practice, addressing currently available technology solutions as well as the foundations needed to understand them.

Who Should Attend

Communications engineers and networking specialists who wish to understand how communications satellites are employed to provide data communications services, particularly with TCP/IP-based very small aperture terminals (VSATs). A background in satellite communications or radio frequency systems is desirable but not essential. This course will apply to any commercial or government organization that currently employs satellite communications for data applications, or to those considering how to do so.


Bruce R. Elbert

BEE, MSEE, MBA, President

Application Technology Strategy, LLC

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how communications satellites are applied to two-way data communications
  2. Be able to configure a satellite data network to provide Internet-based services
  3. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of satellite data links as compared to land-based fixed and wireless data communications

Course Content

  1. Principles of Modern SATCOM Systems
    • Architecture of the space segment – GEO and non-GEO orbits, impact on performance and   coverage
    • Satellite construction: program requirements and duration; major suppliers: Boeing, EADS Astrium, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences, Space Systems/Loral, Thales Alenia
    • Basic design of the communications satellite – repeater, antennas, spacecraft bus, processor; requirements for launch, lifetime, and retirement from service
    • Network arrangements for one-way (broadcast) and two-way (star and mesh); relationship to requirements in government and military
    • Satellite operators and service providers: Intelsat, SES, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, Telenor, et al The uplink and downlink
    • Radio wave propagation in various bands: L, C, X, Ku and Ka
    • Standard and adaptive coding and modulation: DVB-S2, Turbo Codes, Joint IP Modem Link margin, adjacent channel interference, error rate
    • Time Division, Frequency Division and Code Division Multiple Access on satellite links
  2. Very Small Aperture Terminals
    • Star and mesh architectures
    • Random Access protocols
    • Streaming and Transaction
    • Reservation VSAT terminal
    • configuration and design Hubs
  1. Internet Protocol Operation and
    • Application TCP/IP protocol suite: TCP, UDP, IP
    • TCP protocol design: windowing; packet loss and retransmissions; slow start and congestion, bandwidth-delay product, acknowledgement and retransmissions, congestion control
    • TCP/IP performance enhancement over satellite links
    • TCP acceleration, HTTP acceleration, CIFS acceleration, compression and caching Survey of available standards-based and proprietary optimization solutions: SCPS, XTP, satellite-specific optimization products, application-specific optimization products, solution section criteria
    • Quality of service (QoS), IP multicast fundamentals and multicast deployment   issues
  2. User Application Considerations
    • Network design and capacity planning
    • Voice over IP, voice quality, compression algorithms
    • VPN: resolving conflicts with TCP and HTTP
    • acceleration Video Teleconferencing: H.320 and H.323
    • Network management architectures

Course Materials

Each registered participant receives a copy of instructor slides and access to the recording of the course for 15 business days after the live lecture. Earn 0.6 IEEE Continuing Education Units for participating.

Course Cancellation and Refund Policy: Requests for online course cancellations must be received 3 business days prior to the course date for a full refund. Once course materials have been shared with a participant, a cancellation request cannot be accommodated.