VSAT satellite system
Digital data, voice and video communication within closed user groups with a central structure can be advantageously operated using radio communication via satellites. Very small aperture terminals (VSAT) systems typically support satellite communications networks over a two-way communication link. A VSAT network usually includes a large central earth station known as a central hub (or master earth station), a satellite transponder, and a large number of geographically disbursed, remote VSATs. In VSAT systems, the remote ground terminals are utilized for communicating via a satellite from a remote location to a central hub station. The central hub station communicates with multiple remote ground terminals, and has a significantly larger antenna. The hub broadcasts a continuous carrier to hundreds or thousands of smaller VSAT earth stations via a satellite transponder. The hub station outbound carrier signal contains packets of digital data addressed to the individual VSAT stations of the system. A VSAT system may include individual VSATs that access communication satellite transponders using a variety of multiple-access modes. In a typical link from a hub to a VSAT, the hub terminal broadcasts a signal for reception by all VSATs in the network. The outlying VSAT terminals will transmit to other VSATs or the hub terminal using established protocols. Typically, the VSAT terminals have a small aperture directional antenna for receiving from or transmitting signals to the satellite, and an outdoor unit (ODU) mounted near the antenna for transmitting a modulated carrier generated by an indoor unit (IDU). The IDU demodulates incoming signals received from the ODU and also operates as an interface between a user's communication equipment and the ODU. The IDU and ODU are usually placed at the same location, but are physically separated and connected by a communication cable. The transmitter of the ODU functions to produce a carrier signal in accordance with an intermediate frequency signal received from the IDU and then transmits this signal to the satellite. Upon receipt by the central hub station, the modulated carrier signal is demodulated such that the data transmitted from the remote user is reproduced and processed by the central hub station.
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