Satellite Communication Technology

Course Description

Characteristics and uniqueness of satellite communication systems. Division and application of frequency spectrum. Survey of present standards. Division of satellite communication systems (application, frequency spectrum, orbits). Model of satellite communication system. Characteristics of receiver and transmitter end. Architecture and interface of satellite station (antennas, transmitter). Particular modulation procedures and multiple access techniques used in satellite communications. Basic parameters of link quality and link budget in satellite communication systems. Definition and design of specific satellite communication systems.

General Competencies

Understanding the parameters of satellite systems from sending the satellite into the orbit and the link budget to the communication application.

Learning Outcomes

  1. repeat the basic characteristic of satellite communications
  2. explain division of satellite communication systems according to the application
  3. compute satellite link budget
  4. analyze the architecture of satellite communication systems
  5. design specific satellyte communication systems
  6. evaluate the quality of satellite communication system

Forms of Teaching


Lectures are given with the use of powerpoint presentations published on the web pages. The lectures are organized through 2 cycles. The first cycle consists of 7 weeks of lectures and midterm, while other cycle has six weeks of lectures and final exam. The lectures are given in total of 15 weeks, two hours per week.


One midterm exam.

Laboratory Work

Explanatory exercises


Consultation term is determined on the first lecture in agreement with the students.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Attendance 0 % 10 % 0 % 0 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 40 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 40 %
Final Exam: Oral 10 %
Exam: Written 0 % 90 %
Exam: Oral 10 %

Students who have earned enough points to pass the exam do not have to take oral exam (they will get 0 points in that case).

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Characteristics of satellite communication systems. Basic difference between satellite and terrestrial systems. Division, characteristics and application of radio frequencies for satellite communications. Survey of existing standards.
  2. Division of satellite communication systems (use, frequency spectrum, orbits). Satellite communication for broadcasting and meteorology applications. Inter-satellite communications.
  3. Propagation of signals in specific conditions. Influence of atmosphere on transmission and quality of the signal. Propagation time characteristics.
  4. Examples and problems.
  5. Influence of atmospheric conditions on depolarization. Model of the satellite communication system. Characteristics of the receiver and transmitter.
  6. Characteristics, architecture and interface of the earth satellite station (antenna, transmitter end).
  7. Specific issues and the modulation procedures applied in the satellite communications.
  8. Midterm.
  9. Applied multiple access techniques: FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, DAMA, PAMA.Basic parameters of the link quality in satellite communication systems. Power density, G/T. Noise temperature. Definition of up-link and down-link communication.
  10. Basic parameters of the link quality in satellite communication systems. Power density, G/T. Noise temperature.
  11. Definition of the coverage area: global and narrow beams. Calculation of the up-link and down-link communication on a simple and complex example.
  12. Definition and the architecture of the particular satellite communication systems.
  13. Survey of personal terminals for the satellite communications. Very small aperture terminals. Calculation of the communication link (up and down).
  14. Mobile satellite phones. Application of satellites. Communication satellites.
  15. Final exam.

Study Programmes

University graduate
Telecommunication and Informatics (profile)
Specialization Course (1. semester) (3. semester)
Wireless Technologies (profile)
Specialization Course (1. semester) (3. semester)


Krešimir Malarić (2018.), Satelitske komunikacijske tehnologije, Merkur A.B.D.
Gérard Maral, Michel Bousquet (2010.), Satellite Communication Systems, Wiley
Roman Galić (1993.), Telekomunikacije satelitima, Školska knjiga, Zagreb
Gérard Maral (2003.), VSAT Networks, Wiley
Andrew F. Inglis, Arch C. Luther (2016.), Satellite Technology, Focal Press
Zhili Sun (2014.), Satellite Networking: Principles and Protocols, 2nd ed., Merkur A.B.D.

Laboratory exercises