Satellite channel emulator systems test overall system performance

April 10, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
US manufacturer Space Systems/Loral (SSL) are using two satellite channel emulators (SCE) developed by IZT to test overall system performance.

SSL is developing two high-throughput communications satellites as well as a complementary TT&C ground system. The satellites will be used to deliver a high-speed broadband service in remote areas. IZT was selected to develop two SCEs to test the effects of uplink, payload and downlink on the signal prior to system deployment.

The SCE from IZT provides a cost effective and time-saving solution for testing the complete bi-directional transmission path without the need for an actual satellite to be available. Complex operational scenarios for equipment such as receivers, transmitters, satellite phones and satellite testing can be set up in a very cost effective way. Modification effects on the transmission, the satellite or the end user devices can be simulated prior to the implementation of the system. When the satellite is in operation, effects and problems can be reproduced and analyzed.

The system's highly optimized and scalable signal processing unit offers a real time simulation of influences on the signal at the satellite such as non-linearity, IMUX- OMUX filter, phase noise, interference, antenna gain, and Doppler shift. Furthermore, it can simulate influences such as interference, rain fading, scintillation, thermal noise and its effects on the transmission link.

The SCE provides RF interfaces to more than 300 VSAT terminals and allows the simultaneous validation of FDMA and TDMA systems.