Satellite Communications Glossary

Satellite Communications — Antenna Subsystem







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Information on Antenna Subsystem

The antenna subsystem is a critical part of the spacecraft design. If the spacecraft antenna can be very large, we do not have to worry about generating so much power on board to achieve the required power density at Earth-station antennas. Alternatively, for the same amount of on-board power, Earth station antennas can be smaller or a higher data rate can be achieved. Large antennas are difficult to mount, however, and cause structural problems as they need to be folded inside the launch vehicle and subsequently deployed in space.
     Additionally, to increase the power density on a particular community of Earth stations, the satellite must at least be able to focus its power onto the area occupied by the community, which requires directionality at least commensurate with the 17.34° angle subtended by the Earth for a geostationary satellite. In addition to these Earth-coverage antennas, modern satellites provide a number of more-focussed beams, either by carrying additional antennas or by sharing a common dish reflector with feeders offset in some way.

Other topics in our resources on Satellite Communications related to Antenna Subsystem include: 
  • Satellite Subsystems
  • Structural Subsystem
  • Communications Subsystem
  • Power Subsystem
  • Thermal Control Subsystem
  • Tracking Telemetry and Command Subsystem (TT&C)
  • Attitude and Orbit Control Subsystem (AOC)
  • Thrust Subsystem
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