by staff writers for SatCom Frontier
McLean, VA (SPX) Feb 22, 2016
Satellite innovation continues to evolve at a rapid pace. For example, recently there have been developments in satellite modem technology that can mitigate satellite interference.
To get the latest, SatCom Frontier recently sat down with Stuart Daughtridge, Vice President for Advanced Technology at Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, a leading National Security Solutions provider.
Tell us a bit about your company
Can you describe Continuous Wave (CW) interference - what problems it causes?
How does the new class of Kratos modems address these problems?
How does interference monitoring change for HTS systems?
How signals are monitored today for satellites with a handful of beams can't cost effectively be scaled up for monitoring HTS' 70+ separate beams. The scale of HTS requires the deployment of much lower cost sensors designed to monitor multiple smaller beams from a signal site. Additionally, to provide the operator with the information needed to quickly identify, characterize and rectify problems when they occur, advanced visualization and management tools are required to manage all the sensors and convert all the sensor data into an actionable status and information on the beams.
With respect to interference and RF quality of service monitoring, Kratos has developed lower cost sensors for use with HTS satellites. For Kratos, we leveraged our Monics carrier monitoring technology to develop Monics 200. Designed for spot beam monitoring, Monics 200 provides operators with economical, yet highly versatile DSP-based RF sensors which automatically determine signal modulation type, symbol rate, measured Eb/No, and other parameters as well as providing detection and analysis of interfering signals. This is important because it gives the operator all of the capability of a full Monics sensor.
Another innovative technology we see is Digital IF, which allows you to digitize an RF signal and transport it over an IP network. This technology can enhance the operational efficiency of the multiple gateway systems required of HTS/spot beam satellites. Kratos' SpectralNet digitizes RF signals, transports them over IP networks with no degradation or loss, and recreates the RF signal at its destination. This technology allows the gateways' locations to be driven by operational efficiency, rather than by proximity to antenna/RF systems.
How do you see the satellite market changing in the next 18 months?
A great example of this is Intelsat's Epic satellites. They will enable incredible new data services to both fixed and mobile platforms supporting higher data rates at lower costs than traditional, shaped beam satellites. Intelsat's Epic satellites also provide impressive onboard routing flexibility to allow Intelsat to offer both fully managed services as well as selling capacity to 3rd party managed service providers. This type of on-orbit flexibility will open up new applications and services to the Satcom industry.
The needs of customers are rapidly evolving, requiring new ground system technologies and capabilities. New ground architectures and services, such as Digital IF, for site diversity, are needed to centralize operations, extend network hubs to antennas at remote teleports, and antenna combining to maximize clear-sky performance are becoming available to improve mission assurance.
As I stated above, it is going to be a very exciting time for our industry.
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