Satcom & Broadcast

Satellite communications seems to be the natural solution for true global reach, from mobile connections for low level data logging to immediate feeds of HD video from harsh enviroments. Applications challenges are driving new technology to increase data-rates, increase mobility of delivery (satcom on the move) and improve inter-operability to other networks.

Satellite communications seem to be the natural solution for true global reach, from mobile connections for low level data logging to immediate feeds of HD video from harsh environments. Applications challenges are driving new technology to increase data-rates, increase mobility of  delivery (satcom on the move) and improve inter-operability to other networks.
For Maritime Communications to a remote naval environment there would seem no alternative – satellite is a key component to keeping cruise ships, tankers , platforms and other vessels connected.
In remote applications or those changing location – IT delivery is difficult to plan and achieve, whether it be remote geological surveying, or a mobile news team – access to network capability is vital.
Satcom has a wide role in completing network connectivity across financial markets – from banking and ATMs to POS at petrol stations – the advantage of a secure private network is well established.
Our component and module suppliers support a wide number of Systems suppliers around the world.


The UK market has seen completion of a major Broadcast project in recent times with the advent of Digital TV  service; completed in 2012. Broadcast technologies vary by application and include solutions for TV, Radio, paging, satellite and more recently emerging web casting. In all applications the methodology targets reaching a large number of receivers over a large area. In RF terms this is typically acheived by launching high power long range signals to receivers capable of picking up small signal to noise ratio inputs.
On the transmit side power solutions may utilise high power solid state or vacuum tube technologies –
Solid state solutions are provided by Qorvo using GaN technology. Qorvo offers a variety of high power GaN HEMT RF products used in both commercial and military applications. Qorvo’s GaN products provide higher power density, higher efficiency with improved thermal transfer over conventional silicon devices. These GaN devices offer wider bandwidth performance and lower overall installed cost to end customer.

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Linwave Technology supply special to type BUCs (block up converters) and BDCs (block down converters) maximising customers performance, efficiency and space envelope requirements. Uniquely working from UHF applications for Tacsat up to high data rate Ka band, they have the ability to shrink space envelopes using die level components and high dielectric ccts. Performance advantages for combination of multiple band integrated solutions such as X and Ku or X and Ka band modules can also be demonstrated. Product solutions aso encompass Amplifiers for gain equalisation and compensation, switch matrixes and control electronics.

Integration of functionality for small aperture fly away packs highlights Linwave capability well – combination of BUC and 20W SSPA ( solid state power amplifier) with power conditioning in reduced space envelope.

Interference mitigation and band shaping

BSC Filters are Specialists in interference mitigation for optimum system performance, BSC have products working from IF frequencies in L band to over 50GHz. Solutions are found in high power Tx/rx Isolation for feed assemblies, Interference reduction against co-sited emitters such as X band radar or Wifi, Patented “Elliptic” technology for filter design allows utilisation of reduced physical space envelope for maximum rejection attenuation.

Further developments of waveguide to coax short transition (USELT) and waveguide to coax pin connection (NaNo) have greatly assisted system architects maximise design efficiency.

From a wide range of frequency and technology solutions examples include Receive Reject Filters, Transmit Reject Filters,Transitions, Harmonic Filters, Loads, Diplexers, Multiplexers, Couplers,Feed systems.

Frequency control and Timing reference

Applications include satellite transport (bandwidth), fixed or mobile satellite service, and service-enabling components such as terminals, handsets, and tail circuits with engineering services to integrate, operate, and maintain the solution. Applications include Emergency response and disaster recovery communications systems , Satellite-based backup communications network , Distributed distance learning network and Communications on the move solutions for Defence applications

In Packet based timing, the prediction, monitoring and management of Packet Delay Variation (PDV) is complex, challenging, potentially costly and still open to random ‘network noise’ events.

Placing a predictable, stable and cost effective local clock at the client node can greatly improve the odds in deal­ing with network noise – increased client robustness allows a timing to be deployed across larger and less man­aged networks, reducing the overall cost of a timing solution.

Packet based timing technologies work on the two way exchange of timing information between a Master Clock and Slave (or Client) Clock. The 1588 protocol works on the assumption that this two way exchange is symmetric (i.e. it expects that the Packet Delay from Master to Slave and Slave to Master is the same). How­ever, in the majority of wide area networks this is not the case and the phenomena of Packet Delay Variation (PDV) introduces noise into the Client clock. Without severely limiting the scale of the network or introducing complex management schemes, deriving accurate frequency and phase information from the packet network is a challenge.

There are a number of approaches described in the 1588 protocol that can be taken to delivering timing over a packet network. In broad terms these approached can be divided into the Ordinary Clock approach and the Transparent Clock approach.

Ordinary Clock approach: In the Ordinary Clock approach the timing information is sent from the Master clock to the Slave clock without adjustment being made to the time stamp information by intervening nodes – routers in the path between the master and slave do not tell the slave anything about their behaviour. The advantage of this approach is that the disruption to the existing network is minimal and service providers can deploy 1588 over an existing network – A possible disadvantage is that the Slave needs to be robust in the presence of PDV.

Transparent Clock approach: In the Transparent Clock approach the timing information is updated as it travels from the master to the slave – routers in the path between the master and slave can make adjustments to the packet to tell the slave about their behaviour. The advantage of the Transparent Clock is that the deployment can self-correct network disruptions far more easily – a disadvantage is that service providers are faced with the possibility of expensive ‘forklift upgrades’ of existing networks

Vectron matches the stability characteristics of its oscillators with the requirements of 1588 client clocks – this is done by design, but also through a system level verification of the oscillators’ suitability in the target application. Choosing oscillators for 1588 applications is in many ways similar to selecting devices to support SONET/SDH ‘stratum’ level applications. However the role of PDV and any corresponding packet filtering used in a Packet Equipment Clock (PEC) needs to be considered also, since the system loop filter bandwidth is not necessarily predefined in the same way as SONET/SDH.

The SATCOM and “1 ppm Forever” series of Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO’s) are available in frequencies from 0.5 MHz to 160MHz. These series offer performance for short term stability, phase noise, G sensitivity, ageing and temperature stability normally only associated with Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillators (OCXO’s), while consuming typically < 20 mA. With over 500,000 units produced, Vectron International has more experience with this type of TCXO then the rest of the industry combined. Integration of active functions within the RF chain allow improved size and performance characteristics to be achieved. VCOS-for example -By integrating the buffer amplifier and resonator and providing a single 5V supply, the RFVC1800 VCO reduces component count, streamlines engineering and promotes ease-of-use for global customers. Additionally, by delivering excellent phase noise performance and broadband capabilities, the RFVC1800 provides a highly integrated multi-purpose VCO solution that meets or exceeds the stringent design requirements of engineers across multiple RF applications. Manufactured on Qorvo's Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Hetero-junction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) process and packaged in a small 4 x 4 mm QFN package, the RFVC1800 broadband VCO is optimised for use in radar, military communications, satellite communications, test instrumentation and industrial/medical applications. For signal enhancement and isolation between functions many chip and module amplification options are available.