A new carrier monitoring system able to monitor satellite transponders up to 250MHz wide bandwidth has been developed with the cooperation of ESA´s ARTES programme.
To meet the growing demand for monitoring high bandwidth transponders (such as Ka-band) and carriers, Austrian-based Siemens worked with ESA to upgrade its SIECAMS system to deliver new levels of efficiency and capacity.
SIECAMS is a commercia off the shelf (COTS) product used by several satellite and telecom operators. The new SIECAMS unit combines the entire SIECAMS monitoring software with a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) monitoring device in one single rack mount server.
Through an ARTES project, Siemens was able to investigate the use of sampling cards instead of COTS spectrum analyzers to develop a new SIECAMS product. The sampling card allows a more cost-efficient and faster sampling to be made.
It was also able to conquer the challenge of monitoring the spotbeams that are associated with Ka-band satellite traffic in a cost-effective manner. The ability to instantaneously sample 250MHz of bandwidth provides the possibility of monitoring Ka-band transponders in one snapshot.
The SIECAMS system has already been widely accepted in the satcom industry with Eutelsat (FR) currently using 10 systems to monitor the traffic of Ka-Sat, launched in 2010. Ka-Sat is configured with 80 spot beams using up to 240MHz of useable bandwidth.
Avanti Communications (UK) has ordered a system to monitor the traffic of Hylas-1, a telecoms satellite the company launched in cooperation with ESA. Hylas-1 is configured with two Ku-band transponders, intended mainly for HDTV, and six Ka-band transponders feeding up to eight spotbeams.
Avanti has also ordered 18 SIECAMS units for its HYLAS 2 satellite. Deploying 24 spotbeams and one steerable beam, HYLAS 2 will provide service across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Avanti plans to launch HYLAS 2 this year.
"Through this ARTES project, Siemens was able to produce a product that is not only necessary in the satcom industry to keep up with its growth but one that is also cost effective," explains Ms. Michèle Le Saux, head of the Ground Segment Technology section of TIA's Telecommunications department.
"It is currently the only product on the market that provides a fully integrated cost effective monitoring solution and the only system able to perform demodulation measurements of transponder signals with an instantaneous bandwidth of up to 250MHz."
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