Extending off-air satellite simulation to multiple terminals
AtlanTecRF has launched the new Multi-Path Satellite Simulator System (the MSS Series). The MSS Systems are designed to ‘talk’ to two ground-based or mobile satcom stations, simultaneously, thereby replicating for test purposes, the satellite link while remaining off-air. Each system consists of three parts, a base control unit and two weatherproof transponders each of which can be orientated to connect with a system under test (SUT) antenna.
There is also the option to incorporate all of the digital control within one transponder housing to achieve a two-part test system. The base control unit is a convenient portable bench instrument with the capability of both local and remote, Ethernet control. This unit is connected to two mast-mounted transponders via a power and data cable.
The two transponders are inter-connected - each capable of communicating with a fixed or mobile terminal in a choice of either X, Ku, DBS, Ka and Q bands and with the ability to vary the path attenuation, thereby reducing the real-world atmospheric effects.
Taking the uplink or Transmit (Tx) carrier from one ground- based system the MSS transponder re-transmits on the receive (Rx) carrier frequency for the downlink. But, instead of sending the signal back to the same ground station from which it received it, the MSS makes contact with a second ground terminal, thereby completing the satellite link from point A to point B, but without any satellite being involved.
In addition to the transmission of signal to both terminals under test, a sample of the transmissions is fed back via coaxial low loss cable to the base unit and is then made available at the front panel for connection to a spectrum analyser or other test equipment.
Speaking at the product launch at Satellite 2018 in Washington DC, AtlanTecRF CEO, Geoff Burling said “Our ethos is to provide our customers with equipment which most represents the real world conditions of operation and satellite communication systems must always include at least two ground or mobile terminals”.