Satellite Communications

—An Essential Introduction


The Primer to the subject now in its 25th year!

For more than a decade Satellite Communications--An Essential Introduction has been

the most-attended basic training program in the subject.

Your instructor is Dr. Mark R. Chartrand.

Intended to explain the concepts, jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms of the entire satellite communications field to the non-technical person,SatelliteCommunications also serves as a refresher for technical personnel entering the satellite business.

In six major sections, this three-day seminar explicates and clarifies all the parts of the industry:

PART 1: Satellites and Telecommunications: Services, Regulations, and Markets

Introduction and historical background. Legal and regulatory environment of satellite telecommunications: industry issues; standards and protocols; regulatory bodies; satellite services and applications; steps to licensing a system. Telecommunications users, applications, and markets: fixed services, broadcast services, mobile services, navigation services.Satellite communications providers: satellite competitiveness; competitors; basic economics; satellite systems and operators; using satellite systems. Satellite politics and realities.

PART 2: Communications Fundamentals

Basic definitions and measurements: decibels. The spectrum and its uses: properties of waves; frequency bands; bandwidth. Analog and digital signals. Carrying information on waves: coding, modulation, multiplexing, networks and protocols. Signal quality, quantity, and noise: measures of signal quality; noise; limits to capacity; advantages of digital.

PART 3: The Space Segment

The space environment: gravity, radiation, solid material. Orbits: types of orbits; geostationary orbits; non-geostationary orbits. Orbital slots, frequencies, footprints, and coverage: slots; satellite spacing; eclipses; sun interference. Out to launch: launcher’s job; launch vehicles; the launch campaign; launch bases. Satellite systems and construction: structure and busses; antennas; power; thermal control; stationkeeping and orientation; telemetry and command. Satellite operations: housekeeping and communications.

PART 4: The Ground Segment

Earth stations: types, hardware, and pointing. Antenna properties: gain; directionality; limits on sidelobe gain. Space loss, electronics, EIRP, and G/T: LNA-B-C’s; signal flow through an earth station.

PART 5: The Space-Earth Link

Atmospheric effects on signals: rain; rain climate models; rain fade margins. Link budgets: C/N and Eb/No. Multiple access: SDMA, FDMA, TDMA, CDMA; demand assignment; on-board multiplexing.Issues, trends, and the future.

Now available, a full textbook based on this seminar.

This text is largely non-mathematical, with the math details more fully explained in the appendices, complete with full index, glossary of terms and acronyms, and more. For a complete table of contents and some sample pages, and to order, see

Comments from previous attendees:

"Overall the best seminar on any subject I've ever attended. It is absolutely vital for filling in gaps in knowledge of any satellite or communications professional."--Chuck DeCaro, CEO, Aerobureau

"This is without a doubt the most interesting and informative course I have ever attended, and it completely fulfilled my expectations. This is due in no small measure to Dr. Chartrand's delivery and style of lecturing."--Andrew Jordan, Asiasat

"I was terribly impressed with the amount of information that Dr. Chartrand has."--John Reynolds, HBO

"Dr. Chartrand was very well prepared. He has an excellent knowledge of satellite technology."--Andre Cortese, Comsat

"The seminar leader was extremely good at relating technical topics to easy examples as comparison."--Michele Susko, Total Communications Program

"Excellent management level satellite communications course. A 2-day course with 2-weeks of material." --Eric N. Cardwell, NEC America

In addition to presentation to mixed business groups in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, this seminar has also been presented as customized in-house training for many firms, including:

Satellite Communication-An Essential Introduction seminars are held under the auspices of Applied Technology Institute (ATI). For further information, and to register, contact ATI at:

Applied Technology Institute

349 Berkshire Drive

Riva, MD 21140

Telephone: +1 410-956-8805 or 888-501-2100

Facsimile: +1 410-956-5785



The next several public sessions of this seminar will be presented on the following dates:

September 21-23, 2010 | Los Angeles, CA area

December 14-16, 2010 | Washington, DC area

March 8-10, 2011 | Washington, DC area

Special 1-day condensed version:

Communications Via Satellite--The Basics
at Satellite 2011: March 14, 2010

Washington, DC

For information, see

For more information on cost-saving and convenient customized in-house presentations of this seminar or seminars on related topics, or consulting services for the satellite communications field, please contact

Dr. Mark R. Chartrand
4413 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218 USA

Telephone: +1-410-467-0763

Technical Consulting

Business Consulting

Our principals and associates have performed a wide variety of consulting tasks in both technical and business areas for many firms. Please contact us for information at

Our clients have included:

Copyright ©2008 by Mark R. Chartrand.