New ATI Course Demystifies Satellite Service Requirements for Government Agencies

(September, 2009, Riva Maryland) The Applied Technology Institute ( has introduced a new three-day short-course, Communications Payload Design–Satellite System Architecture, scheduled Nov 10-12, 2009 in Beltsville, MD. The new course is apropos to the U.S. Federal Government’s recent announcement that they will be appropriating $5 billion for the Federal Commercial Satellite Communications Service Acquisition (FCSA) program. The FCSA program will replace several existing programs, streamlining satellite service acquisitions by allowing government agencies access to a wider choice of vendors, services and products, while speeding up the overall procurement process.

Satellite Communications expert, Bruce R. Elbert, with forty years of combined experience designing satellite communications payload and systems for COMSAT Laboratories and Hughes Electronics, will lead the course, which he says will be essential for government agencies. “Effective satellite communication depends on a clear understanding of the user requirements, including what information is to be communicated, where it must be communicated, and finally, how the unique situation of the user can be addressed (things such as whether the user is stationary or in motion on the ground, in the air or on the sea). There are a myriad of questions to be answered but there are solutions on the market that can potentially address them. Getting through this maze requires a good understanding of the alternative satellite capabilities, kinds of user terminals available, network architectures, and systems engineering processes.”

The Communications Payload Design–Satellite System Architecture course is designed to outline in detail the technical characteristics of a wide variety of satellites operating in different frequency bands, exploring the advantages and limitations of each, such as Lockheed Martin’s, Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite. Elbert demonstrates this point explaining, “The military relies on mobility to extend and conduct operations in a wide variety of places. The system provided by Inmarsat would seem to be ideal because the user antennas are small and the network service is quite versatile, being IP based. However, the bandwidth afforded is low relative to many requirements and the cost per MByte is quite high as compared to, say, Ku band satellite services. Alternatively, Ku band is very popular because it addresses these issues, but the availability of Ku satellites is somewhat less and the attendant user antennas tend to be much larger. They also must be pointed rather accurately at the particular satellite in use, a challenge for moving vehicles,” he says.

Prospective end-users of the course are not limited to military and government audiences. It also provides knowledge and methodologies to use satellite communications for non-government applications in field such as oil and gas exploration and production, emergency management, transportation and broadcasting.

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in professional development seminars in the technical areas of space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. For over twenty-five years, ATI has presented leading-edge technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. Their courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications. ATI has the unique capability to schedule and deliver courses in a matter of weeks. They provide customized on-site training at your facility anywhere in the United States as well as internationally and offer over 200 annual public courses in dozens of locations. World-class design experts lead courses. To register for a course or request an on-site quote, call (410) 956-8805 or (888) 501-2100 or visit them on the web at

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