SATCOM Technology and Networks

Course Length:



This three-day short course provides accurate background in the fundamentals, applications and approach for cutting-edge satellite networks for use in military and civil government environments. The focus is on commercial SATCOM solutions (GEO and LEO) and government satellite systems (WGS, MUOS and A-EHF), assuring thorough coverage of evolving capabilities. It is appropriate for non-technical professionals, managers and engineers new to the field as well as experienced professionals wishing to update and round out their understanding of current systems and solutions.

What you will learn:

  • How a satellite functions to provide communications links to typical earth stations and user terminals
  • The various technologies used to meet requirements for bandwidth, service quality and reliability
  • Basic characteristics of modulation, coding and Internet Protocol processing
  • How satellite links are used to satisfy requirements of the military for mobility and broadband network services for warfighters
  • The characteristics of the latest US-owned MILSATCOM systems, including WGS, MUOS, A-EHF, and the approach for using commercial satellites at L, C, X, Ku and Ka bands
  • Proper application of SATCOM to IP networks

Course Outline:

  1. Principles of Modern SATCOM Systems
    • Fundamentals of satellites and their use in communications networks of earth stations
      • Architecture of the space segment – GEO and non-GEO orbits, impact on performance and coverage
      • Satellite construction: program requirements and duration; major suppliers: Boeing, EADS Astrium, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences, Space Systems/Loral, Thales Alenia
      • Basic design of the communications satellite – repeater, antennas, spacecraft bus, processor; requirements for launch, lifetime, and retirement from service
      • Network arrangements for one-way (broadcast) and two-way (star and mesh); relationship to requirements in government and military
      • Satellite operators and service providers: Intelsat, SES, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, Telenor, et al
    • The uplink and downlink
      • Radio wave propagation in various bands: L, C, X, Ku and Ka
      • Standard and adaptive coding and modulation: DVB-S2, Turbo Codes, Joint IP Modem
      • Link margin, adjacent channel interference, error rate
      • Time Division and Code Division Multiple Access on satellite links, carrier in carrier operation
  2. Ground Segments and Networks of Yser Terminals
    • System architecture: point-to-point, TDMA VSAT, ad-hoc connectivity
    • Terminal design for fixed, portable and mobile application delivery, and service management/control
    • Broadband mobile solutions for COTM and UAV
        • Use of satellite communications by the military – strategic and tactical

      Government programs and MILSATCOM systems (general review): UFO and GBS, WGS, MUOS, A-EHF

      • Commercial SATCOM systems and solutions: Mobile Satellite Service (MSS): Inmarsat 4 series and B-GAN terminals and applications; Iridium, Fixed Satellite Service (FSS): Intelsat General and SES Americom Government Services (AGS) – C band and Ku band; XTAR – X band, Army and Marines use for short term and tactical requirements – global, regional and theatre, Providers in the marketplace: TCS, Arrowhead, Datapath, Artel, et al
      • Integration of SATCOM with other networks, particularly the Global Information Grid (GIG)
  3. Internet Protocol Operation and Application
    • Data Networking – Internet Protocol and IP Services
    • Review of computer networking, OSI model, network layers, networking protocols
    • TCP/IP protocol suite: TCP, UDP, IP, IPv6
    • TCP protocol design: windowing; packet loss and retransmissions; slow start and congestion, TCP extensions
    • Operation and issues of TCP/IP over satellite: bandwidth-delay product, acknowledgement and retransmissions, congestion control
    • TCP/IP performance enhancement over satellite links
    • TCP acceleration, HTTP acceleration, CIFS acceleration, compression and caching Survey of available standards-based and proprietary optimization solutions: SCPS, XTP, satellite-specific optimization products, application-specific optimization products, solution section criteria
    • Quality of service (QoS) and performance acceleration IP multicast: IP multicast fundamentals, multicast deployment issues, solutions for reliable multicast
    • User Application Considerations
    • Voice over IP, voice quality, compression algorithms Web-based applications: HTTP, streaming
    • VPN: resolving conflicts with TCP and HTTP acceleration Video Teleconferencing: H.320 and H.323
    • Network management architectures


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Bruce R. Elbert, MS (EE), MBA, Adjunct Professor (ret), College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Elbert is a recognized satellite communications expert and has been involved in the satellite and telecommunications industries for over 40 years. He founded Application Technology Strategy, LLC, to assist major private and public sector organizations that develop and operate cutting-edge networks using satellite and other wireless technologies During 25 years with Hughes Electronics, he directed the design of several major satellite projects, including Palapa A, Indonesia’s original satellite system; the Galaxy follow-on; and the development of the first GEO mobile satellite system capable of serving handheld user terminals. Mr. Elbert was also ground segment manager for the Hughes system, which included eight teleports and 3 VSAT hubs. He served in the US Army Signal Corps as a radio communications officer and instructor. By considering the technical, business, and operational aspects of satellite systems, Mr. Elbert has contributed to the operational and economic success of leading organizations in the field. He has written nine books on telecommunications and IT.

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