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  • General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies Introduces New Earth Station Design for Simultaneous Ku- and DBS-band Television Transmissions

    Sept. 14, 2015

    General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies received a contract from PASCOM, a satellite communications integrator in Chile, for an advanced Earth station antenna reflector and communications signal feed design. The new design both transmits and receives Ku- and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)-band communications simultaneously. The Earth station comprises a nine-meter antenna and six-port feed that will be produced by General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies and delivered to PASCOM for integration and installation. PASCOM will then deliver the new dual-band Earth station to CLARO, a multi-media entertainment and service provider whose satellite-based television network delivers on-demand programming directly to homes and businesses throughout Latin America.

    Mike DiBiase, vice president and general manager of C4ISR Technologies for General Dynamics Mission Systems, said, "This innovative, dual-band Earth Station will provide significant cost, integration and installation savings for CLARO since they only need one Earth station to transmit on two different frequency bands."

    SATCOM Technologies engineering team developed the new Earth station to transmit television programming simultaneously at the Ku- (14 Ghz) and DBS-bands (18 GHz) to multiple satellites that then distribute programming back to CLARO's television customers.

    Developing the new dual-band Earth station came down to solving a physics principle that simultaneous transmission of Ku- and DBS-bands causes intermodulation or interference on the Earth station's receive band. The problem was solved by creating a new Earth station design with low Passive Intermodulation capabilities accomplished by re-designing the antenna reflector and adding a six-port feed. 

    "The result is a sophisticated Earth station antenna that can simultaneously support direct broadcast satellite transmissions as well as fixed satellite transmissions over the Ku-band," said Tim Shroyer, chief technical officer for SATCOM Technologies. "This new design permits CLARO to save a considerable amount of money by installing a single, more capable Earth station rather than the previous approach of using two less capable Earth stations to support both requirements."