Developments in mobile satellite communications systems

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Developments in mobile satellite communications systems


Author: Ho, Kam-wai Philip
Title: Developments in mobile satellite communications systems
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1997
Subject: Artificial satellites in telecommunication
Mobile communication systems
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: xvi, 183 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: To cope with the increasing demand for global and regional mobile communications, satellite communications systems have undergone a metamorphosis from serving as "bent-pipe" repeaters in the sky to becoming intelligent hubs offering enhanced telecommunications services to mobile users. Commercial mobile satellite projects such as Iridium, Globalstar, Odyssey, ICO (formerly is named Inmarsat-P) and Teledesic have been proposed. Some of them are presently being developed and will offer global mobile personal communications services by late 1990s. These mobile satellite systems, together with the "Big Brother" - the Inmarsat, are facing severe competitions among themselves by targeting at a common group of users in maritime, land and aeronautical applications. From the technical perspectives, it has been observed that the satellite technologies for Iridium, Globalstar, Odyssey, ICO, Teledesic and Inmarsat differ in the details, but all will, by their nature, offer global mobile satellite services (MSS) to end-users. Each MSS system is characterized by its distinct features and constraints that vary from one to another. For example, Iridium, Globalstar and Teledesic are designed to be Low Earth Orbit (LEO) service providers. Odyssey and ICO will be operating in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) while Inmarsat is in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). These systems adopt a single or a combination of various multiple access methods including Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) in the shared communications spectrum. In this respect, it would be of significant academic and industrial values to evaluate the generic characteristics of these MSS systems working in different earth orbits, their advantages and disadvantages of adopting different satellite technologies and multiple access techniques in order to assess the system capabilities, the strengths and weaknesses of the respective MSS systems. In this project, detail study and literature survey have been conducted for searching the up-to-date MSS systems covering Iridium, Globalstar, Odyssey, ICO, Teledesic and Inmarsat. An in-depth investigation has also been conducted for the identified MSS systems to view on their system architecture, the constellation coverage, the frequency assignments, the operational principles, the services and facilities, the business strategies and financial considerations as well as the implementation plans and schedules. Furthermore, a competitive analysis has been carried out on various MSS systems with an aim to assess potential marketing and technological strengths and weaknesses. Recommendations on the key success factors and the future development trends for Mobile Satellite Systems are also provided in this report.

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