For half a century satellite systems have demonstrated their excellence to collect and distribute data in a vast coverage area for the benefit of thousands of users.
In today’s world of wireless communications, high definition television and global internet access, many people are unclear about the inherent advantages of satellite communications (SATCOM).
Communications satellites cover all land masses and there is growing capacity to serve maritime and even aeronautical markets. Customers in rural and remote regions around the world who cannot obtain high speed internet access from a terrestrial provider are increasingly relying on satellite communications.
Satellite communications can operate independently from terrestrial infrastructure. When terrestrial outages occur from man-made and natural events, satellite connections remain operational.
Versatility has also propelled the SATCOM industry into prominence over the past 50 years. Satellites effectively support on a global basis all forms of communications ranging from simple point-of-sale validation to bandwidth intensive multimedia applications. Satellite solutions are highly flexible and can operate independently or as part of a larger network.
There are more than 2,000 fully operational satellites that are orbiting our planet. Many are up there for communication purposes. In fact, most satellites are Earth-centric and are becoming an increasingly important component in the functioning of 21st century society.
Every year more satellites are being launched into space as satellite technology itself continues to evolve rapidly. An industry key over the past few years has been innovation.
One of the key recent trends has been the increasingly diminutive size of satellites with some weighing only a couple of pounds.
From 2012 to 2016, the average satellite weight went down by almost 80%, and since then, the number of small satellites launched in orbit has risen by 300%.
Smaller satellites are cheaper to manufacture, can be mass-produced and can be launched in groups (called swarms), meaning they have a lower launch cost. On the other hand, smaller satellites tend to have a shorter life span and their orbit around Earth is more likely to rapidly decay. Their size also limits the amount of hardware they can carry, and they lack large power and propulsion systems.
However, current trends indicate the pros of smaller satellites are vastly outweighing the cons. In truth, the small satellite market is booming with the entire global satellite services market’s total revenue expected to exceed $5.5 billion in 2021, up from $2 billion in 2016.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers a wide selection of SATCOM Training courses, including:
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