AsiaSat has just been issued a U.S. patent for methods and systems to mitigate the imbalance of uplink and downlink spectrum allocation in satellite communications.
This patent will be used to address issues faced by satellite operators in Asia-Pacific in the Ku-band frequency. Currently, there is an imbalance of uplink and downlink spectrum allocation of the Ku-band frequency in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Region-3 (Asia-Pacific) coverage. According to the ITU Region-3 allocation, the Ku uplink spectrum has 750 MHz whereas the downlink spectrum has 1,000 MHz, denoting that there is 250 MHz bandwidth in the downlink spectrum unpaired with its uplink spectrum. This new patent grants a recovery of this unpaired spectrum, by installing an onboard DCP in the satellite payload to harvest the previously unused guard bands in the uplink spectrum.
Titled “Methods and Systems for Improving Spectrum Utilisation for Satellite Communications” (US Patent No. 10,050,698 B2), the patent was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Through digitalising uplink spectrum with an onboard digital channelising processor (DCP), unused Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) guard bands in the uplink spectrum, whether from the same band or different bands such as C-, Ku- or Ka-band can be extracted, fully harvested and put into use. The new available bandwidth can support customers in developing new applications that require flexibility and scalability, such as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and IoT products.
Dr. Roger Tong, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat says, “The spectrum for satellite communications is a scarce and valuable resource. The developments made by our strong engineering team have provided real-world value through the more efficient utilisation of our spectrum resources. This is the kind of innovation that drives AsiaSat and our staff to strive for better, for both our users and partners and their customers.”