AtlanTecRF launched their new SNG series of Satellite Simulator Systems, designed to provide a loop-back test for vehicle mounted Ku band satellite news gathering (SNG) antennas without the need to access the satellite, at the Satellite 2017 show in D.C.
Comprised of two units, the satellite simulator is either depot-based or portable, thereby facilitating the testing and calibration of news gathering and outside broadcast systems off-satellite. The base control unit is a convenient, portable bench instrument with the capability of both local and remote, Ethernet control and this is connected to a wall or mast mounted weatherproofed transponder via a power and data cable.
The transponder communicates with the SNG system under test (SUT) via appropriately polarized gain horns, receiving at the SUT transmit (Tx) frequency and transmitting at the SUT receive (Rx) frequency, thereby completing the loop-back without satellite involvement. The local oscillator in the transponder is synthesized over its 1.75-3.3GHz range by either front panel controls on the base unit or via Ethernet with a GUI and input signal level is similarly controlled over a 60dB range in 0.5dB steps thus accommodating varying range distances from the SUT as well as a variety of Tx power levels.
In addition to the transmission of the Rx frequency direct to the SUT antenna, a sample of this is fed back via coaxial low loss cable to the base unit and is then made available at the front panel for connection to a spectrum analyzer or other test equipment.
AtlanTecRF’s CEO, Geoff Burling, related that this new satellite simulation system provides a convenient and cost effective alternative to on-satellite alignment and set up of vehicle-borne SNG systems and avoids the time-consuming and risky process of testing live on the satellite.