RF interference represents the single largest impact to robust satellite operation performance. Interference issues result in significant costs for the satellite operator due to loss of income when the signal is interrupted. Additional costs are also encountered to debug and fix communications problems. These issues also exert a price in terms of reputation for the satellite operator.
Various types of interference impact satellite communications. These include the following:
- User error due to poorly aligned antennas and improper mating of connections
- Adjacent frequency emissions from other signals with significantly higher power levels. This includes FM radio harmonics, 5G cellular and other broadcast signals
- Adjacent satellite interference
- Equipment failure
- Radar signals
- Aircraft altimeter signals
- Unauthorized transmissions (piracy) and intentional jammers
- Radiation leakage at the satellite earth station
Ensuring Optimum Performance for SATCOM Systems
Anritsu offers a large portfolio of solutions for satellite operators to mitigate interference problems. These products are designed for both long-term spectrum monitoring as well as for addressing issues generated by equipment upgrades and interference from RF services operating in spectrum adjacent to satellite frequencies. Once interference is detected, remedies will need to be administered to address the problem.
Remote Spectrum Monitoring – MS27103A
A typical earth station will consist of many satellite dishes, all of which need to be monitored in real-time. The Remote Spectrum Monitor MS27103A with multiple RF inputs is ideally suited for multiple transmission monitoring. The Remote Spectrum Monitor MS27103A can monitor up to 12 satellite signals, with an option to extend the number of inputs to 24. Together with optional Vision™ software, spectrum can be automatically recorded and examined for the presence of suspicious signals. Alarms are triggered when signals are detected that would degrade satellite signal integrity.
Spectrum Analysis – MS2090A Field Master Pro
With a range up to 54 GHz, the MS2090A spectrum analyzer is capable of performing real-time signal analysis of both uplink and downlink satellite signals. In many worldwide regions, governments are re-purposing spectrum in the C-Band for 5G services. The new 5G frequencies are directly adjacent to those used by satellites. Using the 5GNR FDD/TDD Measurement option, the MS2090A can quickly demodulate 5G signals to product a list of 5G signals in the area. The physical Cell ID (PCI) of each carrier is displayed thus allowing the satellite operator to easily identify the source of interference.
IQ signal Capture
Remote spectrum monitors support the capture of IQ data of any signal in the frequency range of the spectrum analyzer. Transfer these IQ data files to a PC for post processing using the IQ Signal Master MX280005A software. Basic DVB-S2 modulation quality measurements are supported. Replaying the IQ data file facilitates the viewing with enhanced frequency and time resolution providing analysis of interfering signals on the downlink that may be degrading the earth station KPIs.
Geo-Locating the Interference Source – MX280007A Mobile InterferenceHunter™
After interference is detected, MIH can be used for pin-pointing the interference source. By utilizing Anritsu’s patented interference finding algorithms, the Mobile InterferenceHunter MX280007A software quickly determines the position estimate of an interfering signal using a heat map. As position measurements are accumulated, MIH software reduces the heat map size thus further refining the signal location estimate. The Anritsu MX280007A Mobile InterferenceHunter works with a broad array of Anritsu handheld spectrum analyzers.