Application Note

AR-50 SATCOM Performance

By Neil Ross, AR Modular RF

When choosing a booster amplifier, users should consider two different modes of operation: line-of-sight (LOS) and satellite communications (SATCOM). While both modes can benefit from gain in both the transmit and receive paths, having a low noise amplifier (LNA) in the receive path can be particularly beneficial for SATCOM. During SATCOM operation, the received signal is almost assuredly very weak (near radio sensitivity). Further, signal reception can be negatively affected by strong out-of-band interferers. From a system perspective, users have no way to increase the power of the downlink from the satellite. Therefore, use of an LNA is a viable option to improve system downlink performance. Fortunately, AR Modular RF’s AR-50 has modes to support both LOS and SATCOM performance.  

The AR-50 provides enhanced downlink performance for SATCOM with the option to switch in a LNA and co-site filter. This gives users the flexibility to adjust both power in the transmitter for the uplink and gain in the receiver for the downlink as necessary. This empowers users to “dial in” their experience, resulting in a properly established link that provides optimal communication. The LNA and co-site filter work in concert to offer the best possible receiver performance in a weak SATCOM downlink and strong interference environment.

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