Category Archives: Misc

DVB-S2 – reloaded

We have extended our DVB-S2 experimental facilities with two brand new modems.

These two Newtec MDM 6000 are joining the two Newtec Elevation 470 we already had. They feature DVB-S/S2/S2x + ACM and a BB Frame over IP capability to enable external decoding of the baseband frames.

Below, a snapshot of the setup.

Two DVB-S2x modems read y for use
Two DVB-S2x modems ready for use

And just below the modems, we’ve also added two PC-based network appliances. They will host the performance enhancement proxies for speeding up TCP trafic.

Internet is with us

Looking back over the past 18 months, I’m struck by the major leap we achieved in terms of field experimental facilities. To summarise : our lab is now going outdoor.

The last (?) piece of this puzzle is our brand new Internet access via satellite.

Satellite based Internet ready for field use
Satellite based Internet ready for field use

It was made possible thanks to the generosity of SES. Let them be thanked.

This Ka-band internet access is a perfect match with the multi-service terminal that was integrated by our students. Wired and wireless Internet , wired and wireless VoIP telephony.  All packaged in a ruggedised 19″ rack with a UPS.

Ruggedised multi-service terminal
Ruggedised multi-service terminal


The Evolution from a fly away antenna standpoint

You know the “image d’Epinal” (traditional picture) where Evolution is pictured starting from the four-leg ape to the bipedal human being.


Evolution (source: Wikimedia)
Evolution (source: Wikimedia)

It is time to revisit the concept from the standpoint of a Ku band fly away antenna

(the last two are straight from our lab, the first one goes uncredited … so far).

Winter is coming

Yes,  winter is at our door steps.

The proof is the ice we removed from the cover of the antenna trailer.

Ice on the antenna, winter is coming
Ice on the antenna, winter is coming

Which brings Today’s quote

“Winter is coming, icicles are shining, tough times for link budgeting”.


Toys’ R (with) Us

Santa is a bit early this year, but this is all good and we won’t complain.

We were donated a Ku-band fly-away antenna (see below). A lot of thank yous to our generous sponsor (they know who they are !)


Together with the AvL drive away antenna (see in an earlier post), our Ku-band capabilities are up to date (not mentioning another drive away we have … more news on that later).

The next stage is to go to Ka-band and complete our line-up of experimental facilities. On that very topic, I can briefly tell that we’re heading the right way. Stay tuned.

E.T. phone home

Last Friday (Nov, 21) we were lucky enough to visit the Aussaguel-Issus teleport. The menu was fabulous: large dishes, huge interconnects and monstrous waveguides.

And the cherry one cake was the weather. Wonderful.

Thanks to the teleport staff for organising this nice visit.

A visit to the Aussaguel-Issus teleport
A visit to the Aussaguel-Issus teleport

Happy new (academic) year

Here we go again !

On September 15, 2014 we inaugurated the 2014-2015 issue of the SCS programme. 18 students (from 8 different countries)  are attending the programme this year.

And yesterday (September 23) we organised our – now traditional – “networking dinner” where SCS veterans (read: former students) meet new students.

Time for discussions, calzone pizzas, moussaka and chocolat cakes !

Networking Dinner in the Quasimodo pizzeria

Antenna Install Party: take 2

We are back with the Antenna Install Party and we made it !

First to make things easier, we got a trailer. Now the antenna can be handled by a single person, if necessary.

The antenna on a trailer
The antenna on a trailer

With Damien R. (thanks!) we conducted some extensive testing, finding the best place to ensure line of sight, checking with the LNB polarization and – lastly – mastering the TV demodulator.

Here is a series of snapshots showing the antenna in auto-deploy mode.

The antenna in deployment phase
The antenna in deployment phase

And eventually we made it. By that time, it was night.

You can’t imagine the number of TV channels “free to air” available on HotBird 13.  And here is the proof of our success in mastering space technology.

"Soccer from space" in the middle of the night
“Soccer from space” in the middle of the night

Yes, this is correct. The ultimate proof of successfully receiving a radio signal sent from space over a distance of about 36 000 km is … soccer. So disappointing.


Teaching and software defined radio: a short survey

We are currently engaged in writing a conference paper about the use of software-defined-radio for satcom teaching.

In order to support our findings about this interesting experience, we have issued a quick survey to our (former) students. Thanks to their incredible reactivity, we managed in a couple of days to gather 21 answers out of 25 polled persons  (thanks !).

We feel it’s interesting  to share the results with you. They are summarised here: survey_20140513-10-21-19.pdf.

PS: as a side note, commenting is now enabled starting from this post.