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Multi-beam satellite network to maximize bandwidth utilization

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Title: Multi-beam satellite network to maximize bandwidth utilization.
Abstract: A communications network (100) for maximizing bandwidth utilization. An embodiment of the invention comprises a spacecraft (11), at least one gateway (12) communicatively coupled to the spacecraft (11) by a feeder link (13) operating within at least one selected frequency band within a bandwidth, at least one user terminal (16) communicatively coupled to the spacecraft (11) by a user link (17), the user link (17) operable at any frequency band within the bandwidth without regard to polarization; and, the communications network (100) adapted to provide for simultaneous operation of at least a portion of the feeder link (13) and a portion of the user link (17) at a common polarization and frequency band within the bandwidth. ...


Browse recent Weaver Austin Villeneuve & Sampson LLP patents - Oakland, CA, US
Inventor: Douglas Burr
USPTO Applicaton #: #20110007686 - Class: 370316 (USPTO) - 01/13/11 - Class 370 
Multiplex Communications > Communication Over Free Space >Repeater >Airborne Or Space Satellite Repeater

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110007686, Multi-beam satellite network to maximize bandwidth utilization.

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CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation of and claims priority under section 35 U.S.C. 120 to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/891,086, entitled MULTI-BEAM SATELLITE NETWORK TO MAXIMIZE BANDWIDTH UTILIZATION filed on Aug. 8, 2007 (Attorney Docket No. LORLP151) and claims the priority benefit of U.S. provisional patent application 60/923,263 filed on Apr. 13, 2007, and entitled “Multi-Beam Satellite Network to Maximize Bandwidth Utilization”, the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety into the present patent application for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention pertains to the field of satellite communications networks, and more particularly to the provision of broadband communications services via a multi-beam satellite system that efficiently utilizes allocated bandwidth.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The assignee of the present invention manufactures and deploys communications spacecraft. Such spacecraft operate within a regulatory regime that licenses at least one operating frequency bandwidth for a particular spacecraft communications service and specifies, inter alia, the maximum signal power spectral density (PSD) of communications signals radiated to the ground. A growing market exists for provision of high data rate communication services to individual consumers and small businesses which may be underserved by or unable to afford conventional terrestrial services. To advantageously provide high data rate communication services to such users, the spacecraft must (1) provide a high PSD so as to enable the use of low cost user terminals, and (2) efficiently use the licensed bandwidth so as to maximize the communications throughput for a particular licensed bandwidth.

A typical satellite communications network 100 is illustrated in simplified form in FIG. 1. The system includes a satellite 11, typically though not necessarily located at a geostationary orbital location defined by a longitude. Satellite 11 is communicatively coupled to at least one gateway 12 and to a plurality of user terminals 16. The user terminals 16 comprise satellite terminals that may be handheld mobile telephones or car phones, or may be embedded, for example, in laptop or desktop personal computers, set top boxes or phone booths.

Each gateway 12 and the satellite 11 communicate over a feeder link 13, which has both a forward uplink 14 and a return downlink 15. Each user terminal 16 and the satellite 11 communicate over a user link 17 that has both a forward downlink 18 and a return uplink 19. A spacecraft antenna subsystem may provide an antenna beam pattern wherein an entire service region is covered using the available bandwidth a single time. Advantageously, however, multiple satellite antenna beams (or cells) are provided, each of which can serve a substantially distinct cell within an overall service region.

Dividing the overall service region into a plurality of smaller cells permits frequency reuse, thereby substantially increasing the bandwidth utilization efficiency. Although frequency reuse in this manner is known (see, for example, Ames, et al., U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/940,356), systems like the one described in Ames require that a total bandwidth allocated to the downlink be divided into separate non-overlapping blocks for the forward downlink 18 and the return downlink 15. Similarly, prior art solutions divide the total bandwidth allocated to the uplink into separate non-overlapping blocks for the forward uplink 14 and the return uplink 19.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

A communications network (100) for maximizing bandwidth utilization. An embodiment of the invention comprises a spacecraft (11), at least one gateway (12) communicatively coupled to the spacecraft (11) by a feeder link (13) operating within at least one selected frequency band within a bandwidth, at least one user terminal (16) communicatively coupled to the spacecraft (11) by a user link (17), the user link (17) operable at any frequency band within the bandwidth without regard to polarization; and, the communications network (100) adapted to provide for simultaneous operation of at least a portion of the feeder link (13) and a portion of the user link (17) at a common polarization and frequency band within the bandwidth.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Features of the invention are more fully disclosed in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a system level diagram of an exemplary communications network of the prior art.

FIG. 1A is a system level diagram of an embodiment of a communications network of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exemplary map of gateway locations and user beams as provided by one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an exemplary map of gateway locations and user beams as provided by a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3A is an exemplary map of gateway locations and user beams in an embodiment of the invention, illustrating a frequency re-use scheme.

FIG. 4 is an exemplary map of gateway locations and user beams as provided by a further embodiment of the present invention.

Throughout the drawings, the same reference numerals and characters, unless otherwise stated, are used to denote like features, elements, components, or portions of the illustrated embodiments. Moreover, while the subject invention will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings, it is done so in connection with the illustrative embodiments. It is intended that changes and modifications can be made to the described embodiments without departing from the true scope and spirit of the subject invention as defined by the appended claims.



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Previous Patent Application:
System and method for downlink channel sounding in wireless communications systems
Next Patent Application:
Communication system, transfer node, mobile node, server apparatus, communication control method, and program
Industry Class:
Multiplex communications
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110007686 A1
Publish Date
01/13/2011
Document #
12861702
File Date
08/23/2010
USPTO Class
370316
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04B7/185
Drawings
7



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