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What do you mean by a VSAT?
VSAT stands for Very Small Aperture Terminal - its a catchy acronym and as such its been adopted by all and sundry for every type of satellite product from small components of a system to complete systems. Because the term really hinges around the small size of the antenna it has been used to describe both one-way and interactive systems. Specifically, we in the industry, isolate television broadcast receivers because counting these as well would simply distort the numbers in the marketplace, but data, audio and, to some extent, voice systems are included. Generally, these systems operate in the Ku-band and C-band frequencies. As a rule of thumb C-band (which suffers less from rain attenuation, but requires larger antennas) is used in Asia, Africa and Latin America whilst Ku-band (which can use smaller antennas, but suffers from rain fade in a monsoon-like downpour) is used in Europe and North America. Typically, interactive Ku-band antenna sizes range from 75 centimetres to 1.8 metres and C-band from 1.8 metres to 2.4 metres. One way systems can use antennas as small as 45 centimetres.
What about one-way systems?
One-way or broadcast systems rely on a transmitting station which transmits one or more carriers to the satellite which re-broadcasts the signal over its coverage area. All receive-only VSATs under the satellite footprint can then receive the signal or the user/operator is able to define groups of VSATs from one to all on the network. Broadcast systems are used for data and audio. The most popular application for data is the transmission of financial feeds - Reuters, Telerate and KnightRidder are good examples of companies with large data broadcasting networks - however, there are many other uses, such as software downloads, file transfers, transmission of press agency news items (with pictures) and the broadcast of paging messages for terrestrial transmission to the pagers themselves.
So what is an interactive VSAT?
Interactive VSAT systems come in two main network topologies - star and mesh. The former tends to be based either on a shared access scheme (TDM/TDMA), which is designed to support transactional processing applications, or on a dedicated link (the satellite equivalent to a leased line). The latter usually uses links which are set-up and torn-down on request to establish a direct link between two sites on a demand assigned basis. These mesh systems were initially designed to support corporate and public network telephony links, but are being increasingly used to serve high data rate services, such as file downloads, at rates of 64 kbps or greater.
This industry is full of acronyms - what do they mean?
This gets complicated, but here is an extensive list of acronyms, terms, abbreviations and data rates for your reference. Like any other industry, it seems as though you will never be able to understand, but its not that bad and it doesn't take long to get the basics.
What about statistics?
The VSAT market has been going since the early 1980s and the launch of the first one-way VSAT system by Equatorial of California. Towards 1985 the first interactive star systems began to be seen and it wasn't until 1989 that the first mesh telephony products were really sold. COMSYS is recognised as the leader in tracking the size and trends of the market.
What does a network look like?
VSAT networks come in various shapes and sizes ranging from star data system users with one site connected to an operator's shared hub to many thousands based on a dedicated facility located at their own site. Mesh systems have traditionally been somewhat smaller in size than star systems - 5 to 30 sites used to be a good rule of thumb - but the average size of orders has risen as prices have come down and some rural telephony networks now comprise as many as several hundred or even thousands of sites. This is what they look like. By the way, this link contains some large-ish (30k) graphics.
What kind of companies use VSAT systems?
You name it really, car dealerships, gas stations, lottery systems, banks, insurance companies, drug stores, general stores, supermarkets, healthcare companies, manufacturers, couriers, hotel chains, car rental businesses, food manufacturers, heavy industries, mines, electrical utilities, oil and gas pipelines, energy production and exploration, timber companies, plantations, various government departments and agencies ....... any others you can think of, just add to the list. Click here to see some examples of both major and minor networks from all over the world.
an organized body of related information
A database is a collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way, such that a computer program can consult it to answer questions. The software used to manage and query a database is known as a database management system (DBMS). The properties of database systems are studied in information science.
Data stored on computer files or on CD-ROM. A database may contain bibliographic, textual or numeric data. The data are usually structured so that they may be searched in a number of ways. A variety of databases is accessible via this website.
A database is an organised collection of information records that can be accessed electronically. In the Library this includes indexing and abstracting databases, citation databases or databases of fulltext journal articles.
is an organized collection of information stored on a computer. With Optix, a database is an organized collection of electronic documents stored on a computer. The database is structured to facilitate the search and retrieval of information contained in the database.
A database is a collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed and updated. The most prevalent type of database is the relational database, a tabular database in which data is defined so that it can be reorganized and accessed in a number of different ways. A distributed database is one that can be dispersed or replicated among different points in a network. ...
A collection of information that has been systematically organized for easy access and analysis. Databases typically are computerized.
A collection of information arranged into individual records to be searched by computer.
Any organized collection of information; it may be paper or electronic.
a standardized collection of information in computerized format, searchable by various parameters; in libraries often refers to electronic catalogs and indexes.
A collection of electronic records having a standardized format and using specific software for computer access.
A collection of information organized and presented to serve a specific purpose. A computerized database is an updated, organized file of machine readable information that is rapidly searched and retrieved by computer.
A set of data that is structured and organized for quick access to specific information.
Any of a wide variety of repositories (often computerized) for observations and related information about a group of patients (eg, adult males living in Göteborg) or a disease or an intervention (eg, drug therapy) or other events or characteristics. Depending upon criteria for inclusion in the database, the observations may have controls. ...
"An organized collection of information, data, or citations stored in electronic format that can be searched for specific information or records by techniques specific to each database." -from the University of Texas, San Antonio Library: Library Lingo Library. Databases include Academic Search Elite and Lexis Nexis.
A collection of data: part numbers, product codes, customer information, etc. It usually refers to data organized and stored on a computer that can be searched and retrieved by a computer program.
a collection of related electronic records in a standardized format, searchable in a variety of ways, such as title, author, subject, and keyword. Common examples of databases are the library catalog and citation indexes.
A collection of data organized so that various programs can access and update the information.
a collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed, and updated.
A body of information in machine readable form which is searched on a computer terminal. Records for materials owned by the ASU Libraries comprise the ASU Libraries Online Catalog database.
An organized collection of information in computerized format. Databases may consist of many types of information, including text, numerical data, or images. In the CWU Library, database most frequently ref ers to computerized indexes of books, magazines, journals, and newspapers. For a complete list of the electronic information databases available in the Library, see the Databases Page.
An organized collection of records presented in a standardized format searched by computers. WebPals, ID Weeks Library's Online Catalog, is a database. The periodical indexes available through the library are also databases.
A collection of data organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer.
A database is a collection of information categorized by specific fields. Databases are usually searchable by keywords.
A collection of information organized in a way that allows the quick selection, sorting, and reorganization of data.
A collection of related data stored in one or more computerized files in a manner that can be accessed by users or computer programs via a database management system.
A logical collection of interrelated information, managed and stored as a unit, usually on some form of mass-storage system such as magnetic tape or disk. A GIS database includes data about the spatial location and shape of geographic features recorded as points, lines, areas, pixels, grid cells, or tins, as well as their attributes.
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