premium. Hf jamming and electronic countermeasures (ECM) techniques became highly sophisticated
during that period. As a result the need for new and advanced long-range transmission methods became
Communications via satellite is a natural outgrowth of modern technology and of the continuing
demand for greater capacity and higher quality in communications.
In the past, the various military branches have had the resources to support their communications
needs. Predicted usage indicates that large-scale improvements will have to be made to satisfy future
needs of the Department of Defense. These needs will require greater capacity for long-haul
communications to previously inaccessible areas. Satellite communications has the most promise for
satisfying these future requirements.
DEFENSE COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE PROGRAM (DCSP)
The Defense Communications Satellite Program (DCSP) was initiated by the Secretary of Defense in
1962. Phase I of the program was given the title Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program
(IDCSP). The first satellite launch occurred in June 1966 when seven experimental satellites were placed
into orbit. The final launch of this program consisted of eight satellites and occurred in June 1968.
DEFENSE SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM (DSCS) PHASE II
The Phase II Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCP Phase II) has changed from an all-
analog communications system to an all-digital communications system. The performance capability
provided by the Phase II DSCS is limited by equipment availability. Extensive digital traffic capability
has become common. You can credit this to the availability of digital modems (modulator/demodulator)
and broadband equipment. Overall performance of the Phase II DSCS is a great improvement over the
capabilities provided by Phase I DSCS. The Phase II satellites provide a great increase in effective
radiated power and rf bandwidths. You will find these satellite configurations use wide coverage and
narrow beam antennas. They provide an extensive range of communications services and capabilities.
(This will be further discussed later, in this chapter.)
FUNDAMENTAL SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
A satellite communications system uses satellites to relay radio transmissions between earth
terminals. The two types of communications satellites you will study are ACTIVE and PASSIVE. A
passive satellite only reflects received radio signals back to earth. An active satellite acts as a
REPEATER; it amplifies signals received and then retransmits them back to earth. This increases signal
strength at the receiving terminal to a higher level than would be available from a passive satellite.
A typical operational link involves an active satellite and two or more earth terminals. One station
transmits to the satellite on a frequency called the UP-LINK frequency. The satellite then amplifies the
signal, converts it to the DOWN-LINK frequency, and transmits it back to earth. The signal is next picked
up by the receiving terminal. Figure 4-1 shows a satellite handling several combinations of links