Satellite Communications | Overview


This one-day course (which is also the first day of our Satellite Communications | Intermediate and Satellite Communications | Advanced courses) provides participants with a comprehensive overview of the issues associated with the design and provision of modern satellite communications systems.

Some basic familiarity with communications fundamentals is assumed as background knowledge for the course. Attendance at our Basic Communications Principles course is recommended for those who want to gain an understanding of the underlying communications principles before attending this course.

Duration: 1 day

Delivery mode: Classroom


Advertised: Canberra

In-house: All states and neighbouring countries, contact the  for more information. Recommended for groups of 10 or more.

What you will receive

  • A copy of the book Principles of Satellite Communications, Ryan M.J., Argos Press, Canberra, 2004.
  • Comprehensive course notes
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of completion/attendance*
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Micro-credentials: Successful completion of the full five days of Satellite Communications | Advanced (of which this course is the first day) will provide students with advanced standing in the postgraduate micro-credential 3UoC course ZEIT8242 Satellite Communication Knowledge. For more information on postgraduate credit please visit our Postgraduate Credit and Micro-Credential page.
  • Masters credit: UNSW Canberra allows students who have successfully completed a minimum of 12 days of approved professional education courses to use those courses as credit in eligible postgraduate programs. For more information on postgraduate credit please visit our Postgraduate Credit and Micro-Credential page.

Affiliated courses: Satellite Communications | Intermediate (3 days), Satellite Communications | Advanced (5 days)

*pending final results


Anyone requiring an overview of the basic principles underpinning modern satellite communications systems; business managers; project managers; project technical staff; systems engineers; engineers seeking technology refresh.



Brief history of satellite communications | The space environment | Basic satellite operation | Space & ground segment

Orbit Considerations

Types of orbits | Kepler’s laws & choice of orbital parameters | Orbital perturbations & Doppler effect | Effect of orbit height-GEO, MEO, LEO | Satellite launch | Orbital manoeuvring | Footprints and look angles | Solar eclipses

Frequency Issues

Frequency ranges | Frequency allocations | Satellite frequency bands | Interference and coordination

Aspects of Propagation and Antennas

Electromagnetic waves | Transmission path losses | Types of antennas - dipoles / horn antennas / parabolic antennas

Multiple Access


Link Budget Overview

Uplink and downlink model | System parameters | Example link budget

Example Systems

Broadcast satellite service | Fixed satellite service | Mobile satellite

Mike Ryan


Associate Professor Mike Ryan holds BE, MEngSc and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) in electrical and ITEE colleges, a Senior Member of IEEE (SMIEEE), a Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), and a Fellow of the Institute of Management and Leadership (FIML). Since 1981, he has held a number of positions in communications and systems engineering and in management and project management. Since 1998, he has been with the University of New South Wales, at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he is currently the Director of the Capability Systems Centre. His research and teaching interests are in communications and information systems, requirements engineering, systems engineering, project management, and technology management. He is the Editor-in-Chief of an international journal, and is a co-chair of the Requirements Working Group INCOSE. He is the author or co-author of twelve books, three book chapters, and over 200 technical papers and reports.


30 November 2020 - 30 November 2020