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Norsat NewsFlash December 2012

Posted on Tuesday, December 11

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Happy Holidays


From all of us at Norsat, we wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season, and best wishes for 2013.  We would like to thank all of our loyal customers and partners for your continued support: we wouldn’t be here without you.  For details on our holiday business hours, please click here.

NewsLink fly-away terminals at a special price


The NewsLink™ is one of the toughest terminals we’ve ever made, and and we’re now able to offer this rugged terminal at a value-added price .  NewsLink terminals have been deployed around the world for satellite news gathering and military missions and have become known for their extreme ruggedness and reliability.Please contact us for pricing and availability.

Satellite Locator App: Now Available for Android


Following the successful launch of the Satellite Locator for iPhone, we’re pleased to now offer this free App for Android.  Just like the iPhone version, the App enables users to locate satellites, assess obstructions and point satellite terminals, and it’s available as a free download from Google Play.  To see the App in action, check out our new demo video,

Ka-Band: The Future of Satellite Technology

As the C and Ku bandwidths become increasingly congested, the use of Ka band for commercial satellite communications has become more important.  We’ve been staying ahead of the trend with new Ka-band product development, so to learn more about Ka-band and what’ we’re working on, please click here.

ROVER: now with Fiber Optics Package

A recent customer request for a ROVER™ fly away terminal with remote operation capabilities spurred our development of a fiber optics package, now available with most of our flyaway terminals.  For more information about the development and value of the new fiber optics package, please click here.

Sneak Preview: New Wayfarer Satellite Terminal

Wayfarer Satellite Terminal  

We’ll soon be introducing a new fly-away satellite terminal to the Norsat family: the industrial strength, auto-acquire Wayfarer.  An economical solution that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Wayfarer will be ideal for any resource sector application. For more information about the Wayfarer, please click here.

Norsat in the News

A brief roundup of where you can find us in the media this quarter.

BC Export Awards Norsat was honoured to win a BC Export Award for Advancing Technology & Innovation on November 23rd!

WXN Top 100™ Award:  Amiee Chan has won this prestigious award given for Canada’s most powerful women.  Congrats to Amiee for the strategic vision and leadership at Norsat! 

SatNews- Year in Review:  We were featured in an end of year round table discussion on the state of the Satellite Industry, and how our products remain competitive in an era of change.

MilSat Magazine  MilSat Magazine publishes the latest information in military satellite communication technology, and this issue featured a case study on our work with the Finnish Defence Forces.

Profit/Chatelaine Top100 List  President & CEO, Amiee Chan placed 3rd in this listing of the top Canadian female entrepreneurs.

Business in Focus  BIF delves into the workings of top Canadian businesses, and recently interviewed our very own Director of Sales & Marketing, Brian Donelly for a great feature article.



Ka-Band: The Future of Satellite Technology

Posted on Saturday, October 27

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One of the most recent and important trends in the satellite industry is the development of Ka-band.  As the C and Ku bandwidths grow increasingly congested, interest in Ka band for commercial satellite communications has increased globally, and at Norsat we’ve been staying ahead of the trend with new Ka-band product development.

A Bit of Ka-Band History

Early Ka research started in the 1970’s, followed by NASA (ACTS) in 1993. However, development of Ka-band satellites slowed and by 2003 there only a few in orbit.  In 1990’s, as part of a Department of Communications initiative to investigate Ka-band satellite communications in Canada, a small group of engineers and scientists recommended the development of a satellite communications system based upon Multi-Frequency, Time Division Multiple Access (MF TDMA).  The Canadian Space Agency sponsored a joint government/industry initiative,  AdvSat program, which evolved into a major hardware development program lasting from 1997 until 2000.  Norsat was involved in the development of the MF TDMA concept, concentrating mainly on the complex Ka-band RF and antenna technologies emerging with the first to market products in that area.   

In 1996, SES issued an RFP for the development of a commercial DVB-RCS hub and  Norsat was the supplier of the terminal Outdoor Unit (ODU). A commercial contract was signed in 1998 and the full commercial hub was deployed in 2001.  Around that same time EMS Technologies also secured the world’s first production sale of DVB-RCS terminals using Ka-band ODUs supplied by Norsat.

Back to the Future

Ka is now firmly in place with 419 satellites operating in this orbit (as of Jan 2012), covering the frequencies of 26.5–40 GHz, with LNB frequencies banded about varying from the 17.3 to 24.0 KHz ranges.  Norsat chose to “standardize” the 18.2-21.2 GHz range in the LNBs and offer both the 29-30 and 30-31 range in BUCs, although we also do a lot of custom frequencies in LNBs, BDCs and LNAs below, above and within those ranges.  With Wideband Global SatCom System (WGS),  Norsat is currently working on LNBs & BUCs to fill in some of the blanks in specification requirements and frequencies and will offer a full range of products in the low power range, available in 2013.  Don’t touch that dial!

Apart from our COTS and custom products, Norsat is currently working with several companies on special projects involving both BUCs and LNBs with very non-standard frequencies.  One of these projects includes prototypes of the 5W & 10W BUCs and Duo PLL/External Reference LNBs.

Ka-band has several advantages, with perhaps the most significant being the 2-3 GHz increase in bandwidth, which is double available in Ku band and five times more than C band.   Due to the smaller wavelength this also means that Ka-band components are typically smaller, leading to smaller antennas on the same-sized platform. The footprints for Ka-band spot beams can also be made smaller,  facilitating frequency and re-use.

HCS Spot Beam with Frequency and Polarization Re-Use

Coverage & spot beams of Ka-Sat52

For your reference, Microwave frequency bands, as defined by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), are shown in the table below:

L band

1 to 2 GHz

S band

2 to 4 GHz

C band

4 to 8 GHz

X band

8 to 12 GHz

Ku band

12 to 18 GHz

K band

18 to 26.5 GHz

Ka band

26.5 to 40 GHz

Q band

30 to 50 GHz

U band

40 to 60 GHz

V band

50 to 75 GHz

E band

60 to 90 GHz

W band

75 to 110 GHz

F band

90 to 140 GHz

D band

110 to 170 GHz

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