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VSAT Network Architectures

Low cost business terminals with small antennas, generally termed Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), can be used in the most diverse satellite network architectures: point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, multipoint-to-multipoint, and multipoint-to-point transmissions. The earth stations are sized to allow location on or very close to the users' premises.

Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), can be used in the most diverse satellite network architecturesVSATs are usually perceived as being two way data terminals, though strictly speaking many of the systems used for data broadcast are really one-way VSATs. Taking the USA as an example, approximately half of all installed VSATs are only used for one way data links. Most network architectures apply both to one-way and to two-way VSATs.

A point-to-point link is the simplest form of VSAT connection, consisting, in its most basic form, of a modem and an outdoor unit (ODU) at each end of the link. Point-to-point links are the satellite equivalent of a digital leased terrestrial line. The point-to-multipoint architecture provides a powerful platform for the implementation of video broadcasting services. With regard to cost, satellites are unrivaled when it comes to broadcast TV signals to language regions or continents.

A star VSAT network consists of a large high performance hub earth station and a large number of smaller, low cost remote VSAT terminals. Meshed, or hub-less, VSAT networks offer a means of establishing a switched point-to-point connection from remote to remote.


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