Q 1.10 How can satellites be used for railway communication?

Satellite communication provides a powerful medium for continuous communication to the railways in remote locations and harsh environmental conditions. Typical applications include broadband connectivity to travellers and to railway operators for railway management services such as security and surveillance by remote monitoring.

A typical system utilizes a railway terminal to provide connectivity to terrestrial networks via an L, Ku or Ka band satellite and a large ground earth station (a fixed gateway). The railway terminal is a mobile gateway for railway users who connect over an in-train Wi-Fi network.

The railway antenna has a low profile typically less than 30 cm high to minimize air friction and avoid collision with tunnel top. The high gain antenna has an agile tracking system capable of acquiring satellite quickly after an interruption. It is easily installable and can withstand vibrations and shocks typical of a train.

The space segment utilizes a standardized air interface such as DVB-S + M with low-cost satellite capacity for commercially viability.