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Syllabus for

Academic year
RRY100 - Satellite communications
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-07 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPWPS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics

Teaching language: English
Application code: 29116
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D+

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0108 Oral examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c    

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Rüdiger Haas

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic physics.


This course aims at providing the students with a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles when designing global satellite systems for communication purposes.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

* describe the fundamental principles of satellite communications
* discuss useful satellite orbits for various communication tasks
* discuss various antenna types useful in satellite communications
* describe radio wave signal propagation and disturbances
* describe signal to noise ratios in satellite communications
* calculate complete link budgets
* design complete satellite communications systems


The course gives a general introduction to satellite communication systems. The satellite communication link is presented as an alternative and complement to other communication systems, e.g. terrestrial links using radio techniques or transmission via optical fibers. Various multiple access techniques used in satellite communications such as frequency and time division multiple access (FDMA, TDMA, CDMA) will be studied. The focus of this course is on the design of a satellite communication system in terms of the power and noise budget of the link. The areas to be studied in order to reach this goal are:
* microwave transmitters and receivers
* ground station and satellite antennas
* radio wave propagation in the atmosphere, including attenuation and depolarization effects
* noise contribution from the receivers and the atmosphere
* requirements of signal to noise ratios for different modulation and coding techniques
* satellite orbits
* international regulations which introduce constraints on the satellite link design
Existing satellite communication systems are presented and possibilities for future systems are discussed.


This course includes lectures and problem based learning. A very important part of the course is based on active working groups studying relevant problems for the design of satellite communication links. Several homework exercise are to be handed in, and lab exercise are to be performed. There is a compulsory excursions to the Onsala Space Observatory where several laborative tasks are carried out, and a voluntary excursion to a company active in satellite communications.


The lecture material will be made available on the ping-pong page of the course. For students that want to go deeper, the following books can be recommended:

G. Maral, M. Bousquet, Z. Sun: Satellite Communication Systems: Systems,
Techniques and Technology, 5th edition, Wiley & Sons, ISBN 9780470714584, 2009.

T. Pratt, C. W. Bostian, J. Allnutt: Satellite Communications, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 047137007X, 2003.

E. Lutz, M. Werner, A. Jahn: Satellite Systems for Personal and Broadband Communications, Springer, ISBN 3-540-66840-3, 2000.

Examination including compulsory elements

Passed home work and lab reports, individual written examination report, and oral examination in working group.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.