We all use so much technology that relies on satellites in our day to day life nowadays; from the televisions we watch hundreds of channels through, to our phones that allow us to contact anyone across the world, to our GPS devices and health trackers and weather apps.
But how many of us really know how communication via satellite actually works? Although very few of us will need this knowledge in our day to day lives, knowledge is power and it’s always a good idea to know just how the world around us keeps on ticking. So, how does communication via satellite actually work?
- What is a satellite?
A satellite can actually mean many things; essentially, it’s something which orbits a planet or star and can include moons, planets or machines. In this context, we are talking about the machine kind – man made satellites which we use for technology and communication. These man made satellites are usually made out of lightweight but tough materials such as aluminium and titanium – and some even use real gold.
- How do we communicate with them?
We communicate with satellites by using radio waves. The satellites send radio waves at different frequencies to the antenna on earth, and then these antenna decode that information, which can include anything from scientific data to a phone call. The satellites then beam the information back to earth. This is how everything from text messages to video streams work. We send the data up to the satellite, which decodes it and sends it right back to us in the format we’re used to seeing.
- What technology do they use?
The main form of technology used by a satellite is an attenuator, which modifies and regulates the signal to allow it to be consistent. They are known as RF attenuators, which stands for Radio Frequency attenuator. There are a few different types of them; including the variable rf attenuator, the, control variable attenuators and fixed value attenuators.
So there you have it – it’s a huge part of our modern lives, but so few of us actually know how communication via satellites works, and now you know. The signals bounce from earth to the satellite and back again, enabling us to reach each other all around the world. Satellites go round the world, but they’re also what makes the world go round – the modern world relies on them, and it’s a great idea to understand how they work!