Satellite Communication

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You are up in the mountains. You breath in deeply – the warm sun, the fresh air, the rocks, the snow-fields put a smile on your face. You want to show your friends who stayed at home what they missed and tag your photos with #everestnofilter.

…. No signal….

That’s where satellite communication comes in.

How does satellite communication currently work?

In the image above, you see a satellite beaming two spots on specific areas on Earth. A terminal device within the range of one of these spots is able to communicate via satellites.

What happens when clouds or a storm move between the terminal and the sender? The satellite operator modulates the energy of the beams, so that terminals within the spots are still able to stay connected. But in the meanwhile connected terminals already dropped off. Of course that is annoying and that leads to the scenario explained above. Catalysts and a consortium of companies make the next step to increase reliability of satellite communication.

The next step in satellite communication:

Appearing weather disturbances are provided by a meteorology office. An algorithm considers changing weather and calculates an attenuation map in near-real-time. Satellite operators know in advance how to modulate the energy of the beams, to provide stable signals for connected devices.


  • Ubimet provides meteorology data.
  • Catalysts, SpaceAnalysis and the TU Graz develop the near-real-time algorithms to generate the attenuation map and the software infrastructure.
  • Avanti is the satellite operator.

Avanti’s satellites provide feedback signals to Ubimet to improve the weather models.

For Catalysts this project is the first step in a new market – satellite communication. Catalysts will apply the knowledge and technology stack developed in earth observation, big data and real-time projects to meet the requirements of the satellite communication industry. Within this project Catalysts will deepen the know-how in fault tolerant near-real-time services.

As a diverse team that covers all aspects of satellite industry, space research, software and weather services, we will optimize satellite communication – STAY CONNECTED!

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