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Difference between Terrestrial Microwave and Satellite Microwave Transmission System

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Terrestrial Microwave Transmission System (TMTS): In these systems, the signals are extremely concentrated and the physical route must be within line of sight. The signals in these systems are extended with the help of Relay towers. Terrestrial Microwave Systems need directional parabolic antennas to broadcast and receive signals in the lower gigahertz range. 

Satellite Microwave Transmission System (SMTS): Satellite Microwave Transmission System uses satellites for broadcasting and receiving signals. These systems need satellites that are in the geostationary orbit which is 36000 km above the earth. The satellites operate as repeaters with receiving antenna, transponder, and transmitting of signals. The difference between terrestrial microwave and satellite microwave transmission systems are as follows:

  Terrestrial Microwave Transmission System Satellite Microwave Transmission System
1. The frequency range needed is from 4 GHz to 6 GHz. The frequency range used in this system is between 11 GHz to 14 GHz.
2. In this system, attenuation mainly depends on the frequency and signal strength. Attenuation is generally affected by frequency and power.
3. In terrestrial microwave transmission systems, signal requirements make installation moderately difficult. In satellite microwave transmission systems, the installation of satellites is extremely tough.
4. Terrestrial microwaves are utilized for point-to-point communication. Satellite microwaves communicate with satellites in space.
5. It requires focused signals and line of sight as the physical path. It requires the proper alignment of earth station antennas.
6. In these systems, short-distance systems can be inexpensive but long-distance systems are almost costly. These systems are very expensive as the cost of building and launching is very high.
7. Relay towers are used to extend the signals. Satellites are used for the expansion of signals.
8.  Terrestrial microwave systems, are employed as a booster to fiber-optic networks or for short-range communications. Satellite links provide connectivity in locations where otherwise there is no possibility of communication. 
9. The area coverage of Terrestrial microwave systems is less compared to the terrestrial systems with fewer base stations.  The area coverage of Satellite microwave systems is wider than terrestrial systems with fewer base stations. Hence, less bandwidth.
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Last Updated : 21 Jun, 2022
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