How a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Works and Its Benefits

Ⅰ. What is a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)?

A Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is a two-way ground station used to transmit and receive data from satellites. VSAT has a height of less than 3 meters and is capable of transmitting narrowband and broadband data to satellites in orbit in real time. This data can then be redirected to other remote terminals or hubs around the planet.

1. Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is a data transmission technology used for various data management and high-frequency transactions.

2. VSAT can be used to replace large physical networks because it transmits signals from satellites rather than physical means such as Ethernet connections.

3. Because the signal needs to bounce, there may be a delay problem that does not exist in the physical network. However, most users see this as the price of remote access and less infrastructure, and consider it a fair trade.

4. Weather can adversely affect the performance of a VSAT network.

Ⅱ. Working principle of Very Small Aperture Terminal(VSAT)

VSAT networks have many business applications, the most notable of which is enterprise resource planning. Utilizing VSAT to track inventory is one of several innovations pioneered in the retail industry to efficiently manage its large inventories in real time and reduce distribution costs between warehouses and stores.

Combined with hub systems for inventory storage, VSAT enables the retail industry to more precisely stock its stores and reduce the number of times products must be moved between locations before they can be sold. Other manufacturers use VSATs to relay orders, check production data in real time, and other functions that are processed over wired networks.

VSAT offers NSE a way to provide access in areas with limited wired options. Apart from occasional solar outages due to solar radiation distorting satellite signals, the VSAT network has remained stable.

3. Advantages of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)

The VSAT network has great advantages in deployment. Since ground stations are communicating with satellites, the infrastructure needs to serve remote locations. This is one of the reasons why the retail industry chose VSAT, as it has invested heavily in rural America to begin with, where the telecommunications infrastructure is less dense than in cities.

This makes VSAT networks ideal for providing connectivity to remote work sites, such as exploration drilling sites that need to relay daily drilling logs back to headquarters. VSAT is also independent of the local telecommunication network, so it is an ideal system for backing up the wired system and reducing the cost of business recovery risk, if the wired network goes down, the enterprise can still continue to use the VSAT network.

However, very small aperture terminals (VSATs) do have limitations, most notably latency, because of the time it takes for information to reach the dish and space station since part of the system is in geosynchronous orbit above Earth. In other words, protocols that require a lot of back-and-forth communication rather than one-way data transfers can lag. Signal quality can also be affected by weather and other buildings.