Satellite Link Budget Calculator – Building satellites is not an easy job. And it costs million of dollars. Famous satellite builders are Lockheed Martin, Space Systems/Loral, Airbus, etc. Calculating satellite link budget is one important part that must be done very carefully. It relates with satellite’s cost and performance. If you are engineers, you may already know about it. But, if you don’t learn any technical lessons, you might confuse about it. Okay, you must think that the satellite is outside and orbiting around the earth. It has many antenna that pointing toward the earth. The antennas will transmit and receive signal to/from any satellite devices in the earth.

Satellite Link Budget Calculator

Common devices are satellite TV antenna where you might subscribe to watch. Most of satellite TV antenna are receiving signals only. They don’t transmit signal. But, the TV stations, who broadcast the TV shows will need a big TV antenna to transmit the show to the satellite for broadcast distribution. How big the antenna for transmitting? And how tiny the antenna for receiving? That’s what engineers do behind satellite companies. They must calculate it carefully to make sure the transmitting antenna won’t be costly for transmitting TV stations as well as receiving antenna for TV subscribers. Also, different business purposes require different calculation. For example, satellite TV will be different from satellite phone.

Additional consideration when designing the satellite is its height. Majority of satellites are orbiting in Geostationary Orbit. To be exact, it is 35,786 kilometers (22,236 mi) above the Earth’s equator. They are called GEO satellites. There are lower position satellite, called Low Earth Orbit or LEO satellites that are positioned at 2,000 km above earths. If you ever used Iridium satellite phone, it uses the LEO satellites.

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Satellite link budget calculator below is an excel template to help satellite engineers calculating performance in terms of signal values based on particular antenna size, power requirements and many other factors. And it will be useful for any TV station engineers to calculate how big the antenna and power they must provide to broadcast their shows with particular satellites.

When you download the spreadsheet, you will see a lot of worksheets with particular functions. Basically, the owner of this spreadsheet has created a very complete spreadsheet to calculate satellite link budget. It has antenna model consideration that you might need when selecting the correct antenna based on calculated link budget in this spreadsheet. If you are a satellite design engineer, this spreadsheet should help you very much.