Title page for ETD etd-05042011-225751

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Desai, Karan
Author's Email Address karand87@vt.edu
URN etd-05042011-225751
Title Low-cost Wireless Internet System for Rural India using Geosynchronous Satellite in an Inclined Orbit
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pratt, Timothy J. Committee Chair
Reed, Jeffrey Hugh Committee Member
Ruohoniemi, J. Michael Committee Member
  • Geostationary Satellite
  • Wireless
  • Rural Communication
  • Inclined Orbit
  • Low-cost
  • Internet
Date of Defense 2011-04-28
Availability restricted
Providing affordable Internet access to rural populations in large developing countries to aid economic and social progress, using various non-conventional techniques has been a topic of active research recently. The main obstacle in providing fiber-optic based terrestrial Internet links to remote villages is the cost involved in laying the cable network and disproportionately low rate of return on investment due to low density of paid users. The conventional alternative to this is providing Internet access using geostationary satellite links, which can prove commercially infeasible in predominantly cost-driven rural markets in developing economies like India or China due to high access cost per user.

A low-cost derivative of the conventional satellite-based Internet access system can be developed by utilizing an aging geostationary satellite nearing the end of its active life, allowing it to enter an inclined geosynchronous orbit by limiting station keeping to only east-west maneuvers to save fuel. Eliminating the need for individual satellite receiver modules by using one centrally located earth station per village and providing last mile connectivity using Wi-Fi can further reduce the access cost per user. A Ku band system design for rural India based on this concept, using an Intelsat 906 satellite is proposed in this thesis. The path of the satellite and the tracking requirements at village stations are determined. Components required for various blocks of the system are defined. Modulation schemes, FEC, data rates, number of customers to be served, link availability and outage statistics are presented. Quantitative analysis using link budgets and ITU rain models are provided. An optimized system design and a commercial deployment model are suggested which show the system is economically feasible.

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