Satellite interference group tests SNG ID system

December 28, 2006

The Satellite Users Interference Reduction Group (SUIRG) recently completed the first successful global test of embedding and decoding contact and location information via GPS from an operational satellite newsgathering (SNG) truck.

SUIRG’s Interference Source Locator Working Group conducted the live test during the World Broadcasting Unions International Satellite Operations Group (WBU-ISOG) fall meeting held at Intelsat headquarters in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Mobile uplink operators arriving at one-time events or SNG trucks dispatched to cover a breaking news story generally don’t have a lot of time to coordinate the uplink, said SUIRG president Robert Ames. As a result, operators can occasionally uplink to the wrong satellite or use an incorrect frequency or polarization. The embedded location and operator information can be used to identify who’s transmitting an errant signal and expedite a remedy.

SUIRG and its members are working to develop specifications for carrier identification descriptors. The rapid source identification test performed Dec. 7 was the first in a series of trials that will result in firmware uploads that will become the new industry standard specification. Once certified, this new specification will be applied to all satellite newsgathering vehicles.

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