A Snapshot Comparison
|Frequency Band||C||X||Ku||Ka||Mil Ka|
|High-Throughput (easily supports voice/data/imagery/HD video)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Excels with Small Antennas/Low Cost (extremely high MHz-Mbps efficiency)||✓||✓|
|High Link Availability (99.9%)||✓||✓|
|Low Probability of Interference/Fewer Users||✓||✓|
|Specially Reserved for Military and Government Use Only||✓||✓|
The Advantages In Detail
When government and military users require space-segment capacity to fulfill their need for reliable bandwidth, they turn to X-band. Set aside for the benefit of the government and military user, X-band offers compelling features that support the most demanding communications requirements:
- Virtually Weatherproof / High Link Availability – Extremely low rates of atmospheric attenuation means that X-band SATCOM remains robust in the harshest weather conditions on the planet. X-band’s weatherproof characteristics mean that users experience exceptionally high link availability, routinely above 99.9%, even in rain, sand storm, and other challenging weather – even when using small (sub-meter) terminals.
- High Throughput – X-band’s unique position on the RF spectrum permits it to easily support voice, data, imagery, and HD video – while offering a weatherproof signal.
- Excels with Small Antennas / Low Costs – 4° satellite spacing (twice as much space between orbital slots for X-band satellites than their Ku- and Ka-band counterparts) means less chance of adjacent satellite interference (ASI). This permits small terminals to transmit at high power densities and without using spread-spectrum techniques, and allows X-band to naturally achieve High Throughput Satellite (HTS)-like efficiencies 2.5 times greater than Ku-band on HTS. As a result, X-band users very often use less space segment and therefore incur lower bandwidth costs than users in C-, Ku- and Ka-bands.
- Low Probability of Interference/Fewer Users – Reserved exclusively for government users, there are fewer antennas pointed at the X-band constellation of satellites. Additionally, as a government-only band, X-band users are generally trained to operate within the guidelines of their command structure, making for a more disciplined user community. Fewer and better-trained users generally means less interference.
- Specially Reserved for Military and Government Use Only – X-bands’ properties are so unique that this band is specially reserved for military and government use only.
No single frequency band can meet the unique demands of all applications and user requirements. XTAR excels at matching requirements with the best solution.
Recent years have seen an explosion of systems that demand high bandwidth capabilities for video, voice, and data communications. That trend will continue and accelerate as applications like remote sensing, mobile networking, and airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (AISR) depend upon government and commercial satellite systems for increasing bandwidth supplies.