VSAT stands for very small aperture terminal system. This is the distinguishing feature of a VSAT system, the earth-station antennas being typically less than 2.4 m in diameter (Rana et al., 1990). The trend is toward even smaller dishes, not more than 1.5 m in diameter (Hughes et al., 1993).
In this sense, the small TVRO terminals for direct broadcast satellites could be labeled as VSATs, but the appellation is usually reserved for private networks, mostly providing two-way communications facilities.
Typical user groups include bank- ing and financial institutions, airline and hotel booking agencies, and large retail stores with geographically dispersed outlets.
1. VSAT network :
The basic structure of a VSAT network consists of a hub station which provides a broadcast facility to all the VSATs in the network and the VSATs themselves which access the satellite in some form of multiple- access mode.
The hub station is operated by the service provider, and it may be shared among a number of users, but of course, each user organization has exclusive access to its own VSAT network.
Time division mul- tiplex is the normal downlink mode of transmission from hub to the VSATs, and the transmission can be broadcast for reception by all the VSATs in a network, or address coding can be used to direct messages to selected VSATs.
A form of demand assigned multiple access (DAMA) is employed in some systems in which channel capacity is assigned in response to the fluctuating demands of the VSATs in the network.
Most VSAT systems operate in the Ku band, although there are some C- band systems in existence (Rana et al., 1990).
Supermarket shops (tills, ATM machines, stock sale updates and stock ordering).
Chemist shops - Shoppers Drug Mart - Pharmaprix. Broadband direct to the home. e.g. Downloading MP3 audio to audio players.
Broadband direct small business, office etc, sharing local use with many PCs.
Internet access from on board ship Cruise ships with internet cafes, commercial shipping communications.