A Fly Away VSAT Global Communications System
Uses a FARM/Mini Power Solution
Sputnik, the first man-made earth satellite, was launched on October 4, 1957. With a simple radio transmitter that sent signals to facilitate tracking, it was also the first communication satellite. Satellite communication (satcom) systems, of course, have become much more sophisticated since that time, serving principally as a microwave relay station for such applications as intercontinental telephony, television, radio, Internet, and the military. An interesting satcom application is the VSAT (very small aperture terminal) system used by retail stores and gas stations. When a customer swipes his or her credit card through the card reader at the pump, the data processing center verifies the card, authorizes the transaction, notifies the accounts receivable system, and notes the decrease in inventory (the gas pumped). A variation on VSAT is flyaway VSAT, which is designed to be portable and easy to set up and take down. It’s perfect for news gatherers/broadcasters, emergency/ disaster responders, or military units on the move, even with no experience operating ground satellite terminals.
One manufacturer of flyaway VSAT systems uses a Vicor power solution that is small, lightweight, and rugged. The solution employs a FARM (Filter/Autoranging Rectifier Module) AC front-end module with three Mini converters in parallel to create a 24 V bus. The 24 V bus can be powered by an external 24 V source. The 24 V bus feeds V24B24T200BL and V24B28T200BL converters. Essential for such a widely traveled system, the FARM interfaces directly with worldwide AC mains and, used with Vicor DC-DC converters, realizes an autoranging, high-density, low-profile switching power supply.