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Satellite Monitoring... In The Clouds
By Kevin ONeil, SatSignature.com


For many in the satellite industry, time-filled schedules of operating, managing and monitoring several carriers while also watching them on spectrum analyzers is just the start of various projects.

Then, add in cable patching, analyzing signal levels, C/N, MER, Eb/No, plus interference, just to name a few, and the job can quickly become daunting and frustrating.

If you’ve tried peaking an antenna and didn’t know how to identify the satellite from the spectrum signature, or from outdated program listings, then you understand the challenges.

You could contact a satellite operator and have them email you the plot, but on average, that can take around 48 hours, if not more, to receive a response. This makes the entire process time consuming and inefficient.

The process for solving these issues is outdated and deficient. There has to be a better way—and today there is, as at SatSignature the answer to improving the productivity of industry professionals worldwide has been developed.

Now there is a central location where all satellite activity can be monitored and analyzed using the web, or “cloud” based, spectrum analyzer.

A small satellite teleport in Arizona was established to test and prove the concept. The goal was to build a "cloud spectrum analyzer" that would perform exactly like a real analyzer. The ability to change parameters was also required, such as satellite, band, polarity, frequency and span, all independent of other activities. With custom software and hardware, the goal was accomplished and SatSignature.com was launched.

With SatSignature.com, any satellite spectrum may be viewed with ease from any locale. Satellite, frequency, polarity, and span can be changed as if this was your own spectrum analyzer. Need to print or save the plot? Simply right click on the displayed plot and capture a quick signature of the target satellite.

An Internet connected device with a browser is all that is required to have this instant spectrum analyzer at your call. Any satellite can be monitored without having to patch cables or move antennas.

Another crucial part of the equation is a partner who believed in the v concept. PacTV in Los Angeles, California, was one of the first teleports that took notice of the trials and wanted to use the services. Such cooperation is important for both sides—for the company, needed satellite signals were provided and, for PacTV, they were able to monitor their own signals.

Since launching just over a year ago, with no marketing program and only word of mouth to spread the news, SatSignature has attracted users from national TV networks and satellite operators such as NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, Intelsat and SES and others.

Professionals come to the website to watch for interfering signals and to obtain signal quality readings for their carrier. They also set alerts that will notify them when their carrier goes up or down.

The feedback received from users is that this service saves them a great deal of time and effort during their daily satellite activities.

SatSignature is currently offering teleports, cable headends, TV stations, or any entity that has multiple satellite antennas, their own spectrum analyzer through the "WebSpectrum" package, which is easy to install in any facility. Immediately, all signals will be online and available for monitoring 24/7 from any location. There’s no need to constantly be present to operate the system, as all is remotely managed and updated.

North American coverage came first with some cross Atlantic satellites support. Expansion plans are underway for Europe and Asia. With satellite communications crossing countries and continents, global monitoring of satellites is on the way.

Easy access to satellite cloud tools is a game changer for the industry. In addition to being a viable online monitoring tool, the system is also a highly useful analytical tool.

With the wealth of information collected, users are provided with real-time satellite loading information, interference logging, abnormalities, carrier comparison, storage of historical plots and live link budgets, and more. 

For more information, please contact Kevin O’Neil, kevin@satsignature.com.