In this unit students will acquire advanced theoretical knowledge, practical and critical analytical skills which can be applied to investigation and resolution of complex problem solving scenarios inherent in microwave and satellite communication systems. The unit material has been developed to enhance students' communication skills, individual and group project participation and other professional capabilities important to practice as an Engineer. This unit has been developed to cover principles of modern microwave systems planning and design. Students will study microwave propagation, Beam bending, K-factor and Fresnel zone clearance and are expected to critique and implement Free space loss calculation methodologies. In addition this unit is comprised of: Component characterisation, Microwave antennas, oscillators, amplifiers, mixers, filters and isolators. Modulation schemes for analogue and digital radio systems will be covered together with Multiplexing techniques, access techniques and system loading effects. This will lead into Microwave link planning and design techniques taking into account Noise budget calculations and Reliability calculations for uplink and downlink. In general, Satellite orbits, Elevation angles, Polarisation and frequency re-use techniques will be studied including System EIRP and figure of merit Effects of system non-linearity. Mastering these topics will enhance a student's employability with a service provider company or a private company that owns or deploys microwave and satellite communication systems.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Determine and critically evaluate the technical fundamentals to design microwave/satellite links;  
  2. Implement high level technical solutions in developing link budgets for a given microwave/satellite link;  
  3. Generate appropriate solutions to the design requirements for a low earth orbit satellite and a geostationary satellite;  
  4. Create techniques to guard against problems in satellite communications; and  
  5. Critically appraise the limits of the link performance for both microwave and satellite links.  


A pass must be achieved in each assessment item to complete the unit.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test Test (Written) 20%
Assignment MatLab Simulink based reports (2) (20% each) 40%
Exercise Written problem solving exercises (2) (20% each) 40%

Where to next?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.