A specialised equipment located on the ground that is designed to receive and decode beacon signals transmitted by satellites. Beacons are continuous wave signals broadcasted by satellites for various purposes such as tracking, monitoring, and synchronisation.
The primary function of a beacon receiver is to capture and demodulate the beacon signals emitted by satellites. These signals contain important information that allows ground stations to accurately track and monitor the satellite’s position, movement, and status. By receiving and decoding the beacon signals, the receiver provides valuable data that helps determine the satellite’s location, velocity, and other crucial parameters.
One of the key measurements performed by a beacon receiver is the signal strength, which indicates the power level of the received signal. This information is used to assess the quality of the communication link between the satellite and the ground station. Additionally, beacon receivers also measure the Doppler shift in the received signal, which is the change in frequency caused by the relative motion between the satellite and the receiver. By analysing the Doppler shift, ground stations can accurately determine the satellite’s velocity and track its movement in real-time.