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York University
Faculty of Science
Department of Physics and Astronomy

PHYS 3250 3.0 F17/18
Introduction to Space Communications




Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

Midterm Exam information
Final Exam information

Midterm exam (1 November 2017) -- Location CB 122
Serious quizzes






Course Description: The course will cover all fundamental aspects of communications between spacecraft and ground stations. Topics include orbits, perturbations and launching methods, the essential characteristics and components of satellites, interplanetary spacecraft and ground stations, transmission, reception and link equations and access to a satellite. Here is the:

Course Syllabus (html)

Evaluation Scheme:

Breakdown of Final Grade


Total (%)

In-class quizzes

Term work (5 to 7 normal assignments)


Midterm Exam


Final Exam





Professor Norbert Bartel (Course Director)
Room 331 Petrie Science Building

Tel: 416-736-5424
E-mail: bartel@yorku.ca

Class Schedule:

Lectures: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
12:30 pm - 1:30  pm
Locations: CB 122

Special Dates:



First class

September 8

Assignment #1 - #6 ...


Fall Reading Days
 October 26 - 29

Midterm Exam in LSB 105

November 1

Last class

December 4

Final Exam (Chapters 1 - 7)



Office Hours

Come by my office and see whether I have time, or
  Mondays and Wednesdays 14:00 14:45:
Room 331 Petrie Science and Engineering Building

Required Text:

Satellite Communications, 4th edition
by Dennis Roddy  (McGraw-Hill, 2006)

Alternate Texts: (Steacie Library)

Satellite Communication Systems Engineering, 2nd edition, W. L. Pritchard, H. G.Suyderhoud,                                                                                     R. A. Nelson (Prentice Hall, 1992)
Satellite communications, T. Pratt, C. W. Bostian (John Wiley & Sons, 1986)

Course Contents

  1. History and Overview of present Status

  2. Orbital Aspects of Satellite Communications
  3. Spacecraft
  4. Earth Station
  5. Communications Link
  6. Modulation and Multiplexing Techniques
  7. Multiple Access to a Satellite

                                          Course Syllabus (pdf)

Academic Policy Issues:
If illness (or some similar disruption) prevents you from writing a test or from handing
in an assignment, you must notify the instructor on or before the due date. Only in truly
extraordinary circumstances is notification after the due date acceptable.
Students must be aware of University policies regarding: a) Academic Integrity
and b) Religious Observances [https://w2prod.sis.yorku.ca/Apps/WebObjects/cdm.woa/wa/regobs].
Please read the policies in full. As a summary, the rules are as follows:
a) Students must not plagiarize. It's OK to work together to find the path to a
solution of a homework problem, as long as you write up the answer independently.
You must write assignments in your own words; identical answers will result in
zeros for all parties involved.  Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.
Students must also not cheat or impersonate another individual during quizzes or exams.
b) While religious observations are respected, it may well be that a conflict occurs in the
scheduling of assignments or exams. Should a conflict occur, the student should contact
the course instructor before, and not on or after, the due date. By default, assignments
must be handed in before and not after the due date in such cases.

Send comments to: bartel@yorku.ca

Indicate in the subject line: PHYS3250