Ku Band

The Ku (Kurtz-under) band is part of the electromagnetic spectrum’s microwave range of frequencies. In applications such as radar, the band covers the scope of 12 to 18 GHz according to IEEE standards’ frequency band nomenclature.

Satellite communications uses Ku bands, specifically for broadcasting and editing satellite TV. Multiple segments divide this band further split into geographical areas as identified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The Ku band’s range of frequencies covers 11.7-12.7 GHz for downlink frequencies and 14-14.5 GHz for uplink frequencies.

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) is the most popular Ku band format for digital reception, competing with the Digicipher II format.

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was the first commercial TV network to extensively use the Ku band in most affiliate feeds back in 1983.

ITU Region 2 sectors encompassing the larger part of North and South America cover 11.7 to 12.2 GHz, currently orbited by more than 21 Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) Ku band satellites.

Each sector needs a 0.8-1.5 meter antenna and uses 12-24 transponders which consume 20-120 watts per transponder for clarity of reception.

Broadcasting Satellite Service (BSS) takes the 12.2-12.7 GHz sector of the Ku band. These direct-broadcast satellites usually have 16-32 transponders.

Each transponder offers a bandwidth of 27 MHz while using up 100-240 watts per device, with receiver antennae as small as 18 inches (450 mm) .

ITU Region 2 sectors of the Ku band correspond to Europe and Africa (with 11.45-11.7 GHz and 12.5-12.75 GHz band ranges, respectively) reserved for the FSS, with an uplink frequency range of 14.0-14.5 GHz.