Short for very small aperture terminal, an earthbound station used in satellite communications of data, voice and video signals, excluding broadcast television.
A VSAT consists of two parts, a transceiver that is placed outdoors in direct line of sight to the satellite and a device that is placed indoors to interface the transceiver with the end user’s communications device, such as a PC. The transceiver receives or sends a signal to a satellite transponder in the sky. The satellite sends and receives signals from a ground station computer that acts as a hub for the system.
Each end user is interconnected with the hub station via the satellite, forming a star topology. The hub controls the entire operation of the network. For one end user to communicate with another, each transmission has to first go to the hub station that then re-transmits it via the satellite to the other end user’s VSAT.
VSAT can handle up to 56 Kbps.