A block upconverter (BUC) is used in the transmission (uplink) of satellite signals. It converts a band of frequencies from a lower frequency to a higher frequency. Modern BUCs convert from the L band to Ku band, C band and Ka band.
BUCs are used in conjunction with low-noise block converters (LNB). The BUC, being an up-converting device, makes up the “transmit” side of the system, while the LNB is the down-converting device and makes up the “receive” side.
A low-noise block downconverter (LNB) is the receiving device mounted on satellite dishes used for satellite TV reception, which collects the radio waves from the dish. The LNB is a combination of low-noise amplifier, frequency mixer, local oscillator and intermediate frequency (IF) amplifier. It receives the microwave signal from the satellite collected by the dish, amplifies it, and downconverts the block of frequencies to a lower block of intermediate frequencies (IF). The LNB is usually a small box suspended on one or more short booms, or feed arms, in front of the dish reflector, at its focus.
A low-noise amplifier (LNA) is an electronic amplifier that amplifies a very low-power signal without significantly degrading its signal-to-noise ratio. An amplifier increases the power of both the signal and the noise present at its input. LNAs are designed to minimize additional noise.
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