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Many types of satellite tracking system have been suggested in recent years, and most have found applications in either the civil or military telecommunications sectors. However, all systems so far proposed have advantages and disadvantages, and hence considerable effort is still being directed towards the design of systems which are more economical but still offer high performance. One such system, utilising an electronic beam-control technique, is detailed with particular reference to the design and characterisation of an optimum tracking receiver, and the new problems which the system poses in this. The system is described with an identification of the factors in existing receivers which limit the performance of the electronic tracking technique. By means of a computer simulation, a fundamental understanding of the physical processes involved is presented and some experimental results are included to validate the conclusions and proposed solutions.