Objective:The objective of the activity is to design and develop an integrated prototype receiver for carrying out accurate satellite channel measurements (amplitude and phase) over operational satellite links. The new receiver is expected to provide improved accuracy and estimation of new link parameters without strictly requiring the availability of a beacon source on board the satellite.
Targeted Improvements:Simultaneous propagation measurements (continuous wave or modulated signal based) on the uplink and downlink via a satellite transponder instead the use of a beacon.
Description:Satellite operators are responsible for the quality of the signals and the interference management within their systems. The procedures, tools and equipment required for their management is normally expensive and demand specialised personnel for long periods.
For traditional GEO systems, the prototype shall solve the problemof measuring the channel directly in the uplink carrier frequency, thus avoiding the uncertainties of scaling the corresponding downlink measurement to the uplink frequency.
GEO, LEO and NGSO satellites suffer often from absence of beacon transmitters, beacon coverage or beacon activation (power saving reasons) to allow for channel measurements. It would be beneficial to be able to conduct measurements of atmospheric propagation effects from modulated signals being agnostic to the actual transmitted waveform. Atmospheric propagation measurements are typically carried out examining the downlink frequency. Atmospheric effects are more critical in the (higher) uplink Extremely High Frequency EHF bands for feeder links, where the forward link delivers higher volumes of traffic than thefeeder return link.
In this activity, a prototype of a link receiver that will carry out propagation measurements (CW or modulatedsignal based) jointly in the uplink and downlink via a satellite transponder instead of the use of a beacon shall be designed, manufactured and tested. The simultaneous measurements shall also help to size adaptive coding modulation (ACM) loops for smart gateway diversity systems. A possible solution is to employ Software Define Radio (SDR) techniques that allow highly reconfigurable receivers build upon the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)-principle.
The prototype shall cover all the necessary system functionality, includingthe acquisition of the measurements, RF front and back-end, digitization, sampling and filtering, as well as the data handling, processing, storage and end-user delivery of the results.
Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".