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Objective: To enable rapid and responsive prototyping of low-cost satellite communications terminal concepts.
Targeted Improvements: The activity intends to accelerate the prototyping cycle and exploration of new concepts for satellite communications terminals inthe domain of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internetof- Things (IoT) applications. Such acceleration shall be achieved by applying concepts from the terrestrial network development field, and via addressing a community not normally working on satellite communications. The activity shall specifically address the vibrant "maker" communities throughout Europe that are presently focused on terrestrial and consumer oriented communication projects.
Description: In Europe there is a flourishing community of start-up companies andcrowd-fundedprojects, sometimes referred to as the "Maker-space". These are loosely organised groups, which implement projects in thespirit ofopen source hardware and full sharing of intellectual property. This community has generated many innovative hardware products or concepts based on small embedded systems (e.g. Raspberry PI, Arduino), state-of-the-art Software Defined Systems (e.g. HackRF, GNU Radio, URSP), and open source FPGA programming boards. A number of such products or concepts are already used within ARTES projects and some have been placed into orbit.
Within this activity it is proposed to conduct 12 small hardware prototyping activities, focussing on developing new technology concepts for satellite communications terminals in the domain of Machine-to-Machine (M2M)and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. A prime contractor would be responsible managing separate individual development contracts placed with suitable entities from the âMaker-space'. The prime contractor shall coordinate and manage the activities of the group, and willoversee the hardware prototyping activities. The initial four developments will be defined by ESA and included in the activity ITT.These first four hardware prototyping activities shall be dedicated to the prototyping of emerging satellite communicationtechnologies using software defined radio (SDR). Specifically, both terminal and gateway prototypes shall be built using M2M air-interfaces based on narrowband LTE (NB-LTE), the adaptation of current network and application layer M2M protocols over existing spacesegment shall be prototyped, and the adaptation of low-power terrestrial air interfaces to the satellite environment shall be prototypedanddemonstrated. The subsequent eight developments will be defined by ESA, in consultation with the Prime contractor, in the next Phases of the activity. This activity was former Priority 2. These will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation. A request for initiation was received.
Procurement Policy: C(3) = Activity restricted to SMEs & R&D Entities. For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and R&D entities in ESA programmes".