This activity was originally added to the Rolling Work Plan in 2015. Since then, there has been continued interest and research in deploying HAPS for telecommunications services, e.g. for the provision of broadband access, disaster relief communications, serving remote areas such as the Arctic, supporting government communications, or backhauling intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance(ISR) mission data.
The defined activity goal is to investigate how satellite communications could enable, augment, or improve theservices planned to be offered by HAPS. For example, backhauling a single LTE/4G base station embarked on a HAPS would require highspeed trunking services in the order of 100's of Mbps. The future deployment of HAPS therefore represents an opportunity for increasing the utilisation of trunking satellite communication services.
Alternatively, using HAPS to optimise the feeder link design of aUHTS system, or to generate extra capacity over hot-spots' within a multi-beam service region, represent potential enhancements tofuture satellite system architectures. The related (but broader) ESA GSP study is now underway with Industry and is anticipated to complete in Q3 2017. As an early output, the GSP study has defined a range of potential SatCom use cases (amongst others). Given the continued interest in deploying HAPS, from established satellite operators, technology developers, and communications service providers, the Executive proposes to proceed with this activity. We intend to retain the activity description as initially approved, (but address 5G, the future generation of mobile services, instead of the current 4G) to build on the outcome of the GSP study, and assess the system design concepts needed to realise the identified use cases. The title of the ITT will be revised to better reflect current technology status.