SATCOM MODULE FOR SMARTPHONES (ARTES 5.1 7C.042)

Status

ISSUED

EMITS REFERENCE

Program

ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1

Price Range

> 500 KEURO

Description

Objective:

Design and develop SatCom module prototype for modular smartphones such as Google Ara Phone with the following features:

  • Voice+data services with Software Defined Radio (SDR).
  • L-band antenna for compatibility with Inmarsat, Thuraya, Iridium and GlobalStar satellite systems.

Targeted Improvements:

  • Satellite module fully integrated in the new Ara phone.
  • High reduction of terminal cost: below 150 Euro for a Satcom enabled Smartphone. Current satellite phones cost typically more than 500 €.
  • Compatibility with 4 major mobile operators thanks to SDR.
  • Such module would be useful also for some M2M applications.

Description:

In the last years some products like SatSleeve offered by Thuraya have been very successful by adding an external mobile satcom module in L-band to the iPhone and Android smartphones. Google’s project ARA intends to develop a standard interface and a baseline mobile phone, for which new modules will be developed by the telecommunication mobile Industry.

Google Ara phone targets 50 $ as entry price. The satellite module to be developed in this activity would be integrated in the new Ara phone. This will enable the combination of terrestrial and satellite mobile services on smartphone for a low cost (i.e. below 150 Euro) thus resulting in a very attractive offer that will foster a wider penetration of satellite services.

The work logic will start with the understanding of the environment in which Google’s ARA operates. It will then identify the range of most promising and feasible satcom modules in terms of size, weight, power and frequency bands. Design phase will include trade-off in the hardware options, e.g. FPGA vs. central CPU. It will finally develop and test the module prototype in cooperation with an operator.

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 R&D entities in ESA programmes".

Tender Specifics