The objective of the activity is to design, develop and test a software able to optimise inter-satellite links in a specific satellite constellation system.

Targeted Improvements: Enabling to perform inter-satellite link sizing and sensitivity analyses.


In the new space era, access to space is much cheaper. Relatively modest investments have allowed small operators to procure andoperate little constellations of small spacecraft. Nonetheless, one issue they face is the cost of the ground segment. While data are collected all over the world, the possible download locations are limited to a few ground stations which introduces long latency between data acquisition and its availability to the end user. To alleviate this issue, inter-satellite links (ISLs) are becoming increasingly available in small form factor, affordable power and cost. Despite this progress, such operators (often companies of a few employees) typically have no resources to perform dedicated sizing and cost-performance trade-offs between different solutions.

To bridge this gap, the activity will design and develop a tool able to perform technology agnostic optimisation and sizing of ISLs taking as user-defined inputs the constellation, the ground segment and the ISL constraints (e.g. tracking rate, in plane and crossplane connectivity, angle boundaries etc.).

Key input parameters will be the acquisition rate of the satellites and the target latency per data type, possibly even per geographical region. The software to be designed, developed and tested will implement an optimiser able to jointly optimise multiple parameters. The output of the software will include the needed data rate, number of terminals, performance statics, scheduling etc of the links. Although the complexity is expected to be high, it will be comparable to existing optimisation tools for radio-resource allocation problems. The software will consider different options in terms of RF sizing, throughput per link, routing strategies, and provide an optimal solution to meet the requirements as well as sensitivity analyses to allow their relaxation.

Footnote: A request for initiation of this On Delegation Request activity has been received.

Tender Specifics