Mobile TV S - Band Repeater

Status date

The Mobile TV S-Band Repeater project incorporates two big domains. Although each one is focused on a different objective, both of them are complementary and make complete sense when considered as a whole.

  • At repeater level, the main objective is to develop the capabilities of Thales Alenia Space ? España for S-Band repeaters management and to ensure its leadership in future opportunities that may rise. In order to support this knowledge acquisition, the project includes the development of a simulation tool, fully representative of the repeater performances.

  • At equipment level, the project is aimed at developing and qualifying a number of key equipments, included the S-Band repeaters (forward and return links), that will position the company for future missions. Also the management of these developments reinforces the first domain as it is considered a first opportunity.

The key points that will be developed in the present project can be summarized as following:

  • Repeater engineering skills acquisition. Project management, deviation impact analysis and mitigation, payload activities, final integration and testing, etc, are part of the activities that will be carried out during the project duration.

  • Simulation tool design, implementation and testing,

  • Key units design, manufacturing and testing up to EQM level,

  • Repeater integration and testing follow-up.

As it has been explained before, the present project is integrated in a much more ambitious system development, including satellite and terrestrial sections, as part of a end-to-end solution for broadcasting digital TV for mobile handhelds.

Such a solution is, today, the only one able to offer such service with an optimization of the utilized bandwidth and air resources, allowing the operators to offer unlimited video distribution to an unlimited number of subscribers. Present solutions are based only on unicast or in broadcast networks, and they have shown that either the usage of the bandwidth or the number of simultaneous users, must be sacrificed.

Also, with this project, the participation of the European countries in the global solution is maximized. The integration of the solution in a pan-European dimension assures the resource optimization.


The system to be developed in the project includes two repeaters, forward (Ku to S band) and return (S to Ku band). The first one is aimed at the transmission of digital television signal to mobile handhelds, according to the DVB-H standard while the latter is designed to allow the users to send information back to the service provider. These two repeaters form the satellite section of a global system that includes terrestrial components. Both segments are integrated and constitute complementary parts of an end?to?end solution for TV distribution.

The forward repeater includes all the necessary elements to allow data broadcasting. Different types of equipment are included in the signal chain to allow signal processing with on board frequency conversion, switching of the TV channels, power amplification, etc. In its turn, the return repeater is designed to integrate all the received uplinks and to generate a coherent signal with data being sent back to the server.

All these performances acquire full sense when integrated in the complete solution.

The present project also includes the design, implementation and testing of a repeater simulation tool that shall be used to verify the end-to-end performance of the complete repeater taking as starting point the test results of the separated pieces of equipment. This tool is aimed at providing Thales Alenia Space - España with the necessary skills to understand the behavior of a complete repeater with such characteristics. It is also a powerful method of analysis of the possible impact that deviations may cause at repeater level.


The project will be developed over 30 months starting in 2006. All the pieces of equipment being designed and tested will follow the standard planning, with the usual milestones from the design review to the Test results review. With respect to the repeater simulator, it will be based on the specifications generated in the first stages of the project, tested with the partial results obtained at equipment level and integrated in the repeater design phase workflow for future flight opportunities by extrapolating the obtained results.

Current status

Activities in all levels are currently being carried out in the frame of this Mobile TV S-Band Repeater project.

At equipment level, preliminary designs of all the units that are included in the project, have already started. Baseline Design Reviews will take place in the near future.

At repeater engineering level, the main actions that are currently ongoing are related with the creation of an integrated team composed by Thales Alenia Space - France and Thales Alenia Space - España. The teams will cooperate during the different phases of the project to assure the correct transfer of skills from France to Spain. This cooperation will ensure the continuity of the heritage that Thales Alenia Space has today in S-Band repeaters.