MOBISAT - Enabling automate commissioning and operation of satcom terminals in mobility scenarios

Status
Ongoing
Status date
2022-08-11
Activity Code
6B.106
Objectives

MOBISAT stems from the need of satellite operator to develop and validate a “service” for fully automating the commissioning of services in Satcom on-the-move mechanical terminals (SOTM) without human intervention, addressing optimal radiofrequency (RF) performance, required by the Network Operations Center (NOC), minimizing interferences and power management. Moreover, the solution provides the capacity to the satellite operator to recover of remote antennas in many cases, removing the need for installers to revisit the site, in many cases in isolate areas as rural, jungles, dessert, high sea or even conflicting regions.

This solution will improve the Satcom services usage in terms of cost efficiency and complexity for deployment and maintenance. The foundations of MOBISAT are: 

  • Measurement of end-to-end Cross-Polarization interference.

  • Remote Terminal is aware of optimal RF parameter for the network.

  • Optimal transmission Power should be assessed and configured (fine tuning of LNB feed).

  • Reporting to the NOC the configured parameters.

  • To assess and automatically configure the parameters of the terminal for optimal transmission and alignment.

  • Multiple geographically distributed commissioning simultaneously.

  • Scheduling automated maintenance of terminals.

Challenges

The optimal pointing of antennas is a complex process: It is needed to ensure terminal is not creating any interference in other frequencies, neither in the Cross Polarization nor other satellites. Also, the optimal transmission power has to be configured, to enable maximum connectivity, optimal energy usage. RF optimization is even more relevant in New Space, when more satellites will be sharing the spectrum and space. MOBISAT faces challenges as synchronized end to end RF measurements, interoperability among vendors, remote recovery or optimization of terminals avoiding visit of technician, antenna control based on RF measurements.

Benefits

MOBISAT represents the most automate commissioning solution for mechanical antennas commissioning on mobility scenarios, bringing the following key benefits to the Satcom industry

  • CAPEX saving: Faster installation, it enables the service provider to save time and resources on the deployment: (i) automated deployment process, (ii) avoid need for HUB or NOC personnel to revisit the site, (iii) No more Calls to the NOC and (iv) allow multiple installation in dispersed sites at the same time

  • OPEX saving: Remote connectivity recovery has a positive impact in terms of availability and cost savings

  • Minimization of satellite interference: Interference causes significant service failures and penalties, increasing the bandwidth price and decreases the satellite operator turnover. Our solution is a unique system able to minimize Cross Pol and ASI (Adjacent Satellite Interference)

  • Social Impact: Reducing the cost and easing the deployment in isolated areas of underdeveloped/developing countries. Fast deployment for First responders

  • Environmental: Reducing the number of flights. The easier to install and the more efficient the remote site, the less people will need to attend site, and reducing the amount of equipment shipped to site

Features

The benefits of MOBISAT are supported through the following technical features.

  • Measurement of end-to-end CrossPol and ASI interference

  • Remote Terminal is aware of optimal RF parameter for the network

  • Optimal transmission power is assessed and configured: MOBISAT assesses and automatically configure the parameters of the terminal for optimal transmission and alignment

  • Reporting to the NOC the configured parameters, and integration with Network Management System

  • To implement multiple geographically distributed commissioning simultaneously

  • Scheduling automated maintenance of terminals

  • Interoperability: the server is able to work with main commercial Satcom network manufacturers. API based solution, based on standard technologies to be used

  • Modular architecture:  It is modular and be able to interface with widely used instrumentation measurements. Both at hardware and at software, the architecture follows a modular approach, that facilitate the tailoring and extensibility to different platforms

System Architecture

The MOBISAT solution involves developing two main elements:

  • At remote VSAT side - To implement application into a mini-computer (named “SatmotionBox”) on the remote side that interfaces with the Antenna Control Unit (ACU) and SatCom modem, and…

  • At NOC side – To adapt current solution in the server side (named Satmotion Server, since it comes from a previous solution of Integrasys) at NOC/Teleport place in order to interface with Network Management system (NMS) and measurement instrumentation.

In the architecture we identify the following external interfaces of the solution: 

  • SatmotionBox – ACU: This interface enables the control of the antenna by MOBISAT to set the optimal mechanical setup of the antenna.

  • SatmotionBox – Satcom modem: This interface enables the control of the SatCom modem by MOBISAT to set-up the RF parameters that are found as optimal. It also enables a communication channel between NOC and SatmotionBox. 

  • Satmotion Server - Measurement equipment: The server side of MOBISAT has access to spectrum analyser and switch matrix to perform the proper measurements and algorithms.

  • Satmotion Server - Network Management System: The server side of MOBISAT has access to configure the proper information that enables the communication among remote and NOC.

Plan

MOBISAT is broken down in 4 WPs that cover the management, design, the technical development and validation.  The methodology follows a user and market driven approach, whereas the development is based on the previous technical feasibility studies done by our company and prototype done by the company

WP1, Project Management (M1-M12) 

WP2, Full design and validation plan (M1-M4)

WP3 Implementation (M4-M10)

WP4 Integration and validation (M10-M12)

Current status

The project is currently completing and reviewing the Final Design. IT includes 

  • A survey of current situation and challenges in order to provide a solid background.

  • A revision of current solutions, including Integrasys previous development.

  • The description of the reference architecture of the entire MOBISAT solution.

  • A detailed design and specification of MOBISAT solution together the technical requirements. It includes hardware platform, software modules and interfaces, underlying technologies 

  • The initial specification of the Test Plan is also reported

Prime Contractor