European Space Agency

SASS-2IP

Objectives

The SASS-2IP project objective is to develop, implement and validate, in an extended field trial, enhancements to the Satellite Based Alarm and Surveillance System which was developed in a previous ARTES-3 project. The main technical objectives for the project phase are:

  • To develop and implement a Satellite Terminal IP Interface Unit (STIU) for the interconnection of alarm- and security equipment to satellite interactive terminals,
  • To enhance the SASS signalling protocols and software to support IP traffic control for any 3rd party security applications connected to the STIU including the provisioning of guaranteed bandwidth on-demand with multiple priority levels (standard, high, emergency),
  • To devise a satellite link monitoring protocol which minimises the volume of monitoring messages transmitted between alarm transmission units and receivers while complying with the highest fault reporting time classification according to EN 50136,
  • To validate the functional and operational performance for an innovative alarm- and surveillance application in a 4 months field trial.

In addition to the technical activities, the project has the strategic objective to establish partnerships with network operators and security service providers to migrate the SASS-2IP service to commercial operation after the pilot phase and to distribute the STIU.

Challenges

Key issues addressed by the project include:

  • Standardised IP based alarm transmission protocols periodically monitor the connection between the alarm transmitters and receivers. This requires the permanent allocation of expensive satellite bandwidth (approx. 1 kBit/s per terminal) for link monitoring traffic only. The SSPv2 protocol avoids the need for polling between the receivers and transmitters.
  • Current bandwidth management mechanisms do not support bandwidth on-demand with different priority levels like the SASS-2IP system. The SASS-2IP traffic control mechanism enables the central management of the bandwidth resources in order to meet the service quality and availability requirements for security applications.

Benefits

The SASS-2IP services can be provided via existing satellites with coverage of practically all regions worldwide where a demand for security applications exists.

The SASS-2IP service unlike other existing satellite services complies with the highest performance classification of alarm transmission networks.

In addition to alarm transmission it supports other IP based security applications as well as network backup applications with bandwidth on-demand capability. A major advantage for backup applications is that satellite connections are physically independent of the local terrestrial networks.

The SASS-2IP traffic control mechanism which is enabling the assignment of different priorities to guaranteed bandwidth traffic is reducing the satellite bandwidth required to achieve a given overall quality of service. It furthermore supports the billing of traffic based on the selected priority, bandwidth and connection duration. This results in higher service quality and lower charges compared to other networks providing dedicated IP connections.

DVB-RCS satellite terminals can be deployed within short time anywhere within the service coverage. This is a significant advantage compared to dedicated terrestrial network connections which may have several weeks installation lead time or may be unavailable at remote sites.

Features

The architecture of the SASS-2IP system is shown in the diagram below. The SASS-2IP developments are highlighted.


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The SASS-2IP system includes the Satellite Terminal Equipment, the Network Management System (NMS) and the Terrestrial Network Interfaces (TNI). The link between the satellite terminals and the terrestrial network terminations is realised via DVB-RCS systems.

The Satellite Terminal Equipment consists of a standard DVB-RCS Satellite Interactive Terminal (SIT) and the SASS-2IP Satellite Terminal IP Interface Unit (STIU). The STIU provides a number of Ethernet ports for the interconnection of customer security systems such as:

  • Alarm Transmission Equipment with IP interface compliant to EN and VdS standards (IP-ATU),
  • IP Video Surveillance Equipment,
  • Emergency Phones,
  • IP network applications with the need for guaranteed bandwidth on-demand, such as backup connections.

The STIU is designed as redundant and non-redundant version. The redundant version provides two transmission paths via two satellite terminals operated in hot standby mode. The two paths are periodically monitored and all user traffic is transparently switched to the backup path in case of equipment or link failures. The resulting alarm transmission delay, network fault reporting time and system availability is specified to conform to the highest performance classification according to EN 50136.

Another key feature of the SASS-2IP system is the traffic control mechanism. For each application connected to the STIU and TNI a different bandwidth (guaranteed or non-guaranteed) and priority (standard/high/emergency) can be configured in the Network Management System. The NMS assigns the bandwidth on-demand when the application traffic is detected by the STIU which then controls the traffic transmission accordingly.

For exchange of the signalling information between the STIU, TNI and NMS the SASS Signalling Protocol version 2 (SSPv2) is being developed. The protocol is TCP/IP based and is optimised for two-way satellite IP platforms.

Plan

The major project milestones are:

Baseline Design Review: August 2007
Pilot Qualification Review: January 2008
System Deployment Acceptance: March 2008
Final Review: August 2008

After inhouse validation testing and completion of the Pilot Qualification Review the SASS-2IP terminals will be installed at 10 pilot sites. Except of Germany, installations are planned in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Turkey. The pilot application is the transmission of alarms as well as of live video and still images for alarm verification from the remote sites to a security center in Germany. The pilot system will be operated for a period of 4 months.

Current status

The SASS-2IP project has been successfully completed in April 2010.

The performance of the project developments has been validated in a 4 months pilot phase. The main pilot user was the Media-Saturn Group. The SASS-2IP system has been installed at Media-Saturn retail stores for consumer electronics. Six stores were located in the Russian Federation. Four additional test sites were operated in Europe. The pilot applications included alarm transmission, alarm verification by video transmission and the provisioning of on-demand backup connectivity for terrestrial IP networks. The equipment setup is shown below.


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The user feedback confirmed that the SASS-2IP system is an attractive alternative and complement to terrestrial networks to provide IP connectivity for object security and business critical applications. This concerns in particular the system availability, bandwidth on-demand performance and costs. The SASS-2IP traffic control mechanisms which are minimising the satellite bandwidth utilisation and, consequently, the service charges are considered to be key differentiators from existing satellite services.
The major objectives of the study have been matched.


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The Satellite Terminal Interface Unit (STIU) in conjunction with the Terrestrial Network Interface (TNI) and Network Management System (NMS) has been validated to enable alarm transmission, video surveillance and other security applications via two-way satellite services (DVB-RCS).

The redundant STIU version enables operation via two satellite interactive terminals using two independent satellite paths. This provides for overall system availabilities higher than 99.8%.

The STIU in conjunction with the NMS supports IP traffic control. For each application, a minimum and maximum bandwidth and different priorities can be configured.

The STIU and TNI firmware is providing a proxy function for alarm transmission equipment using the VdS 2471 TCP/IP alarm transmission protocol and VdS 2465 messages. The proxy is reducing the required satellite bandwidth by more than 50%. The overall performance of the SASS-2IP system conforms to the highest classification according to EN 50136.

Operation of the SASS-2IP system will be continued after the end of the project for beta testing by the pilot user as well as other users. Commercial operation is planned in cooperation with satellite service providers. A first commercial service is expected to be launched in Russia.

Status date

Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 12:26