Sat3Play ACM Ka-Ku

Objectives

The scope of the Sat3Play ACM Ka-Ku project is to perform the detailed design and the development of a second generation Sat3Play system. The project includes the design and development of following features:

  • Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) in forward and return,
  • Network Management System (NMS) improvement,
  • Topology and Platform improvement,
  • Ka-ready IPmodem (IDU),
  • Terminal Installation Certification,
  • Higher Forward SLAs,
  • Return Resources Management.

This results in a more efficient and user-friendly Sat3Play system with increased capacity. In addition, the designed hub system and IPmodem are ready for operation in Ka-band and can target additional markets.

The existing Sat3Play system is an affordable 2 Way Satellite Broadband System that has been designed for IP based service providers, wanting to offer voice, data and television services in areas where no terrestrial broadband connection is available and at a competitive price.


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The goal of this project is to increase the capacity, efficiency and service level of the Sat3Play system. This will mainly be accomplished by introducing the Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) feature in the Sat3Play system.

ACM allows to dynamically change the MODCOD for communication with each terminal (in forward and return link). The MODCOD can be tuned to the instantaneous channel quality, ensuring that the most optimal (in terms of bandwidth efficiency) modulation scheme is used for each terminal at all time. This greatly improves the efficiency of the system and the aggregate capacity.

The efficiency of the system is also improved by introducing Terminal Installation Certification.

The project also focuses on improving the customer friendliness of the Network Management System (NMS), allowing the customer (Satellite Access Provider) to operate his business. The project introduces Return Resources Management.

Finally, the project covers a forward-looking design of the terminal indoor unit (IDU), making the IPmodem hardware Ka-ready, answering the desire of operators to move broadband out of the expensive Ku-band. The IPmodem supports higher forward SLAs up to 10 Mbit/s.

Challenges

The following issues have been tackled in the first part:

  • Introduction of Controller/Shaper/Encapsulator (CSE) for ACM operation in the Sat3Play system, requiring multiple modifications to support high numbers of end-users,
  • IDU hardware design, resulting in mass production,
  • Network Management System scalability for large networks (multiple blades),

The following issues have been tackled in the second part:

  • Terminal certification procedure integrated with Cross-Polarization Measurement System (CPMS),
  • Integrated Return Resources Management via new GUI.

Benefits

With the introduction of the ACM feature, improving the capacity and efficiency of the Sat3Play system, Sat3Play can remain the first successful European satellite based internet access system for consumers, capable of challenging products of US competitors.

With ACM, additional markets can also be targeted where the current system with CCM operation is not suitable.

In addition, the Certification and Resource Management features will improve the efficiency and operability of the system.

The introduction of the Ka-ready IDU also opens future business opportunities for operation in Ka-band.

Features

The Sat3Play system provides a 2-way internet connection over satellite between the end user and the service provider’s data centre. This Internet connection can be used to provide video and audio content to the user or can provide the user with Internet access (browsing, email, etc).
The Sat3Play system consists of the following key components:

The second generation Sat3Play system will have the following features:

  • Adaptive Coding and Modulation, both in Forward and Return Link, improving capacity and efficiency,
  • Ka-ready IDU (IPModem), allowing migration towards operation in Ka-band,
  • Improved Network Management System, for better scalability and user-friendliness,
  • New time and frequency system, improving reliability and reducing complexity of the system,
  • Simplified network topology, with simplified redundancy scheme and addressing plan, reducing complexity of the system,
  • New server hardware based on enclosure and blade solution, reducing operational cost of the system.

Plan

This development project is the successor of the ESA study project “Sat3Play ACM Ka-Ku” with contract number 22282/09/NL/AD. In the study project the definition and top level design of the second generation Sat3Play system has been performed and the results of the project served as input for this development project.

The project consists of 2 parts.

The first project part has been organized as follows:

The first phase of the first project part covered the development and integration of the new system features. The main results are the integrated new hub hardware and software. This also covers the new IPmodem hardware and software.

The second phase covers the validation and regression testing of the new Sat3Play release, as well as the preparation of the hand-over to the alpha customer. At the end of this phase, the new Sat3Play hub and terminal will be ready for delivery to the customer.

Finally, in a last phase the next generation Sat3Play system will be rolled out to the alpha customer.

The second project part has been organized as follows:

The first phase of the second project part covered the development and integration of the new system features. The main results are the integrated new hub and IPmodem software.

The second phase covers the validation and regression testing of the new Sat3Play release, as well as the preparation of the hand-over to the alpha customer. At the end of this phase, the new Sat3Play hub and terminal software will be ready for delivery to the customer.

Finally, in a last phase the new Sat3Play software will be rolled out to the alpha customer.

Current status

In the first part of the project the development and integration of the new system features resulted in the integrated new hub hardware and software. This also covered the new IPmodem hardware and software. After validation and regression testing, the next generation Sat3Play system has been rolled out at the alpha customer.

In the second part of the project the development and integration of the additional system features resulted in the integrated new hub and terminal software. After validation and regression testing, the new Sat3Play release has been rolled out to the alpha customer.

The first part of the project was successfully reviewed by ESA in March 2011.

The second part of the project was successfully reviewed by ESA in June 2012.

Contacts

Status date

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 17:43