SDMB Radio Phase A

Status date

The Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (SDMB) System intends to implement a multicast layer over unicast terrestrial 3G UMTS mobile networks.

The system concept is based on a combined satellite and terrestrial repeaters architecture for the delivery of interactive broadcasting/multicasting digital multimedia services to mobile end-users.

The system design will aim to permit indoor penetration by means of dedicated large power GEO satellites providing several beams over Europe.



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'SDMB Radio Phase A' activity will be complemented with parallel activities developed under 'FP6/MAESTRO' Project.

"SDMB Radio Phase A" activity encompasses three main activities:


Activity 1
Two main goals are encompassed within this activity:


  • To specify and develop a radio layer transmission simulation tool developed under COSSAP SW. This tool will aim at investigating the physical layer performance (Eb/Nt performance, degradation due to on-board non linearity on the output power section operation point, etc) under various system parameters such as: HPA OBO for various HPA section models, traffic loading, propagation conditions, co-channel and adjacent channel interference levels, and receiver design parameters, etc. This is considered as the first step of a complete radio simulator that will be completed in the frame of the MAESTRO project. ASCOM and Alcatel Space will develop the radio layer transmission simulation tool.


  • To prepare link budget analyses for the SDMB system under various parameter configurations.


Activity 2
This activity will aim to upgrade the SDMB radio network planning tool developed in the frame of the CCN3 'Gap-Filler Network Planning Tool and Gap-Filler architecture/integration in 3GPP RAN equipment' ARTES 1 study. The tool will be updated in order to carry out simulations in an indoor environment. AWE Communications will develop this tool in co-operation with Alcatel Space.


Activity 3
This activity will be focused on satellite segment investigations. Mainly preliminary satellite segment architecture and performance analysis dealing with:


  • Payload activities: RF payload requirements,


  • Platform activities (towards Alcatel Space product - SB 4100 C1L platform),


  • Accurate pointing activities for a S-band LDR antenna with a size ranging from 5 to 12 metres.

With respect to the radio layer of the SDMB system, there are three key issues: 


  • Preliminary end to end radio specifications/performance including coverage performance for both direct and indirect paths,


  • Definition of a preliminary baseline reference satellite architecture and its related performance,


  • Establish a Phase B/C/D preliminary schedule for satellite and payload aspects.


Concerning the first issue, expected specifications and development carried out during this SDMB Radio Phase A activities will allow SDMB system designers to have access to two main tools ensuring the derivation of major radio performance for any kinds of SDMB radio architecture under various propagation conditions.


For the two latter points, the needs for potential on-board satellite reconfiguration and the delivery of high power per beam to address direct satellite indoor penetration to SDMB-enabled 3GPP handheld terminal are not obvious tasks and need to be addressed in-depth to be able at the end of this project to establish a reference SDMB satellite architecture/performance based on both technical constraints and market needs.


The expected main benefits are:

  1. Reference radio specifications and performance for the SDMB system.
  2. Generic and flexible reference radio engineering tools with basic/extended bricks allowing to investigate radio and coverage performance of any kinds of SDMB architectures under various conditions of propagation:
    • Physical layer simulation tool (under COSSAP),
    • SDMB radio network planning tool.
  3. Establishment of a phase B/C/D preliminary schedule for satellite and payload aspects:
    • Identifying the major critical areas w.r.t. payload feasibility, performance and satellite accommodation,
    • Identifying the remaining activities to assess mission feasibility in the frame of the SDMB satellite phase B,
    • Establishing preliminary hardware matrix (list of units, supplier, heritage),
    • Establishing ROM cost for SDMB payload including APS (Antenna Pointing System).
  4. Provision of subsequent and numerous radio inputs in the mid term for the overall SDMB project:
    • MAESTRO project,
    • ARTES 5 SDMB enabled terminal,
    • @SAT and @BUS program.



The Alcatel Space management concept is based on company ground rules, which are applied to all studies, project and programs. These ground rules are based on Alcatel Space successful involvement in a large number of national and international programs.


In the context of projects with limited budget and duration, the Alcatel Space management principles are applied using elementary procedures and tools to facilitate quick understanding and manageability as updating and amendments.


In addition to the technical expertise, the key elements in the successful execution of this project, as will be presented in the present document, are:


  • The establishment of a clear project structure,


  • Careful study planning and planning monitoring,


  • The implementation of effective and economical management procedures.


This project is built around a strong technical core team having experience and approved expertise in the major domains of interest for the study: Satellite communication systems, mobile communication system, satellites, ground segment, on-board as well as on-ground hardware and software, and satellite communication system operation and exploitation.

Current status

Parametric analysis has been performed and leads to the conclusion that a multi-feed solution is well suited to the generation of various linguistic beams. Some main design drivers have been identified:

  • Satellite stability,
  • Level of C/I over TBD% of the coverage.

Two payload configurations have been identified today to address the S-DMB system, namely:

  • A flexible configuration in terms of number of linguistic areas under satellite coverage and power allocation per linguistic area,
  • A static configuration characterised by a balanced share of the satellite EIRP over two identified linguistic areas.

A satellite development plan will be studied for both configurations.