UNISAT (Uniform Management and Control of DVB-RCS Terminals)

Objectives

UNISAT adapts the current Integrasys Satmotion-Pocket commercial product to the Satlabs Harmonised Monitoring and Control recommendations.

UNISAT addresses the development of this new Satmotion-Pocket generation using the SatLabs recommended DVB-RCS MIB (Management Information Base), enabling vendor independent terminal configuration and antenna alignment of DVB-RCS terminals compliant with the Harmonised Monitoring and Control specifications issued by the SatLabs Group.

Integrasys, as technology provider, and Hispasat as network operator of one of the world largest multimedia broadband platforms based on DVB-RCS, will collaborate in UNISAT to produce a practical and efficient implementation of the standard that will automatically suit multiple DVB-RCS platforms.

Challenges

UNISAT extends INTEGRASYS’ SATMOTION product to comply with the HM&C specification from SatLabs providing support for:

  • Reliable DVB-RCS terminal configuration according to Satlabs recommendations.
  • Fast and correct line up of HM&C compliant terminals without networking support other than the satellite nor NOC personnel support.

The UNISAT framework allows the management of the installation and antenna alignment of every DVB-RCS terminal compatible with the HM&C specification, regardless of the vendor, helping the RCST installer to perform basic configuration of operational parameters and providing assistance on satellite discovery and fine antenna pointing during forward link acquisition, targeting a wide variety of terminals (those compliant to the Satlabs interfaces) in a vendor independent way.

Benefits

UNISAT offers an easy, efficient, autonomous and scalable solution for installing satellite terminals, including a very precise tuning of the uplink, which is optimised to minimise interferences and achieve the desired quality level with current installation.

Being based upon the standard DVB-RCS specification and the HM&C recommendations published by the Satlabs group, supported by key players of the broadband satellite industry, UNISAT has the capability to ensure an ordered and efficient deployment and activation of large networks composed of terminals from different vendors.

UNISAT benefits installers providing assistance to:

  • Configure a wide range of indoor and outdoor unit types uniformly, managing particular RCST features and access interfaces transparently from the installer perspective, which streamlines the installation of satellite terminals.
  • Rapidly and accurately point the antenna to the correct satellite providing feedback on the quality of the antenna alignment, regardless of the concrete DVB-RCS technology manufacturer.
  • Perform HM&C satellite terminal line up and cross polarisation isolation on the return channel autonomously, without additional telecommunication links other than that provided by the satellite terminal itself, nor further assistance from the NOC.
  • Guarantee a proper RCST configuration and line up, avoiding any possible interference in the DVB-RCS network operation.

Features

UNISAT helps the RCST installer to perform basic configuration of operational parameters and provides assistance on satellite discovery and fine antenna pointing during forward link acquisition, targeting a wide variety of terminals in a vendor independent way.

UNISAT interfaces and procedures are based on the HM&C specification and the companion QoS specification, which establish a common set of features and capabilities every compliant DVB-RCS terminal must have, and at the same time provides a standard way of accessing and configuring such features.


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Based on the definition of the standard MIB, UNISAT communicates directly to the HM&C RCST SNMP agent ensuring compatibility with any SatLabs HM&C compliant RCST.

The promised terminal interoperability will certainly foster manufacturer competitiveness leading to proprietary enhancements of the basic standard features. The UNISAT software architecture will be designed to adapt to these vendor-specific features to make the most of the terminal capabilities and to ensure the tool fits the requirements of a DVB-RCS network evolution where new RCST hardware and firmware versions are constantly released.

Plan

The work plan was structured in three phases: requirements definition and critical analysis of HM&C recommendation; design, implementation and integration of the operation tools and finally deployment in a broadband satellite network and validation tests.

The first phase targeted the analysis of the SatLabs options and profiles to be supported in UNISAT. The subset of capabilities selected for implementation were then developed according to the standard interfaces provided by the Satlabs System Recommendations and DVB-RCS MIB.

Since the appearance of the HM&C compliant terminals was eventually delayed, a DVB-RCS MIB emulator was developed and successfully verified against a subset of the Satlabs Outline Test Plan test cases by an independent authorised laboratory. The emulator served later as a transfer standard, used as a reference for ensuring conformance of UNISAT tools to the Satlabs HM&C.

On the final stage Hispasat facilitated its current DVB-RCS broadband satellite platform for the realization of tests and the validation of the solution.

Current status

Achievements
A new generation of low-cost installation tools, based on previous SATMOTION technologies, has been successfully developed, being now fully compliant to the latest standard Satlabs DVB-RCS MIB and HM&C recommendations. The UNISAT solution makes the most of these standards to target a wide variety of satellite terminals, providing assistance through all the required RCST installation steps based on uniform interfaces.

UNISAT contributed to draw Satlabs attention to RCST installation issues that had not been previously considered, proposing multiple enhancements to the SSRs to cover practical aspects that became apparent as the UNISAT solution design and implementation progressed.

Integrasys also developed a DVB-RCS MIB emulator which offers a layer that converts a non Satlabs-compliant terminal into a Satlabs-compliant one, regarding its HM&C interfaces, translating the received standard parameters into the required proprietary commands to control the terminal behaviour according to the HM&C recommendations. This technology has revealed as a powerful validation tool and was recently provided to the Satlabs group for accelerating the launch of the Common Test Bed for v2.1 terminals.

UNISAT final review and acceptance took place at ESA facilities in December 2008. The UNISAT product is now ready for sale.

Contacts

Status date

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 14:57