The objective of the activity is to develop flexible, modular and transportable ground segment equipment in the form of a prototype test-bed that can accurately characterise the performance of satellite communication systems and jointly optimise the payload and ground segment components in a variety of representative system scenarios and different air interfaces while one or several payload components are under test.
The main challenge of the VGSE definitely is the generation of the broadband DVB signal of up to 500 MHz. Such a signal implies a data rate of more than two gigabyte per second which needs to be dealt with in both transmitting and receiving direction. Having a replay and recording capacity of up to one hour this data cannot be processed on standard platforms. A combination of CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and server hosting is able to reduce the processing to a reasonable time.
With the VGSE the satellite operators, integrators and manufacturers will be able to verify and test their very expensive hardware based on real traffic data thus assuring their confidence in the equipment bought.
Phase two is dedicated for the manufacturing of a full functional VGSE prototype.
The project is currently in phase one creating the use-cases and analysing the detailed system requirements. Different hardware and software architecture is evaluated and documented to trade-off costs, project complexity, development time and a maximum of flexibility.