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Technologies and Techniques for SATCOM beyond 5G Networks

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
Start Date
End Date

Identify innovative technologies and techniques for beyond 5G satellite networks.Evaluate and assess the most promising identified techniques via the proper simulation framework.


In December 2019, the 3GPP standardization group approved a dedicated work-item for the implementation of a new set of 5G New Radio (NR) specifications allowing the integration with mobile broadband satellite networks. This is the first time ever that the space industry has this challenging opportunity of a full integration with terrestrial cellular systems, and to benefit from very large economies of scale. Of course, this standardization activity will be focused for the next couple of years on the adaptation of current 5G technologies for satellite communications links, with particular focus on the current available space assets and specific use cases (e.g., with rather limited complexity).In a fully coordinated approach with the objectives of the 5G dedicated Strategic Programme Line (SPL), this activity will focus on innovative technologies and techniques targeting highly efficient and deeply integrate satellite networks in 5G and beyond cellular systems. In principle, it is asked to look at the current 5G satellite standardization framework, and initially to start with the evaluation and adoption of the discarded solutions or use cases (e.g., Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) techniques, active payload and digital beamforming, handheld direct access for broadband communications, self-driving car services (V2X), etc.). Moreover, it is also required to have a disruptive approach with the identification and evaluation of novel concepts (both in the waveform and in the network domain). Finally, the activity will develop the necessary software tools in order to properly assess the performance of the most promising identified techniques and technologies.This activity encompasses the following tasks: - Identification of the most promising scenarios for the current 5G satellite services (i.e., Industry white papers, new services not covered yet in the current 3GPP roadmap, etc.)- Review and prioritize the main technology gaps with respect to the use-cases- Select and evaluate new techniques and technologies for a detailed assessment of potential benefits in beyond 5G satellite networks, with particular emphasis on the air interface improvements - Develop the necessary software tools in order to assess the achievable performance of the selected techniques and technologies- Identify a clear roadmap to increase the TRL of the most promising solutions

Application Domain
Technology Domain
1 - On-board Data Subsystems
10 - Flight Dynamics and GNSS
12 - Ground Station Systems and Networks
2 - Space System Software
6 - RF Subsystems, Payloads and Technologies
8 - System Design & Verification
Competence Domain
5-Radiofrequency & Optical Systems and Products
3-Space Segment - Payload
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Achieved TRL
Public Document