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See detailA Cubesat-ready Phase Synchronization Digital Payload for Coherent Distributed Remote Sensing Missions
Querol, Jorge UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Martinez Marrero, Liz UL et al

in Proceedings of the 2021 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (2021, July 15)

Distributed antenna arrays, fractionated payloads and cooperative platforms can provide unprecedented performance in the next generation of spaceborne communications and remote sensing systems. Remote ... [more ▼]

Distributed antenna arrays, fractionated payloads and cooperative platforms can provide unprecedented performance in the next generation of spaceborne communications and remote sensing systems. Remote phase synchronization of physically separated oscillators is the first step towards a coherent operation of distributed systems. This work shows the preliminary results of a TDD remote phase synchronization algorithm with a master-follower architecture. Herein, we describe the implementation and validation of the proposed algorithm. The implementation has been conducted in a Cubesat-ready software defined radio and validated at the end-to-end satellite communications testbed available at the University of Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailA design strategy for phase synchronization in Precoding-enabled DVB-S2X user terminals
Martinez Marrero, Liz UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, June)

This paper address the design of a phase tracking block for the DVB-S2X user terminals in a satellite precoding system. The spectral characteristics of the phase noise introduced by the oscillator, the ... [more ▼]

This paper address the design of a phase tracking block for the DVB-S2X user terminals in a satellite precoding system. The spectral characteristics of the phase noise introduced by the oscillator, the channel, and the thermal noise at the receiver are taken into account. Using the expected phase noise mask, the optimal parameters for a second-order PLL intended to track channel variations from the pilots are calculated. To validate the results a Simulink model was implemented considering the characteristics of the hardware prototype. The performance of the design was evaluated in terms of the accuracy and stability for the frame structure of superframe Format 2, as described in Annex E of DVB-S2X. [less ▲]

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See detail5G-SpaceLab
Querol, Jorge UL; Abdalla, Abdelrahman UL; Bokal, Zhanna UL et al

Poster (2021, April 19)

The new phase of space exploration involves a growing number of human and robotic missions with varying communication and service requirements. Continuous, maximum coverage of areas where activities are ... [more ▼]

The new phase of space exploration involves a growing number of human and robotic missions with varying communication and service requirements. Continuous, maximum coverage of areas where activities are concentrated and orbiting missions (single spacecraft or constellations) around the Earth, Moon or Mars will be particularly challenging. The standardization of the 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) has already begun [1], and nothing prevents 5G from becoming a common communications standard supporting space resource missions [2]. The 5G Space Communications Lab (5G-SpaceLab) is an interdisciplinary experimental platform, funded by the Luxembourg Space Agency and is part of the Space Research Program of SnT. The lab allows users to design and emulate realistic space communications and control scenarios for the next-generation of space applications. The capabilities of the 5G-SpaceLab testbed combine the experience of different disciplines including space communications, space and satellite mission design, and space robotics. The most relevant include the demonstration of SDR 5G NTN terminals including NB-IoT, emulation of space communications channel scenarios (e.g. link budget, delay, Doppler…), small satellite platform and payload design and testing, satellite swarm flight formation, lunar rover and robotic arm control and AI-powered telerobotics. Earth-Moon communications is one of the scenarios demonstrated in the 5G-SpaceLab. Bidirectional communication for the teleoperation of lunar rovers for near real-time operations including data collection and sensors feedback will be tested. AI-based approaches for perception and control will be developed to overcome communication delays and to provide safer, trustworthy, and efficient remote control of the rovers. [1] 3GPP Release 17 Timeline. [Online]. Available: https://www.3gpp.org/release-17 [2] Nokia, Nokia selected by NASA to build first ever cellular network on the Moon. [Online]. Available: https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2020/10/19/nokia-selected-by-nasa-to-build-first-ever-cellular-network-on-the-moon/ [less ▲]

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See detailEnd-to-end Precoding Validation over a Live GEO Satellite Forward Link
Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

In this paper we demonstrate end-to-end precoded multi-user multiple-input singleoutput (MU-MISO) communications over a live GEO satellite link. Precoded communications enable full frequency reuse (FFR ... [more ▼]

In this paper we demonstrate end-to-end precoded multi-user multiple-input singleoutput (MU-MISO) communications over a live GEO satellite link. Precoded communications enable full frequency reuse (FFR) schemes in satellite communications (SATCOM) to achieve broader service availability and higher spectrum efficiency than with the conventional four-color (4CR) and twocolor (2CR) reuse approaches. In this scope, we develop an over-the-air test-bed for end-to-end precoding validations.We use an actual multi-beam satellite to transmit and receive precoded signals using the DVB-S2X standard based gateway and user terminals. The developed system is capable of end-to-end real-time communications over the satellite link including channel measurements and precompensation. It is shown, that by successfully canceling inter-user interference in the actual satellite FFR link precoding brings gains in terms of enhanced SINR and increased system goodput. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign Optimization for Low-Complexity FPGA Implementation of Symbol-Level Multiuser Precoding
Haqiqatnejad, Alireza UL; Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

This paper proposes and validates a low-complexity FPGA design for symbol-level precoding (SLP) in multiuser multiple-input single-output (MISO) downlink communication systems. In the optimal case, the ... [more ▼]

This paper proposes and validates a low-complexity FPGA design for symbol-level precoding (SLP) in multiuser multiple-input single-output (MISO) downlink communication systems. In the optimal case, the symbol-level precoded transmit signal is obtained as the solution to an optimization problem tailored for a given set of users’ data symbols. This symbol-by-symbol design, however, imposes excessive computational complexity on the system. To alleviate this issue, we aim to reduce the per-symbol complexity of the SLP scheme by developing an approximate yet computationally-efficient closed-form solution. The proposed solution allows us to achieve a high symbol throughput in real-time implementations. To develop the FPGA design, we express the proposed solution in an algorithmic way and translate it to hardware description language (HDL). We then optimize the processing to accelerate the performance and generate the corresponding intellectual property (IP) core. We provide the synthesis report for the generated IP core, including performance and resource utilization estimates and interface descriptions. To validate our design, we simulate an uncoded transmission over a downlink multiuser channel using the LabVIEW software, where the SLP IP core is implemented as a clock-driven logic (CDL) unit. Our simulation results show that a throughput of 100 Mega symbols per second per user can be achieved via the proposed SLP design. We further use the MATLAB software to produce numerical results for the conventional zero-forcing (ZF) and the optimal SLP techniques as benchmarks for comparison. Thereby, it is shown that the proposed FPGA implementation of SLP offers an improvement of up to 50 percent in power efficiency compared to the ZF precoding. Remarkably, it enjoys the same per-symbol complexity order as that of the ZF technique. We also evaluate the loss of the real-time SLP design, introduced by the algebraic approximations and arithmetic inaccuracies, with respect to the optimal scheme. [less ▲]

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See detailCentralized Gateway Concept for Precoded Multi-beam GEO Satellite Networks
Kisseleff, Steven UL; Lagunas, Eva UL; Krivochiza, Jevgenij et al

in VTC2021-Fall Workshop on Evolution of Non-Terrestrial Networks Toward 6G, Sept. 2021 (2021)

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See detailA Remote Carrier Synchronization Technique for Coherent Distributed Remote Sensing Systems
Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Martinez Marrero, Liz UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (2020)

Phase, frequency, and time synchronization are crucial requirements for many applications, such as multi-static remote sensing and communication systems. Moreover, the synchronization solution becomes ... [more ▼]

Phase, frequency, and time synchronization are crucial requirements for many applications, such as multi-static remote sensing and communication systems. Moreover, the synchronization solution becomes even more challenging when the nodes are orbiting or flying on airborne or spaceborne platforms. This paper compares the available technologies used for the synchronization and coordination of nodes in distributed remote sensing applications. Additionally, this paper proposes a general system model and identifies preliminary guidelines and critical elements for implementing the synchronization mechanisms exploiting the inter-satellite communication link. The distributed phase synchronization loop introduced in this work deals with the self-interference in a full-duplex point to point scenario by transmitting two carriers at each node. All carriers appear with different frequency offsets around a central frequency, called the application central-frequency or the beamforming frequency. This work includes a detailed analysis of the proposed algorithm and the required simulations to verify its performance for different phase noise, AWGN, and Doppler shift scenarios. [less ▲]

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See detailSatellite Communications in the New Space Era: A Survey and Future Challenges
Kodheli, Oltjon UL; Lagunas, Eva UL; Maturo, Nicola UL et al

in IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials (2020)

Satellite communications (SatComs) have recently entered a period of renewed interest motivated by technological advances and nurtured through private investment and ventures. The present survey aims at ... [more ▼]

Satellite communications (SatComs) have recently entered a period of renewed interest motivated by technological advances and nurtured through private investment and ventures. The present survey aims at capturing the state of the art in SatComs, while highlighting the most promising open research topics. Firstly, the main innovation drivers are motivated, such as new constellation types, on-board processing capabilities, nonterrestrial networks and space-based data collection/processing. Secondly, the most promising applications are described i.e. 5G integration, space communications, Earth observation, aeronautical and maritime tracking and communication. Subsequently, an in-depth literature review is provided across five axes: i) system aspects, ii) air interface, iii) medium access, iv) networking, v) testbeds & prototyping. Finally, a number of future challenges and the respective open research topics are described. [less ▲]

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See detailSDR IMPLEMENTATION OF A TESTBED FOR SYNCHRONIZATION OF COHERENT DISTRIBUTED REMOTE SENSING SYSTEMS
Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL; Martinez Marrero, Liz UL et al

in Proceedings of IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2020 (2020, September 26)

Remote Sensing from distributed platforms has become attractive for the community in the last years. Phase, frequency, and time synchronization are a crucial requirement for many such applications as ... [more ▼]

Remote Sensing from distributed platforms has become attractive for the community in the last years. Phase, frequency, and time synchronization are a crucial requirement for many such applications as multi-static remote sensing and also for distributed beamforming for communications. The literature on the field is extensive, and in some cases, the requirements an complexity of the proposed synchronization solution may surpass the ones set by the application itself. Moreover, the synchronization solution becomes even more challenging when the nodes are flying or hovering on aerial or space platforms. In this work, we discuss the synchronization considerations for the implementation of distributed remote sensing applications. The general framework considered is based on a distributed collection of autonomous nodes that synchronize their clocks with a common reference using inter-satellite links. For this purpose, we implement a synchronization link between two nodes operating in a full-duplex fashion. The experimental testbed uses commercially available SDR platforms to emulate two satellites, two targets, and the communication channel. The proposal is evaluated considering phase and frequency errors for different system parameters. [less ▲]

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See detailHardware Precoding Demonstration in Multi-Beam UHTS Communications under Realistic Payload Characteristics
Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol Borras, Jorge UL; Maturo, Nicola UL et al

in Proceedings of the 37th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference (2019, November 01)

In this paper, we present a new hardware test-bed to demonstrate closed-loop precoded communications for interference mitigation in multi-beam ultra high throughput satellite systems under realistic ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we present a new hardware test-bed to demonstrate closed-loop precoded communications for interference mitigation in multi-beam ultra high throughput satellite systems under realistic payload and channel impairments. We build the test-bed to demonstrate a real-time channel aided precoded transmission under realistic conditions such as the power constraints and satellite-payload non-linearities. We develop a scalable architecture of an SDR platform with the DVB-S2X piloting. The SDR platform consists of two parts: analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) converters preceded by radio frequency (RF) front-end and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) backend. The former introduces realistic impairments in the transmission chain such as carrier frequency and phase misalignments, quantization noise of multichannel ADC and DAC and non-linearities of RF components. It allows evaluating the performance of the precoded transmission in a more realistic environment rather than using only numerical simulations. We benchmark the performance of the communication standard in realistic channel scenarios, evaluate received signal SNR, and measure the actual channel throughput using LDPC codes. [less ▲]

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See detailEFFECTS OF MULTIPLE OSCILLATOR PHASE NOISE IN PRECODING PERFORMANCE
Martinez Marrero, Liz UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

Scientific Conference (2019, October)

Satellite Precoding is a promising technique to meet the target data rates of the future high throughput satellite systems and the costs per bit as required by 5G applications and networks, but it ... [more ▼]

Satellite Precoding is a promising technique to meet the target data rates of the future high throughput satellite systems and the costs per bit as required by 5G applications and networks, but it requires strict synchronization among the transmitted waveforms, in addition to accurate channel state information. Most of the published work about this topic consider ideal oscillators, but in practice, the output of an oscillator is not a single spectral line at the nominal frequency. This paper proposes a model for the oscillator phase noise and analyzes the resulting received signal to interference plus noise ratio (SNIR) in a satellite communication system using Precoding. Simulations of a communication satellite system with a two-beam transponder and two receivers were performed to compute the effective SNIR. This work uses a simulator which also considers practical impairments such as time misalignment, errors in the channel state information, interference, thermal noise and phase noise masks for satellite oscillators. The Precoding methods used for the analysis are Zero Forcing (ZF) and Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE). The obtained results prove that there is a degradation in the performance due to the use of independent oscillators but this effect is compensated by the precoding matrix. [less ▲]

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See detailARCHITECTURES AND SYNCHRONIZATION TECHNIQUES FOR COHERENT DISTRIBUTED REMOTE SENSING SYSTEMS
Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol Borras, Jorge UL; Camps, Adriano et al

in 2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) (2019, August 31)

Phase, frequency and time synchronization is a crucial requirement for many applications as such as multi-static remote sensing and distributed beamforming for communications. The literature on the field ... [more ▼]

Phase, frequency and time synchronization is a crucial requirement for many applications as such as multi-static remote sensing and distributed beamforming for communications. The literature on the field is very wide, and in some cases, the requirements of the proposed synchronization solution may surpass the ones set by the application itself. Moreover, the synchronization solution becomes even more challenging when the nodes are flying or hovering on aerial or space platforms. In this work, we compare and classify the synchronization technologies available in the literature according to a common proposed framework, and we discuss the considerations of an implementation for distributed remote sensing applications. The general framework considered is based on a distributed collection of autonomous nodes that try to synchronize their clocks with a common reference. Moreover, they can be classified in non-overlapping, adjacent and overlapping frequency band scenarios [less ▲]

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See detailM-QAM Modulation Symbol-Level Precoding for Power Minimization: Closed-Form Solution
Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Chatzinotas, Symeon UL et al

Scientific Conference (2019, August)

In this paper, we derive a closed-form algorithm of the computationally efficient Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) for power efficient communications when using M-QAM modulated waveforms. The channel state ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we derive a closed-form algorithm of the computationally efficient Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) for power efficient communications when using M-QAM modulated waveforms. The channel state information (CSI) based and data-aided SLP technique optimizes power efficiency by solving a non-negative convex quadratic optimization problem per time frame of transmitted symbols. The optimization combines constructive inter-user interference to minimize the sum power of precoded symbols at the transmitter side under constraints for minimum SNR at the receiver side. The SLP implementation incurs extra computational complexity of the transmitter. We propose a convex quadratic optimization problem for M-QAM constellations and derive a closed-form algorithm with a fixed number of iterations to solve the problem. [less ▲]

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See detailFPGA Acceleration for Computationally Efficient Symbol-Level Precoding in Multi-User Multi-Antenna Communication Systems
Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Andrenacci, Stefano UL et al

in IEEE Access (2019)

In this paper, we demonstrate an FPGA accelerated design of the computationally efficient Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) for high-throughput communication systems. The SLP technique recalculates optimal ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we demonstrate an FPGA accelerated design of the computationally efficient Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) for high-throughput communication systems. The SLP technique recalculates optimal beam-forming vectors by solving a non-negative least squares (NNLS) problem per every set of transmitted symbols. It exploits the advantages of constructive inter-user interference to minimize the total transmitted power and increase service availability. The benefits of using SLP come with a substantially increased computational load at a gateway. The FPGA design enables the SLP technique to perform in realtime operation mode and provide a high symbol throughput for multiple receive terminals. We define the SLP technique in a closed-form algorithmic expression and translate it to Hardware Description Language (HDL) and build an optimized HDL core for an FPGA. We evaluate the FPGA resource occupation, which is required for high throughput multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) systems with sizeable dimensions. We describe the algorithmic code, the I/O ports mapping and the functional behavior of the HDL core. We deploy the IP core to an actual FPGA unit and benchmark the energy efficiency performance of SLP. The synthetic tests demonstrate a fair energy efficiency improvement of the proposed closed-form algorithm, also compared to the best results obtained through MATLAB numerical simulations. [less ▲]

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See detailDemonstrator of Precoding Technique for a Multi-Beams Satellite System
Maturo, Nicola UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL et al

in 2019 8th International Workshop on Tracking, Telemetry and Command Systems for Space Applications (TTC) (2019)

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See detailClosed-Form Solution for Computationally Efficient Symbol-Level Precoding
Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Andrenacci, Stefano UL et al

Scientific Conference (2018, December)

We present a convex optimization based Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) for sum power minimization and propose the low-latency closed-form algorithm to find a heuristic solution to the optimization problem ... [more ▼]

We present a convex optimization based Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) for sum power minimization and propose the low-latency closed-form algorithm to find a heuristic solution to the optimization problem. The technique exploits constructive interference at the multi-user MIMO systems and minimizes the sum power of the transmitted precoded signal per each symbol slot. As a result, the received signals gain extra Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), which leads to the improved data rate and energy efficiency. We benchmark the low-complexity algorithm for solving the optimization technique against the conventional Fast Non-Negative Least Squares algorithm (NNLS). The demonstrated design of the SLP technique combined with the proposed closed-form algorithm has low computational complexity and fast processing time, which is applicable in low-latency high-throughput satellite communication systems. [less ▲]

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See detailHardware Demonstration of Precoded Communications in Multi-Beam UHTS Systems
Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Andrenacci, Stefano UL et al

Scientific Conference (2018, October)

In this paper, we present a hardware test-bed to demonstrate closed-loop precoded communications for interference mitigation in the forward link of the multi-beam ultra-high throughput satellite systems ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we present a hardware test-bed to demonstrate closed-loop precoded communications for interference mitigation in the forward link of the multi-beam ultra-high throughput satellite systems. The hardware demonstrator is a full-chain closed-loop communication system with a multi-beam DVB-S2X compliant gateway, a satellite payload and MIMO channel emulator and a set of DVB-S2X user terminals with real-time CSI estimation and feedback. We experimentally show the feasibility of Precoding implementation in satellite communications based on the superframe structure DVB-S2X standard. Using the test-bed we have a possibility to run real-time precoded DVB-S2X communication and benchmark its performance under realistic environment. The hardware demonstrator is suitable to perform realistic benchmarks of Block- and Symbol-level Precoding techniques for multicast and unicast user scheduling scenarios. [less ▲]

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See detailComputationally and Energy Efficient Symbol-Level Precoding Communications Demonstrator
Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Andrenacci, Stefano UL et al

in Physical Communication (2018), 28

We present a precoded multi-user communication test-bed to demonstrate forward link interference mitigation techniques in a multi-beam satellite system scenario, which will enable a full frequency reuse ... [more ▼]

We present a precoded multi-user communication test-bed to demonstrate forward link interference mitigation techniques in a multi-beam satellite system scenario, which will enable a full frequency reuse scheme. The developed test-bed provides an end-to-end precoding demonstration, which includes a transmitter, a multi-beam satellite channel emulator and user receivers. Each of these parts can be reconfigured accordingly to the desired test scenario. Precoded communications allow full frequency reuse in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) channel environments, where several coordinated antennas simultaneously transmit to a number of independent receivers. The developed real-time transmission test-bed assist in demonstrating, designing and benchmarking of the new Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) techniques, where the data information is used, along with the channel state information, in order to exploit the multi-user interference and transform it into the useful power at the receiver side. The demonstrated SLP technique is designed in order to be computationally efficient, and can be generalized to others multi-channel interference scenarios. [less ▲]

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See detailSDR Implementation of a Testbed for Real-Time Interference Detection with Signal Cancellation
Politis, Christos; Maleki, Sina UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL et al

in IEEE Access (2018)

Interference greatly affects the quality of service of wireless and satellite communications, having also a financial impact for the telecommunication operators. Therefore, as the interfering events ... [more ▼]

Interference greatly affects the quality of service of wireless and satellite communications, having also a financial impact for the telecommunication operators. Therefore, as the interfering events increase due to the deployment of new services, there is an increasing demand for the detection and mitigation of interference. There are several interference detectors in the literature, evaluated by using extensive simulations. However, this paper goes one step further, designing, implementing and evaluating the performance of the developed interference detection algorithms experimentally using a software defined radio, and particularly the universal software radio peripheral platform. A realistic communication system is implemented, consisting of a transmitter, a channel emulator and a receiver. Based on this system, we implement all the appropriate communications features such as pulse shaping, synchronization and demodulation. The real-time system implementation is validated and evaluated through signal and interference detection. We observe that the interference detection threshold is critical to the functioning of the system. Several existing interference detection techniques fail in practice due to this fact. In this paper, we propose a robust and practically implementable method the selection of threshold. Finally, we present real-time experimental results for the probabilities of false alarm and detection in order to verify the accuracy of our study and reinforce our theoretical analysis. [less ▲]

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See detailComputationally Efficient Symbol-Level Precoding Communications Demonstrator
Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Andrenacci, Stefano UL et al

in IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (2017, October)

We present a precoded multi-user communication test-bed to demonstrate forward link interference mitigation techniques in a multi-beam satellite system scenario which will enable a full frequency reuse ... [more ▼]

We present a precoded multi-user communication test-bed to demonstrate forward link interference mitigation techniques in a multi-beam satellite system scenario which will enable a full frequency reuse scheme. The developed test-bed provides an end-to-end precoding demonstration, which includes a transmitter, a multi-beam satellite channel emulator and user receivers. Each of these parts can be reconfigured accordingly to the desired test scenario. Precoded communications allow full frequency reuse in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) channel environments, where several coordinated antennas simultaneously transmit to a number of independent receivers. The developed real-time transmission test-bed assist in demonstrating, designing and benchmarking of the new Symbol-Level Precoding (SLP) techniques, where the data information is used, along with the channel state information, in order to exploit the multi-user interference and transform it into useful power at the receiver side. The demonstrated SLP techniques are designed in order to be computationally efficient, and can be generalized to others multi-channel interference scenarios. [less ▲]

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