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See detail5G-NTN GEO-based Over-The-Air Demonstrator using OpenAirInterface
Kumar, Sumit UL; Kodheli, Oltjon UL; Abdalla, Abdelrahman UL et al

in 5G-NTN GEO-based Over-The-Air Demonstrator using OpenAirInterface (2022, October)

5G services combined with the satellites, also termed 5G NonTerrestrial Networks (5G-NTN), have the capability of providing connectivity to the areas which were previously either unreachable or too costly ... [more ▼]

5G services combined with the satellites, also termed 5G NonTerrestrial Networks (5G-NTN), have the capability of providing connectivity to the areas which were previously either unreachable or too costly to be reached by terrestrial communication networks. Proof-of-Concept (POC) demonstrators, preferably based on open-source implementation are desirable to expedite the ongoing research on 5G-NTN. In this work, we discuss the contributions made during the project 5G-GOA: 5G-Enabled Ground Segment Technologies Over-The-Air Demonstrator which aims to provide direct access to 5G services to a UE through a transparent payload Geostationary (GEO) satellite. 5G-GOA uses the open-source Software-Defined-Radio (SDR) platform OpenAirInterface (OAI) and does the necessary adaptations to achieve its objectives. Adaptations span physical layer techniques (e.g. synchronization) up to upper layer implementations (e.g., timers and random-access procedures) of the Radio Access Network (RAN). The adaptations are based on 3GPP 5G-NTN discussions and the solutions are compliant with the recently frozen 3GPP Release-17. An endto-end SDR-based 5G-NTN demonstrator has been developed for Over-The-Satellite (OTS) testing. We present results from several experiments that were conducted for in-lab validation of the demonstrator using a satellite channel emulator before going live with OTS tests. Experimental results indicate the readiness of the demonstrator for OTS testing which is scheduled during ICSSC 2022. The source code has been submitted to OAI public repository and is available for testing. [less ▲]

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See detailHybridization of GNSS and 5G Measurement for Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing
González Garrido, Alejandro UL; Querol, Jorge UL; Chatzinotas, Symeon UL

Scientific Conference (2022, October)

Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) have a number of known drawbacks that makes them prone to suffer a disruption. These flaws can be ... [more ▼]

Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) have a number of known drawbacks that makes them prone to suffer a disruption. These flaws can be exploited to disable this service in critical infrastructures. Therefore, the hybridization of GNSS and 5G measurements enabling Assured PNT (APNT) services is growing up and gaining attention by governmental bodies. 5G signals emitted by terrestrial networks and by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites can complement GNSS enhancing their reliability, security and accuracy. For example, the larger Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of a terrestrial system makes them more difficult to suffer a jamming attack as compared to GNSS signals. A joint data and positioning signal enhances the security and reliability of the APNT solution with, for example, the successful decoding of encrypted data could be used for system authentication. Moreover, a larger signal bandwidth increases the accuracy of the PNT solution. All of these benefits can be extracted from the 5G terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks that transmit the Positioning Reference Signal (PRS). The rationale for these benefits rely on the flexibility of this pilot signal in terms of bandwidth or symbols used for the APNT service. This paper aims to analyse how this flexibility can be optimized to achieve a specific level of accuracy, minimizing the resources used under certain constrains of bandwidth or latency. The results present the optimal parameters to design a 5G PRS waveform with a target scenario constrains. Then, we compare it with the GNSS service and how to benefit when using them in combination. Finally, the paper concludes with the future research lines proposing a joint communications and positioning system as a feedback or closed loop. In such scenario, the user achieved accuracy is sent back to the infrastructure, and using the dynamic PRS flexibility, the system increases or reduces the PRS resources in order to meet the user accuracy requirements. [less ▲]

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See detailOpenAirInterface as a platform for 5G-NTN Research and Experimentation
Kumar, Sumit UL; Meshram, Ashish Kumar UL; Abdalla, Abdelrahman UL et al

in IEEE Future Networks World Forum (2022, October)

Technical advancements and experimental works for the integration of 5G and Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) have gained significant traction over the past few years. NTN components have been officially ... [more ▼]

Technical advancements and experimental works for the integration of 5G and Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) have gained significant traction over the past few years. NTN components have been officially included in the 5G ecosystem by 3GPP in the latest Release-17. 5G-NTN research is ongoing and it is desirable to have a platform that facilitates quick prototyping of the proof-of-concept methods. OpenAirInterface(OAI) is an open-source experimental yet 3GPP standard-compliant Software Defined Radio (SDR) based protocol stack that has been widely known for implementing 4G/5G technologies. Due to its proven capabilities and flexibility, OAI is currently in the developmental process of integrating adaptations for the 5G-NTN. In this work, we discuss the peculiar features of OAI which are shaping it towards becoming a preferred tool for research and experimentation related to 5G-NTN. We provide details of completed/ongoing 5G-NTN projects leveraging OAI to achieve their objectives. In particular, we discuss 5G-GOA and 5G-LEO where critical adaptations in OAI are being done to support 5G-NTN usecases. Such adaptations enable direct-access between UE and gNB via transparent payload Geostationary (5G-GOA) and Nongeostationary satellites (5G-LEO). Both projects have closely followed 3GPP discussions over 5G-NTN and the adaptations are compliant with the currently frozen 3GPP Release-17. OAI adaptations from both projects will be merged into the main development branch of OAI. We also provide a future roadmap of OAI towards 5G-NTN development. We believe that the pioneering steps taken in the course of the aforementioned projects will establish OAI as a preferred tool for 5G-NTN research and experimentations. [less ▲]

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See detailNon-Coherent Massive MIMO Integration in Satellite Communication
Monzon Baeza, Victor UL; Ha, Vu Nguyen UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

Scientific Conference (2022, October)

Massive Multiple Input-Multiple Output (mMIMO) technique has been considered an efficient standard to improve the transmission rate significantly for the following wireless communication systems, such as ... [more ▼]

Massive Multiple Input-Multiple Output (mMIMO) technique has been considered an efficient standard to improve the transmission rate significantly for the following wireless communication systems, such as 5G and beyond. However, implementing this technology has been facing a critical issue of acquiring much channel state information. Primarily, this problem becomes more criticising in the integrated satellite and terrestrial networks (3GPP-Release 15) due to the countable high transmission delay. To deal with this challenging problem, the mMIMO-empowered non-coherent technique can be a promising solution. To our best knowledge, this paper is the first work considering employing the non-coherent mMIMO in satellite communication systems. This work aims to analyse the challenges and opportunities emerging with this integration. Moreover, we identified the issues in this conjunction. The preliminary results presented in this work show that the performance measured in bit error rate (BER) and the number of antennas are not far from that required for terrestrial links. Furthermore, thanks to mMIMO in conjunction with the non-coherent approach, we can work in a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regime, which is an excellent advantage for satellite links. [less ▲]

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See detail5G-NTN GEO-based In-Lab Demonstrator using OpenAirInterface5G
Kumar, Sumit UL; Abdalla, Abdelrahman UL; Kodheli, Oltjon UL et al

in 11th Advanced Satellite Multimedia Conference (2022, September)

The integration of 5G with Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) components is going through a series of technological advancements and soon satellites will be a part of the 5G ecosystem. Early demonstrators ... [more ▼]

The integration of 5G with Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) components is going through a series of technological advancements and soon satellites will be a part of the 5G ecosystem. Early demonstrators, especially based on open-source implementations, are essential to support further research. In this work, we discuss the ongoing activities and developments related to the project 5G-Enabled Ground Segment Technologies OverThe-Air Demonstrator (5G-GoA) which has been funded under the ESA-ARTES program. The vision of 5G-GoA is developing and implementing suitable modifications in the 5G New Radio (NR) standard for enabling direct radio access to 5G services using a transparent GEO satellite. For this purpose, we have used OpenAirInterface(OAI) which is a Software Defined Radio (SDR) based open-source implementation of the 5G-NR protocol stack. We adapted it to address the challenges caused by the excessive round-trip delay in GEO satellites. Our solutions encompass all the layers of the 5G protocol stack: The physical layer (e.g. synchronization) up to upper layer implementations (e.g. timers and random-access procedure) of the Radio Access Network. Our modifications comply with the specifications mentioned for 5GNTN in the recently frozen 3GPP Release-17. An end-to-end demonstrator has been developed for in-lab validation over a satellite channel emulator prior to over-the-satellite testing. Our initial experiments show promising results and the feasibility of direct access to 5G services through transparent GEO satellites. [less ▲]

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See detailArchitectures and Synchronization Techniques for Distributed Satellite Systems: A Survey
Martinez Marrero, Liz UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

in IEEE Access (2022), 10

Cohesive Distributed Satellite Systems (CDSSs) is a key enabling technology for the future of remote sensing and communication missions. However, they have to meet strict synchronization requirements ... [more ▼]

Cohesive Distributed Satellite Systems (CDSSs) is a key enabling technology for the future of remote sensing and communication missions. However, they have to meet strict synchronization requirements before their use is generalized. When clock or local oscillator signals are generated locally at each of the distributed nodes, achieving exact synchronization in absolute phase, frequency, and time is a complex problem. In addition, satellite systems have significant resource constraints, especially for small satellites, which are envisioned to be part of the future CDSSs. Thus, the development of precise, robust, and resource-efficient synchronization techniques is essential for the advancement of future CDSSs. In this context, this survey aims to summarize and categorize the most relevant results on synchronization techniques for Distributed Satellite Systems (DSSs). First, some important architecture and system concepts are defined. Then, the synchronization methods reported in the literature are reviewed and categorized. This article also provides an extensive list of applications and examples of synchronization techniques for DSSs in addition to the most significant advances in other operations closely related to synchronization, such as inter-satellite ranging and relative position. The survey also provides a discussion on emerging data-driven synchronization techniques based on Machine Learning (ML). Finally, a compilation of current research activities and potential research topics is proposed, identifying problems and open challenges that can be useful for researchers in the field. [less ▲]

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See detailDifferential Phase Compensation in Over-the-air Precoding Test-bed for a Multi-beam Satellite
Martinez Marrero, Liz UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

Scientific Conference (2022, April 10)

This article presents a closed-loop differential phase compensation system for a precoding-enabled multibeam satellite forward link and its validation by live experiments on a GEO satellite scenario. The ... [more ▼]

This article presents a closed-loop differential phase compensation system for a precoding-enabled multibeam satellite forward link and its validation by live experiments on a GEO satellite scenario. The precoding operation avoids inter-beam interference and maximizes the spectrum efficiency by full frequency reuse as an alternative to the traditional two-color or four-color reuse methods proposed in the DVB-S2 standard. However, the satellite payload introduces differential phase and frequency impairments, which can degrade the precoding performance. This work describes the implementation of the differential phase and frequency tracking and compensation loop in an end-to-end testbed over a multibeam satellite system with independent local oscillators. The developed system performs end-to-end real-time communication over the satellite link, including channel measurements and precompensation. Results are validated by an over-the-air demonstration using two beams of the SES-14 multibeam satellite. Each beam is transmitted by independent transponders, which results in differential frequency and phase offsets due to the transponder undisciplined local oscillators. This phase offset makes it impossible to use precoding without the phase compensation loop. We prove that the implemented system can successfully track and compensate the differential phase and frequency to improve precoding performance. [less ▲]

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See detailMachine Learning for Radio Resource Management in Multibeam GEO Satellite Systems
Ortiz Gomez, Flor de Guadalupe UL; Lei, Lei UL; Lagunas, Eva UL et al

in Electronics (2022), 11(7), 992

Satellite communications (SatComs) systems are facing a massive increase in traffic demand. However, this increase is not uniform across the service area due to the uneven distribution of users and ... [more ▼]

Satellite communications (SatComs) systems are facing a massive increase in traffic demand. However, this increase is not uniform across the service area due to the uneven distribution of users and changes in traffic demand diurnal. This problem is addressed by using flexible payload architectures, which allow payload resources to be flexibly allocated to meet the traffic demand of each beam. While optimization-based radio resource management (RRM) has shown significant performance gains, its intense computational complexity limits its practical implementation in real systems. In this paper, we discuss the architecture, implementation and applications of Machine Learning (ML) for resource management in multibeam GEO satellite systems. We mainly focus on two systems, one with power, bandwidth, and/or beamwidth flexibility, and the second with time flexibility, i.e., beam hopping. We analyze and compare different ML techniques that have been proposed for these architectures, emphasizing the use of Supervised Learning (SL) and Reinforcement Learning (RL). To this end, we define whether training should be conducted online or offline based on the characteristics and requirements of each proposed ML technique and discuss the most appropriate system architecture and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. [less ▲]

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See detail5G Space Communications Lab: Reaching New Heights
Kodheli, Oltjon UL; Querol, Jorge UL; Astro, Abdelrahman et al

in Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS) (2022)

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See detailSolar-Aerodynamic Formation Flight for 5G Experiments
Thoemel, Jan UL; Querol, Jorge UL; Bokal, Zhanna UL et al

in Proceedings of the 12th European CubeSatSymposium (2021, November 15)

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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

Poster (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 detailRandom access procedure over non-terrestrial networks: From theory to practice
Kodheli, Oltjon UL; Abdalla, Abdelrahman UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

Non-terrestrial Networks (NTNs) have become an appealing concept over the last few years and they are foreseen as a cornerstone for the next generations of mobile communication systems. Despite opening up ... [more ▼]

Non-terrestrial Networks (NTNs) have become an appealing concept over the last few years and they are foreseen as a cornerstone for the next generations of mobile communication systems. Despite opening up new market opportunities and use cases for the future, the novel impairments caused by the signal propagation over the NTN channel, compromises several procedures of the current cellular standards. One of the first and most important procedures impacted is the random access (RA) procedure, which is mainly utilized for achieving uplink synchronization among users in several standards, such as the fourth and fifth generation of mobile communication (4 & 5G) and narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT). In this work, we analyse the challenges imposed by the considerably increased delay in the communication link on the RA procedure and propose new solutions to overcome those challenges. A trade-off analysis of various solutions is provided taking into account also the already existing ones in the literature. In order to broaden the scope of applicability, we keep the analysis general targeting 4G, 5G and NB-IoT systems since the RA procedure is quasi-identical among these technologies. Last but not least, we go one step further and validate our techniques in an experimental setup, consisting of a user and a base station implemented in open air interface (OAI), and an NTN channel implemented in hardware that emulates the signal propagation delay. The laboratory test-bed built in this work, not only enables us to validate various solutions, but also plays a crucial role in identifying novel challenges not previously treated in the literature. Finally, an important key performance indicator (KPI) of the RA procedure over NTN is shown, which is the time that a single user requires to establish a connection with the base station. [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 detailSystem Modelling and Design Aspects of Next Generation High Throughput Satellites
Sharma, Shree Krishna UL; Querol, Jorge UL; Maturo, Nicola UL et al

in IEEE Communications Letters (2021), 69

As compared to terrestrial systems, the design of Satellite Communication (SatCom) systems require a different approach due to differences in terms of wave propagation, operating frequency, antenna ... [more ▼]

As compared to terrestrial systems, the design of Satellite Communication (SatCom) systems require a different approach due to differences in terms of wave propagation, operating frequency, antenna structures, interfering sources, limitations of onboard processing, power limitations and transceiver impairments. In this regard, this letter aims to identify and discuss important modeling and design aspects of the next generation High Throughput Satellite (HTS) systems. First, communication models of HTSs including the ones for multibeam and multicarrier satellites, multiple antenna techniques, and for SatCom payloads and antennas are highlighted and discussed. Subsequently, various design aspects of SatCom transceivers including impairments related to the transceiver, payload and channel, and traffic-based coverage adaptation are presented. Finally, some open topics for the design of next generation HTSs are identified and discussed. [less ▲]

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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 (2021), 14

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 (2021), 23(1), 70-109

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 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 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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