Year 2 Projects

Work Item 1 Multi-homed network architectures for flying ad-hoc networks (FANETs) and nano-satellite swarms

  • Identification of specific solutions and qualitative evaluation of pros & cons over the FANET portion.

  • Provision of channel model synthesizers at various frequency bands and of models of a multi-hop channel at various frequencies, link budget and link capacity calculation.

  • Definition of a possible network architecture to allow inter-nanosatellite communication and to deploy the DTN paradigm in network nodes (both nanosatellites and ground stations) to tackle link disruptions and long latencies.
  • Trade-off analyses and evaluation of the solutions achievable by using channel models, architectures, and routing strategies through simulation campaigns, by using a combination of existing software tools, requiring no or few modifications.

Work Item 2 Physical layer security

  • Study the sensitivity of the considered communication system with respect to symbol and frame synchronization inaccuracies and to propose and investigate potential improvements to the current frame structure (e.g., the pilot symbol positions are pseudo-randomized over each frame) and synchronization algorithms. 
  • Investigate the feasibility of achieving secrecy at the physical layer through the use of RS erasure correcting codes combined with the deliberate pseudo-random realization of insertions and deletions.
  • To design a communication system that provides physical layer security through the use of novel wiretap codes.

Work Item 3 Ultra low-power machine-to-machine communications via satellite links

  • State of the art analysis with a specific focus on energy efficient solutions working at RRM and MAC layers. Focus will be set on different architectures, e.g., clustered solutions, and by taking into account the duty-cycling effects. Selection of possible terrestrial M2M MAC protocols proposals potentially candidates for their extension towards Satellite Communications.  
  • Redesign and modification of identified techniques to meet the requirements of the scenarios.
  • Evaluate the performance of new designs by means of theoretical analysis and computer-based simulations in MATLAB, and comparison with benchmark existing solutions.

Work Item 4 Enhanced caching techniques for satellite networks

  • Investigate innovative ICN caching solutions in integrated satellite-terrestrial networks. The goal is to develop intelligent distributed caching techniques that exploit ICN’s network level content awareness and the inherent wide-area broadcasting capabilities of satellites, together with content popularity/locality and user context, e.g. user preferences and device characteristics.

Work Item 5 Precoding in dynamic interactive satellite systems

  • Consolidate the mobile user terminal GSO case considering the BGAN Inmarsat standard and the NGSO Ka band case with DVB-S2x. Due to its previous experience with this system, the team will provide the ModCod tables of this standard and the tentative modifications to be done in order to support the precoding operation.
  • Provide an analytic framework for modelling the CSI  errors  and assessing its impact on the achievable rates.
  • Identify the inefficiencies of the precoding algorithms of the previous task and provide tentative scheduling schemes for increase the throughput.

Work Item 6 Aeronautical and professional link designs for satellite systems at extremely high frequency bands

  • Study of the scenarios and the major parameters needed for Q/V and W aeronautical and professional systems.
  • Determine the  propagation and interference characteristics of the ststems.
  • Include the diversity needed for feeders and professional terminals mesh and other architectures.
  • Evaluation of the link adaptation for the two scenarios and the output will be implications as to the mod/cods and margins to be used.

Work Item 7 Air interface development for LEO constellation

  • Consolidate the system model and to identify, in collaboration with ESA, a scenario, that will be used as a reference for further investigations of 'megaconstellations'.
  • Identify and compare different waveform candidates, always considering existing available standard, i.e., DVB-S2x as benchmark from both the performance and complexity point of view.
  • Perform a detailed analysis and simulation campaign to assess the performance of the investigated air interface in the defined scenario.

Year 1 Projects

Work Item 1 Next Generation Satellite Trunking

The objective of WI1 is the investigation of the next generation of ultra-high capacity satellite constellations dedicated to satellite trunking. More particularly, in WI1, a consolidated system study will be considered taking into account accurate propagation inputs in order to accurately dimension the next generation satellite trunking systems. There will be considered mostly NGSO solutions such as MEO satellites operating either in RF bands, i.e., Q/V bands, or in optical bands. Most specifically the reference system scenario will be the O3B system with 8 satellites operating at Ka band. For the evaluation of the next generation satellite trunking systems, time series synthesizers for the propagation phenomena for RF (Q/V bands) and optical systems are required and must be also outputs of this WI. The main Tasks that should be addressed in WI are a) Satellite Constellation, b) Ground Network, c) Link Budgets, d) Physical Layer, e) Advanced diversity handover concepts and f) Antenna design. In the system study of WI1, the whole parameters of the problem under consideration will be investigated considering constraints for telecom services for the latency and the availability.  Identification of potential spectrum chunks in Q/V bands for next generation NGSO satellite systems will be addressed with reference to the available ITU-R regulations. 

The partners involved in this activity are: NTUA (leader), U. Bologna and U. Parma.

Work Item 2: Advanced Signal Processing techniques for fixed and mobile satellite communications

The goal of WI is the design of new advanced signal processing techniques to enhance the throughput of fixed and mobile satellite communications. In more detail, the objective will be driven by two approaches:
- The use of polarization as an additional degree of freedom has been popularized and has become a realistic new way of MIMO communications. In this WI, more than two polarization planes will be used to increase the overall performance. On the one hand, in fixed links, the long coherence time and the preexisting feedback links can be exploited to provide the Gateway with Channel State Information to adapt the transmission according to the channel magnitudes. On the other hand, the high uncorrelated polarization channels can be used to provide multimedia communications in mobile devices improving the reliability and the latency.
- Full Duplex has been presented as a new reliable schema to increase the spectral efficiency by transmitting and receiving at the same time at the same frequency. Knowing the transmitted patterns may be used to suppress the interference added to the receiver path. In this WI, new techniques will be presented to outperform the performance of the system by using this approach.

The partners involved in this activity are: CTTC (leader), University of Luxembourg (UniLU) and University of Vigo (UniVI).

Work Item 4: Network Coding Applications in Satellite Communication Networks

Network Coding (NC) allows network nodes to perform coding operations at the packet level. Its application has shown great potentials in correcting random packet errors and erasures.

The activity carried out in WI4 will extend the work of the Network Coding Research Group (NWCRG) of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) to cover satellite networks. More specifically, this activity will critically analyse and identify which OSI layer is best to apply NC under different satellite networking scenarios, taking compatibility issues with existing protocols into account.

We will focus on the application of Random Linear Network Coding (RLNC), which has shown many interesting applications in different contexts, ranging from integrated satellite-terrestrial networks to multicast networks, and to interflow network coding in erasure channels. We will consider multi-path in combination with NC.

Some broad-scope scenarios will be considered:

  • Broadcast transmissions with satellite/terrestrial component and erasure channels;

  • Handover of multi-homed aircraft mobile terminals;

  • Multipath unicast TCP-based connections with simultaneous or alternative use of satellite links (real multipath or alternative paths).

Ns-based simulators will be developed to assess the performance improvements due to the adoption of NC in the above scenarios.

The partners involved in this activity are: CNIT - Research Unit of Siena (leader), ISTI, and UniBrad.

Work Item 5: Impact of future ICN traffic on multiple access schemes

The objectives of this WI is the design of an end-to-end functional system architecture for an integrated satellite-terrestrial network based on ICN/PSI (Information-Centric Networking/Publish-Subscribe Internet) to support the delivery of M2M/IoT services, investigation of the impact of M2M/IoT traffic on multiple access schemes, test-bed validation of ICN/PSI architectures over enhanced satellite multiple access schemes, and optimization of critical network functions of ICN/PSI architectures over enhanced satellite multiple access schemes.

The investigations will consider various M2M/IoT scenarios where integrated terrestrial-satellite networks offer a significant advantage. The investigations will assess the performance in terms of the reliability, scalability, and signaling overhead, identifying their corresponding tradeoffs and the impact of M2M/IoT traffic characteristics.

The partners involved in this activity are: AUEB (leader), TeSA and CFR.

Multi-homed network architectures for flying ad-hoc networks (FANETs) and nano-satellite swarms

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