Proposed topics for sub-activitiesDescriptionExpected outcome
1Evaluation of new SDR
boards and toolchains
New SDR boards and development environments have a steep learning curve. This sub-activity shall allow a number of experts to investigate new SDR boards, environments and toolchains for their applicability for satellite communications.Technical note on findings.
Demonstration of new SDR boards and
Webcast on findings for ARTES
2Radiation test of commercial
SDR boards
There is an increased interest in using commercially-grade SDR boards on board smaller satellites, sometimes with only some additional shielding.Technical note on findings.
Webcast on findings for ARTES
3Representative SDR testbed
environment for smallsat
Future satellite communication missions will use increasingly SDR enabled space-, ground- and user segment. There is limited experience with complete reconfiguration (new algorithms, new frequencies, new channels configurations) of the flexible SDR components during the mission, preferable using the existing toolchains which normally accompany these boards. This sub-activity shall establish a testbed which is representative of a satellite mission (space/ground/user) to allow for experimentation with reconfiguration.Technical note on findings.
Testbed for experimentation with
reconfiguration during the mission.
Webcast on findings for ARTES
4SDR in spaceIn 2Q 2018 there will be a number of small satellite payloads in low earth orbit (LEO) which are powerful SDR payloads, using Ku-, Ka- or lower frequencies. Some of these payloads will be accessible to third parties and open upopportunities for experimenting with reconfigurable payloads, together with reconfigurable user segment. This sub-activity shall support a number of experiment using these in-orbit payloads, to investigate new opportunities and services that such a reconfiguration capability will enable.Technical note on findings.
Webcast on findings to ARTES
5GNU Radio contributionsGNU Radio is one of the tools which is used more and more to prototype new satellite communication signal processing implementations. This sub-activity shall implement a number of GNU Radio blocks for existing SDR boards to serve the satellite communications community.Technical note on findings.
Resulting developments on Github or
Webcast for ARTES Industry.
6AI, machine learning and SDRThe use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is used for Big Data and SDR boards. This sub-activity shall investigate opportunities for using such processing methods, in combination with SDR. The sub-activity shall implement a working prototype which clearly explains the added value of combining these technologies in the domain of satellite communications.
Technical note on findings.
Testbed demonstrating the added
value of combining AI, machine
learning and SDR.
Webcast to ARTES Industry.
7Use of SDR for upstream navigation,
telecommunications and earth
observation integration
There is an interest to exploit the flexibility of SDR-enabled space-, ground, and user segment in a such a way that satellite systems could be “multi-mission”. In addition, this could lead to “upstream-integrated” missions, i.e. GNSS sampling and PNT (position, time, navigation) information distribution and M2M, or radar and IoT, or broadband comms and PNT. This sub-activity shall propose a few compelling examples and demonstrate how such missions could look like.Technical note on findings.
Testbed showing flexibility and multi-
mission capability in space-, ground
and user segment.
Webcast for ARTES Industry.
8MIMO with SDR and RTL-SDRLow cost ground segment for smaller satellite missions could be improved when using MIMO in their antennas. This sub-activity shall implement a low-cost MIMO solution (e.g. using RTL-SDR or other low-cost SDR boards) to demonstrate the improvements that could be achieved.
Technical note on findings.
Testbed to demonstrate MIMO for low-
cost ground segment.
Webcast to ARTES Industry.
9SDR and mobile phoneModern mobile handsets do have powerful processors that allow for signal processing in combination with SDR boards. This sub-activity shall investigate the capabilities for doing SDR-supported signal processing on a mobile handset. This could be e.g. the combination of Fairphone and an SDR board, or other mobile handsets which allow for external SDR input to be connected.Technical note on findings.
Demonstrator with mobile handset
processing satellite communications
Webcast to ARTES Industry.
10SDR in FPGA cloud Azure
and Amazon
Both Amazon and Microsoft offer the FPGA’s-as-a-service as part of their cloud services (AWS and Azure resp.). The limited duration usage of high-speed processing in the cloud, combined with SDR front-ends might be an interesting
capability for LEO missions. Furthermore, the combination of use of multiple ground stations (which are connected in the cloud) might support more efficient hand-over mechanisms for LEO, or allow on-ground beam forming. This sub-activity shall investigate and prototype a complete processing chain with SDR and FPGA’s in one of the commercially available cloud services.
Technical note on findings.
Testbed to demonstrate the prototype
modem implementation.
Webcast for ARTES Industry.
11SDR and optical links : CCSDS
HPE PPM modem using SDR
CCSDS is settling on a standard for optical communication in a photon starved regime: this is the high photon efficiency standard, based on pulsed position modulation. Such optical links can also be controlled by SDR radio’s which in turn drive an optical modulator. A modem shall be developed in SDR technology, based on a commercially
available SDR boards. ESA can possibly supply the optical path and demodulator. The computing intensive demodulator can possibly also be implemented using FPGA-rented-by-the hour as proposed in another sub-activity.
Technical note on findings.
Testbed to demonstrate the prototype
modem implementation.
Webcast for ARTES Industry.
12SDR enabled spectrum
monitoring demonstration
Develop SDR components for spectrum monitoring on the uplink (from earth towards satellite, possibly LEO).
This could cover both satellite exclusive bands, to monitor spectrum usage around the world and its possible misuses (to protect against interference), as well as shared bands (e.g. S-band, with potential usage for cognitive radio with satellite as prime or secondary), and unlicensed bands (e.g. ISM bands). Beyond spectrum statistics, SDR can allow for deeper analysis (modulation, coding, access scheme, etc), either directly on the satellite, or with post-processing on ground.
Technical note on findings.
The full set of data collected may
Webcast to ARTES Industry