With the rise of the Internet, people expect connectivity also when travelling or moving. This trend is in line with the growing markets for satellite land-mobile, maritime and aeronautical communications.
However, the spectrum for any mobile satellite service (MSS) in L- and S-bands is fairly scarce, whereas users assume more and more broadband services to be offered. Therefore, new generations of mobile interactive satellite networks have been developed recently (for example, the Inmarsat BGAN and BGAN extension). Although performance and spectral efficiency were improved, the overall cost per bit is still considered to be high under these conditions.
On the other hand, broadband mobile interactive networks in Ku and Ka-bands utilizing earth stations on mobile platforms use a fixed satellite service (FSS) spectrum to overcome the shortage of MSS allocations. Recently, there has been a flood of new system announcements to provide broadband satellite services to maritime, aeronautical and land-mobile markets.
While MSS systems have already evolved over several generations of new architectures (BGAN represents the 4th generation of the Inmarsat system for MSS), the high throughput satellite systems represent a new initiative focusing on the enhancement of mobile services in the higher frequency FSS bands. In this context, the air interface of mobile interactive networks needs to be operated with high data rates, but also with the needed robustness in a variety of situations depending on whether the user terminal is operated under land-mobile, maritime or aeronautical conditions. Therefore, an advanced air interface is pivotal for next generation broadband mobile interactive systems to be able to support in an efficient and flexible manner this range of services and environments.
The consortium formed for this activity has substantial knowledge in the area of satellite communications, also with respect to mobile satellite channels. It relies on a developed SDR platform with integrated software capable to fully validate the performance of the selected techniques. The platform incorporates significant processing power, which copes with the algorithmic complexity and allows the evaluation of the system performance under realistic test conditions.