European Space Agency

DVB-RCS2 Support in SatLink System


Implementation of the DVB-RCS2 return link standard in the SatLink system.


  •  Implementation of a novel return link physical layer utilizing a DVB-RCS2 receiver at the hub having ~6 times higher processing power than required by a DVB-RCS receiver
  • Implementation of efficient exploitation of the new return link ACM feature and its interworking with the existing Adaptive Carrier Selection (ACS) and adaptive power control features (UPC), sustaining the benefits of ACS and UPC when exploiting ACM.
  • Implementation of virtual private networking with DVB-RCS2 by using the Virtual Satellite Network (VSN) feature of DVB-RCS2
  • Implementation of network management for DVB-RCS2 networks
  • Implementation of bandwidth saving stateful IP header compression on top of DVB-RCS2 encapsulation layers (GSE/RLE)


To offer the most efficient, flexible and economically beneficial VSAT system technology available on the market today. Particularly well suited for maritime and mobile networks. 


The SatLink system is enhanced with support for DVB-RCS2.
DVB-RCS2 is the second generation of interactive satellite system standards. This new generation provides SatLink with the following additional features that significantly improves the return link bandwidth utilisation and efficiency compared to the legacy DVB-RCS standard and other proprietary implementations: 
  • Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) on the return link, a feature which combined with new higher order modulation types significantly increases bandwidth utilisation on the return link (up to 250%)
  • Higher order modulation for the return link, 8-PSK and 16-QAM in addition to QPSK
  • 16-state Turbo Code (versus 8-state used by DVB-RCS)
  • A well-balanced and optimised waveform (burst) design per MODCOD and burst size, minimizing the amount of fixed burst content and thus maximizing the bandwidth efficiency for the user payload  
  • Choice between multiple waveform (burst) lengths, enabling use of traffic adapted waveform (burst) length. Can e.g. be used to exploit longer and more efficient waveforms (bursts) for uploads while using shorter bursts and introducing less jitter and delay for real-time traffic, giving the advantage of both higher bandwidth efficiency by using longer burst, while not having to compromise on jitter and delay requirement for real-time traffic.
  • More efficient link layer encapsulation, on both forward and return, with an Ethernet-like attachment of the higher layer protocols, also contributing to better bandwidth efficiency on both the forward and the return link.
  • Support for virtual satellite networking
  • Bandwidth saving header compression for IP implemented on top of DVB-RCS2 reducing the size of the protocol headers by up to 95%
 Parts of the DVB-RCS2 technology has been developed under the ARTES5.1 contract Advanced Modem (Contract No. 20669/07/NL/JD)


The following main activities were planned:
  •  Implement support for DVB-RCS2 forward and return link
  • Implement header compression.
The following reviews have been conducted in the project:
  • Baseline Design Review
  • Test Readiness Review
  • Final Review 

Current status

The project is completed and Final Review took place on 21-22nd August 2013. A Final Presentation was given during a Broadband Satcom Modem Technology workshop organized at ESTEC on 17th September 2013.


The core technology developed is already commercially deployed  and in operation in several networks and is, before the Final Review, already being utilized for service production in more than 30 satellite beams in maritime networks with global coverage.

Status date

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 11:35