European Space Agency

Hub Verification Test Bed

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Objectives

This project developed a verification test bed for DVB-RCS hubs. It is an extension of the Common Test Bed for DVB-RCS terminals, and is based on the VeriSat Terminal Population Emulator. The HTB has been handed over to the same independent test house (CETECOM) responsible for testing and certification of DVB-RCS terminals on behalf of The SatLabs Group. See also the web page for ESA Project 17790 Common Test Bed for DVB-RCS Terminals.

DVB-RCS is the open standard specification developed by DVB for the provision of the interaction channel for GEO satellite interactive networks with fixed user terminals. The interoperability of user terminals is of paramount importance if the key benefits of having an open standard are to be best exploited.

To achieve the goal of DVB-RCS multi-vendor interoperability, it has also been recognised that it is useful to verify that hubs are compliant with the DVB-RCS specifications as well as SatLabs recommendations, complementing the DVB-RCS terminal certification programme offered by the SatLabs Group.

In this project a verification test bed for DVB-RCS hubs has been developed, validated and installed at the SatLabs Laboratory (CETECOM). It is an extension of the Common Test Bed for DVB-RCS terminals, and is based on the VeriSat Terminal Population Emulator.

The HTB includes a motorised outdoor unit so that tests can be performed over the air logging in to the hub subject for verification testing.

Challenges

The main development activities have been:

  • Terminal Emulation
    The HTB requires flexibility in handling the various DVB-RCS options. It is therefore designed to allow the operator to customise the features that it shall advertise support for in the CSC burst.
  • Integration with the Test Controller
    The Test Controller may control the Terminal Emulator, supporting the test cases required for the hub verification test program. The HTB includes the commercially available analysis module 'VeriSat DVB-RCS Forward and Return Link Analyser'. The Test Controller controls the HTB modules so that the test cases may be executed in an automated and repeatable manner.
  • Support for DVB-S2 is achieved using a DVB-S2 to DVB-S converter.
  • Development of the Hub Verification Test Plan.
  • Development of associated Test Cases.

Benefits

The Hub Verification Test Bed allows the verification of hub compliance to DVB-RCS and SatLabs recommendations, which is an important step in verifying system interoperability between DVB-RCS hubs and terminals. It will be the first commercially available DVB-RCS hub verification test bed.

Features

The Hub Verification Test Bed (HTB) facilitates verification testing of DVB-RCS hubs performed at either L-band or remote via the satellite link of the operational network.  The test suite range from basic RCS signalling tests, RCS Terminal (RCST) management and control and end-to-end QoS IP application tests, including SatLabs-defined Multicast Software Download Protocol (MSDP) and interoperable-Performance Enhancement Proxy (I-PEP) capabilities. The HTB block diagram is shown below. 

The HTB includes a motorised outdoor unit so that tests can be performed over the air logging in to the hub subject for verification testing.

The basic HTB testing may be done without any intervention at all at the hub site. Optional testing of some management features requiring hub operator interaction is also offered.


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Plan

The development started in April 2007. It was validated and installed at Cetecom in July 2009. The contract was formally completed in November 2009.

Current status

The contract was formally completed in November 2009.The HTB has been operational at the SatLabs laboratory since July 2009.

The Hub Verification Test bed has been validated through tests performed with the Common Test bed for DVB-RCS terminals as well as operational tests using a DVB-RCS hub at ESTEC premises.

The motorised ODU has proven to be user-friendly in the process of aligning the antenna under the guidance of the NOC (in this case at HellasSat). The HTB was operated successfully both in manual mode and in the test case mode when operating with the ESA hub.

The results in this validation process confirm that the HTB indeed can be used to validate interoperability and hub compliance with respect to SatLabs requirements and DVB-RCS specifications.

Contacts

Status date

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 10:43