European Space Agency

J-ORTIGIA: S-band Satellite Broadcasting Experimentation Campaign through NICT ETS-VIII satellite


The key objectives of the J-ORTIGIA project are to:

  • Evolve the receiver setup developed in the ORTIGIA (19849/06/NL/US) framework in terms of performance, RF tuning, and alignment with the DVB-SH standard;
  • Develop and/or procure measurement equipments essential to improving the accuracy of results coming out from on-field trials;
  • Use the developed technologies for testing reception in realistic scenarios, both for handheld and vehicular use cases;
  • Deploy a representative Complementary Ground Component capable to host both measurement sessions and pilot projects with alpha-users;
  • Perform on-field trials in Japan using the ETS-VIII satellite and a receiver representative of the handheld use case.
  • Perform on-field trials using the S-band link of W2A and a receiver representative of the vehicular use case.

To achieve the key milestone of the first part of the project, the J-ORTIGIA project made use of the S-band payload of the ETS-VIII Japanese satellite, and of associated uplink facilities provided by NICT (National Institute of Information and Communication Technology).

  • The purpose of experiments focuses on the test and validation of the reception of satellite signals with terminal antenna typical for vehicular devices.



The critical issues are listed as follows:

  • Receiver Terminal (Handheld and Vehicular): assembly of a mock-up able to emulate handheld reception in Phase 2; stronger integration of a vehicular terminal in Phase 3.
  • SH Profile selection (SH-B and SH-A): the priority of the project has been fixed in the SH-B architecture, but comparisons have been done between the two modes.
  • Modulator Development for the support of the Japanese trials: this requires the integration of FHG modulators in the UBS terrestrial repeater architecture.
  • Malfunctioning of equipments (Modulators, Demodulators, and Terrestrial Repeaters): adequate backup policy in terms of equipment is applied.
  • On-Field Sessions: for the on-field sessions constraints on the availability of the ETS-VIII satellite firstly and the W2A satellite secondly and the related frequency coordination have been managed.
  • License authorisations: all trials need a temporary license before starting emissions from terrestrial repeaters. This requires coordination with local regulatory authorities and relative long time processes before issuing the authorisations.
  • UMTS interference: the effects caused by and on adjacent systems have been assessed and reduced through the use of filters at Tx and Rx side.
  • Interoperability of the equipments: discovered issues related to different implementations of the DVB-SH standard. Interoperability Group active since October 2009. Contributions to DVB-SH Implementation Guidelines v2.


The field trials have helped to evaluate the DVB-SH system in a situation where the Satellite was, for the first time, contributing the to the Complementary Ground Component coverage in a significant manner, and to compare the performances of different profiles in different scenarios with the following conclusions:

  • High throughput configurations show full service availability in hybrid reception,
  • Slight advantage of SH-B vs SH-A profiles in satellite reception,
  • Advantage of Class-2 vs Class-1 in terms of service availability,
  • Code Combining gain visible in suburban and rural areas,
  • Proved antenna diversity gain in challenging Rx scenarios.

Thanks to the consolidated role of the Satellite in the System, the Operator has reinforced the vision of a multi-layered architecture.

  • Satellite coverage represents an essential layer of the network:
    • Vehicular centric services can be provided with satellite only coverage,
    • Japanese trials has demonstrated that the direct reception from satellite to handheld is possible.
  • High Power repeaters installed in broadcaster towers represents the second layer of the network:
    • Mutual interference with UMTS is marginal,
    • Few transmitters can complement the satellite signal in urban scenario.
  • Low Power repeaters co-installed with UMTS base stations acts as third layer of the network:
    • Japanese Validation Trials (executed in Barcelona) show full availability of service in dense urban scenarios.
  • Although not assessed in this project, local Gap-Fillers can represent a further layer of the network particularly for indoor coverage where the trials have proved that the reception is particularly challenging:
    • Commercial centres, Airports, In-home.


The architecture of the target system.

click for larger image


In order to simplify the achievement of all targets the project has been split in three Phases:

  • Phase-1: including a series of preliminary analysis in the network planning, the terrestrial repeater procurement and the hardware equipment (modulator and demodulator) updating;
  • Phase-2: integration of the handheld mock-up and vehicular terminals; execution of a validation session; execution of Japanese trials with ETS-VIII satellite;
  • Phase-3: entirely dedicated to DVB-SH equipments, including specific tasks to promote the Interoperability of the equipments from different vendors. A series of hybrid trials have been performed using the deployed Pilot Terrestrial Network and the W2A satellite.

J-ORTIGIA had a total duration of 30 months, starting from April, 1st 2008. The work carried out was organized into a work package series that grouped activities on the basis of their type and also considering the time sequence of their execution.

The activities of the J-ORTIGIA project converge in the following areas of development:

  • Demodulator/Terminal
    • UL-FEC implementation;
    • Receivers:
      • Step 1: Receiver supporting DVB-SH technology based on the ESDR waveform;
      • Step 2: Full DVB-SH-A/B support using the designd from the activity ARTES 3 “S-band receiver Chipset”;
    • S-band Rx antenna for vehicular scenario;
  • Modulator/Terrestrial Repeater
    • Design and supply of High Power (up to 200W) Terrestrial Repeaters operating in the 2.5GHz and 2.2GHz bands;
    • Design and supply of Low Power (up to 50W) Terrestrial Repeaters operating in the 2.5GHz and 2.2GHz bands;
  • Network Planning
    • Verification and comparison of different network topologies (e.g. high power repeater vs low/medium power repeaters);
    • The terrestrial networks have been also used for live demonstrations of DVB-SH system as at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2009 and 2010;
  • Interoperability of equipments
    • Pre-commercial broadcast head-end with equipments coming from different vendors;
    • Open to two different receiver makers.

Current status

End of Phase3 – Final Presentation at ESTEC on September, 9th 2010

Status date

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 13:04