European Space Agency

MIMOSA: Characterisation of the MIMO Channel for Mobile Satellite Systems


From the channel capacity point of view MIMO technologies have been evaluated to be the key to open the gate to go beyond the Shannon bordered land. Until now these techniques have been tested and verified in the terrestrial world and so far have found entry into transmission systems like IEEE-802.11n (WLAN), IEEE-802.16 (Wimax) and LTE. But this technology has not yet found its way into the satellite sector.

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Therefore the objectives of the project are to study the characteristics of fading from satellite systems taking into account MIMO technology with the goal to design and implement a software model of the satellite MIMO channel.

This software model has the following characteristics:

  • Based on satellite and terrestrial S-Band experimental measurements,
  • Takes polarisation diversity into account,
  • Takes satellite diversity into account.


Provide a validated software simulation channel model with:

  • 2x2 MIMO
  • Support of polarisation diversity
  • Consideration of small scale and large scale fading effects
  • Sensible amount of input parameters

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For validation of the model a database is generated by multiple field experiments.


The main benefit of the project is to close the gap in the modelling chain. By making a model available the attractiveness of using MIMO technology in satellite based transmission system may be evaluated by satellite operators and system designers. Ultimately this can lead to the design of a new type of satellite broadcasting systems.

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The simulation model is be based on the general approach of separating the large scale fading (LSF) and small scale fading (SSF) effects

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By that it is possible for the user to introduce his own SSF or LSF model as long as the LSP time-series (LSP-TS) interface is honoured.

Two model approaches have already been developed within the project:

  • A purely statistical narrowband model that extracts a LSF-TS from measurement data and uses this as input to a SSFM.
  • The semi-deterministic QuaDRiGa model that evolved from WINNER.

The validated features supported by the models are:

  • 2x2 MIMO provided by:
    • Polarisation diversity
  • Supported frequency range:
    • S-Band backed by measurements
    • L and C-band extrapolated from S-Band
  • Supported simulation type:
    • Satellite narrowband simulation based on extensive measurements
    • Satellite wideband simulation using channel sounding measurement data as reference
    • Terrestrial wideband simulation based on channel sounding data
  • Ease of adaptability for future test cases:
    • Antenna pattern may be included
    • Multipath richness is configurable
    • Angle diversity is supported but not yet validated


The study’s entry point was the evaluation of systems for mobile reception that may benefit from satellite based MIMO transmission and the subsequent definition of the necessary requirements of a simulator model which are needed for supporting these systems. Based on the requirements a suitable model is selected and the additional features for MIMO compatibility are defined. The additional features are then incorporated into the model to create a first prototype.

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The output of the prototype has been tested and validated against data that is gathered in the field during satellite and terrestrial based measurement campaigns. From this the validated model is generated.

Project Plan:

  • 3Q 2010: Project Kick off,
  • 3Q 2010: Satellite Experiment,
  • 4Q 2010 – 2Q 2011: Prototype channel model development and Channel sounder experiment preparation,
  • 2Q 2011: Channel sounder experiment,
  • 3Q 2011 – Q2 2012:  Data analysis. Final model development and validation,
  • 4Q 2012: Final Presentation.

Current status

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The activity has been completed including the following tasks:

  • Analysis of system scenarios and requirements,
  • Analysis of existing models,
  • Design of simulation models,
  • Development and implementation of QuaDRiGa geometric wideband model,
  • Development and implementation of MIMOSA statistical narrowband model,
  • Satellite based measurement campaign The solaris payload of the 10A satellite was used to transmit the dual polarised test signal. Test drives with a CME based recording equimpment were made in the vicinity of Erlangen and around Lake Constance.

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  • Terrestrial channel sounding measurement campaign The signal was transmitted from the roof of the Park Inn Hotel, Berlin Alexanderplatz. Testdrives with a RUSK channel sounder and also the CME equipment were made around Alexanderplatz.

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  • Analysis of data gained by satellite based measurements,
  • Analysis of data from channel sounding campaign,
  • Update of models according to results from analysis,
  • Verification of updated channel models.

Further detailed information about the measurement campaigns and the analysis results and the modelling can be found in several publications about the MIMOSA project:

  • E. Eberlein, F. Burkhardt, G. Sommerkorn, S. Jaeckel, R. Prieto-Cerdeira, “Analysis of the MIMO channel for LMS systems”, ESA Workshop on Radiowave Propagation, ESTEC Noordwijk, the Netherlands, December 2011
  • E. Eberlein, F. Burkhardt, C. Wagner, A. Heuberger, D. Arndt, R. Prieto-Cerdeira, “Statistical evaluation of the MIMO gain for LMS channels”, European Conference on Antennas and Radio Propagation 2011, Rome, Italy, April 2011

Status date

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 07:52