European Space Agency

Techniques and technologies for ultra high throughput multi-spot beam networks


The study identified and looked at the trade-off techniques at the ground segment for different scenarios offering broadband GEO satellite services to fixed stations targeting near terabit per second capacity by the 2020 timeframe.
This comes in accordance with the European Digital Agenda which has underlined the importance of broadband deployment to promote social inclusion and competitiveness in the EU. It restated the objective to bring basic broadband to all Europeans by 2013 and seeks to ensure that, by 2020 all Europeans will have access to speeds of 30Mbps with 50% of European households subscribed to 100Mbps connections.
Thus the purpose of this study was to:
1)    Review technologies and techniques relevant to the ground segment of future ultra high capacity fixed broadband satellite systems;
2)     Analyse the impact of these techniques on the future ground segment networks and products for each established system scenarios;
3)   Define a technology roadmap for the introduction of the proposed technology.




This study looked at the ground segment implementations related to a variety of satellite architectures identified during studies considering satellites capable of delivering next generation broadband services with near terabit per second capacity.


The project tackled a two-way broadband satellite communications system with a conventional multi-star topology between the GWs in the feeder link and the user terminals in the user link.
Four different system scenarios were considered:
1)     A transparent satellite with 200 user beams operating at the Ka-band and with 13 Q/V-band feeder beams (Scenario 1 baseline);
2)     A transparent satellite operating at a larger frequency plan with respect to scenario 1 with 200 user beams at Ka-band and 25 Q/V-band feeder beams (Scenario 2);
3)     A regenerative satellite operating at optical frequencies in the feeder link and on Ka-band in the user link (Scenario 3);
4)     A cluster of 2 transparent satellites on different sub-satellite points each with 100 Ka user beams and 7 Q/V feeder beams (Scenario 4).
For each scenario, the ability of ground segment’s system techniques to mitigate the effect of all identified criticalities was studied. More specifically, among a list of many techniques, interference and fade mitigation techniques including Smart Gateway Diversity was evaluated both for the Return Links, handover mechanisms were proposed.

Aspects relevant to Ultra High Throughput Networks related to Physical Layer, MAC Layer and Radio Resource Management will be also analysed with an emphasis given among others on improvements on DVB-S2 and DVB-RCS2, interference mitigation and cancellation, multi-channel receivers and channel dependant scheduling techniques.


The final review was held 18 June 2014

Current status

The study project is complete.

Status date

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 13:12