11, December 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10495
Open Date: 08/12/2020
Closing Date: 30/03/2021 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.1TF.05
Prog. Ref.: 5G-Other Act. Prod&T
Budget Ref.: E/0534-03A – 5G-Other Act. Prod&T
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Ground Segment / Ground Station / Ground Station Monitoring & Control
Technology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom System Engineering Tools
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Future Projects Division
Contract Officer: Piesche, Claudia Ria
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 08/12/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

The objective of the activity is to assess all technologies and system architectural options that may be the basis for European andglobal 5G infrastructure needs. This analysis will be used to determine technology readiness levels and to identify gaps that industry needs to address. The activity will focus on three key areas: overall system, space segment and ground segment. Targeted Improvements: Providing a comprehensive technical picture of the alternatives available to build space-based 5G infrastructure, including the technology readiness levels and identification of gaps. Description: The 5G system architecture studies are part of the ESA 5G Strategic Program initiative to develop next-generation space-based 5G solutions that complement terrestrial networks to provide globalconnectivity. The activities will carry out an assessment of all technologies and architectural options (e.g. VLEO, LEO, MEO or GEO) that may be used as the basis for European (and global) 5G infrastructure needs focusing on three key areas: overall system, spacesegment and ground segment. The architectural solutions, recommendations, and technological roadmaps delivered by each study will later support future 5G space systems regarding detailed technical and programmatic definition as well as for further implementation and deployment by European satellite industry. The studies will be open for industry to consider all technologies and architectural options, and will take full benefit from the high level of innovation in the space sector. To meet the objective of deploying space-based 5G networks that support the 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) standards, the activities will identify different architectural alternatives and will assess the pros and cons of each approach. The studies will also assess the current market readiness ofthe technologies and will identify any gaps that must be addressed by the satellite industry to implement the target architectures and deploy operational networks. The study will take an end-to-end perspective and, as such, a number of criteria will be included in the overall study, including the following topics: ability of space based 5G networks to be part of a global networks o networks,adoption of 5G standards specified in 3GPP NTN versus proprietary solutions, support for open standard architectures that enable universal connectivity, orbit options (VLEO, LEO, MEO, or GEO) and orbital locations, on board processing versus transparent, bus and platformsizing alternatives, use and need for inter satellite links, ground architecture and user equipment, integration with terrestrial networks and interface points (mobile and cloud networks), security, operational models (concept of operations), end to end orchestration and back office functions, business model alternatives, mapping of architectures to use case(s) and industry verticals,system performance, cost assessment, and potential use of terrestrial technologies such as components, modules, chipsets, tools, and software. Alternative system architectures will be assessed and the expected performance, benefits and costs for each will be identified and documented. The final set of recommended architecture approaches will also include a technology roadmap that lays out anRD plan for European Industry to develop, validate and deploy required technologies and components to fulfil the architectural recommendations. Parallel contracts are foreseen for this activity.

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