2, October 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10496
Open Date: 25/09/2020
Closing Date: 16/12/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.1TF.06
Prog. Ref.: 5G-Other Act. CC
Budget Ref.: E/0534-03A – 5G-Other Act. CC
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Ground Segment / Ground Station / RF equipment / Transmitter and Receiver assemblies, Frequency converters / Ground Segment / Ground Station / Baseband equipment / Telemetry and Telecommand equipment, Tracking, Ranging and Doppler measurement equipment, CODECS, …
Technology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom Signal Processing / RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom Equipment
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Future Projects Division
Contract Officer: Ferreol, Audrey
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 25/09/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

The objective of this activity is to develop and validate a platform capable of integrating and emulating two 5G radio channels (satellite-satellite or satellite-terrestrial) according to a user-defined scenario. This will enable the verification of a satellite beam handover or equivalently a satellite-terrestrial handover. Targeted Improvements: Enabling key engineering tools for 5G satellite-terrestrial systems. Description: Ka-band user links in High-Throughput Satellites (HTS) can currently reach up to 500Mbaud withthe expectation of increasing even further in the near future. In addition, the WRC-19 allocated Ka-band spectrum for terrestrial 5G enabling the use of 400MHz channels as defined in 5G New Radio. These two facts plus the work being done at 3GPP on 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks open the door to user terminals that could simultaneously receive the satellite and terrestrial carriers; a crucial feature for the integration of both networks. However, developing and standardising such solution requires engineering tools not available today. One of the critical missing tools is a single solution capable of emulating the radio propagation conditions of two 5G carriers (satellite-satellite or satellite-terrestrial) according to a particular scenario. Such device is essential to develop handovermechanisms and protocols, to develop ground segment equipment and to validate their performance in a laboratory environment prior to their industrialisation. Broadband channel emulators currently available in the market only implement the 5G terrestrial propagation model. To fill this gap, the activity will develop and validate a channel emulator capable of emulating two 5G radio channels (satellite-satellite or satellite-terrestrial) according to a user-defined scenario. This will allow to properly verify a satellite beam handover or equivalently a satellite-terrestrial network handover. First, the activity will review and define the models for the satellite channel (including uplink, payload and downlink) including impairments over the maximum exploited bandwidth of state-of-the-art Ka-band telecommunication links. The activity will then consolidate the requirements of a broadband channel emulator of upto 1 GHz of total bandwidth for such links, including the characterisation of the expected link performance degradation under different satellite/terrestrial channel impairments. As a minimum, the following propagation aspects will be considered: channel fading and multi-path propagation, cluster delay line or tapped delay line generation, propagation link delay, carrier phase noise, thermal noise profiles, Doppler profiles for NGSO systems, linear and non-linear distortion, interference, frequency and timing offset. The activity will develop and implement the Software, Firmware and Hardware of the unit that will undergo thorough laboratory performance validation according to a detailed test plan formulated as part of the activity.

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