1, February 2019

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9572
Open Date: 25/01/2019
Closing Date: 18/03/2019 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 18.1ET.25
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / Transmitters / X-band, S-Band, Ka band, ¿ / Near Earth application, Deep space application, … / Platform vs Payload
Techology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / TT&C and Payload Data Modulator (PDM) Systems/Subsystems / Near-Earth Transponders / RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / TT&C and Payload Data Modulator (PDM) Systems/Subsystems / High-speed Downlink PDM
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Electrical Engineering Department
Division: Radio Frequency Systems & Payloads Offic
Contract Officer: Erkelens-Sickinger, Franziska
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 25/01/2019
Update Reason: Tender issue

ESA missions with downlink in X-band are limited to 10 MHz of bandwidth and 8.75 Mbps of data, using the current GAIA modulation. GAIA-NIR is requiring higher data rates and it is pushing the limits at X-band. The CCSDS-131.2-B standard defines 27 Adaptive Codingand Modulation (ACM) modes that are intended to allow fine control of information rate in a given bandwidth to optimise data throughput by minimising the required link margin. A variable rate (0.36 to 0.90) Serial Concatenated Convolutional Code (SCCC) encoder isfollowed by a transmitter which maps 2 (QPSK), 3 (8 PSK), 4 (16 APSK), 5 (32 APSK) or 6 (64 APSK) bits onto each modulation symbol to accommodate steps of the order of 1 dB in link performance whilst maintaining a constant FER over a range of around 20dB. The high spectral efficiency modulations are having up to ~5 Mbps per MHz of available bandwidth that will allow to extend the capability and meet the GAIA-NIR needs. CCSDS spring meeting will analyse a modification of Rec 2.4.17.A to add ACM modes up to to ACM 17 (16 APSK) of coding and modulation in the X-band Space Research portfolio of selectable modulations. This study will:1) produce and refine the requirements for the SCCC modem in the spacecraft transponder and in the ground station receiver, taking into account the complete communications system and the roadmap of the on-board transponder development plan.2) prepare a transmitter breadboard from existing blocks of previous on-board transponder developments.3) design the different elements in the ground receiver modem (i.e. synchronisation chain, channel equalizer, APSK demodulator, SCCC decoder and auxiliary elements) and implement them in a ground receiver prototype. The prototype of the ground receiver will be designed to allow smooth incorporation of the SW and FW in the TTCP.4) perform end-to-end validation between SCCC transmitter and the ground prototype, tested against the requirements refined in the first task.

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