18, September 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8692
Open Date: 16/09/2016
Closing Date: 07/02/2017 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 16.1TF.04
Prog. Ref.: ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1
Budget Ref.: E/0505-01B – ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Technology Domains: Ground Station Systems and Networks / Ground Station System / Ground TT&C and Payload Data Reception Antenna Systems
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies, Product & Systems Department
Division: Future Projects Division
Contract Officer: Piesche, Claudia Ria
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 16/09/2016
Update Reason: Tender issue

Full design and validation of a 5 GHz BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) and LOS (Line of Sight) air interface for command and control of UAVs. Targeted Improvements: Open new markets for satellite operators and terminal manufacturers by enabling future integration and operation of UAVs in manned airspace by means of a satellite Command Control and non-Payload Communications link in the 5 GHz band. Description: UAV commercial operations are a potential business that Industry will transfer from the military to the civil world provided that regulatory hurdles (i.e integration into civil airspace) are solved and the right data link technology is available. Key stakeholders (ICAO, aviation agencies, ITU and Industry) are already working on both fronts. The FAA has the US Congress mandate to integrate UAVs in civil airspace by 2015 and NASA has received rather large funds to carry out studies, including the development and certification of a command and control (C2) link radio prototype for commercial UAV operations. Although the World Radio Conference 2012 has allocated spectrum for UAV C2, so far no European UAV C2 civil data links have been proposed for these frequency bands (5030-5091 MHz). While civil aviation authorities will not allow UAV operations without certified links and terminals, regulatory authorities expect that Industry will propose standardised data links for certification. Given the fast evolution in the domain of civil UAV operations, it is key to promote a European C2 data link proposal that enables European space industry to access this market. In this context it is also mandatory to pave the way for the inclusion of a satellite component in the C2 operational definition to show the added value that satcoms can bring. It is also important that any satellite data link solution shall interwork with the terrestrial data-link solutions. On this very topic, ESA has supported the inclusion of a work item in the relevant EUROCAE working groups, such that proposed activity will be implemented in the right context and with proper access to the data link requirements which are currently being formulated. In order to promote a European data link solution, a prototype shall be developed which shall demonstrate that the stringent requirements can be achieved. Furthermore, the prototype shall prove that synergies can be obtained by combining LOS and BLOS communications in the same avionics. The activity shall contribute to European discussions regarding the 5 GHz band planning in Europe. The proposed activity shall:- Revisit the ARTES 1 ESPRIT study according to the latest ICAO/FAA/EUROCAE/RTCA Conops and Minimum Performance Standards documents.- Propose a sharing mechanism of the 5030-5091MHz band between the terrestrial and satellite links that guarantees the necessary resources for competitive satellite links.- Design and validation of the prototype supporting an air interface that exploits synergies between terrestrial and satellite data links.- Establish a representative test environment.-Implement and test of a radio prototype covering both terrestrial and satellite data links.

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