11, August 2017

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO8939
Open Date: 11/08/2017
Closing Date: 17/11/2017 13:00:00


Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 17.1TT.02
Prog. Ref.: CC for Advanced Tech
Budget Ref.: E/0505-01C – CC for Advanced Tech
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / Antennas – BB / Other
Satellites & Probes / System Engineering Software / System Modelling & Simulation / Mission analysis tools (Orbital modelling and simulation)
Techology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom System Engineering Tools
RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Networking Techniques
Establishment: ECSAT
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Future Projects Division
Contract Officer: Dean, Andrea
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 11/08/2017
Update Reason: Tender issue

Objective:The objective of the activity is to design and develop a real-time satellite network emulator for future constellations to allow the end-to-end performance assessment of:-Routing solutions-Transport protocols for broadband data delivery and web access over satellite -Caching mechanisms-Security solutions-Inter-satellite link characteristics, user link characteristics, andthe satellite telecommunications payload functionalities at layer-2 and aboveTargeted Improvements:The emulator will enable quick verification and optimisation of higher layer protocols for networks with satellite component(s), and thus maximize throughput, delay and utilisation of satellite links and offer solutions that are competitive to other terrestrial options. It will also enable the integration of Commercial Of The Shelf (COTS) protocols in a satellite scenario and ultimately significantly improve the Quality of Experience of potential satellite customers and enable the satellite industry to affect the development of common internet standards.Description:Future evolution of satellite networks, ranging from regenerative GEO/LEO to enhanced GEO systems interconnected with inter-satellite links (GEO/GEO or GEO/LEO) to new proposed constellations of satellites in non-GEO orbits are promising to change the playing field in the area of satellite service provision.A variety of challenges need to be addressed so that one can leverage work already done in terrestrial networks and already established COTS protocols, optimize the performance of satellite networks and enable a seamless integration of satellites in the Internet. In order to do this it is needed a configurable real-time constellation network emulator which can be used to design, verify, evaluate performance of, and optimize new higher layer protocols over anyproposed satellite network topology.Aerospace simulation tools that can be used for constellation optimisation for satellite visibility and access times for different ground stations are available today. These tools support a large set of predefined constellations and a very advanced man machine interface. There are also open-source simulators with a limited set of pre-defined constellations. However, none of these tools are real-time emulators, and even in those ones the satellite node model supports very limited functionalities and flexibility. In parallel, recent advances in hardware virtualisation software offer new possibilities that make it much easier to design and develop highly accurate, yet, highly configurable real-time network emulators. This trend is expected to go even further with network function virtualisation software within Software Defined Network (SDN) paradigm. Yet, together with such virtualisation software, additional software components are needed that can model, and implement in real time, the time-varying topology and link characteristics in constellation satellite networks.For this reason this activity will design and develop a real time satellite network emulator capable of modelling the topology and link characteristics in NGSO satellite networks. The emulator shall be capable of assessing the end-to-end performance.Among the key topics where the emulator could be applied are:-Routing in space: Examine strategies for implementing and operating IP routing effectively within satellite networks (GEO/MEO/LEO, Hybrid), given known constraints of the satellite networks and constellations resulting from satellite mobility, global visibility, routing and addressing. As a secondary objective, it will focus on routing protocol selection and optimization in a variety of scenarios related alsoto space exploration and commercial exploitation of space assets.-Transport protocol modifications for broadband data delivery and web access over satellite: Investigate solutions for optimising the transport protocol performance over long delay links, other byimplementing Performance Enhancement Proxies (PEPs) or in the case of end-to end encrypted links new PEP-less solutions. These can have significant impact in the delay experienced when users access a web page over satellite (especially when using HTTPs). New proposed web protocols (such as SPDY) can also be tested/optimised over an emulated satellite topology).-Ability to test and optimise generic higher layer (> Layer 4) protocols.

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