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The Programme

The objective of the activity is to develop a demonstrator of a satellite system where 3GPP NB-IoT user sensors are fully integrated. The demonstrator will consist of an on-board transceiver prototype integrated in a test bed capable of emulating a number of users and channel impairments to demonstrate the system’s performance in realistic conditions.

Targeted Improvements: enabling the integration of 3GPP NB-IoT user sensors into satellite networks.

Description: terrestrial mobile networks will start providingInternet-of-Things (IoT) services in the near future using a narrowband (NB) radio technology standardised under 3GPP: the 3GPP NB-IoT waveform. Preliminary analyses have shown that this waveform can be used by satellite systems in non-geostationary orbits under certain constraints. However, to enable the integration of user sensors employing this technology, it is necessary to develop an on-board transceiver capable of overcoming the technical challenges of using a waveform that was not originally conceived for satellite communications. Moreover, the transceiver needs to be compatible with small platforms in terms of mass, power and volume as these platforms are usually the ones selected to provide M2M services. Finally, it is also important to develop and propose waveform adaptations thatwould allow maximising the efficiency of a satellite system. Hence, to address these needs, this activity will develop an on-board transceiver capable of supporting the 3GPP NB-IoT waveform within the mass, power and volume constraints of a small Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite platform. Among aims, such LEO platforms is then intended to be used in the formation of a constellation, granting coverage and reliability of the 3GPP NB-IoT satellite communications.

RAME is the leading technical player for the on-board transceiver prototype in the consortium for the development of the activity together with RINA, NITEL, CNIT and Thales Alenia Space Italia.

Header Image credit: Eutelsat.