Space Communications

The search for more spectrally efficient satellite communications opens up many interesting research challenges, with a strong need for signal processing thinking. Multibeam satellites resemble the familiar terrestrial cellular technology, with frequency reuse being a key element to increase the throughput in the scarce available spectrum and decrease the cost per bit. Hybrid beamforming architectures, multiuser detection or cooperative communications are being actively studied in this field. Long delays inherent to the satellite links also hinder the direct extension of commonly used mechanisms in terrestrial communications, such as adaptive transmissions, mainly for mobile receivers. Part of our activity in this area is ultimately funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Lines of research

Líñas de Investigación

Mobile terminal for Remotely Piloted Aircrafts

Time series for the bidirectional communication between a mobile platform and a fixed ground station through an S-band satellite were taken during some field trials. The main objective of the field trials was the validation of our link adaptation algorithms, designed to increase the spectral efficiency of satellite mobile communications.

Satellite mobile communications

Cubesats

Full-duplex communications for satellite scenarios

We have performed a system analysis of the operation of the new VDE-SAT standard, with special attention to the comparison between full-duplex and half-duplex operation at the satellite.

Radio propagation in higher bands (K, Q, V)

Research Groups

Signal Processing in Communications Group (GPSC)

atlanTTic allocates an important amount of resources to Space Communications R&D, with a number of laboratories that support the research activity developed by the team dedicated to this line of work, including more than 15 PhDs and engineers.

  • Maritime communications
  • UAVs
  • Space communications
Title
Mobile terminal for Remotely Piloted Aircrafts
Summary Time series for the bidirectional communication between a mobile platform and a fixed ground station through an S-band satellite were taken during some field trials. The main objective of the field trials was the validation of our link adaptation algorithms, designed to increase the spectral efficiency of satellite mobile communications. Series of physical layer data such as RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) and SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) were captured for further processing. We provide some RSSI series for both ends of the communication link, together with the location data of the mobile at each given time. More info.
Application and pros Moving fast satellite communications, fast prototyping.
Application sectors UAVs.
Intellectual Property N/A
Title
Full-duplex communications for satellite scenarios
Summary We have performed a system analysis of the operation of the new VDE-SAT standard, with special emphasis on the comparison between full-duplex and half-duplex operation on the satellite. The self-interference from the satellite transmitted signal is the main impairment for the full-duplex operation. This work was carried out in the framework of an ESA project.
Application and pros Increased spectral efficiency in the communication between a LEO satellite and ships.
Application sectors Maritime communications.
Intellectual property N/A
Title
Multiuser schemes for multibeam satellites
Summary Precoding, beamforming and multiuser detection schemes have been developed after years of collaboration with the European Space Agency. More aggressive frequency reuse schemes are possible, also when several gateways are serviced by the same satellite.
Application and pros Higher spectral efficiency.
Application sectors High Throughput Satellites (HTS).
Intellectual property N/A