Project Acronym: DYNASAT
Project Name: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing and Bandwidth-Efficient Techniques for High-Throughput MIMO Satellite Systems
Grant Agreement number: 101004145
Topic: SPACE-29-TEC-2020: Satellite communication technologies; subtopic b) Bandwidth efficient
transmission techniques
Call for proposal: H2020-SPACE-2018-2020
Starting Date: 01.12.2020
Duration: 28 months

In the context of next-generation satellite networks, DYNASAT will research, develop, and demonstrate the use of innovative techniques for bandwidth-efficient transmission and efficient spectrum usages, such as Dynamic Spectrum Allocation and sharing, multi-satellite cooperative multi-user multi-input multi-output (MIMO), beam hopping, multi-beam precoding with user clustering, and advanced interference management.

In particular, DYNASAT will assess and demonstrate how such techniques, part of which have been already adopted in terrestrial networks, can be designed for satellite architectures to significantly improve the performance of a satellite network infrastructure, fully integrated into the 5G ecosystem, which is pivotal to serve the mass-market and professional 5G user equipment, especially in unserved or underserved areas.

DYNASAT will focus on a satellite network infrastructure based on a mega-constellation of the non-geostationary (NGSO) orbit at an altitude of less than 20’000 km. The network capacity improvement achieved by the developed techniques is expected to maximize revenues for given capital expenditures and, hence, maximize its economic viability, especially when addressing low populated density areas.

DYNASAT will also contribute to 3GPP and to relevant regulatory bodies to pave the way for the deployment of the addressed network infrastructure, implementing the developed techniques for bandwidth-efficient transmission and dynamic spectrum usage.

Furthermore, answering to the SPACE-29-Tec-2020 call’s subtopic Bandwidth efficient transmission techniques, DYNASAT will significantly increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the designed techniques and concepts from the current level – TRL2 up to TRL4, and partly TRL5, at least with representative propagation channel models.

Besides, as part of its structuring effect on the future evolution of the SatCom infrastructure, DYNASAT will deliver a detailed plan for In-Orbit Validation and Demonstration (IoV/IoD) of the developed concepts and technologies, thus setting the path to achieve TRL7.

In pursuing and achieving its ambitious objectives, DYNASAT will, therefore, provide a substantial contribution to the European SatCom industry competitiveness, in line with the overall Horizon Europe vision of ensuring a globally competitive space sector reinforcing Europe’s autonomy and technological sovereignty.

Motivation and challenges

European Commission’s Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market – Towards a European Gigabit Society has set ambitious goals of deploying smart and sustainable networks and services for the success of Europe’s digital economy. Satellite Communication Systems (SatCom) are fundamental components supporting these goals.

The inclusion in the 5G ecosystem, foreseen in Release 17 of the 3GPP specifications, of the non-terrestrial network component will improve the system’s flexibility, adaptability, and resilience, as well as extend the 5G coverage to rural, underserved, and unserved areas. From a pure broadcast and broadband delivery instrument, SatCom are therefore becoming an essential ingredient to efficiently support the concept of wireless connectivity anywhere, at any time, and using any device.

To completely enable this new role of the SatCom component, several challenges need to be fully addressed by research and innovation activities in the next decades. White paper SatCom Resources for Smart and Sustainable Networks and Services and NetWorld2020’ Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda provide roadmaps for such activities and identify challenges in the following areas: spectrum usage, radio access network beyond 5G and 6G, network function virtualization, optical-based satellite communications, software defined payloads, machine learning for SatCom, new constellations and system architectures, antennas technologies, and security. DYNASAT will address the maximization of the spectrum usage for mobile services in next generation multi-constellation satellite network, i.e., NGSO constellations, in support of traffic demand over extremely extended coverage for 5G, beyond 5G and 6G systems.