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ETS-9* Satellite Communications Project

Project Outline Research and Development of Bandwidth-on-Demand High Throughput Satellite Communications System: HTS HIgh speed Communication with Advanced Laser Instrument: HICALI

ETS-9* Satellite Communications Project

In recent years, the demand for broadband communication is constantly increasing to provide communication services in areas without terrestrial communication network, for example, aircrafts, ships, remote islands, and disaster areas. Furthermore, new types of communication, such as 5G and Internet of Things have emerged. Satellite communications are drawing increasing attention as a viable alternative to meet the new communication demands. The emerging lack of available radio-frequency spectrum, which is essential for RF communication, urges the need to realize large-capacity communication systems that utilize the frequency resources more efficiently and do not depend entirely on the radio wave frequency.
For these reasons, we, NICT, promote an R&D project for aiming at the following goals:

  • To increase communication capacity by utilizing Ka-band multi-beam and free-space optical communication.
  • To enable flexible operation of the communication satellites by implementing a digital channelizer and a digital beamformer (DBF).
  • To enhance the operational control efficiency of the satellite communication systems.

by collaborating with several universities and companies.
These technologies will be demonstrated by using the Engineering Test Satellite 9, which will be launched in FY2022. In this R&D project, we aim to realize competitive and cutting-edge communication technologies.

∗Note: "ETS-9″ is a unique project name used by Space Communications Laboratory.

Research and Development of Bandwidth-on-Demand High Throughput Satellite Communications System

<ETS-9* Satellite Communications Project>

In recent years, satellite communications system operators have been planning and deploying high-throughput satellite (HTS) systems. However, due to the long lifetime of the satellite (about fifteen years in Geostationary orbit), the demands in terms of capacity, service area, and application change during its lifetime. Thus, next-generation HTS will need to enhance flexibility to accommodate these changing demands. Flexible bandwidth per beam and/or flexible beam coverage will be the way to realize more efficient spectrum utilization.

In Japan, the R&D project entitled "Research and Development of Bandwidth-on-Demand High Throughput Satellite Communications System" has been started since 2016. The goal of the R&D is the realization of flexibility in the frequency bandwidth allocation for the HTS as well as the improvement of the spectrum efficiency compared with current HTS.

To realize the goal, the important challenges are to establish technologies for wideband digital channelizer and miniaturization of the feeder unit of the multiple-beam antenna. These technologies will be demonstrated by using the Engineering Test Satellite 9, which will be launched in FY2022.

*This R&D is being conducted under the commissioned research of the "Research and Development of Bandwidth-on-Demand High Throughput Satellite Communications System" (FY2016-2019) funded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.
Contract Organizations: NICT, Tohoku University, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

∗Note: "ETS-9″ is a unique project name used by Space Communications Laboratory.

High speed Communication with Advanced Laser Instrument:HICALI

<ETS-9* Satellite Communications Project>

In this project, we plan to demonstrate 10 Gbps directional laser communication link between the Geostationary satellite and the ground.

Also, we are aiming to establish a screening process to use devices used in the ground optical network in space systems.

The wavelength of the laser and the use of weather observation data for site diversity are being promoted in a manner that is consistent with international standards under discussion at the Consultative Committee for Space Data System (CCSDS).

∗Note: "ETS-9″ is a unique project name used by Space Communications Laboratory.

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