Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Tender nr.: AO 1-7448
Open from: 06 Mar 2013
Closes on: 29 May 2013
Objective: To demonstrate the feasibility of beam hopping techniques by implementing the key technologies both at payload and ground segment as well the required interactions, taking into account the results of system studies on the beam hopping in reduction of the on-board DC power consumption as well as reduction in the mass by sharing one tube to serve several beams.
Targeted Improvements: Beam hopping can match offered capacity with traffic demand. Compared to uniform power and bandwidth assignment per user beam, the beam hopping provides 50% reduction of DC power consumption. Using the beam hopping, one power amplifier can serve up to 8 beams providing significant saving in required mass particularly for multi-beam systems with user link in Ka band with a large number of beams.
In recent ESA studies on the beam hopping techniques for multi-beam satellite system, the feasibility of beam hopping technique from the payload and system perspectives was analysed. It was concluded that use of beam hopping can provide significant saving in terms of on board resources (namely power and mass) taking into
account the uncertainties in traffic demands that should be otherwise accounted for using additional margins.
The starting point for the proposed activity would be the results of previous ESA studies defining system scenarios and payload architecture that can benefit from the beam hopping. The proposed activity is to demonstrate the feasibility of the beam-hopping concept by prototyping critical components such as high power RF switches and also investigate the impact of the beam switching on the end-to-end RF chain components. Furthermore, the real-time demonstrator platform shall provide means to illustrate the system aspects of the beam hopping such as resource management and load balancing among the beams as well as trade-offs between the assigned capacity and average delay and the feasibility of supporting the beam hopping techniques at the user terminals. In particular, the
demonstrator shall address the following aspects:
a) Synchronisation constraints between the gateways and payload switches
b) Efficient RF high power switching technologies.
c) Fast switching of the flexible tube DC setting (to be compliant with the beam switching patterns and optimal settings)
d) Air interface modifications to cope with bursty downlink transmission and large signal bandwidth.
Through a proof of concept real-time demonstrator (following a definition phase) the present development aims at gaining the necessary confidence in detailed design and performance characterisation of a Beam-Hopping Payload and System and validate the architecture and the functionalities using prototyping technologies (FPGAs, COTS).