Satellite Communications in the 5G Era
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LanguageEnglish
Pages600
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Satellite Communications in the 5G Era



Satellite Communications in the 5G Era Edited by Shree Krishna Sharma, Symeon Chatzinotas and Pantelis Daniel Arapoglou | PDF Free Download.

About the Authors of Satellite Communications

Shree Krishna Sharma holds a Ph.D. degree in wireless communications from the University of Luxembourg, the M. Res. degree in computing science from Staffordshire University, United Kingdom, and the M.Sc. degree in information and communication engineering from the Institute of Engineering, Nepal.

He has more than 3 years of postdoctoral research experience at SnT, University of Luxembourg and at the University of Western Ontario, Canada in the areas of cognitive satellite communications, 5G wireless and Internet of Things (IoT).

In the past, he was with Nepal Telecom for over 4 years as a Telecom Engineer in the field of information technology and telecommunication.

He has published more than 80 technical papers in scholarly journals and international conferences and has over 1,200 Google Scholar citations. He is the recipient of several awards including the FNR Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis 2015, CROWNCOM 2015 Best Paper Award and 2018 EURASIP Best Paper Award.

He is a senior member of IEEE and has been actively serving as a reviewer and a TPC member for several international conferences including IEEE ICC, IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE VTC, and IEEE PIMRC.

Symeon Chatzinotas is the Deputy Head of the SITCOM Research Group, Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability, and Trust (SnT), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg and a Visiting Professor at the University of Parma, Italy.

He received the M. Eng. degree in telecommunications from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2003, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electronic engineering from the University of Surrey, Surrey, United Kingdom, in 2006 and 2009, respectively.

He has over 250 publications, 2,800 citations and an H-Index of 26 according to Google Scholar. His research interests include multiuser information theory, co-operative/cognitive communications and wireless networks optimization.

He is the co-recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Contributions to Satellite Communications Award from the Satellite and Space Communications Technical Committee, IEEE Communications Society, the CROWNCOM 2015 Best Paper Award and 2018 EURASIP Best Paper Award.

Pantelis Daniel Arapoglou has been a communications system engineer with the European Space Agency ESA/ESTEC since September 2011 where he is supporting R&D activities and developments in the areas of satellite telecommunications, digital and optical communications, and high-data-rate telemetry for Earth observation applications.

He received the Dr. Eng. Degree from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, in 2007 and the Diploma degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2003.

He has participated in the work of Study Group 3 of the ITU-R in SatNEx III and in COST Action IC0802. Currently, he is following SatNEx IV which is funded by ESA. He is also involved in the standardization work of the CCSDS optical working group.

Satellite Communications Contents


  1. Role of satellite communications in 5G ecosystem: perspectives and challenges
  2. Satellite use cases and scenarios for 5G eMBB
  3. SDN-enabled SatCom networks for satellite-terrestrial integration
  4. NFV-based scenarios for satellite-terrestrial integration
  5. Propagation and system dimensions in extremely high-frequency broadband aeronautical SatCom systems
  6. Next-generation non-geostationary satellite communication systems: link characterization and system perspective
  7. Diversity combining and handover techniques: enabling 5G using MEO satellites
  8. Powerful nonlinear countermeasures for multicarrier satellites: progression to 5G
  9. Satellite multi-beam precoding software-defined radio demonstrator
  10. Beam-hopping systems for next-generation satellite communication systems
  11. Optical on-off keying data links for low Earth orbit downlink applications
  12. Ultra-high-speed data relay systems
  13. On-board processing for satellite-terrestrial integration
  14. On-board interference detection and localization for satellite communication
  15. Random access in satellite communications: background on the legacy and advanced schemes
  16. Interference avoidance and mitigation techniques for hybrid satellite-terrestrial networks
  17. Dynamic spectrum sharing in hybrid satellite-terrestrial systems
  18. Two-way satellite relaying

Preface to Satellite Communications in the 5G Era


Satellite Communication (SatCom) has been playing a vital role in the wireless world due to its capability of broadcasting telecommunication services to wider geographical areas and delivering broadband connectivity to sparsely populated remote regions, which are typically inaccessible or under-served by the terrestrial communication infrastructures.

SatCom technologies have been significantly useful in bridging the digital gap in today’s information age by fostering the economic and social development of rural communities and developing countries.

Although there are several advances in the terrestrial wireless world in terms of capacity and coverage enhancement, SatCom is the only viable option for delivering telecommunication services in a wide range of sectors such as aeronautical, maritime, military, rescue and disaster relief.

Moreover, the demand for emerging applications such as high definition television, interactive multimedia services and broadband internet access is rapidly increasing, thus leading to the ever-increasing need of SatCom systems.

More importantly, in order to meet the consumer expectation of the seamless access to any telecommunications services anytime and anywhere including the scenarios like traveling on cruise liners, planes, and high-speed trains, the satellite should be an important component of the upcoming fifth-generation (5G) and beyond wireless architectures.

The upcoming 5G and beyond wireless communications are expected to support a massive number of smart devices, connected sensors and massive machine type communication (MTC) devices having diverse quality-of-service (QoS) requirements.

In this direction, 5G wireless systems are envisioned to provide 1,000 times increased capacity, 10–100 times higher end-user data-rates, 5 times lower latency, 10 times increased energy efficiency for low-power devices and to support 10–100 times higher number of connected devices as compared to the current 4G systems.

Also, various emerging wireless systems such as broadband systems, Internet of Things (IoT) and MTC systems are expected to be integrated with the legacy networks to utilize the already-deployed technologies such as 2G, 3G, long-term evolution (LTE), LTE-advanced, Wi-Fi and satellite.

However, there are several challenges in meeting heterogeneous service requirements in terms of achievable coverage, data rates, latency, reliability, and energy consumption, and in delivering converged wireless solutions to the end-users.

Mainly, future wireless networks will need to provide anywhere, anytime and any device connectivity in a wide range of emerging application scenarios including industrial automation, connected car, E-Healthcare, smart city, smart home, smart grid, communications-on-the-move and high-speed platforms such as trains, airplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

In the era of 5G wireless, SatCom solutions can complement terrestrial telecommunication solutions in all geographical regions including rural/inaccessible places and urban/suburban areas in terms of providing telecommunication services to the end-users.

Satellite backhaul becomes an ideal solution to deliver telecommunication services to the geographically challenging areas since it is difficult to deploy wired backhaul solutions such as copper and optical fiber due to the cost and implementation issues.

As compared to the terrestrial backhaul, satellite backhaul not only can reduce the infrastructure cost but also can be a backup solution to the terrestrial backhaul links in case of failure or for load balancing in the places/events with high traffic demand.

Furthermore, in many applications targeted by 5G and beyond systems such as distributed IoT/MTC networks, content delivery networks (CDNs), and highly distributed small/medium size networks, satellite networks are better suited than the terrestrial only solutions.

Therefore, SatComs can be considered as an important means to support the expansion of 5G ecosystem toward highly reliable and secure global networks.

The recent advances in Ku-band, Ka-band, extra high frequency (EHF) band and free-space optical technologies have led to the new era of high throughput satellite (HTS) systems.

These HTS are expected to significantly reduce the communication cost of the next-generation satellite systems and of the integrated satellite-terrestrial systems.

However, the main challenge in emerging HTS systems and non-geostationary (NGSO) constellations is the integration of satellite and terrestrial systems from an architectural perspective so that SatCom systems become an active part of the access network rather than another transparent backhaul medium for the 5G and beyond systems.

In this regard, the concepts of employing software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) toward enabling the seamless integration of satellite-terrestrial are emerging.

These SDN- and NFV-based solutions are envisioned to drastically shift the existing hardware-based system design and implementation toward full notarization, thus enabling the flexible and adaptive implementation of the 5G ecosystem toward fulfilling the diverse QoS requirements of the end-users.

Satellite systems are challenged in meeting the latency requirements for some applications such as the tactile Internet, and there are other challenges such as improving reliability, efficiency, coverage and reducing costs in the dense areas.

This is particularly true for geostationary (GSO) satellites, whereas NGSO satellite constellations are in a much better position in terms of latency. On the other hand, terrestrial wireless can provide connectivity to indoor and ground-mobile users with low latency but is economically challenging in sparse or intermittent areas.

In this direction, the convergence of mobile, fixed and broadcasting systems with the possibility of coexistence of satellite networks with the terrestrial systems is one of the promising future directions. Toward enabling this convergence, SatComs can play a key role in building heterogeneous architectures through hybrid and integrated satellite-terrestrial paradigms.

Furthermore, the involvement of the satellite makes the deployment of IoT involving sensors and M2M connections in wide areas feasible. Besides, in order to enable the Internet of everything, providing precise positioning and context capabilities is a crucial aspect and can be achieved by the combination of satellite and cellular positioning systems.

Moreover, the integration of SatComs with the cellular will lead to better availability in emergency and disaster applications. As an example, the delivery of real-time high definition video using satellite in the UAV surveillance applications can be considered.

In addition, there is a growing interest in satellite delivery in the transport sector safety services and vehicle-to-vehicle applications.

The aforementioned aspects clearly highlight the need of integrating satellite in 5G and beyond wireless architectures toward enabling the increased convergence as targeted by the 5G community.

One promising way of taking mutual benefits from satellite and terrestrial technologies in the 5G ecosystem is to combine them in the same platform in the form of hybrid/integrated networks. However, satellite systems have been mostly used in an overlay manner rather than an integrated form except in the S-band.

Also, enhancing the spectral efficiency as well as the total system throughput has been an important concern for future SatCom systems due to continuously increasing demand for broadcast, multimedia, and interactive services and the lack of usable satellite spectrum.

Although SatCom systems have moved from the traditional monogram satellites to the multibeam platform and the emerging full-frequency reuse concept can provide significant capacity gains as compared to the conventional four-color reuse method, the problem of cochannel interference needs to be addressed with the help of advanced precoding and multiuser detection schemes.

Besides, as the number of cochannel satellites (GSO and NGSO) as well as other cochannel terrestrial systems increases, handling inter-system interference becomes another issue.

In this regard, the investigation of suitable spectrum sharing, resource allocation, and interference avoidance/mitigation techniques has become crucial toward realizing the next generation Terabit/s SatCom systems.

Motivated by the above-mentioned numerous benefits and the role of SatComs in 5G systems and the associated challenges, several academic institutions, regulators and industries are putting significant efforts in investigating novel satellite-terrestrial integrated solutions and the next generation SatComs technologies/architectures.

Also, there are ongoing activities in the areas of dynamic spectrum sharing, cognitive and cooperative SatComs, resource allocation, advanced interference mitigation techniques, multibeam joint processing, multiuser detection, advanced precoding techniques, design of smart antennas, optical inter-satellite/space-ground links and the exploitation of high-frequency bands (Q/V/W/optical) for the gateway connections.

Although there are some recent books in the literature discussing the aspects of 5G cellular communications, the importance of SatComs in 5G and beyond wireless systems has been neglected.

In this direction, this book focuses on recent research efforts being carried out toward integrating SatCom systems in the upcoming 5G and beyond systems, and also on various novel enabling technologies for the next generation of Terabit/s SatComs.

This book aims to provide significant inputs to academics, researchers, telecom engineers, industrial actors and policymakers such as 5G stakeholders, regulators, and research agencies to stimulate future activities in strengthening the role of SatCom in the 5G and beyond wireless systems.

In the above context, this book discusses various emerging concepts/technologies/ architectures in the domain of next-generation SatComs and integrated satellite-terrestrial systems.

The chapters included in this book are presented in the logical sequence of 5G SatCom scenarios and services/networking (Chapters 1–4), channel and propagation aspects (Chapters 5 and 6), physical- and system-level techniques (Chapters 7–10), optical technology-based satellite systems (Chapters 11–12), onboard processing (OBP) systems and techniques (Chapters 13 and 14), advanced collision/interference mitigation, spectrum sharing and latency reduction techniques (Chapters 15–18).

The book starts with an overview of the role of SatCom in the 5G era and the related use cases (Chapters 1 and 2) and then presents the emerging concepts related to SDN (Chapter 3) and NFV (Chapter 4) along with their applications toward the seamless integration of satellite and terrestrial networks.

Then, the book analyzes the feasibility of using satellite systems in EHF bands for aeronautical broadband applications along with the characteristics of the aeronautical to satellite channel (Chapter 5).

The book advances by presenting the main propagation characteristics of NGSO satellite systems along with some promising capacity enhancement techniques (Chapter 6).

Subsequently, various aspects of MEO satellites such as diversity combining and handover techniques are discussed and an SDN-based cost-effective handover architecture is proposed along with some prototype-based test results (Chapter 7).

Then, the book presents several advanced compensation techniques that can mitigate the effect of nonlinear distortions in emerging multicarrier satellite systems (Chapter 8).

Subsequently, the book analyzes the feasibility of a softwaredefined radio (SDR)-based precoder for broadband multibeam satellite systems with the help of in-lab validation results (Chapter 9).

The book then proceeds by presenting emerging beamhopping technologies for the next generation satellite systems with a particular focus on the upcoming Eutelsat Quantum-class satellite (Chapter 10).

In the context of emerging optical technologies, the book discusses several aspects of optical on-off keying (OOK) data links for emerging LEO downlink applications along with a detailed analysis of the laser communication channel (Chapter 11).

In addition, the main elements involved in the design of optical technology-based ultra-high speed relay systems are discussed and the link budget calculation of various associated links is presented (Chapter 12). Next, the book includes two chapters related to the promising OBP paradigm in the next generation satellite systems.

Mainly, various design aspects related to OBP are presented toward enabling the satellite-terrestrial integration along with an OBP example use case by employing LEO satellites (Chapter 13).

And, some promising onboard interference detection and localization techniques are presented along with their performance evaluation via numerical results (Chapter 14).

The book then discusses various conventional and advanced random access (RA) schemes and analyzes their performance with respect to various system constraints (Chapter 15).

In the context of hybrid satellite-terrestrial mobile backhaul (MBH) systems, various interference avoidance and mitigation techniques including user-level linear precoding schemes and symbol-level precoding (SLP) schemes are discussed along with their performance analysis (Chapter 16).

Moreover, toward enabling dynamic sharing of the radio spectrum between satellite and terrestrial systems, various spectrum sharing techniques are discussed along with a practical coexistence example of a fixed satellite service (FSS) system and a terrestrial fixed service (FS) system (Chapter 17).

Finally, the book discusses various aspects of two-way satellite relaying (TWSR) including a detailed mathematical analysis of beamforming and combining techniques in TWSR communication systems (Chapter 18).

In the following paragraphs, an overview of the main contents of all the chapters is presented. In Chapter 1, O. Onireti and M. A. Imran discuss several key areas where satellites can play significant roles in the 5G systems starting with the highlights on the 5G vision.

The key areas discussed include providing ubiquitous connectivity to inaccessible areas such as remote locations, passengers in aircraft/trains/vessels, emergency and critical scenarios, massive MTCs, resilience provisioning, content caching and multicasting, satellite-terrestrial integrated network (trunking and head-end feed, backhauling and communication on the move) and ultra-reliable communication.

Furthermore, the authors highlighted and discussed the recent advances in 5G SatComs systems including some ongoing projects on satellite-terrestrial integration [Satellite and Terrestrial Network for 5G (SAT5G), SANSA and VITAL], spectral sharing between satellite and terrestrial systems, mega-LEO constellation, OBP, gallium nitride technology, SDN, multicasting, and integrated signaling.

Finally, some research challenges and recommendations associated with the integrated satellite-terrestrial architecture, integrated signaling and OBP are provided.

In Chapter 2, K. Lillis et al. discuss various promising use cases and scenarios for 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) defined in the context of the European Commission H2020 5G PPP Phase 2 project SaT5G.

Starting with a brief discussion on the role of satellite in the 5G ecosystem and the SaT5G project, the chapter presents four different use cases for the eMBB and provides their relevance to the key research pillars, the main 5G PPP Key Performance Indicators, the 3GPP SA1 SMARTER use case families and 5G market verticals.

The main use cases included in this chapter include delivery and offloading of multimedia content to the network edges, 5G fixed backhaul to provide broadband connectivity to the places inaccessible by terrestrial communications, complementary connectivity to terrestrial networks in under-served areas and broadband connectivity to the platforms on the move.

Furthermore, the chapter provides the qualitative market size assessment for the selected satellite use cases for eMBB based on the satellite operators’ perspective and recent industrial developments.

Moreover, the chapter describes a set of scenarios for each of the selected use cases along with their qualitative high-level description.

Finally, the chapter concludes by highlighting the key aspects of the presented use cases and scenarios.

In Chapter 3, F. Mendoza et al. discuss the role of SDN technologies in facilitating the seamless integration and operation of integrated satellite and terrestrial networks. In particular, the realization of end-to-end (E2E) traffic engineering (TE) in a combined terrestrial-satellite network by using SDN technologies is discussed with a specific focus on an MBH network scenario.

Furthermore, a system architecture for an SDN-enabled ground segment system is presented, and several candidate SDN data models and interfaces are discussed.

Moreover, an integrated approach for the realization of E2E SDN-based TE in satellite-terrestrial backhaul networks is presented by abstracting the satellite component as an open flow switch, and two central TE workflows are illustrated to validate the proposed integrated approach with one workflow toward computing an optimal path and another workflow to overcome congestion/failures.

In addition, the performance of the proposed SDN-based TE application is analyzed via numerical simulations in various scenarios including homogeneous and heterogeneous load situations, unavailability of terrestrial links and the presence of transportable base stations that exclusively rely on the satellite capacity for backhauling.

Finally, the chapter provides some concluding remarks and future recommendations. In Chapter 4, H. Koumaras et al. first provide a brief introduction to cloud computing and discuss the functionalities of AFVs.

Subsequently, the chapter presents the promising use case scenarios for the integration of cloud networking techniques into satellite networks which are derived from the terrestrial NFV use cases and adapted to the SatCom context.

The discussed scenarios include virtual CDN as-a-service, satellite virtual network operator scenario, dynamic backhauling with edge processing-as-a-service scenario, and customer functions virtualization scenario.

For each of these scenarios, the associated benefits and implementation challenges are discussed. The chapter concludes by providing some future recommendations for the efficient implementation of NFV technology in SatCom systems.

In Chapter 5, N. Jeannin et al. discuss the potentialities of using EHF on satellite systems for the provision of aeronautical broadband communication.

Starting with an overview of existing or planned systems dedicated to broadband communication, the authors analyze the projected commercial aviation generated traffic demand by considering current commercial aviation traffic and the forecasted data usage.

Subsequently, the characteristics of the aeronautical to satellite channel at the EHF bands are presented with a particular focus on the impact of the altitude on the tropospheric impairments.

Furthermore, the authors present the latest ITU-R standards which assess the impact of the troposphere on an aircraft-space link along with a discussion on the associated propagation characteristics.

Moreover, the authors extrapolate the current aeronautical terminals and satellite characteristics to EHF range to demonstrate the performance improvement at the EHF bands and it is shown that the capacities provided can be enhanced by the use of conformal antennas and provide about 4–10 times capacity improvements over current Ka-band systems.

Finally, the chapter concludes by demonstrating the feasibility of EHF satellite systems to meet future Aero passenger requirements. In Chapter 6, C. Kourogiorgas et al. present various link characteristics and system perspectives of the next generation NGSO SatCom systems.

The chapter first discusses the main propagation characteristics for the links between ground stations and NGSO satellites including local environmental effects and propagation characteristics via the atmosphere.

The operation of NGSO systems in lower bands (L-/S-bands) is mostly affected by the local environment, while in high RF bands and optical range, atmospheric effects become dominant and they must be considered for the system design.

Regarding atmospheric propagation features, authors provide a detailed discussion on propagation characteristics for RF systems at the Ka-band along with different existing models for calculating total atmospheric attenuation and rain attenuation.

Subsequently, the chapter discusses the propagation characteristics for optical NGSO systems by highlighting the effects of clouds and turbulence. Furthermore, the chapter presents some promising techniques to enhance the capacity of NGSO systems including variable and adaptive coding and modulation, and spatial diversity and multiple antenna techniques.

Finally, the chapter provides a brief discussion on interference issues and the perspective of NGSO–GSO cooperation.

In Chapter 7, starting with the role of MEO satellites in 5G systems, Nicolò Mazzali et al. discuss the system architecture, services, applications and challenges of MEO satellites with a particular focus on the O3b satellite network.

Subsequently, the chapter describes the key elements of the E2E channel of MEO satellites including the uplink and downlink radio propagation effects, payload effects and user terminal effects.

Furthermore, an overview of the existing handover techniques for MEO applications is provided along with the details on the seamless handover concept.

To address the shortcomings of the existing handover solutions in achieving optimal performance and zero packet loss, the chapter proposes an SDN-based cost-effective handover architecture which enables the combination of the concepts of “make-before-break” and “unidirectional switching.”

Also, the chapter describes a prototype built to demonstrate the handover performance of the proposed solution along with some test results.

Moreover, the chapter provides a detailed review of the diversity combining techniques for MEO satellites along with their advantages, drawbacks, and trade-offs, and presents the performance of three classic combining algorithms in MEO applications by considering realistic signal and channel models.

Finally, the chapter concludes by providing the main insights and future roadmap. In Chapter 8, B. F. Beidasfirst presents an analytical framework based on Volterra series representation, which characterizes the distortion among carriers suitable for multicarrier satellite applications.

Subsequently, several advanced compensation techniques to be applied at the transmitter and receiver to effectively minimize the linear and nonlinear distortion in SatCom systems are presented.

As one of the promising solutions at the receiver, the author describes the Turbo Volterra equalization method which iteratively exchanges soft information between the equalizer and forward error correcting (FEC) decoders.

Furthermore, three different types of distortion solutions, namely, Volterra-based data distortion, Volterra-based successive signal predistortion and successive data predistortion are discussed for the transmitter side.

Moreover, the application of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) signaling for broadband satellite transmission in the forward direction (from the gateway to terminals) is discussed and suitable countermeasure strategies are employed to mitigate the effect of nonlinear distortion in OFDM-based satellite systems.

Finally, the chapter concludes by providing recommendations for the applications of the proposed nonlinear distortion countermeasures in precoding-based satellite systems and cognitive satellite systems.

In Chapter 9, Stefano et al. demonstrate the capability of an SDR-based precoder in enabling the operation of broadband multibeam satellite systems with aggressive frequency reuse modes in the presence of practical impairments.

Starting with the discussion of recent projects on precoding, the authors provide a brief review of the related works on precoding for SatComs.

Subsequently, a detailed analysis of practical constraints such as instantaneous differential phase distortion, timing misalignment and channel state information (CSI) estimation errors for precoding is provided and possible solutions are discussed.

Furthermore, the authors describe the practical implementation of precoding techniques with a particular focus on SLP.

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