The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy of South Korea, H.E. Mr. Moon Sungwook, visit us to learn about the progress of the development of a low-orbit satellite communications terminal (LEO) for the New Space within the framework of the R&D collaboration between Spain and South Korea.
The New Space concept (NewSpace), configured around the LEO satellite constellations together with terminals and ground applications, emerges as a paradigm of ubiquitous high-bandwidth communications for the digital world, Like 5G, it is for terrestrial companies, expecting a convergence between the two.
El Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), Hon. Mr. Moon Sungwook, you have visited our facilities located in Getafe (Madrid). The minister, accompanied by a delegation of senior officials and technicians from MOTIE, met with our R&D team who is developing a broadband communications terminal for the new LEO satellite constellations.
La MOTIE delegation was received jointly by Directors of INSTER and the CPS Group, as well as by the Head of the Department of Foreign Technological Action of the CDTI, Ms. Ángeles Valbuena.
At the end of 2019, the CDTI and its counterpart in South Korea, KIAT, resolved the grants to finance the development proposal made by INSTER, ASAT and ETRI. The collaboration framework is the bilateral Korea-Spain within the European EUREKA program. The project started in January 2020 and will end in early 2023 with a fully operational demonstration terminal.
Within the distribution of project tasks, in INSTER we are developing the antenna terminal. This device consists of an electronically steerable antenna (ESA) consisting of an array of tiny antennas whose signals are electronically managed using beam shaping techniques (beamforming in English) hybrid analog digital. All of them operating in the range called millimeter waves, with frequencies between 17 GHz and 30 GHz.
Through powerful digital signal processing mechanisms and complex algorithms, LEO satellites can be pointed even when reception of orbit information is lost. These satellites make a complete revolution of the Earth every 90 minutes, with speeds 10 times higher than those of a bullet. When the satellite leaves the field of vision, the antenna must already be pointed at the next satellite so as not to lose connection at any time, performing this operation every 15 minutes. If the terminal is installed in vehicles, this process is even more complex, since it also has to monitor the movements of the vehicle at all times.
The responsibility of the Korean companies ASAT and ETRI lies in the design of the baseband or modem system.. It is an open solution, conforming to the new DVB-S2X standard. This standard enables the transmission of large bandwidths, particularly in ultra-high definition video applications and IP communications. In the implementation of the standard by ASAT and ETRI beam hopping mechanisms (beam hopping in English), consisting of directing the signal beams to different cells by multiplexing in time. This allows you to flexibly reconfigure data traffic based on demands and ultimately increase system capacity.
The LEO terminal in development will incorporate technological features similar to those of 5G, optimizing the use of resources and providing, in a similar way, enormous bandwidths with very low latencies, even lower than those of optical fiber in intercontinental sections, with the advantage of providing global coverage.
borja cumin, representative of the CPS Group and Dr. Maria Graña, responsible for the project in INSTER, have shown the results to date of the project, which has already passed the Critical Design Review (CDR) milestone and whose hardware is already in execution. During the visit, the Korean delegation was able to verify INSTER's design through three-dimensional dynamic views. Likewise, the head of design at ASAT and ETRI, Mr. Kim Haesso, has shown by video from Korea, the progress of the new modem, whose hardware prototype is now available.
This project constitutes a key pillar in INSTER's strategy in satellite communications of a new generation for the digital world, positioning the company at the technological forefront and allowing it to lead its deployment in applications derived from the dynamic New Space market. To cite a few examples, in leading fields such as connected and autonomous land and air vehicles or the extension of broadband in areas without fiber deployment