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CORDIS - EU research results



Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-09-30

A new generation of fully flexible satellites is taking over the space segment market. To control satellite flexible payloads and their configurable traditional counterparts, the EU-funded ATRIA project will build a generic and intelligent tool named AI-PCS, which is the main objective of the project. AI techniques will provide the tool with the intelligence needed to autonomously decide the optimum configuration of the available satellite resources for the on demand service requests. In this context, the Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) will constitute the core of these digital payloads, providing them with new capabilities unthinkable to achieve with the traditional analogue ones, such as adaptive bandwidth and power allocation, or flexibility in the connectivity and coverage, inside the newest 5G revolution network paradigms.

The relevance of the project is due to the provision of a solution for the configuration of the payload for the new flexible satellites. In this way, ATRIA contributes to an optimal usage of the satellite resources. Satellites plays a key role in modern communications. The main use of the connectivity services considered in the project is the provision of Internet and data connection to remote, rural or sparsely populated areas, ensuring in this way a societal impact of the project outcomes.
The project has been progressing according to the work plan during the period of 18 months referred in this periodic report (i.e. from M1 to M18; from April 2021 to September 2022). Section 1.2 of the technical report (part B) provides details at the level of WP. In a very summarised way:
- WP1: The project had the KOM (official milestone) on 16th April 2021. The Grant Agreement was signed in July 2021. There has been an amendment, signed in July 2022. The communication inside the consortium is fluent and partners are collaborating. The management and communication tools are in place. The Advisory Board has been created and an introductory meeting was organised. In February 2022 a first EC review meeting took place successfully.
- WP2: The WP has progressed as expected, providing use cases description, requirements and real data supplied by partners. This WP represents the perspective of a satellite or telecom operator taking advantage of the ATRIA functionalities. This WP has already started phase 2 activities.
- WP3: The WP has provided the plan for verification and validation and currently it is addressing the prototype of system to perform the payload configuration recommendations based on AI/ML components (AI-PCS).
- WP4: This WP is in charge of the development of AI/ML solutions to fulfil the requirements and use cases proposed by WP2. It has worked as expected, developing in an iterative way different approaches and versions of the algorithms for the two cases considered in phase 1. It has paid attention to the quantification of the validity of the results. This WP has already started phase 2 activities.
- WP5. This WP is progressing as expected, developing the flexible payload emulator considered in the project. A first version has already been released with the respective documentation and description. The flexible payload emulator will become an available resource for the project during phase 2.
- WP6. This WP has progressed as expected during this first period of the project, paying attention to the market and business opportunities for the project and to the issues related to the industrial property rights.
- WP7. This WP has progressed as expected. It is in charge of the dissemination, communication, standardisation and the technology transfer. The WP is working in several aspects and initiatives, as planned, such as scientific and academical events (e.g. KaConf), industrial events (e.g. Satellite), social media (Linkedin, Twitter) and the web page ( The objective is to reach different kinds of audiences.
Concerning the progress beyond of the state of the art, ATRIA is facing different fields, like the applicability of AI/ML techniques to space solutions, the creation of tools to improve the control of flexible and configurable payloads and the autonomous optimisation of satellite capabilities.

Beyond the development of the mentioned AI-PCS prototype, expected results of ATRIA are AI/ML algorithms and a payload simulator.

Concerning the impact, ATRIA addresses the elements specified by the European Commission in the respective work programme:
- To ensure and enhance the life-cycle cost reduction (including manufacturing and operations) and increased performance, resulting in the enhanced competitiveness of the European space manufacturing and service industry in the rapidly evolving field of satellite communication.
- To develop European research and technology ecosystems consisting of different parties involved in satellite communications, i.e. manufacturers of user equipment, ground segment technologies, service providers and operators, validation and simulation tool developers, and end users.
- To contribute to the integration of satellite communications into the 5G.
- Greater industrial relevance of research actions and output as demonstrated by deeper involvement of industry, including SMEs, and stronger take-up of research results.

ATRIA aims also at a societal impact at a wider scale. Due to socio-economic importance of the satellite for great part of the world population, the optimisation of the payload control proposed by ATRIA will enable a better usage of the satellite capabilities. Finally, ATRIA is contributing to the high-tech jobs creation in the EU space industry.
General schema of the project architecture, showing the prototype of AI-PCS for the payload control.