Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SCREEN (Space Cognitive Radio for Electromagnetic Environment maNagement)
Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31
In short, the overall SCREEN objectives are to:
• Derive cognitive radio requirements based on the Satcom and ISL market needs and specifications and taking into account regulatory constraints.
• Analyse, select, develop and simulate cognitive radio algorithms for spectrum sensing, dynamic spectrum management and learning.
• Adapt an existing SDR platform based on the radio reconfiguration requirements and use it to implement the cognitive algorithms.
• Test, validate and evaluate the prototype in laboratory environment (TRL4/5).
• Derive an optimised CR S-band transceiver architecture, based on the performance results obtained and constraints identified during the tests.
• Address all regulatory issues and develop exploitation strategies to build an adequate framework to allow future implementations of cognitive radio in space.
The project results have been widely disseminated, focused on target communities due to its yet low level of maturity, but also reaching broader audiences and the general public. Conference papers, workshop presentations and press releases have been issued throughout the project and the public website and social media tools put in place have also reached a large number of followers. In the end, the project has allowed to develop a CR simulator, which has now the potential for immediate exploitation, and also a baseline architecture that, in the medium term, could originate a new product in the space market.
The concept of cognitive radio was initially explored for terrestrial applications. The ability to decide at each moment and autonomously which part of the spectrum to use gives a level of flexibility, robustness and security in communications that is extremely attractive for defence applications. On the other hand, the ability to optimise the spectrum usage, which is a valuable resource in any application, is attractive by itself. Spinning the cognitive radio concept into space communications will lead not only to drastic improvements but also enable new approaches and a new generation of emerging missions based on multiple satellites. Particularly, it will enable major improvements in the two fields mentioned in the topic: technologies for flexible Satcom payloads and advanced ISL and downlink communications. For the Satcom market, the focus of SCREEN, cognitive radio can enable different approaches for managing the growing satellite communication demands and provide flexibility to explore new types of hybrid networks. An example is the hybrid networks studied in the project MONET, introducing Satcom capability in mobile wireless networks to provide remote connectivity. The biggest impact in the Satcom segment is however in performance. However, in terms of future space missions, the flexibility of cognitive radio, supported by the underlying SDR technology, holds promising advantages to a wide range of mission types, especially those involving multiple satellite platforms. Missions such as formation flying, on-orbit servicing or LEO communication networks have critical requirements in terms of communication, since the platforms need to interact permanently to coordinate actions. Having the capability of sensing the environment and detect which frequencies are available and more reliable to communicate would ensure robustness for critical operations. The fact that the process is entirely autonomous is also fully compatible with the nature of this new generation of missions.