Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SANSA (Shared Access Terrestrial-Satellite Backhaul Network enabled by Smart Antennas)
Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2018-01-31
On the other hand, SANSA developed interference mitigation techniques enabling an efficient use of the spectrum. SANSA explored multi-antenna beamforming and nulling solutions with the focus on low cost/low complexity schemes. Hence, SANSA studied low cost antenna technologies such as hybrid analog-digital arrays, reflectarrays, metasurface antennas and parasitic arrays, as well as an extensive range of beamforming strategies covering point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-multipoint situations. Beamforming algorithms were evaluated in the realistic Helsinki scenario providing network spectral efficiency (NSE) gains up to 3.5x which could be extended to 9x in the case the channel characteristics permit multi-stream transmissions. These gains were upper bounded by the original number of carriers used in the benchmark scenario and reused thanks to SANSA solutions. NSE gains above 10x could be envisaged in future dense deployments. SANSA complemented the multi-antenna techniques with the development of dynamic and hybrid resource management solutions.
After the promising results obtained at simulation level, SANSA proceeded to the experimental validation of its two main enabling components. To this end, a hybrid analog-digital array prototype was developed and used in the over-the-air demonstration of the spectrum coexistence of a satellite and a terrestrial link. The antenna prototype in combination with the developed beamforming algorithms successfully protected a closely located satellite receiver, which was able to reproduce a received video with high quality. In addition, a HNM and IBN prototypes were evaluated in a pure virtual network emulation at IP level. It permitted demonstrating the improved resilience of SANSA networks thanks to the capabilities of the HNM/IBN to adapt the network topology to the traffic status and demands, thus solving congestion and link failure events.
These technical activities were disseminated in 4 SANSA events, 16 scientific journals, 58 conference/workshop papers and in 2 book chapters. In addition, spectrum sharing results were disseminated to regulatory bodies such as CEPT FM 44 group or the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT). SANSA also contributed to two working groups in ETSI SES SCN and in 3GPP SA1 related to the integration of satellites in 5G. On the exploitation side, the project produced two patent fillings, analysed a successful business case for the SANSA solution and detailed a roadmap for bringing SANSA to the market in the next future.
The interest for integration of satellite communications in 5G has grown up during the project execution. Currently, there are many activities in the standardization (ETSI and 3GPP working groups) and research fields (H2020 and ESA initiatives) devoted to this integration. Remarkably, SANSA is not only a pioneer on these topics but SANSA use cases and results are benefiting and will keep on benefiting all these recently started activities. In addition, the work relative to the self-organization and terrestrial topology configuration and to beamforming solutions for interference mitigation is very relevant to future 5G deployments in dense scenarios.
In the long term, SANSA project will also have a strong indirect impact over the European society. On one side, SANSA hybrid terrestrial-satellite technology will contribute to the appearance of new applications and user trends providing fast internet connection every time and everywhere. On the other side, SANSA will contribute to the economic growth of the European satellite and terrestrial telecommunications industries, which will be translated in new job openings, and thus it will strengthen the welfare state of the European citizens.