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Satellite Communication for IBC

Objective

The primary objective of project R1002 was to investigate how satellites can be effectively used within IBC. Europe wide IBC will undoubtedly include satellites. Project R1002 has focused on how best to integrate these into the IBC as it is foreseen by RACE. Constraints as well as opportunities for exploiting the advantages of satellites are identified.
The primary objective of the project was to investigate how satellites can be effectively used within integrated broadband communications (IBC). Technological trends have been identified and related to possible future generations of satellites operating in Europe until well into the next century.
3 satellite network scenarios were developed which illustrate how satellites can be used in an IBC environment. 2 of these scenarios relate to fixed services and one to mobile services. The first scenario examined how existing satellites can be exploited to provide fixed IBC services across the whole of Europe by 1995. The second scenario investigated how an IBC-specific satellite subnetwork can be designed to form an integral part of the total network. The third scenario looked to the use of IBC-specific satellites to augment terrestrial mobile services.
This study has shown that both existing and forthcoming satellite/ground station technology is up to the challenges set by broadband communications on a European scale. Advances currently under development will ensure that satellites have a place in IBC until well into the next century. Satellites have been identified as a key means of accelerating IBC uptake, since they enable the introduction of many IBC services before land based (fibre) connections are in place. In the longer term, satellites carrying on board asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) switches can be completely integrated into IBC. Satellites providing mobile services are capable of complementing their terrestrial equivalents, so that full coverage of Europe can be provided, including the most remote areas.
Protocols have been identified as an important area requiring much more detailed investigations.
Technical Approach

Project R1002 has performed a detailed review of all the satellite networks that are currently expected to be available in Europe in the RACE time frame. Technological trends have been identified and related to possible future generations of satellites operating in Europe until well into the next century.

From this baseline, project R1002 developed three satellite network scenarios which illustrate how satellites can be used in an IBC environment. Two of these scenarios relate to fixed services and one to mobile services. The first scenario examines how existing satellites can be exploited to provide fixed IBC services across the whole of Europe by 1995. The second scenario investigates how an IBC-specific satellite sub- network can be designed to form an integral part of the total network. The third scenario looks to the use of IBC-specific satellites to augment terrestrial mobile services.

These three scenarios have been used as case studies to investigate areas of conflict and commonality between IBC and satellite sub-network requirements. Reference configurations have been generated, and contributions made to the functional reference model. Techno-economic data have also been derived from these scenarios. User services have been evaluated to identify those suited to transportation by the satellite part of the IBC.

Key Issues

- Constraints due to international or national regulations.
- Impact of satellites on reference configurations and evolution planning.
- Impact of satellites on protocol design for the whole of the IBC
- Economics of satellite systems in relation to terrestrial systems.
- Use of satellites as a transmission and switching medium.
- Quality and security of the satellite links.
- Services capabilities of existing and planned satellite systems.
- Impact of IBC requirements and, in particular, ATM techniques on the design of the functions of satellite networks.

Achievements

This study has shown that both existing and forthcoming satellite / ground station technology is up to the challenges set by broadband communications on a European scale. Advances currently under development will ensure that satellites have a place in IBC until well into the next century.

Satellites have been identified as a key means of accelerating IBC uptake, since they enable the introduction of many IBC services before land-based (fibre) connections are in place. In the longer term, satellites carrying on-board ATM switches can be completely integrated into IBC. Satellites providing mobile services are capable of complementing their terrestrial equivalents, so that full coverage of Europe can be provided, including the most remote areas.

Protocols have been identified as an important area requiring much more detailed investigation.

Expected Impact

- Identification of usages which could be initiated much more rapidly by the use of existing or planned satellite systems.
- Elaboration of standards taking into account the specific features of satellite communications (propagation delay, multiple access, ...).
- Evolution plans which include the favourable characteristics of satellite systems to provide: an ideal vehicle for distributive services; immediate user connections throughout Europe; and the ability to reconfigure the service area covered.

Coordinator

Alcatel Espace SA

Participants (6)

ANT Nachrichtentechnik GmbH
Germany
Address

71520 Backnang
Alcatel Air Navigation Face SpA
Italy
Address
Via Trento 30
20059 Vimercate Milano
Alcatel BELL
Belgium
Alcatel Standard Electrica SA
Spain
Dornier System GmbH
Germany
Address
An Der Bundesstraße 31
88049 Friedrichshafen
Telspace SA
France