High Throughput Satellites (HTS) are changing the SATCOM market in the last decade by increasing capacity at a fast rate. With spot beam operational experience proven, the next step is beam hopping. This time the technology upgrade requires more terminal development effort, and this is where SatixFy steps in. Beam Hopping increases satellite capacity in comparison to legacy satellites and HTS. Throughput of greater than 100 Gbps for HTS satellites is an industry rule of thumb. Under development are Ultra High Throughput Satellites (UHTS) which are beam hopping enabled. SatixFy’s products support beam hopping today. SatixFy has developed a beam hopping emulator demonstrating initial modem feature development capability. Beam Hopping advantages:
- Service flexibility
- Payload cost reduction
- Total capacity increase
- Unmet capacity reduction
Beam Hopping Emulator
SatixFy’s beam hopping emulator is a complete four channel test bed. The emulator constitutes S-IDUs with SX-3000 SDR (Software Defined Radio) ASIC devices. This enables real time testing of Beam Hopping scenarios. The emulator is a tool for any satellite operator, payload manufacturer and ground equipment manufacturer who is developing a beam hopping product. It’s also helpful in supporting customer demonstration of a beam hopping system. The emulator first release enables validation and demonstration of the forward link Layer 1 (PHY) most critical Beam Hopping elements:
- DVB-S2X super-frame format type 4 structure as a physical layer enabler for Beam Hopping.
- Demonstration of different Beam Hopping parameters such as:
- Hopping period
- Dwell time
- Switching time
- Guard time
- Decoupling of the link between the GW and the Satellite from the link between the satellite and the users thus decreasing the number of GWs and increasing the delivered capacity to the user
Implementation and Standards
Beam hopping technology phase is emerging as an innovative industry initiative. Both academic research and industry development are building a foundation for new products. Implementation and standardization are now coalescing into solid deliverable products and technologies. Developing a new satellite communication standard and deploying it, is a big task. Undaunted, the industry is developing beam hopping technology as the next GEO era innovation. The goal is to increase capacity and enhance efficiency. This in turn will reduce cost-per-bit while maintaining the same allocated spectrum.
Beam Hopping Timing Operation
Beam Hopping operation scenarios apply to data, broadcast and mobility (maritime and airborne). SatixFy’s emulator currently works with time multiplexing giving proportionate time to each of four channels.