EB develops MIMO test environment for next gen satellite networks

By : |March 17, 2014 0

OULU, FINLAND: Elektrobit (EB) has completed a multi-year study with European Space Agency (ESA), analyzing the benefits of using multiple antennas (MIMO) in satellite communications.

During the study, EB developed a sophisticated, software-defined radio (SDR) based test environment, which is now globally available for satellite operators and infrastructure vendors. This advanced test environment can be utilized by EB’s customers to study the RF link performance on their existing or planned satellite networks, as well as ancillary terrestrial links.

MIMO techniques are among the most important technologies in improving capacity and reliability of radio communications links. Various MIMO techniques are commonly employed in current terrestrial communication standards such as LTE. Despite the clear advantages, MIMO techniques have not yet been widely deployed in satellite communications.

In this study with ESA, EB studied the challenges and benefits of MIMO techniques in satellite systems by carrying out a literature study, computer simulations and finally practical lab experiments of an existing satellite system to reveal the benefits of MIMO techniques on the radio link performance.

The developed EB MIMO test environment is based on EB’s earlier development of EB RACE, a software defined radio platform for wireless technology development, evaluation and demonstration. The EB RACE platform connects computer simulations to real RF interface and provides a smooth transition from simulation up to real implementation in small controllable steps. The MIMO test environment also includes a high-end radio channel emulator.

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