The objective of the activity is to develop a system that integrates terrestrial (line-of-sight) and satellite (beyond line-of-sight) links in the 5030-5091 MHz band to provide seamless communications for the command and control of UAVs. The system will be tested and demonstrated in a real-time testbed capable of emulating realistically and simultaneously the terrestrial and satellite links.
Targeted Improvements: Enabling the seamless integration of satellite and terrestrial links in the 5 GHz band for the command and control of UAVs not existing today.
Commercial communication services for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) isapromising market for satellite operators. However, it will only materialise to the extent these aircraft succeed. From a technologyperspective the command and control (C2) link is essential for the future of UAVs used in satellite communication systems. While civilaviation authorities will not allow UAV operations without certified links and terminals, regulatory authorities expect that Industry will propose standardised data links for certification. To help the development of command and control links for UAVs, the World Radio Conference allocated in 2012 the 5030-5091 MHz band to be shared by Line-of-Sight (LoS) and Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLoS) C2links. However, as LoS operations naturally precede BLoS ones, so does the development and adoption of their corresponding C2 links. Therefore, BLoS links need to be compatible and complementary to the incumbent LoS ones to be considered as a credible option. For this reason, this activity will develop a system that integrates satellite and terrestrial links in the 5030-5091 MHz band to provide seamless C2 communications for unmanned aircraft.
The activity will address critical aspects like aircraft handover, network log-on, interference between flying elements, and security at physical and network layers. The system will be validated and its performance assessed in a testbed capable of emulating realistically, simultaneously and in real time the terrestrial and satellite links. Finally, a dedicated test campaign will follow to assess the overall satellite-terrestrial 5GHz link performance. The results will bepresented in regulatory and standardisation forums to support the adoption of 5GHz solutions with a satellite component.