STYLIST - SW Tool for HYbrid SateLlite / TerrestrIal mobile BroadcaSting SysTem


The project goal was to build a methodology and a software tool able to analyze the system performances of next generation S (or L) -band mobile satellite hybrid networks.

Main objectives of the project were:

  1. Development of a SW methodology for the performance analysis of mobile satellite systems in L or S band with or without a Complementary Ground Component.
  2. Utilization of the SW methodology for performing an initial assessment of the possible benefits of new potential technical solutions (e.g. MIMO, dynamic on-ground beamforming) and access schemes on ad-designed hybrid systems.
  3. Providing guidelines / optimal strategies for improving the bandwidth and power efficiency of new hybrid systems.

Key issues were:

  • The definition of a sufficiently accurate and fast methodology for physical layer abstraction.
  • The implementation of a functional user interface for setting up simulations and presenting obtained results.

Main benefit of the work is the availability of a SW tool able to provide system performance indicators which may be used by the system planner as a guide in the design of S-band (or L-band) mobile satellite communication systems.


Satellite and terrestrial networks have traditionally been designed as complete separate entities. This was mainly due to the fact that the “satellite operator” and the “terrestrial operator” were typically not the same entity. As consequence no SW tool was available targeting the optimization of “integrated” satellite/terrestrial network as a single entity.

This separation between the satellite and terrestrial network components is not any more possible when dealing with new air interfaces specifically designed to operate in hybrid (satellite/terrestrial) scenarios. This is, for example, the case of DVB-SH or other similar technologies like ETSI-SDR or the future DVB-NGH.

Accordingly, the purpose of the subject activity was to define a logic analysis work‑flow and to develop a Software Tool (ST) able to simultaneously perform and harmonise various types of system analyses and trade-offs applicable to the satellite and the terrestrial scenarios. Moreover, the developed ST considers the integrated network as a whole from a functional point of view thus allowing end-to-end overall performance assessment. In regards to the design of the integrated network, the ST is able to drive the optimization of the satellite frequency plan taking into account the constraints imposed by terrestrial assignment plan. The ST is able to analyse performance of hybrid Single Frequency Network (SFN) networks as well as Multi-Frequency Network (MFN). For MFN network advantages coming from Code Combining, if allowed by the air interface, can be evaluated. Support for MIMO and On-Ground BeamForming is also built-in the ST.

Central to the ST functionality is the correct modelling of the satellite and terrestrial propagation fading as well as of intra-system and inter-system interferences. The adopted methodology is able to efficiently derive physical layer performances in the considered mobile environment accounting for the effect of fading and interleaving.

Beyond the purely elaboration capabilities, the developed SW tool has also an attractive GUI able to drive the integrated procedural work-flow and to visualize the obtained simulation results (see examples below).

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The project was started in March 2011 and has been completed with a Final presentation held in November 2012.

Current status


Prime Contractor