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This feasibility study targets the definition phase, with the aim to raise TRL from 2 to 3. 

Amphinicy will first conduct a market analysis to derive use cases and user requirements. On parallel, it will assess technical solutions via a state-of-the-art analysis. 

Next, Amphinicy will define the service concept and the high-level system architecture. 

Based on this work, Amphinicy will implement a proof-of-concept to verify the overall operational concept. 

The viability of the solution will be assessed throughout the entire project, and a roadmap will be derived at the end to propose future development and phases.


Most missions communicate with the ground only when flying over their fixed, mission-dedicated ground station(s)

Ground segment CAPEX remains an issue for many missions, especially in NewSpace, accompanied by to the long delivery time, limited configuration and maintenance, and overall complexity.

Therefore, customers from different market segments are looking for solutions supporting the ad-hoc deployment of ground stations at different locations and times, through virtualized equipment hosted in the cloud.

Hence, the main challenge in this Feasibility Study is the migration of the DSP and FEC algorithms from the very efficient FPGA (hardware) into the GPU/CPU (software) domain.


The value proposition of ViSAGE is: 

  • No CAPEX – with software virtualization, the expense comes down to OPEX. 

  • Ad-hoc – the station can be dynamically deployed/undeployed on different cloud facilities/locations as needed. 

  • Optimization – based on mission requirements, cloud resources can be optimized (as well as OPEX). 

  • Pay-as-you-go model - pay per minute, for the time you use the antenna/cloud. 

  • Reusability – reuse the same modem for different missions - quick software reconfiguration. 

  • Certification – use the same software modem while simulating and planning the mission, then certify it during the mission integration and testing phase (AIV), and finally use the certified modem in operations. 

  • Time – fast deployment, configuration, and maintenance

  • Standardization – supports 3GPP standards for service management and orchestration, DVB-S2(X) for satcom waveform, DIFI for digitalized satcom communications.


ViSAGE is intended for all phases of SATCOM Mission Communications, featuring the following:

  • Definition Phase (DEF) support – engineers can run ViSAGE in a completely simulated and virtualized environment, simulating RF communications and channel impairments.

  • Realization Phase (REL) support – engineers can utilize ViSAGE to perform satellite's AIV in the lab, by testing and debugging the communication modules (both payload and TT&C). 

  • Operational Phase (OPS) support – engineers can configure and deploy ViSAGE to provide an end-to-end satcom communications slice.

  • Compliance with 3GPP standards for service management and orchestration.

  • Compliance with DIFI for digitalized RF signal over the cloud.

  • Software-based modem compatible with DVB-S2(X).

  • Friendly web-based user interface (UI).

System Architecture

ViSAGE provides the entire mission communication through two elements:

  1. ViSAGE Portal – a one-stop-shop for Mission Operators.

  2. ViSAGE Station – communication functions software package deployed in the cloud.

ViSAGE Portal allows customers to log in and configure all mission parameters, such as service type, satellite orbit, and Quality of Service (QoS). 

ViSAGE leverages the available GSaaS infrastructure for signal reception and digitization, the ViSAGE Modem for software-based modem operations, and the ViSAGE Platform for 3GPP-based service management and orchestration. 

The ViSAGE Station is then created to manage and orchestrate all resources needed to provide the end-to-end satcom communication service slice.

visage architecture

A customer or User Equipment (UE) located on the left side will be able to access the Data Network on the right side through an end-to-end satcom service (or slice) orchestrated by ViSAGE.

ViSAGE also implements:

  • The 5G Core Network Control Plane (5GC CP) and User Plane (5GC UP) for UE registration, authorization, authentication, session management, QoS policing, charging, and slice assignment and orchestration.

  • The Non-3GPP Interworking Function (N3IWF) to connect the DVB-S2(X) with the 5G Core Network. 


The project is divided into six work packages:

  • WP1 to collect market and user feedback and construct user needs, use cases and user requirements.

  • WP2 will study available technical solutions applicable to ViSAGE and provide a state-of-the-art analysis.

  • WP3 will then provide a preliminary design of the selected technical baseline and define the service concept, the high-level system architecture, and the system requirements.

  • WP4 will then detail and implement a subset of the requirements to verify the overall operational concept via a Proof of Concept.

  • WP5 is carried on parallel to WP1,2,3,4 to assess viability of ViSAGE.

  • WP6 will finally develop a roadmap of future phases.

The project includes four main milestones, with progress meeting every 2-3 months. MS1 (SRR) will verify both WP1 and WP2, MS2 (PDR) will verify WP3, MS3 (CDR) will verify both WP4 and WP5, and MS4 (FR) to finalize the project.

Current status

The project has successfully passed MS1 (SRR) , and verified the user needs and selected technical solution. After the SRR, the project has passed three progress meetings towards MS2 (PDR), with most of the design already fixed. Project management and viability analysis are conducted in parallel and updated on a regular basis.

Prime Contractor