(19)
(11)EP 3 591 860 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.03.2021 Bulletin 2021/11

(21)Application number: 19192056.0

(22)Date of filing:  29.12.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H04B 7/185  (2006.01)
H04B 7/195  (2006.01)
H04B 10/112  (2013.01)
H04B 7/19  (2006.01)

(54)

BIDIRECTIONAL SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS

BIDIREKTIONALE SATELLITENKOMMUNIKATION

COMMUNICATIONS BIDIRECTIONNELLES PAR SATELLITE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 29.12.2016 US 201662440238 P
28.12.2017 US 201715857605

(43)Date of publication of application:
08.01.2020 Bulletin 2020/02

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
17211123.9 / 3343802

(73)Proprietor: Facebook, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA 94025 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • HEMMATI, Hamid
    Menlo Park, CA California 94025 (US)
  • TIWARI, Abhishek
    Menlo Park, CA California 94025 (US)

(74)Representative: Murgitroyd & Company 
Murgitroyd House 165-169 Scotland Street
Glasgow G5 8PL
Glasgow G5 8PL (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-00/14902
US-A1- 2015 029 932
US-A1- 2005 090 198
US-A1- 2016 285 541
  
  • LEWARK U J ET AL: "Link budget analysis for future E-band gigabit satellite communication links (71-76 and 81-84 Ghz)", CEAS SPACE JOURNAL, SPRINGER VIENNA, SPRINGER WIEN, AUSTRIA, vol. 4, no. 1, 14 February 2013 (2013-02-14), pages 41-46, XP035356350, ISSN: 1868-2502, DOI: 10.1007/S12567-013-0030-0 [retrieved on 2013-02-14]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] This disclosure generally relates to satellite communications and to transceivers, systems and methods, in particular with regard to satellite communication.

BACKGROUND



[0002] To provide quality Internet service to unconnected residences around the globe, it is estimated that by 2020 aggregated user data-rates exceeding 100 Tbps will be required for the portion of the population that would be online simultaneously. The infrastructure required to make such a capacity practical necessitates major advancements in terrestrial, airborne, and space-borne telecommunications technologies.

[0003] It is estimated that at several Tbps telecom capacity per spacecraft, Internet delivery via satellites may become cost-competitive with the lowest-cost wired or wireless connectivity technologies. To realize this technological advance in telecom, substantial improvements in the capacity of today's satellite communications networks, whether in geostationary orbit (GEO) or medium-earth-orbit (MEO), low-earth-orbit (LEO) may be required.

[0004] Optical frequencies currently have a huge and unregulated spectrum. Current technologies for free-space optical/laser communications (lasercom) may allow multi-Tbps uplink capacity from a ground station to a MEO or GEO satellite along with Tbps-scale downlink capacity via a few beams. Currently, the total single spatial- and longitudinal-mode uplink laser power required to achieve 10 Tbps gateway link capacity per satellite is a limiting factor. Also, due to atmospheric effects, lasercom uplink and downlink availability per station may be limited (e.g., on the order of 50 to 60% for above average ground sites).

[0005] US 2016/0285541 A1 discloses an aircraft system comprising a first and a second transceiver. Each transceiver being configured to transmit and receive radio signals in a respective first and second mmW frequency band or Free Space Laser links. There is a network between the aircrafts disclosed which can include links to a satellite or to a ground station.

[0006] US 2005/090198 A1 discloses a satellite communications system utilizing orbiting communications satellites and reception/transmission stations.

[0007] WO 00/14902 A2 discloses a network that is provided to enable wireless broadband communication services to provide connectivity between users anywhere on the Earth that are both within and beyond a geographic area by utilizing millimeter and microwave carrier frequencies with wide bandwidths. An atmospheric platform carrying a payload serves as the main node of a star-topology network. The atmospheric platform communicates with other elements of the network such as Earth-bound user equipment, in multiple units, and gateways for providing information paths to remote cities.

SUMMARY OF PARTICULAR EMBODIMENTS



[0008] Appended claims 1-13 describe embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0009] 

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustrating a first example configuration of a satellite transceiver.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustrating a first example system configuration of a satellite transceiver and a plurality of ground stations according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustrating a second example system configuration of a satellite transceiver and a plurality of ground stations according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustrating a third example system configuration of a space vehicle and a plurality of ground stations according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustrating a fourth example system configuration of a satellite transceiver and a plurality of ground stations according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustrating a fifth example system configuration of a space vehicle and a plurality of ground stations according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 7 is a schematic illustrating a sixth example system configuration of a space vehicle and a plurality of ground stations according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 8 is a schematic illustrating an example configuration of a satellite feeder link receiver for providing SISO transmissions.

FIG. 9 is a schematic illustrating an example configuration of a space-vehicle feeder link transmitter for providing SISO transmissions.

FIG. 10 is a schematic illustrating an example frequency reference system for providing SISO transmissions. In this example, individual bands may use either the Q/V- or E-band system, and a combination of bands may use both systems.

FIG. 11 is a schematic illustrating an example configuration of a ground station.

FIG. 12 is a schematic illustrating an example signal processing design according to embodiments described herein.

FIG. 13 is a schematic illustrating a 2x2 MIMO architecture for dual polarization.

FIG. 14 is a schematic illustrating an example MIMO ground station with a receiver.

FIG. 15A illustrates a forward channel frequency plan according to a first example embodiment of a system configuration described herein.

FIG. 15B illustrates a return channel frequency plan according to the example embodiment of FIG. 15A.

FIG. 15C is a schematic illustrating forward/return payload block diagram according to the example embodiment of FIG. 15A.

FIG. 16A illustrates a forward channel frequency plan according to a second example embodiment of a system configuration described herein.

FIG. 16B illustrates a return channel frequency plan according to the example embodiment of FIG. 16A.

FIG. 16C is a schematic illustrating forward/return payload block diagram according to the example embodiment of FIG. 16A.

FIG. 17A illustrates a forward channel frequency plan according to a third example embodiment of a system configuration described herein.

FIG. 17B illustrates a return channel frequency plan according to the example embodiment of FIG. 17A.

FIGS. 18A-C are charts illustrating results of calculating a recommended number of diversity gateways for the example embodiments described with respect to FIGS. 15A-17B.

FIG. 19 illustrates an example computer system.


DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS



[0010] Particular embodiments may provide a means of providing high-capacity RF/MMW feeder link service for high-throughput satellites (e.g., targeting 10 Tbps uplink and downlink and an average link availability of ≥99.9%). Particular embodiments may provide a system and methods for achieving ground site diversity, with ground stations (that are visible to a satellite) located a few 100 km apart at atmospherically-independent weather cells. Particular embodiments may uplink laser communications beams to (e.g., MEO or GEO) satellites at data rates on the order of multi-Tbps from four to five ground stations at different weather cells to achieve station diversity resulting in high (e.g., >99%) link availability. Particular embodiments may provide augmentation with RF and MMW gateway links. Particular embodiments may provide a hybrid of laser communications and millimeter-wave (MMW) links, where a lower capacity MMW transceiver is utilized both as a means to enhance the communications capacity per satellite, and as a backup to the high rate lasercom link. Particular embodiments may provide a satellite downlink using a combination of MMW bands, e.g. Q/V-Band at approximately 46 to 56 GHz, plus E-band (71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz), or Q/V plus W-band approximately 86 to 110 GHz), or E + W-bands, to achieve high communication bandwidths at lightly regulated frequencies. Use of Q/V and E-band together, for example, may come close to doubling the available spectrum. Particular embodiments may provide both SISO and MIMO MMW-band links with dispersed ground stations to further enhance the downlink data rate. Satellite uplink and downlink using a combination of MMW bands, e.g., Q/V-Band at approximately 46 to 56 GHz, plus E-band (approximately 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz) or plus W-band (approximately 86 to 110 GHz), or plus E + W-bands, to achieve high communications bandwidths at lightly regulated frequencies. Particular embodiments may use either SISO or MIMO RF/MMW beams as the sole downlink communications band. Particular embodiments may provide an optical (e.g., lasercom) feeder downlink to specific gateway links (as opposed to connecting directly to end users). To realize 10 Tbps capacity MMW feeder links, for example, the number of MMW ground stations may need to be scaled accordingly, and antenna sizes need to be enlarged to the maximum practical dimensions.

[0011] FIG. 1 is a schematic illustrating a first example configuration of a satellite transceiver 100. Multi-Tbps data aggregate and disaggregation module 100 includes mux/demux logic to send data transmissions as laser communications beams 120 or as MMW communications 130 to and from ground stations and endpoint devices. In FIG. 1, the different MMW bands are illustrated by the N RF branches which radiate using a common reflector owing to size weight and power constraints associated with the satellite. The MMW bands are aggregated passively post power amplification; an example technique for accomplishing this is described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2017/0317741 A1, titled "Wireless Communication Utilizing Post-Amplification Carrier Aggregation" and filed 27 April 2016. A multi-band coaxial feed structure can also be used to passively aggregate the different MMW bands. The data carrying capacity in each MMW band is limited by the amount of RF bandwidth available and the maximum spectral efficiency possible in each band. In order to enable multi-Tbps of data several such bands will need to be multiplexed along with free space optical transmissions. In the figure free space optical transmission uses a separate aperture and its own transmission chain.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a schematic illustrating a first example system configuration of a satellite transceiver and a plurality of ground stations according to particular embodiments described herein. FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a hybrid optical uplink and Q/V+E bands or E+W bands for downlink. An optical ground station may be located at each of four different sites and equipped with modulated uplink laser beams to the satellite. A distance d between any two sites may be configured to be greater than a maximum reuse distance for the beam. The sites may be located at atmospherically-independent weather cells (e.g., for station diversity).

[0013] FIG. 3 is a schematic illustrating a second example system configuration of a satellite transceiver and a plurality of ground stations according to particular embodiments described herein. FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a combined Q/V-and E-band at the satellite and at the ground station for the example of achieving 0.5 Tbps capacity bi-directionally with GEO satellites. As used herein, Tx denotes a transmitter and Rx denotes a receiver. As shown in FIG. 2 , the transceiver may comprise two 3 m Tx antennae (one Q/V-band, and one E-band) and two 2.5 m Tx antennae (one Q/V-band, and one E-band), wherein the beams are dual-polarized. The ground stations may each comprise one E-band Tx/Tx 12 m antenna and one V-band Tx/Rx 12 m antenna, wherein the beams are dual-polarized. In particular embodiments, seven ground stations may be required to achieve an overall bandwidth of 0.5 Tbps.

[0014] In discussing the different communication bands, particular embodiments may be based on assumptions, such as, by way of example and not limitation: Ka-band uplink in the 27.5-30 GHz range (e.g., 2.5 GHz available spectrum), and Ka-band downlink in the 17.7-18.6 GHz, and 18.8-20.2 GHz (e.g., 2.3 GHz available spectrum); Q/V-band uplink in the 42.5-47, 47.2-50.2, 50.4-51.4 GHz range (e.g., > 5 GHz available spectrum), and Q/V downlink in the 37.5-42.5 GHz range (e.g., 5 GHz available spectrum); E-band uplink in the 81-86 GHz (e.g., 5 GHz available spectrum), and E-band downlink at 71-76 GHz (e.g., 5 GHz available spectrum).

[0015] In comparison with conventional GEO satellite Ka-band communications, the number of simultaneous beams for 0.5 Tbps capacity in each direction (e.g., forward or return channel) may be fifteen beams for Ka- and Q/V-bands, or seven beams for an E- or Q/V and E band combination. To achieve high (e.g., ≥99.9%) link availability at this capacity, particular embodiments may need eighteen beams for Ka- and Q/V-bands, and nine beams for combined E-and Q/V- and E-bands (see Fig. 2 and 3), based on assumptions of a 2.5-meter airborne antenna diameter and a 3-meter ground station diameter at any of the communications frequencies.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a schematic illustrating a third example system configuration of a space vehicle (comprising the satellite communications payload) and a plurality of ground stations according to particular embodiments described herein. FIG. 3 illustrates multiple-site SISO at individual frequencies (Ka, V, or E). Such embodiments may be based on particular assumptions to achieve 0.5 Tbps capacity in each direction in links with space vehicle, such as, by way of example and not limitation: space vehicle includes one three-meter transmit antenna (at Ka, V, or E), one 2.5-meter receive antenna (Ka, V, E), and dual-polarized beams; ground station includes: one twelve-meter transmit and receive antenna, and dual-polarized beams. In particular embodiments, the number of sites to achieve 0.5 Tbps at E- or Q/V-band may be fifteen.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a schematic illustrating a fourth example system configuration of a satellite transceiver and a plurality of ground stations according to particular embodiments described herein. Particular embodiments provide multiple-site SISO at combined Q/V and E-bands. Particular embodiments may be based on particular assumptions to achieve 0.5 Tbps capacity in each direction in links with GEO satellites, such as, by way of example and not limitation: spacecraft-side includes two 3-meter transmit antennas (e.g., one Q/V-band, one E-band), two 2.5-meter receive antennas (e.g., one Q/V-band, one E-band), and dual-polarized beams; ground station includes: one 12-meter transmit and receive antenna Q/V-band antenna, one 12-meter E-band antenna, and dual-polarized beams. The number of sites to achieve 0.5 Tbps at E- or Q/V-band may be cut to about half (to 7 sites) relative to use of other communications bands by themselves.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a schematic illustrating a fifth example system configuration of a space vehicle and a plurality of ground stations according to particular embodiments described herein. Particular embodiments provide a multiple-site 2X2 MIMO architecture: to achieve 0.5 Tbps bi-directionally in links with space vehicles, particular embodiments may be based on assumptions, such as, by way of example and not limitation: four 2-meter antennas on the space vehicle, 6-meter spacing between transmitter and receiver antennas, and dual-polarized beam. The ground station may include: two 12-meter antennas. Required number of sites is 9.

[0019] FIG. 7 is a schematic illustrating a sixth example system configuration of a space vehicle and a plurality of ground stations according to particular embodiments described herein. Particular embodiments provide a multiple-site 3X3 MIMO architecture: to achieve 0.5 Tbps in each direction (GEO range), particular embodiments may be based on assumptions, such as, by way of example and not limitation: six 2-meter antennas on the space vehicle, 6-meter spacing between transmitter and receiver antennas, and dual-polarized beam. The ground station may include: three 12-meter antennas. Required number of sites is 6.

[0020] SISO Implementation of the Combined Bands. In discussing the different communication bands, particular embodiments are based on the following assumptions: Ka-band uplink in 27.5 to 30 GHz range (2.5 GHz available spectrum), and Ka-band downlink in the 17.7 to 18.6GHz, and 18.8-20.2 GHz (2.3 GHz available spectrum); Q/V-band uplink in the 42.5-47, 47.2-50.2, 50.4-51.4 GHz range (> 5GHz available spectrum), and Q/V downlink in the 37.5 to 42.5 GHz range (5 GHz available spectrum); E-band uplink in the 81 to 86 GHz (5 GHz available spectrum), and E-band downlink at 71 to 76 GHz) 5 GHz available spectrum). Particular embodiments may support different values in these communications bands.

[0021] Minimum Required Number of RF-Sites (in SISO mode). Particular embodiments are based on the following assumptions: that all sites can operate at 99% link availability, and that the sites are sufficiently distant that there is negligible inter-site correlation between probabilities of rain. Comparing with the conventional GEO satellite Ka-band communications (Table 1), the number of simultaneous beams, for example, at 0.5 Tbps capacity in each direction (forward or return) is 15 beams for Ka- and Q/V-bands, while 7 beams for E- or Q/V and E band combination. To achieve 99.9% link availability at this capacity, particular embodiments may require 18 beams for Ka- and Q/V-bands, and 9 beams for combined E-and Q/V-and E-bands. Particular embodiments are based on the following assumptions: 2.5-meter airborne antenna diameter and 3-meter ground station diameter at any of the communications frequencies.

[0022] Particular embodiments provide targeting system-wide capacity of 0.5 Tbps. Assuming that all sites can operate at high (e.g., 99%) link availability, and that the sites are sufficiently distant from each other such that there is negligible inter-site correlation between probabilities of rain, link analysis may indicate the number of required sites for different frequencies of SISO communications and system availability. By way of example and not limitation, 41 beams may be required for Ka-band communications, 15 beams may be required for Q/V-band and E-band communications, and 7 beams may be required for links that use a combination Q/V and E bands. In all cases, the transmit aperture diameter may be 3 meters and the receiver aperture diameter may be 2.5 meters.

[0023] Targeting 99.99% system availability at this capacity may require 45 beams at Ka-band, 18 beams for Q/V- or E-band, and only 9 beams for Q/V- and E-band combination. The 3 additional beams (needed for availability) may be in hot standby: ready to pick up some load when one or more beams go down due to weather. Power consumption for these beams is reduced primarily due to solid-state-amplifiers being used in a low duty cycle and digital electronics where consumption is based on data throughput FPGA demodulator/decoder, and I/Q modulator and digital to analog converter. Very low data rate signals may continue to be sent to the 3 back-up sites to ensure rapid switchover to full data rate is possible. The combined Q/V- and E-band configuration may use 9 dual-polarized beams on each band and only 9 versus 18 ground stations. Table 1 summarizes the minimum required number of RF/MMW sites.
Table 1. The minimum required number of RF/MMW for different system availability assumptions.
Capacity ≥0.5 Tbps (GEO range) 41 15 15 7
99% system availability 43 16 16 8
99.9% system availability 44 17 17 9
99.99% system availability 45 18 18 9
Satellite transmit aperture (m) 3 3 3 3
Satellite receive aperture (m) 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5


[0024] Table 2 shows examples values for mass, power, and normalized cost for all three options, along with the parameters that may significantly impact the terminal cost. For the 18-beam single-band case, 36 dual-redundant solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) may be used. The combined dual-band embodiment reduces the number of unique ground stations from 18 to 9. Depending on the satellite configuration, a boom may be required.
Table 2. Mass, power, and normalized cost (capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX)) values for V, E, and V+E combined bands to achieve high rate capacity.
Mass (kg) 220 220 310
Power consumption (W) 1170 1250 1300
Number of antennas 2 2 4
Number of dual-pol feeds 18 18 18
Number of redundant SSPAs 36 36 36
Relative CAPEX cost (normalized) 1 1.2 1.1
Relative OPEX cost (normalized) 1.38 1.45 1


[0025] Particular embodiments may utilize Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) to scale up the capacity. Again, the combined Q/V and E-band system may be applied here to further increase the satellite communications capacity. MIMO builds on the basic SISO architecture using the same receiver and transmitter chain. However, the required numbers of chains may differ. Each transmitter has the capability to send a unique dual-polarized stream to multiple locations (for availability), with one site being used at a time (Figs. 4 and 5). The 2x2 and 3x3 architectures each send 2 or 3 such sets of streams to the active site where the receiver provides the signal processing to separate out the streams using a spatial tie equalizer (Fig. 6).

[0026] FIG. 8 is a schematic illustrating an example configuration of a satellite feeder link receiver for providing SISO transmissions. The signals received on the various feeds go through an ortho-mode transducer to split them into Left Hand Circularly Polarized (LHCP) and Right Hand Circularly Polarized (RHCP) signals which are then downconverted to a common Intermediate frequency. The various intermediate frequency signals are downconverted using an I/Q receiver. The analog I/Q signals are sampled at Nyquist rate and sent to the payload after buffering and packet switching.

[0027] FIG. 9 is a schematic illustrating an example configuration of a space-vehicle feeder link transmitter for providing SISO transmissions. FIG. 9 shows several data streams that are upconverted through an I/Q mixer structure to a common Intermediate frequency. The IF signals in different branches are upconverted to a variety of different MMW bands, which are then amplified using travelling waveguide tube amplifiers and radiated using a common dish reflector.

[0028] FIG. 10 is a schematic illustrating an example frequency reference system for providing SISO transmissions. In this example, individual bands may use either the Q/V- or E-band system, and a combination of bands may use both systems. The figure shows direct digital synthesis chips to generate the two LOs required in a typical super-heterodyne architecture.

[0029] FIG. 11 is a schematic illustrating an example configuration of a ground station. This example identifies: the need for fiberoptic access at the ground station (SISO/MIMO/Optical Ground Station Access); the need fpr a high-speed edge router to effectively manage data movement - for example requiring fast hardware pluse, for example, 100GbE interfaces; Data Server and switch infrastructure for data management beyond just passing packets; Optical Transport hardware providing wavelength conversion and wavelength multiplexing over long-haul; Core Router with larger backbone to handle maximum data-rate to/from centralized location and data handoff to ISPs; and Vendor access to connect high-rates to the Internet.

[0030] FIG. 12 is a schematic illustrating signal processing according to particular embodiments described herein. MIMO builds on the basic SISO architecture using the same receiver and transmitter chain. However, the required numbers of chains may differ. Each transmitter has the capability to send a unique dual-polarized stream to multiple locations (for availability), with one site being used at a time. In the example embodiment of NxN MIMO, N sets of streams (e.g., 2x2 and 3x3 architectures each send 2 or 3 such sets of streams) to the active site where the receiver provides the signal processing to separate out the streams using a Spatial Time Equalizer ("STE").

[0031] FIG. 13 is a schematic illustrating a 2x2 MIMO architecture for dual polarization. The figure shows the least mean squares ("LMS") algorithm implementing the STE along with some additional detail for one of the eight weights. Each complex weight has a number of taps in the transversal filter based on time-bandwidth product and multipath. Note that the antenna may also contribute to internal multipath since the space vehicle body may contribute large reflections into the side lobes of the antennae.

[0032] Analysis indicates that MIMO requires fewer sites for both 2x2 and 3x3 compared to SISO to achieve both the minimum required capacity and availability. The apertures have slightly reduced size, but must be configured in a uniform linear array. This may require booms with joints to reposition from the stowed configuration. For example, the 2x2 requires a total of four 2-meter antennas while the 3x3 requires six 2-meter antennas.

[0033] This configuration may add significant mass to the satellite but is partially offset by the reduced number of parallel channels. Each simultaneous channel may require 2 x N receive and transmit chains where N is the MIMO dimension.
Table 3. Space Time Equalizer Complexity
Number of simultaneous beams of capacity 9 9 6 6
Number of beams for availability 12 12 8 8
HPA power before back-off 6.2 7.2 5.2 6.1
Back-off (dB) 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1
Transmit aperture size 2 2 2 2
Receive aperture size 2 2 2 2


[0034] Mass and power for all four options are summarized in Table 4 along with parameters that most drive the terminal cost. For all cases, dual redundant SSPAs are used. The 3x3 MIMO reduces the number of ground sites to eight at the cost of a more complex space vehicle. The MIMO mass is noticeably higher than similar SISO cases as booms have been assumed necessary to position the antennas and clear the SV service link antennas.
Table 4. Summary of Key MIMO Parameters
Mass (kg) 410 410 536 536
Power (W) 1573 1684 1491 1591
Number of antennas 4 4 6 6
Number of beams for availability 12 12 8 8
Number of dual-pol feeds 24 24 24 24
Number of Rx and Rx chains 48 48 48 48


[0035] As shown in the table below, for particular embodiments implementing 2x2 MIMO, per site capacity may be 70% higher than SISO. V- and E-bands may need nine sites to achieve 500Gbps (for capacity). With 2x2 (2 receive and 2 transmit antennas) MIMO, the number of simultaneous beams for capacity may be nine for either Q/V or E-bands assuming high (e.g., 99.99%) system availability. In particular embodiments, the number of beams required for high link availability may be twelve beams. Conversely, for the example embodiment of 3x3 MIMO, only six simultaneous beams may be needed for high availability, and only eight simultaneous beams for high availability, again using either Q/V- or E-bands. In either case, use of a 2-meter diameter transmitter apertures and 2-meter diameter receiver apertures is assumed.

[0036] The 2X2 per site capacity may be approximately 70% higher than SISO. Also, Q/V- and E-bands require only nine sites to achieve 0.5 Tbps bi-directionally in links with GEO satellite, compared with 23 sites for Ka-band. In this particular example, for ground-to-satellite links, flight antenna separation at the satellite may be eight meters for all bands, while antenna separation on the satellite may be eight meters for Ka-band, and six meters for Q/V- or E-bands. These values are summarized in Table 5.
Table 5. 2X2 MIMO (2 receive and w transmit antennas) requirements, and distance separations for the cases of uplink and downlink.
Number of sites to exceed 0.5 Tbps 23 9 9
Antenna separation on the satellite (m) 8 8 8
Antenna separation on the ground (km) 25 21 11.5
Number of sites to exceed 0.5 Tbps 23 9 9
Antenna separation on the satellite (m) 8 6 6
Antenna separation on the ground (km) 37 23.5 13


[0037] Table 6 summarizes the 3X3 MIMO (3 receive and 3 transmit antennas) antenna requirements and separations for uplink and downlink. The 3X3 per site capacity may be approximately 2.5 times greater than SISO. Also, V- and E-bands may require only 6 sites to achieve 0.5 Tbps at GEO range, compared with 15 sites for Ka-band.
Table 6. 3x3 MIMO Capacity for Ka, V/Q- and E-bands (required number of sites to achieve 0.5 Tbps data-rate)
Number of sites needed to exceed 0.5 Tbps 15 6 6
Antenna separation on the satellite (m) 8 8 8
Antenna separation on the ground (km) 16.5 21 11.5
Number of sites needed to exceed 0.5 Tbps 15 6 6
Antenna separation on the satellite (m) 8 6 6
Antenna separation on the ground (km) 25 16 8.5


[0038] Link availability - Particular embodiments provide targeting-system-wide MMW capacity of 0.5 Tbps at GEO range. Particular embodiments may be based on an assumption that all sites can operate at high link availability while remaining sufficiently separated and distant so that there is low inter-site correlation between probabilities of rain. Table 5 summarizes the number of sites to achieve different degrees of link availability.
Table 7. Number of sites required for achieving 0.5 Tbps bi-directionally n links with GEO satellites, and at different system availabilities.
0.5 Tbps capacity 9 9 6 6
99% system availability 10 10 7 7
99.9% system availability 11 11 8 8
99.99% system availability 12 12 8 8


[0039] FIG. 14 is a schematic illustrating an example MIMO ground station with a receiver. In order to create a high rank Line of Sight MIMO channel matrix, the ground station MIMO antennas may need to be separated by 8-50 kms. All the sampled signals from the multiple ground antenna sites need to be brought to a central location for MIMO receiver processing. In this particular embodiment, sampled baseband signals from remote sites are packetized and sent over a dedicated optical fiber backbone to the main site to be processed along with all the other signals received at the various MIMO antennas. The MIMO receiver processing is done at the main site. The separated data streams are then sent to the central data distribution facility.

[0040] Table 8 summarizes and compares the quantity and diameter of flight transmitters and receiver antenna diameters as well as the quantity and diameter of ground antennas for the cases of SISO and MIMO, at different communications frequencies.
Table 8. Quantity, flight and ground aperture diameters for cases of SISO and MIMO at different frequency bands. Tx denotes transmit and Rx denotes receive. Tx denotes transmitter and Rx denotes receiver.
SISO (Ka, V, or E-Band) One 3m Tx antenna (Ka, V, or E) One Tx/Rx 12m antenna
One 2.5m Rx antenna (Ka, V, or E) 15 ground stations
SISO (Q/V + E-band) Two 3m Tx antennas (1 V and 1 E) One, 12m E-band Tx/Rx antenna
Two 2.5m Rx antennas (1 V and 1 E) One 12m V-band Tx/Rx antenna 7 ground stations
2x2 MIMO Four 2m Tx antenna Two 12m antennas
6m spacing between antennas 9 ground stations
3x3 MIMO Six 2m Tx antenna Three 12m antennas
6m spacing between antennas 6 ground stations


[0041] Particular embodiments may provide channelization on uplink. Particular embodiments may further provide implementation of cross-polarization interference cancellation or other types of interference cancellation on the satellite. Particular embodiments may further provide oval satellite antennas, which may widen the beam in the direction of spacing of the MIMO ground stations, as well as mitigating pointing error.

[0042] Three example system configurations are discussed below:

Example 1:



[0043] 
  • user beams: Ka-band dual-polarized
  • ground stations: V-band dual-polarized uplink; Q-band single-polarized downlink
  • spectrum/ground station: 8 GHz forward channel, 3 GHz return channel Example 2:
  • user beams: Ka dual-polarized
  • ground stations: V- and E-band (81-86 GHz) dual-polarized uplink; Q-band dual-polarized downlink
  • spectrum/ground station: 18 GHz forward channel, 6 GHz return channel Example 3:
  • user beams: Ka dual-polarized
  • ground stations: V- and E-band (71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz) dual-polarized uplink; Q-band dual-polarized downlink
  • spectrum/ground station: 27 GHz forward channel, 6 GHz return channel
Table 7. Summary of frequencies for three satellite transceiver designs.
Example 1 47.2-50.2 & 50.4-51.4 37.5-40.5 * 17.8-18.8 & 19.7-20.2 29.5-30.0
Example 2 47.2-50.2 & 50.4-51.4, 81-86 37.5-40.5 ** 17.8-18.8 & 19.7-20.2 29.5-30.0
Example 3 47.2-50.2 & 50.4-51.4, 71-76, 81-86 37.5-40.5 ** 17.8-18.8 & 19.7-20.2 29.5-30.0


[0044] FIG. 15A illustrates a forward channel frequency plan according to a first example embodiment ("Example 1") of a system configuration described herein. The V/Ka-Band forward frequency plan illustrated in FIG. 15A may support 12 user beams by each ground station, thereby requiring 30 ground stations per satellite transceiver. As shown, ten of the user beams may be assigned 750MHz and two of the user beams may be assigned 250MHz, thereby requiring five local oscillator (LO) frequencies.

[0045] FIG. 15B illustrates a return channel frequency plan according to the example embodiment of FIG. 15A . As described above, 12 user beams may be supported by each ground station, and each of the beams assigned to a ground station for the forward channel may be assigned to the same gateway for the return channel. On the return channel, all 12 user beams may be assigned 250MHz, thereby requiring six LO frequencies.

[0046] FIG. 15C is a schematic illustrating forward/return payload block diagram according to the example embodiment of FIG. 15A . In the forward channel block diagram, V-band signals received from the ground stations are processed (e.g., down-converted, then filtered and routed) to generate individual Ka user beams to transmit information to end users' devices. In the return channel block diagram, the Ka user beams received from end users' devices are processed (e.g., filtered and routed, then up-converted) to generate Q-band signals to transmit information back to the ground stations.

[0047] FIG. 16A illustrates a forward channel frequency plan according to a second example embodiment ("Example 2") of a system configuration described herein. The V-Band + E-Band (at 81-86 GHz) forward frequency plan illustrated in FIG. 16A may provide 10GHz of additional forward uplink bandwidth for each gateway. This example configuration may support 24 user beams by each ground station, thereby requiring only 15 ground stations per satellite transceiver. In this example configuration, any user beams previously assigned 250MHz may be assigned 750MHz, thereby requiring 12 LO frequencies.

[0048] FIG. 16B illustrates a return channel frequency plan according to the example embodiment of FIG. 16A . As described above, 24 user beams may be supported by each ground station, and each of the beams assigned to a ground station for the forward channel may be assigned to the same gateway for the return channel. On the return channel, all 24 user beams may be assigned 250 MHz (providing a 3:1 forward to return bandwidth ratio), requiring six LO frequencies. In this example, both polarizations may be used for the return transmission. In this embodiment, no additional return traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs) may be required (as compared to Example 1).

[0049] FIG. 16C is a schematic illustrating forward/return payload block diagram according to the example embodiment of FIG. 16A . In the forward block diagram, V-band and E-band signals received from the ground stations are processed (e.g., separately down-converted, then jointly filtered and routed) to generate individual Ka user beams to transmit information to end users' devices. In the return block diagram, the Ka user beams received from end users' devices are processed (e.g., filtered and routed, then up-converted) to generate Q-band signals to transmit information back to the ground stations

[0050] FIG. 17A illustrates a forward channel frequency plan according to a third example embodiment ("Example 3") of a system configuration described herein. The V-Band + E-Band (in the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bandwidths) forward frequency plan illustrated in FIG. 16A may provide 20GHz of additional forward uplink bandwidth for each gateway (relative to Example 1). This example configuration may support 36 user beams by each ground station, thereby requiring only 10 ground stations per satellite transceiver. In this example configuration, all user beams may be assigned 750MHz, thereby requiring 18 LO frequencies (the forward bandwidth assignments for each beam may be comparable to Example 2).

[0051] FIG. 17B illustrates a return channel frequency plan according to the example embodiment of FIG. 17A . As described above, 36 user beams may be supported by each ground station, and each of the beams assigned to a ground station for the forward channel may be assigned to the same gateway for the return channel. On the return channel, all 36 user beams may be assigned 166 MHz (providing a 4.5:1 forward to return bandwidth ratio), requiring nine LO frequencies (as compared to six LO frequencies for Examples 1 and 2). In this example, both polarizations may be used for the return transmission. In this embodiment, no additional return traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs) may be required (as compared to Example 1).

[0052] When comparing mass and power requirements, the embodiments described above with respect to the three examples illustrates various possible benefits of each system configuration (as shown in Table 8 below). In Example 2 (relative to Example 1), the additional forward uplink bandwidth for Example 2 may reduce the number of ground stations by 50%. The additional mass and DC power required for the E-band components may be offset by a reduction of V-band units required. The slight increase in mass for Example 2 accounts for the additional LOs for the E-band frequency translation. In Example 3 (relative to Example 1), the significant reduction in mass and power is attributable to the reduction in the number of required ground stations.
Table 8. Comparison of mass and power requirements.
Example 1 2013 20381
Example 2 2017 20034
Example 3 1872 19474


[0053] In order to assess the number of diversity gateways required for a given system configuration, particular embodiments may use a N+P gateway redundancy approach to determine the minimum number of gateways required such that at least X of them are simultaneously available 99.9 percent of the time (overall 99.9 percent gateway link availability), where X is the number of ground stations in a given system configuration. As described above in the three examples illustrated in FIGS. 15A-17B , X is 30 for Example 1, 15 for Example 2, and 10 for Example 3. Particular embodiments may use a binomial distribution for N + P, where N is {30, 15, 10} gateways, and P is in the range of 1-5 extra gateways. Based on the following assumptions:

each gateway has the same gateway outage probability p,

the gateway capacity delivered is either 1 or 0, and

there is no correlation of outage between gateways,the aggregate probability of gateway outage, P_outage may be calculated as:

Image available on "Original document"

where:

N = # of baseline gateways,

P = # of diversity gateways provisioned,

P = probability of outage of each gateway, and

C = binomial coefficient.



[0054] FIG. 18A is a chart illustrating results of calculating a recommended number of diversity gateways for the example embodiment described with respect to Example 1 (forward channel: V-band uplink/Ka-band downlink; return channel: Ka uplink/Q-band downlink), based on varying the number of diversity gateways provisioned for the system configuration with 30 ground stations (12 user beams/gateway). FIG. 18B is a chart illustrating results of calculating a recommended number of diversity gateways for the example embodiment described with respect to Example 2 (forward channel: V-band+E-band [81-86 GHz] uplink/Ka-band downlink; return channel: Ka uplink/Q-band downlink), based on varying the number of diversity gateways provisioned for the system configuration with 15 ground stations (24 user beams/gateway). FIG. 18C is a chart illustrating results of calculating a recommended number of diversity gateways for the example embodiment described with respect to Example 3 (forward channel: V-band+E-band [71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz] uplink/Ka-band downlink; return channel: Ka uplink/Q-band downlink), based on varying the number of diversity gateways provisioned for the system configuration with 10 ground stations (36 user beams/gateway). In all three instances, P is assumed to be 2%, corresponding to 98% availability for each individual gateway.

[0055] As illustrated in FIGS. 18A-C and in Table 9 below, in each of the three examples, provisioning two diversity gateways may be required for the three examples described above.
Table 9. Results of assessing number of required diversity gateways.
Primary Ground Stations 30 15 10
Diversity Gateways 2 2 2


[0056] Overall Gateway Availability 99.90% 99.96% 99.98%As used within this disclosure, the term "ground station" may be used interchangeably with the term "gateway."

[0057] FIG. 19 illustrates an example computer system 1900. In particular embodiments, one or more computer systems 1900 perform one or more steps of one or more methods described or illustrated herein. In particular embodiments, one or more computer systems 1900 provide functionality described or illustrated herein. In particular embodiments, software running on one or more computer systems 1900 performs one or more steps of one or more methods described or illustrated herein or provides functionality described or illustrated herein. Particular embodiments include one or more portions of one or more computer systems 1900. Herein, reference to a computer system may encompass a computing device, and vice versa, where appropriate. Moreover, reference to a computer system may encompass one or more computer systems, where appropriate.

[0058] This disclosure contemplates any suitable number of computer systems 1900. This disclosure contemplates computer system 1900 taking any suitable physical form. As example and not by way of limitation, computer system 1900 may be an embedded computer system, a system-on-chip (SOC), a single-board computer system (SBC) (such as, for example, a computer-on-module (COM) or system-on-module (SOM)), a desktop computer system, a laptop or notebook computer system, an interactive kiosk, a mainframe, a mesh of computer systems, a mobile telephone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a server, a tablet computer system, an augmented/virtual reality device, or a combination of two or more of these. Where appropriate, computer system 1900 may include one or more computer systems 1900; be unitary or distributed; span multiple locations; span multiple machines; span multiple data centers; or reside in a cloud, which may include one or more cloud components in one or more networks. Where appropriate, one or more computer systems 1900 may perform without substantial spatial or temporal limitation one or more steps of one or more methods described or illustrated herein. As an example, and not by way of limitation, one or more computer systems 1900 may perform in real time or in batch mode one or more steps of one or more methods described or illustrated herein. One or more computer systems 1900 may perform at different times or at different locations one or more steps of one or more methods described or illustrated herein, where appropriate.

[0059] In particular embodiments, computer system 1900 includes a processor 1902, memory 1904, storage 1906, an input/output (I/O) interface 1908, a communication interface 1910, and a bus 1912. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates a particular computer system having a particular number of particular components in a particular arrangement, this disclosure contemplates any suitable computer system having any suitable number of any suitable components in any suitable arrangement.

[0060] In particular embodiments, processor 1902 includes hardware for executing instructions, such as those making up a computer program. As an example, and not by way of limitation, to execute instructions, processor 1902 may retrieve (or fetch) the instructions from an internal register, an internal cache, memory 1904, or storage 1906; decode and execute them; and then write one or more results to an internal register, an internal cache, memory 1904, or storage 1906. In particular embodiments, processor 1902 may include one or more internal caches for data, instructions, or addresses. This disclosure contemplates processor 1902 including any suitable number of any suitable internal caches, where appropriate. As an example, and not by way of limitation, processor 1902 may include one or more instruction caches, one or more data caches, and one or more translation lookaside buffers (TLBs). Instructions in the instruction caches may be copies of instructions in memory 1904 or storage 1906, and the instruction caches may speed up retrieval of those instructions by processor 1902. Data in the data caches may be copies of data in memory 1904 or storage 1906 for instructions executing at processor 1902 to operate on; the results of previous instructions executed at processor 1902 for access by subsequent instructions executing at processor 1902 or for writing to memory 1904 or storage 1906; or other suitable data. The data caches may speed up read or write operations by processor 1902. The TLBs may speed up virtual-address translation for processor 1902. In particular embodiments, processor 1902 may include one or more internal registers for data, instructions, or addresses. This disclosure contemplates processor 1902 including any suitable number of any suitable internal registers, where appropriate. Where appropriate, processor 1902 may include one or more arithmetic logic units (ALUs); be a multi-core processor; or include one or more processors 1902. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates a particular processor, this disclosure contemplates any suitable processor.

[0061] In particular embodiments, memory 1904 includes main memory for storing instructions for processor 1902 to execute or data for processor 1902 to operate on. As an example, and not by way of limitation, computer system 1900 may load instructions from storage 1906 or another source (such as, for example, another computer system 1900) to memory 1904. Processor 1902 may then load the instructions from memory 1904 to an internal register or internal cache. To execute the instructions, processor 1902 may retrieve the instructions from the internal register or internal cache and decode them. During or after execution of the instructions, processor 1902 may write one or more results (which may be intermediate or final results) to the internal register or internal cache. Processor 1902 may then write one or more of those results to memory 1904. In particular embodiments, processor 1902 executes only instructions in one or more internal registers or internal caches or in memory 1904 (as opposed to storage 1906 or elsewhere) and operates only on data in one or more internal registers or internal caches or in memory 1904 (as opposed to storage 1906 or elsewhere). One or more memory buses (which may each include an address bus and a data bus) may couple processor 1902 to memory 1904. Bus 1912 may include one or more memory buses, as described below. In particular embodiments, one or more memory management units (MMUs) reside between processor 1902 and memory 1904 and facilitate accesses to memory 1904 requested by processor 1902. In particular embodiments, memory 1904 includes random access memory (RAM). This RAM may be volatile memory, where appropriate. Where appropriate, this RAM may be dynamic RAM (DRAM) or static RAM (SRAM). Moreover, where appropriate, this RAM may be single-ported or multi-ported RAM. This disclosure contemplates any suitable RAM. Memory 1904 may include one or more memories 1904, where appropriate. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates particular memory, this disclosure contemplates any suitable memory.

[0062] In particular embodiments, storage 1906 includes mass storage for data or instructions. As an example, and not by way of limitation, storage 1906 may include a hard disk drive (HDD), a floppy disk drive, flash memory, an optical disc, a magneto-optical disc, magnetic tape, or a Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive or a combination of two or more of these. Storage 1906 may include removable or non-removable (or fixed) media, where appropriate. Storage 1906 may be internal or external to computer system 1900, where appropriate. In particular embodiments, storage 1906 is non-volatile, solid-state memory. In particular embodiments, storage 1906 includes read-only memory (ROM). Where appropriate, this ROM may be mask-programmed ROM, programmable ROM (PROM), erasable PROM (EPROM), electrically erasable PROM (EEPROM), electrically alterable ROM (EAROM), or flash memory or a combination of two or more of these. This disclosure contemplates mass storage 1906 taking any suitable physical form. Storage 1906 may include one or more storage control units facilitating communication between processor 1902 and storage 1906, where appropriate. Where appropriate, storage 1906 may include one or more storages 1906. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates particular storage, this disclosure contemplates any suitable storage.

[0063] In particular embodiments, I/O interface 1908 includes hardware, software, or both, providing one or more interfaces for communication between computer system 1900 and one or more I/O devices. Computer system 1900 may include one or more of these I/O devices, where appropriate. One or more of these I/O devices may enable communication between a person and computer system 1900. As an example, and not by way of limitation, an I/O device may include a keyboard, keypad, microphone, monitor, mouse, printer, scanner, speaker, still camera, stylus, tablet, touch screen, trackball, video camera, another suitable I/O device or a combination of two or more of these. An I/O device may include one or more sensors. This disclosure contemplates any suitable I/O devices and any suitable I/O interfaces 1908 for them. Where appropriate, I/O interface 1908 may include one or more device or software drivers enabling processor 1902 to drive one or more of these I/O devices. I/O interface 1908 may include one or more I/O interfaces 1908, where appropriate. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates a particular I/O interface, this disclosure contemplates any suitable I/O interface.

[0064] In particular embodiments, communication interface 1910 includes hardware, software, or both providing one or more interfaces for communication (such as, for example, packet-based communication) between computer system 1900 and one or more other computer systems 1900 or one or more networks. As an example, and not by way of limitation, communication interface 1910 may include a network interface controller (NIC) or network adapter for communicating with an Ethernet or other wire-based network or a wireless NIC (WNIC) or wireless adapter for communicating with a wireless network, such as a WI-FI network. This disclosure contemplates any suitable network and any suitable communication interface 1910 for it. As an example, and not by way of limitation, computer system 1900 may communicate with an ad hoc network, a personal area network (PAN), a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a metropolitan area network (MAN), or one or more portions of the Internet or a combination of two or more of these. One or more portions of one or more of these networks may be wired or wireless. As an example, computer system 1900 may communicate with a wireless PAN (WPAN) (such as, for example, a BLUETOOTH WPAN), a WI-FI network, a WI-MAX network, a cellular telephone network (such as, for example, a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network), or other suitable wireless network or a combination of two or more of these. Computer system 1900 may include any suitable communication interface 1910 for any of these networks, where appropriate. Communication interface 1910 may include one or more communication interfaces 1910, where appropriate. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates a particular communication interface, this disclosure contemplates any suitable communication interface.

[0065] In particular embodiments, bus 1912 includes hardware, software, or both coupling components of computer system 1200 to each other. As an example and not by way of limitation, bus 1912 may include an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) or other graphics bus, an Enhanced Industry Standard Architecture (EISA) bus, a frontside bus (FSB), a HYPERTRANSPORT (HT) interconnect, an Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, an INFINIBAND interconnect, a low-pin-count (LPC) bus, a memory bus, a Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) bus, a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus, a PCI-Express (PCIe) bus, a serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) bus, a Video Electronics Standards Association local (VLB) bus, or another suitable bus or a combination of two or more of these. Bus 1912 may include one or more buses 1912, where appropriate. Although this disclosure describes and illustrates a particular bus, this disclosure contemplates any suitable bus or interconnect.

[0066] Herein, a computer-readable non-transitory storage medium or media may include one or more semiconductor-based or other integrated circuits (ICs) (such, as for example, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) or application-specific ICs (ASICs)), hard disk drives (HDDs), hybrid hard drives (HHDs), optical discs, optical disc drives (ODDs), magneto-optical discs, magneto-optical drives, floppy diskettes, floppy disk drives (FDDs), magnetic tapes, solid-state drives (SSDs), RAM-drives, SECURE DIGITAL cards or drives, any other suitable computer-readable non-transitory storage media, or any suitable combination of two or more of these, where appropriate. A computer-readable non-transitory storage medium may be volatile, non-volatile, or a combination of volatile and non-volatile, where appropriate.

[0067] Herein, "or" is inclusive and not exclusive, unless expressly indicated otherwise or indicated otherwise by context. Therefore, herein, "A or B" means "A, B, or both," unless expressly indicated otherwise or indicated otherwise by context. Moreover, "and" is both joint and several, unless expressly indicated otherwise or indicated otherwise by context. Therefore, herein, "A and B" means "A and B, jointly or severally," unless expressly indicated otherwise or indicated otherwise by context.

[0068] The scope of this disclosure encompasses all changes, substitutions, variations, alterations, and modifications to the example embodiments described or illustrated herein that a person having ordinary skill in the art would comprehend. The scope of this disclosure is not limited to the example embodiments described or illustrated herein. Moreover, although this disclosure describes and illustrates respective embodiments herein as including particular components, elements, feature, functions, operations, or steps, any of these embodiments may include any combination or permutation of any of the components, elements, features, functions, operations, or steps described or illustrated anywhere herein that a person having ordinary skill in the art would comprehend. Furthermore, reference in the appended claims to an apparatus or system or a component of an apparatus or system being adapted to, arranged to, capable of, configured to, enabled to, operable to, or operative to perform a particular function encompasses that apparatus, system, component, whether or not it or that particular function is activated, turned on, or unlocked, as long as that apparatus, system, or component is so adapted, arranged, capable, configured, enabled, operable, or operative. Additionally, although this disclosure describes or illustrates particular embodiments as providing particular advantages, particular embodiments may provide none, some, or all of these advantages.


Claims

1. A transceiver comprising:

a plurality of forward channel receivers, wherein at least one of the forward channel receivers receives (1) a forward channel laser communication beam transmitted from a ground station and (2) a Millimeter-Wave, MMW, communication beam in an E-band frequency; and

a plurality of forward channel transmitters having different frequencies,

wherein the forward channel transmitters transmit user beams to endpoint devices,

wherein the user beams are derived from the forward channel laser and MMW communication beams;

a plurality of return channel receivers, wherein the return channel receivers receive user beams from the endpoint devices; and

at least one return channel transmitter, wherein the return channel transmitter transmits a return channel laser communication beam to a ground station,

characterised in that

the return channel laser communication beam is dual-polarized; and

wherein the transceiver is located on a system in geosynchronous orbit.


 
2. The transceiver of Claim 1, further comprising:
one or more processors and a memory coupled to the processors comprising instructions executable by the processors, the processors being operable when executing the instructions to:

receive forward channel data transmitted by one or more uplink beams received at the forward channel receivers;

based on the forward channel data, generate a plurality of forward channel downlink signals, each of the forward channel downlink signals comprising at least a portion of the forward channel data; and

for each of the forward channel downlink signals, transmit the forward channel downlink signal to one of the forward channel transmitters.


 
3. The transceiver of Claim 2, the processors being further operable when executing the instructions to:

receive return channel data transmitted by one or more uplink beams received at the return channel receivers;

based on the return channel data, generate a single return channel downlink signal comprising the return channel data; and

transmit the return channel downlink signal to the return channel transmitter.


 
4. The transceiver of Claim 2, wherein the return channel laser communication beam is transmitted in addition to a Q-band plus E-band frequency signal.
 
5. The transceiver of any of the preceding claims, wherein the E-band frequency has a bandwidth of 81-86 GHz and/or
wherein an endpoint device comprises an end user client device, and wherein the user beams transmitted by the forward channel transmitters are RF signals impinging on laser communication beams.
 
6. The transceiver of any of the preceding claims, wherein an endpoint device comprises a network gateway device, and wherein the user beams transmitted by the forward channel transmitters are laser communication beams transmitted in addition to E-band frequency signal having a bandwidth of 71-76 GHz.
 
7. The transceiver of any of the preceding claims, wherein the transceiver is located on a satellite in low-earth orbit or medium-earth orbit, and/or
wherein a single antenna feed receives signals comprising multiple types of MMW bands simultaneously; and/or
wherein each of the forward channel transmitters transmit signals using frequencies on the Q/V-band. V-band, W+E band, or W band.
 
8. A system comprising a transceiver according to anyone of claims 1 to 7, one or more processors and a memory coupled to the processors comprising instructions executable by the processors, the processors being operable when executing the instructions to:

receive forward channel data transmitted by one or more uplink beams received at a plurality of forward channel receivers communicably connected to the system,

wherein at least one of the forward channel receivers receives (1) a forward channel laser communication beam transmitted from a ground station and (2) a Millimeter-Wave, MMW, communication beam in an E-band frequency;

generate, based on the forward channel data, a plurality of forward channel downlink signals, each of the forward channel downlink signals comprising at least a portion of the forward channel data; and

transmit, for each of the forward channel downlink signals, the forward channel downlink signal to one of a plurality of forward channel transmitters communicably connected to the system, wherein the forward channel transmitter transmits, using different frequencies, user beams to endpoint devices, wherein the user beams are derived from the forward channel downlink signal.


 
9. The system of Claim 8, wherein an endpoint device comprises an end user client device, and wherein the user beams are RF signals impinging on laser communication beams.
 
10. The system of Claim 9, wherein an endpoint device comprises a network gateway device, and wherein the user beams transmitted by the forward channel transmitters are laser communication beams transmitted in addition to E-band frequency signal having a bandwidth of 71-76 GHz.
 
11. The system of Claim 9 or 10, the processors being further operable when executing the instructions to:

receive return channel data transmitted by one or more uplink beams received at a plurality of return channel receivers, wherein the return channel receivers receive user beams from the endpoint devices;

based on the return channel data, generate a single return channel downlink signal comprising the return channel data; and

transmit the return channel downlink signal to a return channel transmitter,

wherein the return channel transmitter transmits a return channel laser communication beam to a ground station.


 
12. The system of any of Claims 8 to 11, wherein the transceiver is located on a satellite in low-earth orbit or medium-earth orbit, and/or
wherein a single antenna feed receives signals comprising multiple types of MMW bands simultaneously.
 
13. A method of transmitting signals by a transceiver according to anyone of claims 1 to 7, comprising:

receiving forward channel data transmitted by one or more uplink beams,

wherein at least one of the forward channel receivers receives (1) a forward channel laser communication beam transmitted from a ground station and (2) a Millimeter-Wave, MMW, communication beam in an E-band frequency;

generating, based on the forward channel data, a plurality of forward channel downlink signals, each of the forward channel downlink signals comprising at least a portion of the forward channel data; and

transmitting, for each of the forward channel downlink signals, one or more user beams to one or more endpoint devices, wherein the user beams are derived from the forward channel laser and MMW communication beams.


 


Ansprüche

1. Ein Transceiver, der Folgendes beinhaltet:

eine Vielzahl von Vorwärtskanalempfängern, wobei mindestens einer der Vorwärtskanalempfänger (1) einen Vorwärtskanallaserkommunikationsstrahl, der von einer Bodenstation gesendet wird, und (2) einen Millimeterwellen(MMW)-Kommunikationsstrahl in einer E-Band-Frequenz empfängt; und

eine Vielzahl von Vorwärtskanalsendern, die unterschiedliche Frequenzen aufweisen, wobei die Vorwärtskanalsender Benutzerstrahlen an Endpunktvorrichtungen senden, wobei die Benutzerstrahlen von den Vorwärtskanallaser- und MMW-Kommunikationsstrahlen stammen;

eine Vielzahl von Rückkanalempfängern, wobei die Rückkanalempfänger Benutzerstrahlen von den Endpunktvorrichtungen empfangen; und

mindestens einen Rückkanalsender, wobei der Rückkanalsender einen Rückkanallaserkommunikationsstrahl an eine Bodenstation sendet,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

der Rückkanallaserkommunikationsstrahl doppelt polarisiert ist; und

wobei sich der Transceiver auf einem System in geosynchroner Umlaufbahn befindet.


 
2. Transceiver gemäß Anspruch 1, der ferner Folgendes beinhaltet:
einen oder mehrere Prozessoren und einen Speicher, der an die Prozessoren gekoppelt ist, der Anweisungen beinhaltet, die durch die Prozessoren ausgeführt werden können, wobei die Prozessoren, wenn sie die Anweisungen ausführen, für Folgendes betriebsfähig sind:

Empfangen von Vorwärtskanaldaten, die durch einen oder mehrere Uplinkstrahlen, die an den Vorwärtskanalempfängern empfangen werden, gesendet werden;

basierend auf den Vorwärtskanaldaten, Erzeugen einer Vielzahl von Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignalen, wobei jedes der Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignale mindestens einen Teil der Vorwärtskanaldaten beinhaltet; und

für jedes der Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignale, Senden des Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignals an einen der Vorwärtskanalsender.


 
3. Transceiver gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei die Prozessoren, wenn sie die Anweisungen ausführen, ferner für Folgendes betriebsfähig sind:

Empfangen von Rückkanaldaten, die durch einen oder mehrere Uplinkstrahlen, die an den Rückkanalempfängern empfangen werden, gesendet werden;

basierend auf den Rückkanaldaten, Erzeugen eines einzelnen Rückkanal-Downlinksignals, das die Rückkanaldaten beinhaltet; und

Senden des Rückkanal-Downlinksignals an den Rückkanalsender.


 
4. Transceiver gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei der Rückkanallaserkommunikationsstrahl zusätzlich zu einem Q-Band- plus E-Band-Frequenzsignal gesendet wird.
 
5. Transceiver gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die E-Band-Frequenz eine Bandbreite von 81-86 GHz aufweist und/oder
wobei eine Endpunktvorrichtung eine Endbenutzer-Client-Vorrichtung beinhaltet und wobei die Benutzerstrahlen, die durch die Vorwärtskanalsender gesendet werden, RF-Signale sind, die auf Laserkommunikationsstrahlen auftreffen.
 
6. Transceiver gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei eine Endpunkt-Vorrichtung eine Netzwerk-Gateway-Vorrichtung beinhaltet und wobei die Benutzerstrahlen, die durch die Vorwärtskanalsender gesendet werden, Laserkommunikationsstrahlen sind, die zusätzlich zu dem E-Band-Frequenzsignal mit einer Bandbreite von 71-76 GHz gesendet werden.
 
7. Transceiver gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei sich der Transceiver auf einem Satelliten in der niedrigen oder mittelhohen Erdumlaufbahn befindet, und/oder
wobei eine einzelne Antennenspeisung Signale empfängt, die mehrere Typen von MMW-Bändern gleichzeitig beinhalten; und/oder
wobei jeder der Vorwärtskanalsender unter Verwendung von Frequenzen auf dem Q/V-Band, V-Band, W+E-Band oder W-Band Signale sendet.
 
8. Ein System, beinhaltend einen Transceiver gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, einen oder mehrere Prozessoren und einen Speicher, der an die Prozessoren gekoppelt ist, der Anweisungen beinhaltet, die durch die Prozessoren ausgeführt werden können, wobei die Prozessoren, wenn sie die Anweisungen ausführen, für Folgendes betriebsfähig sind:

Empfangen von Vorwärtskanaldaten, die durch einen oder mehrere Uplinkstrahlen gesendet werden, die an einer Vielzahl von kommunikativ mit dem System verbundenen Vorwärtskanalempfängern empfangen werden,

wobei mindestens einer der Vorwärtskanalempfänger (1) einen Vorwärtskanallaserkommunikationsstrahl, der von einer Bodenstation gesendet wird,

und (2) einen Millimeterwellen(MMW)-Kommunikationsstrahl in einer E-Band-Frequenz empfängt;

Erzeugen, basierend auf den Vorwärtskanaldaten, einer Vielzahl von Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignalen, wobei jedes der Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignale mindestens einen Teil der Vorwärtskanaldaten beinhaltet; und

Senden, fürjedes der Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignale, des Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignals an einen der Vielzahl von Vorwärtskanalsendern, die kommunikativ mit dem System verbunden sind, wobei der Vorwärtskanalsender unter Verwendung von unterschiedlichen Frequenzen Benutzerstrahlen an Endpunkt-Vorrichtungen sendet, wobei die Benutzerstrahlen von dem Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignal stammen.


 
9. System gemäß Anspruch 8, wobei eine Endpunkt-Vorrichtung eine Endbenutzer-Client-Vorrichtung beinhaltet und wobei die Benutzerstrahlen RF-Signale sind, die auf Laserkommunikationsstrahlen auftreffen.
 
10. System gemäß Anspruch 9, wobei eine Endpunkt-Vorrichtung eine Netzwerk-Gateway-Vorrichtung beinhaltet und wobei die Benutzerstrahlen, die durch die Vorwärtskanalsender gesendet werden, Laserkommunikationsstrahlen sind, die zusätzlich zu dem E-Band-Frequenzsignal mit einer Bandbreite von 71-76 GHz gesendet werden.
 
11. System gemäß Anspruch 9 oder 10, wobei die Prozessoren, wenn sie die Anweisungen ausführen, ferner für Folgendes betriebsfähig sind:

Empfangen von Rückkanaldaten, die durch einen oder mehrere Uplinkstrahlen gesendet werden, die an einer Vielzahl von Rückkanalempfängern empfangen werden,

wobei die Rückkanalempfänger Benutzerstrahlen von den Endpunktvorrichtungen empfangen;

basierend auf den Rückkanaldaten, Erzeugen eines einzelnen Rückkanal-Downlinksignals, das die Rückkanaldaten beinhaltet; und

Senden des Rückkanal-Downlinksignals an einen Rückkanalsender,

wobei der Rückkanalsender einen Rückkanallaserkommunikationsstrahl an eine Bodenstation sendet.


 
12. System gemäß einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 11, wobei sich der Transceiver auf einem Satelliten in der niedrigen oder mittelhohen Erdumlaufbahn befindet, und/oder wobei eine einzelne Antennenspeisung mehrere Typen von MMW-Bändern gleichzeitig empfängt.
 
13. Ein Verfahren zum Senden von Signalen durch einen Transceiver gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, das Folgendes beinhaltet:

Empfangen von Vorwärtskanaldaten, die durch einen oder mehrere Uplinkstrahlen gesendet werden,

wobei mindestens einer der Vorwärtskanalempfänger (1) einen Vorwärtskanallaserkommunikationsstrahl, der von einer Bodenstation gesendet wird,

und (2) einen Millimeterwellen(MMW)-Kommunikationsstrahl in einer E-Band-Frequenz empfängt;

Erzeugen, basierend auf den Vorwärtskanaldaten, einer Vielzahl von Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignalen, wobei jedes der Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignale mindestens einen Teil der Vorwärtskanaldaten beinhaltet; und

Senden, für jedes der Vorwärtskanal-Downlinksignale, eines oder mehrerer Benutzerstrahlen an eine oder mehrere Endpunkt-Vorrichtungen, wobei die Benutzerstrahlen von den Vorwärtskanallaser- und MMW-Kommunikationsstrahlen stammen.


 


Revendications

1. Un émetteur-récepteur comprenant :

une pluralité de récepteurs de canal aller, au moins un des récepteurs de canal aller recevant (1) un faisceau de communication laser de canal aller émis par une station terrestre et (2) un faisceau de communication par ondes millimétriques, MMW, dans une fréquence en bande E ; et

une pluralité d'émetteurs de canal aller ayant différentes fréquences,

les émetteurs de canal aller émettant des faisceaux utilisateurs à destination des dispositifs de point terminal,

les faisceaux utilisateurs étant dérivés du faisceau laser de canal aller et du faisceau de communication MMW ;

une pluralité de récepteurs de canal retour, les récepteurs de canal retour recevant des faisceaux utilisateurs en provenance des dispositifs de point terminal ; et

au moins un émetteur de canal retour, l'émetteur de canal retour émettant un faisceau de communication laser de canal retour à destination d'une station terrestre,

caractérisé en ce que

le faisceau de communication laser de canal retour est à double polarisation ; et

dans lequel l'émetteur-récepteur est situé sur un système en orbite géosynchrone.


 
2. L'émetteur-récepteur de la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :
un ou plusieurs processeurs et une mémoire couplée aux processeurs comprenant des instructions exécutables par les processeurs, les processeurs étant exploitables lorsqu'ils exécutent les instructions pour :

recevoir des données de canal aller émises sur un ou plusieurs faisceaux de liaison montante reçus au niveau des récepteurs de canal aller ;

sur la base des données de canal aller, générer une pluralité de signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller, chacun des signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller comprenant au moins une portion des données de canal aller ; et

pour chacun des signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller, émettre le signal de liaison descendante de canal aller à destination d'un des émetteurs de canal aller.


 
3. L'émetteur-récepteur de la revendication 2, les processeurs étant en outre exploitables lorsqu'ils exécutent les instructions pour :

recevoir des données de canal retour émises sur un ou plusieurs faisceaux de liaison montante reçus au niveau des récepteurs de canal retour ;

sur la base des données de canal retour, générer un signal de liaison descendante de canal retour unique comprenant les données de canal retour ; et

émettre le signal de liaison descendante de canal retour à destination de l'émetteur de canal retour.


 
4. L'émetteur-récepteur de la revendication 2, dans lequel le faisceau de communication laser de canal retour est émis en plus d'un signal de fréquence en bande Q plus bande E.
 
5. L'émetteur-récepteur de n'importe lesquelles des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la fréquence en bande E a une largeur de bande de 81 à 86 GHz et/ou dans lequel un dispositif de point terminal comprend un dispositif client d'utilisateur final, et dans lequel les faisceaux utilisateurs émis par les émetteurs de canal aller sont des signaux RF ayant une incidence sur des faisceaux de communication laser.
 
6. L'émetteur-récepteur de n'importe lesquelles des revendications précédentes, dans lequel un dispositif de point terminal comprend un dispositif passerelle de réseau, et dans lequel les faisceaux utilisateurs émis par les émetteurs de canal aller sont des faisceaux de communication laser émis en plus d'un signal de fréquence en bande E ayant une largeur de bande de 71 à 76 GHz.
 
7. L'émetteur-récepteur de n'importe lesquelles des revendications précédentes, l'émetteur-récepteur étant situé sur un satellite en orbite terrestre basse ou en orbite terrestre moyenne, et/ou
dans lequel une source primaire d'antenne unique reçoit des signaux comprenant de multiples types de bandes MMW simultanément ; et/ou
dans lequel chacun des émetteurs de canal aller émet des signaux à l'aide de fréquences sur la bande Q/V, la bande V, la bande W + E, ou la bande W.
 
8. Un système comprenant un émetteur-récepteur selon n'importe laquelle des revendications 1 à 7, un ou plusieurs processeurs et une mémoire couplée aux processeurs comprenant des instructions exécutables par les processeurs, les processeurs étant exploitables lorsqu'ils exécutent les instructions pour :

recevoir des données de canal aller émises sur un ou plusieurs faisceaux de liaison montante reçus au niveau d'une pluralité de récepteurs de canal aller connectés de façon à pouvoir communiquer au système ;

au moins un des récepteurs de canal aller recevant (1) un faisceau de communication laser de canal aller émis par une station terrestre et (2) un faisceau de communication par ondes millimétriques, MMW, dans une fréquence en bande E ;

générer, sur la base des données de canal aller, une pluralité de signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller, chacun des signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller comprenant au moins une portion des données de canal aller ; et

émettre, pour chacun des signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller, le signal de liaison descendante de canal aller à destination d'un émetteur parmi une pluralité d'émetteurs de canal aller connectés de façon à pouvoir communiquer au système,

l'émetteur de canal aller émettant, à l'aide de différentes fréquences, des faisceaux utilisateurs à destination des dispositifs de point terminal, les faisceaux utilisateurs étant dérivés du signal de liaison descendante de canal aller.


 
9. Le système de la revendication 8, dans lequel un dispositif de point terminal comprend un dispositif client d'utilisateur final, et dans lequel les faisceaux utilisateurs sont des signaux RF ayant une incidence sur des faisceaux de communication laser.
 
10. Le système de la revendication 9, dans lequel un dispositif de point terminal comprend un dispositif passerelle de réseau, et dans lequel les faisceaux utilisateurs émis par les émetteurs de canal aller sont des faisceaux de communication laser émis en plus d'un signal de fréquence en bande E ayant une largeur de bande de 71 à 76 GHz.
 
11. Le système de la revendication 9 ou de la revendication 10, les processeurs étant en outre exploitables lorsqu'ils exécutent les instructions pour :

recevoir des données de canal retour émises sur un ou plusieurs faisceaux de liaison montante reçus au niveau d'une pluralité de récepteurs de canal retour, les récepteurs de canal retour recevant des faisceaux utilisateurs en provenance des dispositifs de point terminal ;

sur la base des données de canal retour, générer un signal de liaison descendante de canal retour unique comprenant les données de canal retour ; et

émettre le signal de liaison descendante de canal retour à destination d'un émetteur de canal retour,

dans lequel l'émetteur de canal retour émet un faisceau de communication laser de canal retour à destination d'une station terrestre.


 
12. Le système de n'importe lesquelles des revendications 8 à 11, dans lequel l'émetteur-récepteur est situé sur un satellite en orbite terrestre basse ou en orbite terrestre moyenne, et/ou
dans lequel une source primaire d'antenne unique reçoit des signaux comprenant de multiples types de bandes MMW simultanément.
 
13. Un procédé d'émission de signaux par un émetteur-récepteur selon n'importe laquelle des revendications 1 à 7, comprenant :

la réception de données de canal aller émises sur un ou plusieurs faisceaux de liaison montante,

au moins un des récepteurs de canal aller recevant (1) un faisceau de communication laser de canal aller émis par une station terrestre et (2) un faisceau de communication par ondes millimétriques, MMW, dans une fréquence en bande E ;

la génération, sur la base des données de canal aller, d'une pluralité de signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller, chacun des signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller comprenant au moins une portion des données de canal aller ; et

l'émission, pour chacun des signaux de liaison descendante de canal aller, d'un ou de plusieurs faisceaux utilisateurs à destination d'un ou de plusieurs dispositifs de point terminal, les faisceaux utilisateurs étant dérivés du faisceau laser de canal aller et du faisceau de communication MMW.


 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description