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GHOST - On-Ground EnHanced Non-Intrusive IOT System Prototyping and Testing for Efficient Monitoring Of Wideband Satellite Transponders

Funding source: ESA - European Space Agency
Partners: SES Techcom services (Prime), EmTroniX, Amphinicy Technology
Principal investigator: Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas
Researchers: Dr. Stefano Andrenacci, Dr. Nicolò Mazzali
Duration: 02/2017 - 01/2018

The goal of the GHOST is to develop a flexible measurement instrument to facilitate the verification of wideband satellite channels without interrupting the customer service as well as avoiding interfering with other satellites during orbital movements. The so called In-Orbit-Test (IOT) operation of the satellite payload consists in transmitting and receiving to and from the satellite a specifically designed test signal, mainly a spread spectrum signal, for the measurement and extraction of some key payload parameters, such as on-board filters responses, high power amplifier response, G/T, stability of the local oscillator, etc. The IOT operation is fundamental in several situations during the life-time of the satellite to verify and monitor performance and functional requirements of the satellite payload.

The benefits of such prototype are:

  • Allowing customers to continuously monitor the status of the satellite transponder payload while, at the same time, avoiding interference with the traffic (when the satellite is in the operation phase) and with adjacent/nearby satellites (when in re-location phase). This includes the determination of parameters that affect the quality of service delivered to the end-customers, such as the on-board filters and power amplifier characteristics.
  • The possibility of performing non-interfering tests in close or open loop modes, enabling the utilization of the equipment in a distributed scenario.

The technology enablers of the prototype capabilities rely on:

  • The definition of novel test measurement methods based on spread spectrum technology. These include novel techniques to monitor the on-board HPA characteristic and to identify possible degradation effects.
  • The definition of novel algorithms and methods to reduce the testing time and improve the accuracy for the existing measurements methods applied to wideband applications.

Figure 1: IOT System Block scheme

Project Partners:

Funding Source:

  • European Space Agency (ARTES 5.2)

Management team:

Research Team: 

Relevant links:

Contact:

  • Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas, Research Scientist
    Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT)
    29, avenue J.F.Kennedy
    L-1855, Luxembourg