A consortium consisting of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, WORK Microwave and AVANTI Communications recently completed successful over-the-air trials on Avanti HYLAS satellite capacity employing the latest DVB-S2X modulator and demodulator equipment. The demonstrations used wideband carriers exploiting full transponder bandwidth and outperforming the target throughput of more than one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) using a single communication carrier. The technology demonstration was part of the development funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) under the "ARTES Advanced Technology" program.
The experiments demonstrated a variety of carrier bandwidths and modulation schemes. This included closing the forward link with a 480 MHz carrier and successfully receiving and demodulating this signal on the ground. The sustained throughput to a single end-user terminal was measured at 1.27 Gbps, leveraging from the DVB-S2X time slicing capability that allows the receiver to selectively skip and ignore parts of the incoming signal and thus save on processing power. DVB-S2X as the latest satellite communication standard allows for exceptionally efficient use of spectrum.
Fraunhofer IIS teamed up with WORK Microwave and Avanti Communications to implement a DVB-S2X wideband transmission system over satellite, including modulator and demodulator. Fraunhofer IIS and WORK Microwave were actively involved in the development, specification and validation of DVB-S2X, from standardization work to the implementation. Fraunhofer IIS developed a DVB-S2X receiver IP, which was used for the technology demonstration. WORK Microwave develops and manufactures satellite communication equipment and developed a high-performance wideband DVB-S2X modulator, which was used for the communication on the uplink.
The FPGA-based, modular design of modulator and demodulator enables different products and throughput ranges, up to the maximum spectral efficiency supported by DVB-S2X on wideband carriers. UK-based AVANTI Communications provided engineering support and HYLAS Ka-Band transponder capacity for the live demonstration. The activity was sponsored by ESA under the ARTES Advanced Technology contract “Ultra-high throughput transmission through wideband Ka transponder”.