Enabling & Support

Automatically balanced load and increased capacity in communication systems and data networks

277 views 0 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology
589 - Abstract:
The European Space Agency has developed a method for automatically balancing loads in satellite telecommunication. Coverage is generated using a multi-beam satellite communication antenna in which each beam relates to one cell. The partitioning of the area into cells is done in such a way that the traffic load is evenly distributed and there is no overlap. This allows frequency reuse and increases capacity by 40-50%. Besides space, the invention could be used in cellphone communication and data networks. Industry partners for co-development and licensing agreements are sought.

Description

A method and system for automatically balancing loads and increasing capacity in satellite telecommunication has been developed. Coverage is generated using a multi-beam satellite communication system (e.g multibeam antenna) in which each beam relates to one cell. The partitioning of the region of interest into cells is done in such a way that the traffic load is evenly distributed and there is no overlap between beams. Thus, a certain frequency may be used several times, provided that cells are separated by sufficient distance.

The invention is based on the consideration that the traffic load of a beam depends on two factors: the spatial distribution of traffic demand over the region and the beam’s footprint. Since the former is given, the latter can be used to create cells of similar traffic load by iteratively adjusting the beams’ position and by assigning frequency bands and polarisation to each beam. This is done automatically by electronically modifying the radiation patters of the antennas.

The invention can be implemented with existing technology, but has currently been only theoretically formulated (TRL 1-2). Yet, it is considered industrially feasible and applicable in satellite communication as well as the mobile communications sector.

Innovations and advantages

The main competing methods are the traditional method without load balancing and the “usable capacity transfer” techniques. Due to the uneven distribution of demand over the area, the former will create traffic overloads for certain beams while some of the system capacity will be unused. The latter methods allow load balancing by allocating additional resources (like multi-port amplifiers, processors and others) according to the traffic demand.

In any case, these techniques result in added complexity, which usually comes along with potential impairments such as interference, power losses, etc. By comparison, the new method requires significantly simpler hardware, with less mass, power consumption, power dissipation and cost.

Moreover, the design offers an increase of the usable capacity for a given traffic distribution in the order of 40%-50%. For a fixed coverage predefined before launch the solution can be implemented with existing technology - it improves the performance without requiring additional hardware and thus may be really interesting for new implementations. Further, the method will profit from advanced active antennas for optimally matching the time dependent variation in traffic demand over the coverage.

Domain of application

  • Satellite communications
  • Telecommunication, data networks

Related Links