Aerospace & Defence

ESA HTS Free Hopper Project at electronica 2022

18th November 2022
Beth Floyd

EASii IC and ST Engineering iDirect demonstrated interoperability for European Space Agency (ESA) HTS Free Hopper Project at electronica 2022

Interoperability testing with ST Engineering iDirect’s wideband patented MCM7500 Multi-Carrier Modulator and EASii IC’s Oxford-2 satellite modem ASIC was showcased during electronica 2022 in Munich from November 15th to 18th.

The demonstration was conducted as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Free Hopper project, which aims to validate the technical maturity of advanced DVB-S2X beam-hopping using the DVB-S2X standard. Beam-hopping is a patented technique that allows highly flexible allocation of satellite capacity to areas that need it most.

ESA, under the Artes 4.0 Telecom program, has engaged Airbus France, Honeywell UK, ST Engineering iDirect and EASii-IC France to participate in the HTS Free Hopper programme. The two-year project is currently in its initial phase, where equipment interoperability is tested and guaranteed before proceeding with full testing of beam-hopping scenarios.

The demonstration at electronica, a trade show for the electronics industry, exhibited a high symbol rate carrier using the new DVB-S2X Super-Frame format 6 in continuous very low signal-to-noise ratio (VLSNR) mode. VLSNR is a form of modulation which allows satellite links to be maintained in very challenging link conditions where the useful signal’s power level is well below the noise power level.

Both ST Engineering iDirect and EASii-IC were instrumental in creating the DVB-S2X standard. The MCM7500 and Oxford-2 implement the latest DVB-S2X standard EN302307-part 2 which was first adopted in 2021.

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