091 - Proof-of-concept of SOOP with broadband satcom signals in Ku/Ka-band

091 - Proof-of-concept of SOOP with broadband satcom signals in Ku/Ka-band


The feasibility of Positioning-Navigation-Timing (PNT) using signals of opportunities from broadband satellite communications systems operating in Ku/Ka-band has been demonstrated in the US in the academic context in recent years. The next step towards potential commercial products is to prove the concept with enabling technologies representative of real-world applications (e.g., form factor, hardware) and with more thorough demonstrations over longer field trials. Such proof-of-concept would build strong confidence about effective performances, support the necessary steps in preparation of commercial follow-up and fertilise Europe’s and ESA’s member states LEO PNT landscape, with concrete lessons learned on a concept focused on the user segment. 


The objective of the activity is to assess and validate the relevance for real world applications of PNT with signal of opportunities from broadband satellite communications systems operating in Ku/Ka-band, which have been demonstrated so far in the US academic context. This is proposed with a proof-of-concept of user technologies that will address and tailor the following capabilities to representative use cases and form factor: 

  • Breadboard of the user equipment, including small form factor antenna array and RF front end representative of targeted use cases (e.g., road vehicles)
  • User algorithms, including the baseband signal processing algorithms as well as the navigation engine exploiting the observables from the signals of opportunity to demonstrate both autonomous and network-assisted positioning. In autonomous operation, algorithms estimating jointly the satellites’ orbital parameters and the user’s position will be considered, to overcome the limited accuracy of readily available two-line elements data. 
  • Assistance server to enable the network-assisted operations. 


The tasks to be performed shall include: 

  • Survey of the state-of-the-art relevant to the activity’s objectives (e.g., concepts and algorithms demonstrated on Ku-band signals, antenna array with small factor, etc.), and definition of use cases and performance targets representative of real-world applications. 
  • Trade-offs of the user equipment architectures and technologies tailored to the targeted use cases and their form factor constraints.
  • Development, integration, and validation of the preferred solution for the user equipment breadboard and algorithms 
  • Execution of field trials representative of the targeted use cases 
  • Synthesis of the lessons-learned aiming to size the additional efforts to implement a commercial product (e.g. roadmap towards product development or service demonstration, etc.). 


The main outputs of the activity will consist of: 


  • Thorough survey of SOOP with broadband satellite signals 
  • Design of solutions tailored to representative use cases, resulting breadboard and test report 
  • Roadmap for follow-up (e.g., commercialization via potential NAVISP EL2 activities), associated to lessons-learned useful for ESA’s LEO PNT activities.