Welcome to the Chair of Signal Processing
and the Munich Center for Space Communications


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Knopp, MBA
Bundeswehr University Munich
Chair of Signal Processing (EIT3.2)
Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
D-85579 Neubiberg





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Did you know that…

April, 2021: the UniBw M has one of the largest and most versatile research facilities in Germany for testing satellite and space communication devices and technologies? The Munich Center for Space Communications is part of the Chair of signal processing of Prof. Andreas Knopp. Research group leader Dr. Robert Schwarz showed us his unusual workplace at the satellite ground station. He heads the facility, which is fully accessible to both the Bundeswehr and public research. Various antennas can be used to communicate with geostationary satellites in space, but the actual research at the institute is not about large devices, but about converting and processing the received signals.

You can find more information about the test facility and the institute here: https://www.unibw.de/satcom/spacecom

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ESA 5G-GOA Project Kick-off

March, 2021: We have recently started a new project funded by the European Space Agency - ESA: 5G enabled ground segment technologies over the air demonstrator (5G-GOA).

5G-GOA develops and implements the necessary modifications in the 5G New Radio standard to enable the direct radio access of terrestrial communication networks via satellite, a 5G RAN via satellite closely following the 3GPP Work Item on Non-Terrestrial-Networks. Our solution is directly based on 3GPP discussions and results and covers physical layer techniques (e.g. synchronisation) up to specific protocols and upper layer implementations (e.g., timers and random access procedure) of the radio access network, as needed. 5G-GOA focuses on geostationary satellite systems.
5G-GOA produces a hardware and software prototype, consisting of at least two user terminals and a gNodeB base station.

In summary, 5G-GOA develops and delivers a gNodeB (gNB) based gateway and the User Equipment (UE) compliant with the 5G New Radio standard release 17 or later for demonstrating the direct radio access connectivity in Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).

First software-defined 5G New Radio demonstration over GEO satellite

March, 2021: Satellite-enabled 5G services have the potential to provide worldwide connectivity. For the first time now, selected extensions of 5G New Radio (NR) to support non-terrestrial networks (NTN) have been successfully demonstrated over a geostationary (GEO) satellite. The Munich Center for Space Communications of the Bundeswehr University Munich carried out the bidirectional over-the-air tests based on the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS’s extended 5G New Radio protocol stack for satellite.

When transmitted via GEO satellites, radio signals have to bridge great distances. This leads to delays, so that an enhanced 5G air interface is required. These challenges are addressed in the current work program for Release 17 of 5G NR within the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standardization by specifying new features supporting non-terrestrial networks in 5G.
In order to provide an early proof of concept, Fraunhofer IIS and the Munich Center for Space Communications (Bundeswehr University Munich) recently tested some of the planned extensions for 5G NR via GEO satellite. The over-the-air demonstration was conducted within the 5G METEORS program, an ARTES MakerSpace for 5G and satellite communication funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Bidirectional transmission over GEO satellite
During the over-the-air tests, the user equipment (UE) performed the initial connection setup to the 5G base station (gNB) by using a specifically adapted random access procedure for 5G over satellite. After the successful setup of the connection, the 5G uplink and downlink transmission signals were decoded with two different modulation schemes, namely QPSK and 16-QAM. Furthermore, a 5G timing advance procedure, which worked smoothly, was tested to keep the UE synchronized to the gNB.
The transmissions utilized a bandwidth of 10 MHz in uplink and downlink. Both the UE and the gNB were located on ground. The round-trip time of the system from gNB to UE and back was measured between 530 and 570 milliseconds.

Software defined 5G New Radio
The 5G base station as well as the 5G user equipment used in the experiments are fully software-defined solutions. Both components are based on OpenAirInterface (OAI), an open-source implementation of the 5G New Radio protocol stack, which runs on general purpose platforms.
Fraunhofer IIS contributed to OAI with selected features of the 5G NR waveform and the adaptations for satellite communication. Important 5G protocol stack implementations for this successful test were funded as part of the European Union Horizon 2020 EU-Korea project 5G-ALLSTAR.
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