News 2019

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Forschungsanlage Munich Center for Space Communications an der Bundeswehruniversität
Florian Hahn MdB besichtigt neue Experimentalbodenstation

June, 2019: Der örtliche Bundestagsabgeordnete Florian Hahn besichtigte die derzeit größte und leistungsfähigste universitäre Forschungsanlage für Satellitenkommunikationsexperimente in Deutschland an der Universität der Bundeswehr München in Neubiberg. Genutzt wird die Anlage insbesondere für komplexe Experimente an geostationären Kommunikationssatelliten sowie für Geräte- und Systemtests, bspw. im Rahmen von Beschaffungsprojekten der Bundeswehr, erläuterte Lehrstuhlinhaber Professor Andreas Knopp beim Rundgang. Hahn lobte diese Besonderheit gerade für etwaige Kooperationen im Rahmen der bayerischen Luft- und Raumfahrtstrategie sowie für die zahlreichen Raumfahrtunternehmen im Landkreis München.

Hahns Fazit: "Der Lehrstuhl von Professor Knopp zählt zu den ersten Adressen, wenn es um Forschung zur Weltraum- und Satellitenkommunikation geht und ist kompetenter Ansprechpartner für die Bundesregierung und ihre Ministerien. Es ist beeindruckend und europaweit einmalig, was hier an der Bundeswehruniversität über Jahre aufgebaut wurde. Eindeutig ein Wettbewerbsvorteil für das Forschungsumfeld."

Zugleich kündigte der Politiker an, anlässlich 50 Jahre Mondlandung einen Zukunftsdialog zur Raumfahrt am Donnerstag, 18. Juli 2019, in den Räumlichkeiten der IABG zu planen.
Photo Credit: Vogtlandanzeiger / R. Wöllner

Lecture on satellite broadcasting for elementary school kids

June 22, 2019: A very special audience of 169 elementary school kids, partially accompanied by about 80 parents, enjoyed a university lecture on satellite broadcasting technology last weekend. The lecture was held upon invitation by the county commissioner of the Vogtlandkreis. It was given by Prof. Andreas Knopp and his brother Dr. Marcus Knopp, who is with the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) at German Space Agency (DLR). Starting with the basics of radio waves for information transmission, the lecture explained the purposes of communication satellites as well as the fundamentals of satellite technology, orbit mechanics, and in-orbit transfer of the spacecraft. A lot of experiments were conducted to involve the kids into the lecture. So-called “children’s university” programs have gained high attention in Germany in order to stimulate interests for academic disciplines at early stages of the children’s education already.
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Photo Credit: DLR / Leon Jakobs

Award „Next Generation meets Satcom“

May 15, 2019: Dipl.-Ing. Tony Colin has been honoured with the award “Next Generation meets Satcom”, at the 6th biennial “German National Conference on Satellite Communications” in Bonn, Germany. More than 300 experts from industry, government, and academia were invited to give their vote for the most relevant and trendsetting technology under the motto “satellites in future communication networks”.
The competitors had to present their topics and ideas in a three-minute pitch in front of the audience, followed by the two-day conference where the voters were able to ask questions and discuss.
In this context, the work presented by Tony Colin, selected among 19 proposals and entitled “Machine Learning for Resource Allocation in High Throughput Satellite Systems”, tackles the potential role that machine learning could play in future satellite systems. Through its adaptivity, learning capability and low complexity, machine learning appears now as a key enabling technology to improve further the utilization of satellite resources and the capacity distribution to the users.
Note that this award has been generously sponsored by Dr.-Ing. Walther Pelzer, Member of the DLR (German Aerospace Center) Executive Board and Head of the DLR Space Administration.
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Photo Credit: DLR / Leon Jakobs

6. German National Conference on Satellite Communications

May 14-15, 2019: The “German National Conference on Satellite Communications”, held in Bonn’s Kameha Grand Hotel, gathered more than 300 experts from industry, government, and academia to discuss, under the motto “satellites in future communication networks”, the opportunities and challenges in the satellite sector.

We have been very glad to participate at this event under different qualities:
  • A panel discussion argued on the role of satellites in „5G, digitalisation and broadband connectivity“, including the participation of Prof. Dr. Andreas Knopp as panellist.
  • Three presentations showed various cutting-edge research results, including:
    • Dr. Christian Hofmann on “Satellite Direct Access for IoT-Devices”,
    • Kai-Uwe Storek on “MIMO with Co-Located Satellites: A Field Trial Report” and finally,
    • Dr. Marcus Knopp discussed the “Use of satellite communication for a nationwide high capacity Internet”.
  • Five posters were displayed and presented in a three-minute pitch by our Ph.D. students, including:
    • Stephan Winter on “Aeronautical SATCOM: Communications under Interference Constraints”,
    • Tony Colin on “Machine Learning for Resource Allocation in HTS Systems”,
    • Kamel Shibli on “Secure Spatial Modulation for Multi-Beam Satellites”,
    • Florian Völk on “Interference of Non-Geostationary Satellite Constellations” and,
    • Matthias Schraml on “MIMO for Transmission Security and Robustness in SATCOM”.
  • An IoT (Internet of Things) demonstration over GEO satellite was provided by our SATCOM On-The-Move (SOTM) van terminal and operated by Robert Schwarz.
  • A MIMO SATCOM demonstration was operated by Kai-Uwe Storek as part of the UniBw booth.

We would like also to thank Wolfgang Hanzl, Thomas Delamotte that were a great help for the organisation.
This event has been great opportunity to meet and discuss with our partners, customers and supporters. We are looking forward to participating in the next National Conference!


April 2019 – Satellites will improve 5G systems by making them more agile, smart and robust. Therefore, the role of satellites and non-terrestrial networks needs to be investigated for the provision of the main use case areas of 5G systems. The development of a convergent satellite-terrestrial architecture, tailored to the satellite capabilities and to the targeted use cases is one of the key challenges. The European Space Agency (ESA) funded Demonstrator for Satellite-Terrestrial Integration in the 5G Contex (SATis5) project deals with the key question of the integration of satellites into a large-scale 5G Europe-wide testbed with access to satellite over-the-air demonstration capabilities.
The Chair of Signal Processing hosted the 3rd Milestone meeting of this ESA 5G flagship project on Tuesday 07/05/19. The current status of the testbed development has been presented to the ESA Project Officer Dr. Maria Guta. In addition to the testbed development updates the antenna facilities of the Munich Center for Space Communications which includes the novel antenna site on the UniBw Campus with access to the main satellite frequency bands were presented by the Chair of Signal Processing. The Newtec Dialog Hub platform will be hosted by Mai 20th on the UniBw Campus as one of the main communication nodes of the SATis5 testbed. More or less the complete over the air communication of the SATis5 testbed will be controlled by the Hub platform which is directly connected to our earth station until the end of the project duration in September 2020.
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AIRBUS Space TechDay – visiting our neighbors in Ottobrunn

March 20, 2019: A group of interested students visited AIRBUS during an excursion organized by the Chair of Signal Processing. During the program they have been introduced to the history of space in Ottobrunn and the Bundeswehr’s COMSATBw satellites. In guided tours through the ARIANE production, the Antenna test site, the Solar panel production and EDRS Mission Operation Center the students were able to get in touch with SATCOM facilities and get impressions that deepen the topics of their lectures on space communications.
Many thanks to the team at Airbus for a perfectly organized and very exciting day. We hopefully created some new space enthusiasts who will pursue a career on space topics – either in industry or within the Bundeswehr.

Protecting our Military Satellite Communications

March 2019 – The Chair of Signal Processing supports the Bundeswehr to protect their satellite communication systems. During an over-the-air test using one of the German military communication satellites, Jun.-Prof. Christian Hofmann gave insight into the topic of satellite jamming. The audience was able to see different satellite modem platforms in action with different techniques to increase the robustness against jammers. We were able to show that our test center (SatCERTBw) is able to handle complex over-the-air hardware tests and has outstanding measurement equipment for in-depth hard- and software performance analysis. With this demonstration a major three-years study on protected satellite communication, led by Christian Hofmann, came into its final phase. The study had been awarded to us by the BAAINBw with the aim to prepare the military SATCOM systems for electromagnetic protection in an increasingly complex threat scenario.
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