News 2022

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AFCEA Master Thesis Award

May 12, 2022: The master thesis of First Lieutenant Jonas Hofmann was awarded a 3rd Prize at the AFCEA Symposium in Bonn. The thesis “Cyclostationary Signal Detection and Doppler Rate Correction for LEO Nanosatellites in the ISM Band” tackles the problem of detecting the presence of communication signals after transmission over a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite channel. Especially the severe Doppler effects in LEOs, the low transmit power of small satellites and an environment of strong interference render this a challenging problem. The results can be used for a variety of applications such as civil cognitive radio tasks and or military signal intelligence. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Andreas Knopp and written as a research collaboration at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Space Systems Academic Group (SSAG) in Monterey, CA. The SSAG has been a pioneer in building and operating small satellites for many decades. Ongoing follow-up work of Hofmann’s thesis was partially published at IEEE conferences and will be part of the project SeRANIS.

Best student paper award

April 08, 2022: The paper „Capacity Analysis of a MIMO Laser Link from Lunar Surface to Earth” won the Student Best-Paper-Award in the IEEE International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Application (ICSOS 2022). The paper was written by the authors group from University of Bundeswehr Munich (UniBw M) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR): Hung Le Son, Robert Schwarz, Marcus Knopp, Dirk Giggenbach and Andreas Knopp. In this paper, a precise calculation was built to investigate the fluctuation of channel capacity of a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) laser link from lunar surface to Earth. Using the results of this calculation, the authors proposed the methods to mitigate the fluctuation and maximize the channel capacity. The paper also showed the potential of the MIMO technology in the laser communications. It increases not only the capacity and, thus, the data transfer rate, but also the reliability of the communication channel. The UniBw M cooperates with the DLR and especially its research center in the field of space travel and space communication. The cooperation has been intensified since 2021 in the project SeRANIS.

Kick-off of the ICARUS Machine Learning Project

March 2022: ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) is an initiative from researchers in the domain of animal behavior to develop a tracking system able to follow the movements on Earth of various animal species. Academic partners with expertise in satellite communication systems, including the Chair of Signal Processing, have been involved in the past years in the signal processing design necessary to recover via a space-based relay the position data from very small transmitters on the animals. Following the successful deployment of this ICARUS system, a follow-up project has been kicked-off this month to extend its capacities. During this study, machine learning techniques to improve the detection and the analysis of weaker signals will be developed to enable a further reduction of the size and weight of the transmitters and, hence, allow the tracking of even smaller animals.
The project is supported by the German Aerospace Center with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and led by the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior.
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ESA 5G-GOA Project enters Phase 2

March 2022: Together with our consortium partners we have successfully passed the Critical Design Review in December 2021 and progressed the ESA funded 5G-GOA project into the second phase.
Standardisation of 5G at 3GPP is progressing rapidly. Release 17 features supporting Non-Terrestrial Networks (i.e. satellites) will be frozen in March 2022 as planned. Early demonstrations and validation are essential to support further standardisation. Inevitably, any such activity relies on the availability of a 5G NTN protocol stack implementation. One implementation that is available for research purposes, i.e. open and accessible for the necessary NTN adaptations, is the one by the Open-Air Interface Software Alliance.
Recognising the importance of a protocol stack implementation suitable for validating NTN aspects the European Space Agency contracted the 5G-GOA consortium to develop the necessary extensions to the OAI protocol stack implementation.
5G-GOA is committed to provide wide range of OAI extensions necessary for NTN experimentation and validation considering geostationary satellites, namely in PHY, MAC, RLC, PDCP, RRC and NAS Layers. You can find a detailed list of all OAI extensions at the 5G-GOA project website or at our LinkedIn page / 5G GOA Statement.pdf.
Further information can be found here and here.

SeRANIS passes System Requirements Review

February 2022: What a great honor for our SeRANIS project: A top-class team of experts from science, the aerospace industry and the Bundeswehr reviewed the project progress of the planned low-earth-orbit satellite mission at the Bundeswehr University Munich.
Vice Admiral Dr. Thomas Daum (Inspector Cyber and Information Space), Major General Jürgen Setzer (Deputy Inspector Cyber and Information Space), Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski (Director at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior and member of the Leopoldina) and Dr. Anke Pagels-Kerp (DLR Head of Space Department), concluded that the selected experiments on UniBw’s research satellite have great future potential and that the continuation of the project is highly recommended. From the panel's point of view, the scientific design of the mission, the process maturity of the project, and the contribution to the mission objective of the German Armed Forces have clearly been met. Thus, another milestone has been reached. Prof. Knopp concludes: "We are very pleased that the reviewers assess SeRANIS as a European lighthouse project for German space innovation!”.
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