News 2023

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VDE ITG NewSpace Communications Position Paper Published

Recently, the new position paper "NeSC – NewSpace Communications" has been published by the VDE ITG. In this position paper, the experts show the characteristics and technical boundary conditions of NewSpace Communications (NeSC) systems, describe current system solutions and market participants, opportunities and challenges of the NeSC concepts, and finally give recommendations for action for research, development and implementation of NeSC systems.
As part of the currently growing commercial NewSpace sector, new communication systems are being developed – so-called "Non-Terrestrial Networks" (NTN), which are increasingly based on NeSC system approaches. These are intended to complement the existing terrestrial mobile and wired networks for voice, video and data communication, thus enabling global availability. The combination of terrestrial and satellite-based systems will significantly increase the reliability and spatial availability of communication systems overall.
We are very proud that Andreas Knopp, Marcus Knopp, Simon Heine and Kevin Li were part of the team of experts involved in the development of the position paper.

More information:

European Space-enabled Connectivity Solutions for the Car of the Future

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Knopp, the director of the Institute of Information Technology at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich, attended the "European Space-enabled Connectivity Solutions for the Car of the Future" workshop in Munich on November 7th, 2023. This event was organized by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), with support from BMW Group. The workshop provided a platform for experts from the automotive and space sectors and government representatives to discuss the challenges and expectations of achieving seamless, reliable, and secure connectivity between the two sectors. At the panel discussion, Professor Knopp emphasized that his institute has already researched and tested the potential of satellite connectivity for renowned German premium car manufacturers. Over-the-air tests are particularly crucial in boosting the acceptance of satellite-based connectivity in the automotive industry. With its automotive test track, its own 5G network, access to satellite capacity, and an experimental ground station, the University of the Bundeswehr Munich, offers a unique combination for the evaluation of integrated non-terrestrial networks.

Keynote speech from Prof. Andreas Knopp at PIMRC 2023

September 5th, 2023, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Knopp, director of Institute of Information Technology at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich and coordinator of the SeRANIS project has held a keynote speech “Distribution: a key enabler for future satellite systems” during the IEEE PIMRC Conference 2023, a flagship conference of the IEEE Communications Society. The presentation was given during a dedicated workshop on “Mega Constellation Satellite Networks for 6G” in front of an audience of international academic and industrial experts.
In his talk, Prof. Knopp emphasized the growing importance of satellites to meet the requirements of IMT-2030 (International Mobile Telecommunications), a framework that sets the objectives of 6G development. While around 4% of the Earth surface can be covered with terrestrial infrastructures, a so-called “Ubiquitous Connectivity” will only be possible with the integration of non-terrestrial networks. In this context, coordinated formations of small satellites, known as satellite swarms, appear as a key enabler to provide broadband connectivity to our everyday life smartphones. The efficient exploitation of frequency resources with beamforming solutions and the synchronization of swarm nodes represent some of the research challenges discussed by Prof. Knopp during his intervention.
The game-changing potential of coordinated distributed ground stations for high-speed data transfer between the ground network and the space segment was another key topic addressed in Prof. Knopp’s tutorial. The ever-growing demand for data rates in communication networks indeed confronts system designers with a risk of traffic congestion in the feeder link. In that respect, synchronized ground stations combined with the application of advanced multi-antenna signal processing schemes pave the way to highly efficient feeder link architectures.
The keynote speech of Prof. Knopp has been an excellent opportunity to make the research community aware of the SeRANIS project and to emphasize existing synergies, especially with the HARMONY project, a Horizon Europe MSCA Industrial Doctoral Network coordinated by Prof. Knopp’s institute.

PhD thesis defense by Matthias Schraml

On the 26th of July 2023, Matthias Schraml successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled „Multiuser MIMO Concept for Physical Layer Security in Multibeam Satellite Systems.“
His thesis investigates the potentials and benefits of a multiple-reflector antenna scheme in geostationary satellite systems for physical layer security, i.e., confidentiality without encryption. The goal of the precoding algorithms for security is to generate a channel condition such that the legitimate users receive the signal in higher quality than all eavesdroppers and, thus, fulfilling the requirement of key-less physical layer security.
The jury composed of Prof. Thomas Weyh (Chairman, UniBw M) and the examiners Prof. Armin Dekorsy (University of Bremen) and Prof. Andreas Knopp (Supervisor, UniBw M) awarded him the doctoral degree with great praise.


At 7:00 p.m. on July 5, 2023, the last Ariane 5 took off from Europe's Kourou spaceport in French Guiana with Heinrich-Hertz-Satellit (H2Sat) on board. This mission marks the first dedicated German telecommunications satellite-based research and testing effort to explore new technologies and telecommunications scenarios. Additionally, the H2Sat carries a military Ka-band payload for the Bundeswehr.
We are glad that our institute was able to contribute to this important German satellite mission from the very beginning. Prior to joining the Bundeswehr University Munich, Prof. Andreas Knopp acquired extensive knowledge as a Communications Engineer and a Satellite Program Manager for the military H2Sat payload while working at the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support. He contributed significantly to the H2Sat Mission, collaborating with our Principal Scientist, Dr. Robert Schwarz for over a decade. In addition, the important German space mission received frequency coordination assistance from Stephan Winter, an external PhD researcher at our Institute, and his colleagues from AUDENS Telecommunications Consulting.
We are now looking forward to supporting the In-Orbit Test Phase. Later on, our research group leader Dr. Thomas Delamotte will continue with novel Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) experiments via H2Sat.
The H2Sat mission is designed to investigate new communications technologies in collaboration with universities, scientific institutes, and industry. OHB SE, a German satellite manufacturer, constructed the platform and integrated the payloads. The project was managed by the German Space Agency in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg).

SatNEx V School 2023 – "Satellite 6G: challenges and solutions" award for best innovative idea

April 2023: At the occasion of the SatNEx V School 2023, held at the Department of Information Engineering, University of Siena, ten participants submitted innovative ideas on the topic "Satellite 6G: Challenges and Solutions". The proposed concepts, presented in the form of short papers and talks open to the attendance of the IEEE Future Networks community, were evaluated by an international committee of nine satellite communication experts.
M.Sc. Diego Tuzi, research assistant at the Institute of Information Technology, University of the Bundeswehr Munich, won the first prize with his contribution entitled “6G Satellite Direct-to-Cell Connectivity: To distribute, or not to distribute, that is the question”. His work, co-authored with his supervisors Dr. Thomas Delamotte and Prof. Andreas Knopp, focuses on the potential benefits and main challenges to the use of satellite swarms for Direct-to-Cell connectivity. A satellite swarm is a distributed satellite system in which the nodes must cooperate to fulfil a certain mission design goal. In the studied scenario, the objective is to provide connectivity to common handheld devices such as smartphones (Direct-to-Cell connectivity). Satellite swarms represent a promising alternative to classical monolithic systems.
For more information, our research team recently published a journal article entitled “Satellite Swarm-Based Antenna Arrays for 6G Direct-to-Cell Connectivity” in IEEE Access, available in open access at the following link:
The authors thank the organizers of the SatNEx V School 2023 for the honor of receiving this award and the opportunity to present their idea.


The GOSATCOM conference 2023 has taken place from 27. to 29. March with a record participation of 300 guests. A highlight was put in this year’s conference on the development of multi-orbit solutions to provide secure and cost-efficient governmental and military communication capabilities. Prestigious speakers gave the audience valuable insights into strategical orientations for future space programs including the new EU secure communication constellation IRIS². Podium discussions have been the occasion to confront the views of industrial, military and governmental actors on these many exciting developments of satellite systems. Considering the very dynamic evolution of the current space ecosystem, the conference has been a platform of exchange not only for well-established players but also for innovative actors from the New Space economy. The great success of this new edition has further confirmed the key importance of the event for the governmental and military satellite communication community.
In the context of the conference, the Tesat Spacecom Science Award (TESSA) has been awarded to a young researcher, Maximilian Stark, for his PhD defended at the Hamburg University of Technology and entitled “Machine Learning for Reliable Communication Under Coarse Quantization”. With this price, TESAT Spacecom and the GOSATCOM conference recognize the importance of groundbreaking scientific works to address the technical challenges of future communication systems.

Yazhou Zhu Successfully Accomplished his Doctoral Defense

On 17 January 2023, Yazhou Zhu, a research assistant at our institute, accomplished his doctoral defense. The dissertation is entitled “Distributed Resource Optimization for NOMA Transmission in Beamforming SATCOM.” The dissertation investigated the incorporation of Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) with existing Beamforming-SATCOM for higher throughput and more user connectivity. More importantly, the dissertation provided insights into resource optimization strategies with user fairness objectives for non-orthogonal SATCOM. The results demonstrated that the benefit of NOMA is achievable in overloaded multi-beam satellite systems since the high user channel correlation is generally inherent in multibeam geo-satellite systems. The dissertation delivers a basis for further research in non-orthogonal SATCOM. The doctoral defense committee was headed by the committee chair Prof. Stefan Schäffler in the presence of the two examiners, i.e., Prof. Andreas Knopp and Jun.-Prof. Christian Hofmann. Yazhou Zhu began his research at our institute in May 2018. Currently, he is employed at GPP Communication as a software engineer in digital and analog signal processing.
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