Innovation at the heart of Airbus Secure Communications strategy: aiming for new solutions in Connectivity

Featured stories - Publication date : 08 November 2021
Innovation at the heart of Airbus Secure Communications strategy: aiming for new solutions in Connectivity

On September 21st, Airbus Defence and Space hosted its first Co-Innovation challenge event with a clear aim: come up with concrete and world-changing solutions that will service our customers and market needs.

Airbus Secure Communications, alongside Airbus Intelligence and Airbus Secure Land Communications, proposed one of the 3 challenges on “Connectivity”, and is pleased to announce the successful challenger Arctic Space Technologies.

Satellite Communications Solutions for governmental and military organisations

Governmental and military organisations rely heavily on diverse communications means to support their missions and satellite communication is a key aspect. SATCOM ground segment technologies are  evolving rapidly, such as Virtual Ground Stations and Ground Stations as a Service (GSaaS), and so is their use. GOVSATCOM and MILSATCOM customers are keen to:

  • Enhance Location flexibility: rationalise real estate investment and boost in the field deployment flexibility
  • Enable new services with smarter processing and connectivity management
  • Improve system architecture flexibility and resiliency thanks to site diversity and distributed architecture.
  • Increase security with ability to master encryption/decryption process taking into account contested area of operation (No more decryption at the feet of the antenna where location sovereignty may not be guaranteed)
  • Increase quality of communication, flexibility and service continuity
  • Reduce OPEX/CAPEX investment: reduce footprint at Ground Station, centralise staff and equipment, ameliorate redundancy

The Virtual Ground Segment, a technological game changer for SatComs

Leveraging on Digital trends set by ComSatCom, the Virtual Ground Segment is one of the technological game changers. One of the key components is the capacity to convert Radio Frequency over Internet Protocol (RF over IP).

Developing a technology converting RF signal into IP (From analogue to digital) is a key enabler to removing RF signal transport limitations (<0.5km) and therefore of the need to have processing capabilities at each ground station and the associated staff and modems, but all centralised in a unique facility. This also grants much more flexibility for defining an overall ground station architecture.

Arctic Space Technologies: innovation for critical satellite operations

Arctic Space Technologies is a Swedish based company founded by an international team of engineers in 2019 and offers edge-based satellite communication and virtualised satellite ground segment solutions. Through a strategic partnership with the Fortlax Data Center which has a direct fibre connection to the “Arctic Space Data Hub”, a satellite tracking ground station at the edge of the Arctic circle, an all-in-one solution for edge-based big data handling, critical satellite operations, and ground station services is being provided to clients today.

Arctic Space is providing cutting edge technology in the field of RF over IP and is therefore contributing to accelerating innovation in the proposed AIRBUS solutions. This collaboration will support the definition of a proof of concept for full digital ground systems and test performances, security and flexibility of such technologies in the frame of MILSATCOM.

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