ESA and VTT to develop 5G network in space

ESA and VTT to develop 5G network in space

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The strategic partnership between VTT and ESA provides support for the objectives of the Finnish Space Strategy and responses to its priorities. Furthermore, the agreement shows that ESA has confidence in VTT’s ability to develop cutting-edge technology for the space sector.

“Integrating satellite into 5G is vital both for the growth of the commercial space industry and for making 5G truly ubiquitous. Our intent is to encourage European space and non-space industry to make use of the live trial platforms that VTT have developed, which are necessary to enable and demonstrate satellite/5G integration,” says Senior Telecommunication Systems Engineer Maria Guta from ESA.

VTT and ESA are currently examining what would be the requirements and the necessary technologies for the integration of 5G satellite networks and terrestrial networks, and the common use of 5G pioneer bands. VTT and ESA intend to implement several projects within the sector under the Letter of Intent over the next three years.

“The key aspect of the projects is the use of VTT’s extensive test networks. This is one of the most important means in the development of communications systems,” explains Team Leader Marko Höyhtyä from VTT.

The integration of satellite and terrestrial networks would benefit the whole society, since even many everyday services are based on data produced by satellites. The systems being developed can be used anywhere where communications systems or, for example, positioning services are needed.

“Satellite connectivity is needed particularly in areas where it would not be economically feasible to build terrestrial networks, such as sparsely populated or distant areas, including the sea, air traffic or frontier areas, lists Höyhtyä.

“Autonomous and remotely controlled ships operating far away from the shore are a natural example of a target where the integration of 5G satellite networks and terrestrial networks is needed in the future.” This area of application has also been selected as one of the key development targets in the collaboration between VTT and ESA.

In addition to communications applications, VTT is also actively developing remote sensing technologies, such as the world’s first miniature infrared hyperspectral imager for the Reaktor Hello World satellite.

VTT has selected the satellite industry as one of its strategic focus areas and aims to increase relevant operations in collaboration with the Finnish industry. VTT is also actively recruiting employees for promoting the 5G satellite integration.

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