Lte | 2022-09-14

Airbus Demonstrated Low-Latency Broadband LEO Satellite Services in Northern Finland

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations complement existing major space systems and expand the possibilities for mission and business critical operations.

Airbus has demonstrated its customers in Kajaani, Finland, low-latency Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite services as part of the AINET-ANTILLAS research project. Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations complement existing major space systems and expand the possibilities for mission and business critical operations.

The services demonstrated by Airbus at this event support mission critical services and provide continuity, especially in rural areas without radio coverage or as a backup solution in case of service deviations, for example in case of a storm. Typical use cases can be found in public safety and defence sectors with Mission Critical Push-to-talk, video, situational awareness and other data-rich applications.

The Airbus Agnet collaboration solution was demonstrated together with LEO satellite services.

Airbus was able to demonstrate its ability to provide its customers a secure Agnet solution with LEO satellite services for field operations and communications with command and control. This enables communications and situational awareness around the world in the areas where high-quality mobile broadband services were not previously available, for example in sparsely populated areas and in shipping. The Agnet user experience was comparable to a 4G terrestrial environment. 

“Airbus is proud to have operated this demonstration with LEO satellite services which are a valuable addition to the toolbox of solutions for critical communications needs. Airbus customers are migrating from narrowband public safety networks to mobile broadband solutions based on 4G and 5G technologies and terrestrial mobile networks. In many cases mobile operators’ existing networks will be used with certain extensions. Other solutions are also needed to build broad coverage and capacity for public safety operations. LEO satellite services are a valuable solution to these needs” says Tapio Savunen, director of strategic marketing at Airbus.
 

The Finnish consortium of the project is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT also participated in the demonstration and was responsible for technical measurements such as the capacity and performance of LEO satellite services.

”Communications services provided by LEO satellite constellations are an interesting research topic. Broadband communications can be expanded to areas and use cases where it has not been economically and technically feasible so far. Quality and security of these future services rely on analysis and validation methods that are developed in the project,” says Jani Suomalainen, Senior Scientist at VTT.

Airbus’ customer Erillisverkot participated in the demonstration event. Erillisverkot has an ongoing migration project called Virve 2, which aims at 4G/5G based services for the needs of public safety and other critical users. “All technologies that can ensure the connectivity of public safety are of interest to Erillisverkot. Our customers must have connectivity anytime, anywhere“, says Antti Kauppinen, CTO of Erillisverkot.

* The demonstration event was part of Celtic-Next AINET-ANTILLAS research project involving partners from Finland, France and Germany. Funded by Business Finland, the Finnish government organis     ation for innovation funding and trade, AINET-ANTILLAS project is a three-year project and will end in 2024. The primary objective of the AINET-ANTILLAS Celtic-Next research project is to accelerate digital transformation in Europe by intelligent and secure network automation services.

The research objectives Airbus has in the project are particularly related to IoT solutions in critical field operations and the utilisation of new satellite services together with deployable networks. In particular, cyber security solutions are topics of particular interest.