CTTC led H2020 SANSA project that successfully demonstrated a hybrid terrestrial-satellite backhaul network with spectrum coexistence


SANSA (Shared Access Terrestrial-Satellite Backhaul Network enabled by Smart Antennas) is a research project funded by the European commission under the HORIZON 2020 Framework Programme (grant agreement No 645047), which recently concluded under the coordination of CTTC.

The aim of SANSA project was to boost the performance of mobile wireless backhaul networks in terms of coverage, capacity and resilience while assuring an efficient use of the spectrum and a reduction of the power consumption. To this end, SANSA proposed a spectrum efficient self-organizing hybrid terrestrial-satellite backhaul network based on three key principles: (i) a seamless integration of the satellite segment into terrestrial backhaul networks; (ii) a terrestrial wireless network capable of reconfiguring its topology according to traffic demands; (iii) a shared spectrum between satellite and terrestrial segments. SANSA solution is enabled by two key components. On the one side, low-cost smart antennas deployed in terrestrial nodes allowing the network topology reconfiguration and spatial interference mitigation. On the other side, a hybrid network management scheme for an efficient orchestration of all the network resources, either terrestrial or satellite. This scheme is based on a centralized component, i.e. Hybrid Network Manager (HNM), and distributed components deployed at the terrestrial nodes, i.e. Intelligent Backhaul Nodes (IBN).

SANSA project succeeded in the design, development and experimental validation of both key enabling components. In particular, the evaluation of the proposed hybrid network management scheme using network level NS3 simulations reported noticeable performance improvements with respect to traditional fixed terrestrial backhaul networks. Specifically, aggregated throughput gains up to 35% and latency improvements for delay non-tolerant traffic of 150%, as well as energy saving up to 37% were demonstrated in a realistic scenario based on a real network deployment close to Helsinki. In addition, the evaluation of the developed interference mitigation techniques on the same scenario revealed a network spectral efficiency increase up to 10x.

For the experimental validation, SANSA developed a hybrid analog-digital array prototype that was used in the over-the-air demonstration of the spectrum coexistence of a satellite and a terrestrial link. This antenna prototype in combination with the developed beamforming algorithms successfully protected a closely located satellite receiver, which was able to reproduce a received video with high quality. In addition, a HNM and IBN prototypes were evaluated in a pure virtual network emulation at IP level. It permitted demonstrating the improved performance of SANSA networks thanks to the capabilities of the HNM/IBN to adapt the network topology to the traffic status and demands, thus solving congestion and link failure events.

For more information visit http://sansa-h2020.eu/