E-Band mmWave Technology for HAPS and LEO Satellite Systems

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  • Author: Mike Geen
Along with Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations, High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) systems—or High‐Altitude Pseudo‐Satellites—operating in the stratosphere, have the potential to address the challenge of providing ubiquitous connectivity. Although there has been great progress in rolling out high‐speed mobile networks to serve major centers of population, terrestrial connections will never realistically cover every part of earth’s surface. To deliver the full promise of 5G and address the ‘digital divide’, it is essential to provide coverage to low population areas where terrestrial mobile networks are not viable. This will be particularly important not only for improving personal communications, but also because many Internet of Things (IoT) sensors will need to be in these regions. This article gives an overview of the role of HAPS and satellites in forming “networks in the sky” and describes some of the RF challenges in designing the high data rate (10Gbps‐plus) communication links needed to backhaul data between earth and the satellite or HAPS, and also between the platforms themselves.
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