Potentials and Limitations of the IEEE 802.15.3d Standard for Terahertz Satellite Communications

The communications capacities of current satellite technologies are expected to be lagging behind the ever-increasing demands for broadband services. It is foreseen by industry professionals that a rising number of high-throughput satellites must be able to handle a vast amount of data collectively for different purposes such as 5G+, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart homes and cities as well as defence applications.

Recently, the IEEE 802.15.3d™-2017 Standard for point-to-point (P2P) wireless terahertz links was released to support a wide range of data transmission rates, namely from 1 Gbps to 300 Gbps using channel bandwidths as high as 69 GHz, in the terahertz band. To put into perspective, the nominal data rates are sufficient to support the streaming of tens of uncompressed 4K and 8K videos simultaneously. As such, utilising terahertz communications for satellite networks implies high-quality services for a number of applications.

Therefore, in this project, we plan to investigate the potential opportunities and challenges of applying the terahertz technology to inter/intra-satellite communications within the technical specifications framework defined by the IEEE 802.15.3d™-2017 Standard.

This includes Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions to centralise the orchestration of the whole network, the control and sharing of the network resources, implementations of intelligent Software Defined Radio (SDR) transponders and user terminals with machine learning technologies, advanced digital multibeam precoding, dynamic control of multi-spot beam patterns and distributed computing tasks based on traffic conditions and QoS requirements. The project will engage relevant researchers from industry and academia to establish which elements are the key factors and bottlenecks in delivering gains from next generation satellites.


Project Leader:
Dr Withawat Withayachumnankul, University of Adelaide

PhD Student:
Mohamed Shehata, The University of Adelaide