3D Orbital-Terrestrial Networks

 3D-Orbital-terrestrische Netze
Vision: 3D orbital‐terrestrial communication network

Connectivity is one of the most powerful trends of our time and a fundamental prerequisite for the digital transformation of our economy and society. The need for connectivity is particularly evident in the case of the Internet of Things (IoT) or, more broadly, the Internet of Everything and Everywhere (IoEE). Applications such as intelligent mobility, digital logistics (e.g. shipping), digital industry or digital agriculture as well as telemedicine applications are just a few examples that illustrate the need for reliable and ubiquitous connectivity – true global connectivity.

The need for reliable and ubiquitous connectivity is driving the evolution of purely terrestrial networks to 3-D orbital-terrestrial networks that tightly integrate 5G/6G base stations with High-Altitude -Platforms (HAPS), LEO constellations and GEO satellites in space. This forms an overall communication networks consisting of two integrated communication layers ‐ the terrestrial and the orbital communication layer, see Figure 1.

Examples of topics and recently started activities are:
  • Space for IoEE (massive connectivity) (NiCom)
  • 5G LEO satellites (communications, constellation design) (5GSatOpt)
  • 3-D orbital terrestrial networks (AI/ML based O-RAN concepts) (AI4Sat5G)
  • ML-based receivers for communication networks (FunKI)
  • Earth observation (compressed and distributed sensing, distributed AI, distributed federated learning) (DiKE, DSE)