NTT DoCoMo, Airbus take a look at HAPS at 2 GHz

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Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo and aerospace firm Airbus have efficiently examined a solar-powered stratospheric drone, utilizing it to ship an information hyperlink at a distance of as much as 140 kilometers (about 87 miles).

The U.S.-based trial befell in August, when Airbus’ Zephyr S plane carried out roughly 18 days of stratospheric flights as a way to seize information about hyperlink efficiency at totally different altitudes, at totally different occasions of day and night time, and beneath clear, cloudy or wet climate circumstances. The exams concerned the HAPS offering a hyperlink to a floor antenna, simulating direct-to-device service from the HAPS to finish customers at low, “nominal” and excessive throughput charges.

Whereas the HAPS usually flew at a peak of about 20 km (12.4 miles), NTT DoCoMo and Airbus mentioned that information transmissions have been achieved at a variety of as much as 140 km.

The 2 firms mentioned that the demonstration “confirmed the viability and flexibility of the two GHz spectrum for HAPS-based providers and likewise the usage of a slender (450 MHz) band to offer connectivity … . … Based mostly on the outcomes of this experiment, Airbus and NTT DoCoMo goal to offer communication providers to mountainous areas, distant islands, and maritime areas.”

“DOCOMO believes that HAPS shall be a promising answer for protection growth in 5G evolution and 6G,” mentioned Takehiro Nakamura, GM of NTT DoCoMo’s 6G-IOWN Promotion Division. “On this measurement experiment, we have been capable of exhibit the effectiveness of HAPS, particularly for direct communication to smartphones, by means of long-term propagation measurements utilizing precise HAPS tools. Based mostly on these outcomes, we want to additional examine the sensible utility of HAPS in 5G evolution and 6G with Airbus.”

Non-terrestrial networks (NTN), similar to satellite tv for pc techniques and HAPS, are anticipated to play an more and more vital position as 5G evolves and in not-yet-standardized, future 6G techniques. HAPS and NTNT provide a method to lengthen protection in distant areas, throughout oceans and at aircraft-height, the place conventional terrestrial techniques have a tough time reaching; and might be helpful for catastrophe response communications or augmenting terrestrial protection.

“Billions of individuals the world over endure from poor or no connectivity. These exams present us the viability of the stratosphere to bridge this divide and supply direct to gadget connectivity through Zephyr with out the necessity for base stations or additional infrastructure,” Stephane Ginoux, SVP and head of the North Asia area for Airbus, and president of Airbus Japan.

The 2 firms mentioned that information from the testing shall be used to help future LTE providers supplied by Airbus’ Zephyr.