High Throughput Satellite Systems

Despite the growing spread of terrestrial and wireless alternatives, satellite connections are still a must for regions with no or insufficient internet access. Satellites play a major role in tackling structural challenges such as broadband coverage of islands or cruise ships. They are also indispensable in security-relevant areas, e.g. to provide secure communication channels for embassies or the military, and as an alternative infrastructure should a natural disaster damage or disable the terrestrial network. Satellite communication is also one of the most efficient and profitable means of transmission for the simultaneous distribution of content to a high number of different, widely distributed receivers.

As data volumes increase, so too does the share of and demand for high throughput satellite systems (HTS systems). In particular, newly emerging satellite megaconstellations in low earth orbit (LEO) provide enormous amounts of data capacity around the world, ranging from gigabytes to terabytes per second. However, simply upscaling current transmission solutions is not enough to meet the increased requirements for flexibility, efficiency and throughput. Instead, systems must be completely rethought.

High throughput systems: satellite communication 2.0

When designing and improving the satellite communication systems of today and tomorrow, we focus on the following objectives:

  • High data rates and broadband transmission, e.g. based on the DVB-S2X standard
  • Reliable transmission – robust against interference or high levels of noise
  • Flexible and more efficient transmission by distributing satellite capacity to different regions according to demand, e.g. by using beam hopping
  • Increased system efficiency through multi-user MIMO via satellite
  • Increased system throughput to supply either more terminals or the same number at higher data rates
  • Adapted transmission methods to make low-cost terminals a reality, e.g. by using precoding
  • Implementation of HTS techniques and approaches, even with existing satellites and components

We develop and implement optimum, bespoke solutions to meet each customer’s requirements.

Technologies for HTS systems


DVB-S2X is the latest standard in satellite communications and provides improved performance and bandwidth efficiency in satellite transmission. The standard provides additional features for more stable communication connections or new applications and use cases.

Fraunhofer IIS was actively involved in the standardization of DVB-S2X and offers several DVB-S2X technology and IP solutions.







Beam hopping

Beam hopping allows for using satellite capacity in an efficient and demand-oriented way. Therefore, the satellite beam is directed to different coverage areas in succession; the dwell time of the beam and the time until the next illumination depends on the data rate required by users in that area.

The satellite’s footprint and the beam hopping schedule are constantly adjusted to match current demand, which improves the efficiency and flexibility of the satellite transmission.


Precoding is a method for improving the reception of satellite signals and allows for more efficient use of spectrum.

Traditionally, adjacent coverage areas are served on different frequencies to avoid interference between the signals. Precoding, on the other hand, deliberately uses the same frequency with the aim of converting the interference power into usable signal power.

For this purpose, the receiving terminals measure the crosstalk from neighboring coverage areas and report this back to the ground station. There the signals are pre-distorted accordingly to eliminate interference at the terminals.

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Satellite connectivity