Lockheed Martin is one step away from showcasing how the company’s 5G.MIL® capability can reach all domains around the world — in the company’s final, successful, lab demo, the company validated that its innovative space payload is set to deliver global advanced communications capabilities from orbit.
During the October demonstration, Lockheed Martin showcased the industry’s first fully regenerative, Advanced 5G Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) Satellite Base Station – developed as a space component of the company’s 5G.MIL Unified Network Solutions Program.
In 2024, in a self-funded mission, the company will launch this payload to orbit, bringing 5G’s capabilities to the final frontier to prove its capability to connect the globe.
Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Satellite Base Station for 5G, or gNodeB, as it is technically known:
Includes a full 5G New Radio (NR) Radio Access Network (RAN) stack, RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and 5G Stand Alone (SA) Core running on space-qualified flight hardware that will fly on the TacSat.
Is reprogrammable on orbit using Lockheed Martin’s SmartSat software-defined satellite architecture.
Can be structured with a split architecture placing the Control Unit (CU) on the ground and the Distributed Unit (DU) on the satellite, further enhancing network implementation options.
Connects to industry-leading prototype NTN user equipment through a space communications channel emulator that introduced doppler and delay parameters consistent with a satellite Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
Lockheed Martin’s standards-based approach is compliant with 3GPP Release 17 and was developed in anticipation of pre-Release 18 and 19 regenerative specifications. 5G NTN provides another communications pathway to support ubiquitous, heterogeneous communications across all operational domains in support of customer missions.
Leading to this successful pre-launch demonstration, Lockheed Martin developed and integrated the regenerative 5G NTN HBS-Space system over the past three years working with key subcontractors:
AccelerComm provided an advanced 5G NTN Layer 1 PHY solution, developed to support Lockheed Martin’s system requirements and space flight hardware specifications.
Radisys supplied 5G NTN Layer 2/3 and 5G SA Core software, working with Lockheed Martin to ensure interface implementation enabled seamless integration with L1 and RIC solutions.
Keysight supported 3GPP standards-based development testing of Lockheed Martin’s regenerative 5G NTN base station via their 5G NTN user equipment simulation (UeSIM) product suite.
The Advanced 5G Satellite Base Station is the lynch pin in Lockheed Martin’s vision to provide global 5G connectivity. For the past three years, the company has been investing in, developing and demonstrating fixed, relocatable, mobile and now, space variants, of its Hybrid Base Stations.