Satellite communications are expected to provide connectivity in areas that are underserved by terrestrial network operators. Given their altitude, Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are particularly promising for applications that require low-latency communication. However, setting up, operating, and offering data communication services based on such constellations of LEO satellites is quite challenging due to their high mobility, i.e., the communication links have a very limited service time.

The “Low-Latency Command and Control via LEO Satellites” (LEONE) project will focus on a specific research question: how to command and control autonomous vehicles (both ground and aerial) that are operating in areas with no terrestrial network coverage via LEO satellite-based communication?

To answer this question, the project will develop and evaluate new efficient end-to-end network system designs and communication protocols that will consider the characteristics of all intermediate communication links between the ground control center and the autonomous vehicles to be controlled: (1) ground segment to LEO satellite links, (2) LEO satellite to satellite links, and (3) LEO satellite to autonomous vehicle links. The project will integrate existing solutions for predicting the mobility of satellites and vehicles with new networking concepts, such as time-sensitive networking and vehicle-to-everything communication, in order to provide efficient, reliable, and deterministic communication for such integrated systems.

The proposed solutions will be evaluated using a holistic simulation environment, which provides accurate and fast LEO satellite mobility simulation with respect to the ground (building, vehicles, drones), as well as accurate, realistic, and fast network simulation. The outcomes of LEONE will demonstrate the feasibility of such end-to-end networked system designs and its applicability in dual-use scenarios that are relevant for both defense (i.e., remotely operated military vehicles and drones in war zones) and civilian (i.e., remotely operated vehicles in post-disaster scenarios) applications.

Project duration: 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026


Funding: This DefenceTech Project benefits from the shared financial support by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFA), Directorate of Defence (DoD), the Ministry of Economy (MECO) and the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)

Ion Turcanu
Ion Turcanu
Research and Technology Associate

My research interests include communications protocols for multi-technology vehicular networks, time-sensitive networking for in-vehicle communications, and next-generation cellular networks.