“Make your communications faster and safer”

The Digital Signal Processing Competence Center tries to answer the challenge of maintaining a strong position for telecommunication systems and satellite observation in the European industry. It allows the whole value chain of the space industry (operators, System Manufacturer, equipment suppliers and component suppliers) to develop their market by reducing the risks connected to the introduction of new technologies and favoring standardization initiatives.


It focuses on digital technologies used in broadband telecommunications on optical support and radio, and on remote detection of radio signals and image acquisition. It also helps meet the challenges of an increase in the frequency of communications and the rarefication of radio resources due to bandwidth requirements. This covers their integration within telecommunications and observation systems. In order to respond to 5G or Internet of Things requirements, the center builds the technological blocks needed to optimize system performance, both in terms of transmission layers in the form of a processing chain, and in terms of network layers through introduction of virtualization technologies (NFV[1]) and network programming (SDN[2]). For future broadband transmissions, the center is working on the use of free-space optical communication (FSO) offering an abundant spectrum resource.


The applications concerned are the broadcasting of content by satellite, access to broadband multimedia systems for all (video, sound, internet), universal support of Internet of Things with worldwide cover and an optimized and more direct access to images for professional requirements.


[1] Network Function Virtualization

[2] Software Defined Network

R&T Fields

The competence center proposes solutions in terms of low layers of communication systems to improve the capacity of broadband transmission connections and to increase the technological maturity of the optical transmission links through the atmosphere. For detection, the work takes place around image acquisition on the ground or on satellites for observation systems. It also focuses on the massive processing of signals in view of future ‘Internet of Things’ services by satellite. It sets in place real time demonstrators at laboratory level by relying on rapid field-programmable gate array (FPGA) type digital processing technologies or system on chip (SOC).
Space industry operators try to integrate the satellite segment within the end-to-end systems in order to offer competitive commercial solutions by using third party or proprietary technologies. The aim is to generalize use of the satellite as far as possible in these systems. The competence center helps towards meeting this requirement by developing tools and resources grouped together in platforms to evaluate the application of new digital terrestrial technologies to the space industry, diminishing the technological risk connected to their integration within the satellite systems. It is concerned with the availability of communication systems with increased transmission frequency and diversity architectures as well as with integration of the virtualization and network programming technologies with next-generation systems that are interoperable with the new communication ecosystems (5G, IoT).
The competence center works on the improvement of industrial processes by evaluating new test methodologies and seeking new system validation approaches based on innovative technologies. It is a transversal role that has several applications in the space industry. In particular, the subjects of study are:

  • The use of radio-over-fiber for validation of payload.
  • Assessment of transmission system performance by overall EVM[1]-type measurements.

[1] Error Vector Magnitude


Head of Digital Signal Processing Competence Center
Toulouse Site



  • Increase in technological maturity by testing the technologies in representative environments of the targeted applications, before transfer to the industrialists.
  • Hardware and software platforms documented for development of the functional chains and their validation (simulators, SDR[1] and SDN[2] emulators).
  • Technical documentation accompanying the specification, design and validation work.
  • Thesis reports, scientific publications.
  • Patents.
  • Mock-ups and prototypes of functional chains serving as an implementation of reference.
  • Proposals for standardization organizations.
  • Supports for the transfer of results: videos, training, theme-based workshops.
  • Trained personnel made available to facilitate transfer of knowledge to the industry.

[1] Software Defined Radio

[2] Software Defined Networking


Free space laser communications: the future of satellite broadband services
Communications par satellite à haut débit/haute efficacité spectrale
Chaine de communication optique à travers l'atmosphère, K. Elayoub, IRT Saint Exupéry / ISAE-SUPAERO
Compensation des effets de la turbulence atmosphérique, A.-R. Camboulives, IRT Saint Exupéry/Onéra