Near Space Communications: A New Regime in Space-Air-Ground Integrated Networks

Author(s)Xiao, Zhenyu
Author(s)Mao, Tianqi
Author(s)Han, Zhu
Author(s)Xia, Xiang-Gen
Date Accessioned2023-03-15T19:13:09Z
Date Available2023-03-15T19:13:09Z
Publication Date2022-12-29
Description© 2022 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works. This article was originally published in IEEE Wireless Communications. The version of record is available at:
AbstractPrecipitated by the technological innovations in near-space platform stations (NSPSs), the near-space communication (NS-COM) network has emerged as an indispensable part of the next-generation space-air-ground integrated network (SAGIN) that facilitates ubiquitous coverage and broadband data transfer. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of NS-COM. First, we investigate the differences between NS-COM and the existing terrestrial cellular networks as well as satellite-based and unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV)-based communication networks, which is followed by a review of NS-COM development. Then we explore the unique characteristics of NS-COM regarding the platforms and the propagation environment of near space. The main issues of NS-COM are identified, resulting from the extremely long transmission distance, limitations of the communication payloads on NSPS, and the complex atmospheric constitution of near space. Then various application scenarios of NS-COM are discussed, where the special technical requirements are also revealed, from physical-layer aspects like transceiver design to upper-layer aspects like computational offloading and NSPS placement. Furthermore, we investigate the coexistence of NS-COM and ground networks by treating each other as interferers or collaborators. Finally, we list several potential technologies for NS-COM from the perspective of spectrum usage, and highlight their technical challenges for future research.
SponsorThis work was supported by the Defense Industrial Technology Development Program with Grant number JCKY2020601B014.
CitationZ. Xiao, T. Mao, Z. Han and X. -G. Xia, "Near Space Communications: A New Regime in Space-Air-Ground Integrated Networks," in IEEE Wireless Communications, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 38-45, December 2022, doi: 10.1109/MWC.001.2200142.
PublisherIEEE Wireless Communications
Keywordstechnical requirements
Keywordscellular networks
Keywordstechnological innovation
Keywordsmesh networks
Keywordsspace communications
Keywordsspace-air-ground integrated networks
TitleNear Space Communications: A New Regime in Space-Air-Ground Integrated Networks
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