Research to advance development of next-generation satellite-terrestrial networks (Study)


Esch-sur-Alzette, 9 July 2020 – The Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) is supporting an extensive new research project to advance data networks, led by the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) in collaboration with SES.

Titled INSTRUCT (INtegrated Satellite-TeRrestrial Systems for Ubiquitous Beyond 5G CommunicaTions), the research initiative is funded by the FNR’s Industrial Partnership Block Grant (IPBG) programme, the FNR’s most extensive funding mechanism for collaborative industrial research in Luxembourg. The IPBG scheme is aimed at supporting innovation through collaborations between industry and academics, and building an ecosystem of skilled expertise.

For the INSTRUCT project SnT will support SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions, to conduct research in next-generation integrated satellite-terrestrial networks, leveraging what has already been achieved in the 5G area and advancing it further. The project builds on a successful 10-year relationship between SnT and SES that has resulted in a number of advanced technology solutions in areas such as digital signal modulation, dynamic beamforming, high throughput modem technologies, complex software systems modelling, and natural language processing. The IPBG award will fund 17 SnT research projects, that will each have a team of a PhD or PostDoc student, an academic supervisor from SnT, as well as an industrial supervisor from SES.

The integration of satellite and terrestrial systems is crucial as truly global next-generation networks require an ecosystem of multiple communication infrastructures to be inclusive, ubiquitous and affordable. Satellite proved to be an ideal enabler of the next-generation networks thanks to its wide coverage, ability to deliver to moving platforms, and simultaneity. It will allow a broad range of next-generation connectivity scenarios, even in remote areas, for crucial applications in mobile backhauling, aero and maritime connectivity, emergency response, telemedicine, and much more. As an industry leader, SES has a solid track record in delivering to the existing data markets, and spearheads major technology innovation and standardisation initiatives, including for 5G.

“We launched the IPBG programme as a pilot project in 2016, and it is quickly becoming an essential mechanism to funnel research funding towards complex industrial challenges,” said Andreea Monnat, Deputy Secretary General, FNR. “It is a priority of Luxembourg to establish an economy that is focused on innovation, and the longstanding partnership between SES and SnT is an excellent example of the positive results of such collaborations.”

“Our business relies on the technology we use, and we are embracing innovations that support current markets and unlock new opportunities for the customers we serve. With its outstanding R&D capabilities, SnT is a reliable partner in advancing innovation with a truly global impact, and we are happy to continue working with them,” said Ruy Pinto, CTO, SES. “With the backing of the FNR and SnT, we are sure we will be able to further advance on integrated satellite-terrestrial networks.”

“The integration of satellite and terrestrial networks is a complex research challenge as we enter the beyond 5G era,” said Prof Symeon Chatzinotas, Project Principal Investigator, SnT. “This FNR grant gives us the support to build a Center of Excellence in Luxembourg and spearhead research and technology transfer in this area.”

“The partnership with SES over the years has been a driving force for some of the most exciting research outcomes of SnT,” said Prof Björn Ottersten, Director, SnT. “We are proud to have our work validated by receiving this IPBG from the FNR and are confident the research will create substantial opportunities for the space sector in Luxembourg.”



University: Laura Bianchi, Press advisor, T. +352 46 66 44 9451, E. [email protected]

FNR: Didier Goossens, Head of Corporate Communication, T. +352 26 19 25-43 E. [email protected]

SES: Suzanne Ong, External Communications, T. +352 710 725 500, E. [email protected]

About FNR

The Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) is the primary funder of research activities in Luxembourg. FNR invests public funds and private donations into research projects in various branches of science and the humanities, with an emphasis on selected core strategic areas. Furthermore, FNR supports and coordinates activities to strengthen the link between science and society and to raise awareness for research. FNR also advises the Luxembourg government on research policy and strategy.

About IPBG

The aim of the Industrial Partnership Block Grant (IPBG) programme is to foster the cooperation between Luxembourg based companies active in R&D and public research institutions in Luxembourg. The IPBG awards a block allocation of PhD and/or Postdoc grants (Industrial Fellowships) in which Luxembourg-based industry partner(s) take the lead in arranging a research programme with a Luxembourg-based public research institution of their choice (in research relevant to FNR’s strategic priority areas).

About SES

SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,300 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 367 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges (Ticker: SESG). Further information is available at:

About the University of Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg is a European research university with a distinctly international, multilingual and interdisciplinary character. It is a modern institution with a personal atmosphere, close to European institutions, innovative companies and the financial place. With over 6,400 students and about 2,000 employees from all over the globe, the University offers a unique mix of international excellence and national relevance, delivering knowledge for society and businesses. The mandatory semester abroad for Bachelor’s students reflects the importance attached to mobility. Student exchange agreements and research cooperation agreements exist with more than 100 universities around the world. Our priorities for research are Materials Science, Computer Science and ICT Security, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Digital and Contemporary History, Health and Systems Biomedicine, and Data Modelling and Simulation.

About SnT

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg conducts internationally competitive research in information and communication technology. In addition to long-term, high-risk research, SnT engages in demand-driven collaborative projects with industry and the public sector through its Partnership Program. The resulting concepts present a genuine, long-lasting competitive advantage for companies in Luxembourg and beyond.


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