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NB-IoT: some adaptations for satellite communications

Published on 5 July 2021

One of the main IoT communication protocols, narrowband IoT, could, with a few minor tweaks, be used for satellite links. A recent study by CEA-Leti for CNES, France’s national center for space studies, leveraged simulation techniques to show that it is possible for a constellation of satellites orbiting a few hundred kilometers above the Earth to connect to several million objects with transmission speeds of a few kilobits per second. The downside is that the Doppler effect (a function of the speed at which the satellite is traveling) must be managed.

Satellite NB-IoT communications could prove useful wherever terrestrial base stations are lacking, such as in sparsely-populated rural areas and in the oceans, for example. In this study, the researchers also determined the waveform parameters best suited to this new scenario.

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