Research and Development

We invest in agility, robustness, flexibility and scalability of tomorrow networking

Ongoing Projects

ASTREA (2024-ongoing)

ASTREA focuses on direct access of small terminals to GEO satellites in frequencies of the C, Ku and Ka-band, ensuring an affordable transmission service for IoT devices, with a bit rate up to some tens of kbit per second.

The expected outcome of the project is a complete prototype platform able to provide this service, including the design and prototyping of a very compact and economic terminal. The expected form factor of the commercial terminal is 20x20x5 cm and the objective of the project is to produce a prototype heading to those size thanks to the choice of suitable part numbers, including flat antennas.

The role of the product in the context of the overall system/service of its target users is to provide satellite operators and satellite service providers (B2B business model) with an IoT/M2M end-to-end solution using small portions of spectrum of Ku and Ka-band GEO satellites without the need of deploying new expensive LEO constellations.

Brochure ASTREA B2B




VOCS (2023-ongoing)

The main objective of the VOCS proposal is to design, develop, breadboard and test all the subsystems of a VDE-SAT compliant payload for small platforms such as cubesats and microsatellites. Critical breadboarding is carried out to achieve a significant reduction of DC power consumption, mass and overall volume.

Moreover, the project focuses also on the design, implementation and test of the On-Board Data Processing (OBDP) modules, related to a VDE-SAT payload.

The major critical area of the activity is the implementation and the breadboarding, facing challenging technical issues and technology gaps.

The main technology gaps to bridge are:

  • compact and light VHF diplexer and power consumption of the PA needed to close the down-link budget with 3 VDE carriers with high duty-cycle, in case of half duplex mode for cubesats
  • design of RAS Filter(s) in order to be compliant with RAS normative

Brochure VOCS B2B




(Start date: April 12 th, 2023 – ongoing)

5G-HOSTS-SAT focuses on experimental validation of various vertical services in 5G environments enhanced with satellite technologies. The final aim is to identify business drivers, technical challenges and practical solutions to foster and facilitate the creation of new applications in sectors that particularly benefit from the integration of satellite in 5G networks.

This is achieved through three objectives:

The creation of a multi-site testbed and validation framework for test, troubleshooting, and performance evaluation of vertical applications in satellite-enabled 5G networks. The latest 5G technologies in 5G RAN and core are enhanced with innovative features for orchestration, monitoring, AI-driven automation and programmable satellite networks, combined with edge/cloud for distributed applications. Standard architectures and open interfaces allow to replicate realistic operational environments and build customizable scenarios.

The enhancement of concrete vertical applications in various business sectors to exploit the new features offered by 5G-SatCom integration.

The direct involvement of vertical industries in extensive OTA field trials, with network and infrastructure KPI monitoring, service performance evaluation and application tuning. The first phase involves verticals from smart agriculture and PPDR sectors, in collaborations with Civil Protection of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The second phase is extended to smart livestock management, media broadcasting, and Transport and Logistic.

(Phase 1 KOM on July 1st, 2022 – ongoing)

The main objective of 5G-EMERGE project is the efficient distribution of popular media content using satellite broadcast beyond the direct-to-home (DTH) delivery of linear TV channels to stationary TV sets or the feeding of cable head-ends.
The satellite teleport will receive from a content provider the most popular live and on-demand content that is intended for the specific region covered by the satellites connected to the uplink. Satellites will distribute this content to home gateways, vehicle gateways and 4G/5G base stations through which it will be delivered to the end-user.
The satellite teleport will receive from a content provider the most popular live and on-demand content that is intended for the specific region covered by the satellites connected to the uplink. Satellites will distribute this content to home gateways, vehicle gateways and 4G/5G base stations through which it will be delivered to the end-user.

SCORE (2021-ongoing)
Project n. 101003534
Smart COntrol of the climate resilience in European coastal cities, SCORE is an EU Horizon 2020 Research and development project belonging to the topic LC-CLA-13-2020 (Building a low-carbon, climate-resilient future: climate action in support of the Paris Agreement).
In the project, smart technologies will be used to monitor weather conditions and climate changes, including satellite rain sensors developed in NEFOCAST

INSIDERAIN (2021-2022)
Tuscany Regional Government – POR–FESR 2014-2020. Project coordinated by MBI in which the successful results of the NEFOCAST project are further explored and investigated to monitor rainfalls at multiple scales using satellite receivers as rain sensors and implementing an innovative rain probe based on the observation of satellite signal attenuation in combination with other traditional rain probes.

5G SENSOR SEA (2021 on-going). 5G‌ ‌Smart‌ ‌Edge‌ ‌Node‌ ‌and‌ ‌Smart‌ ‌Objects‌ ‌enabling‌ ‌Reliable‌ ‌Services‌ ‌Extended‌ ‌All‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌seas‌
Satellite solution E-SSA based for the backhauling of Smart cells on board cargo ships.

Enabling Technologies for Smart Communications

Past Projects

INN3SCO (2021-2023)
ITT ESA AO/1-10524/20/NL/AF, Contract 4000134916/21/NL/AF. Integration of non-3GPP satellite networks with 5G core networks. The goal of the INN3SCO project proposal is the study, design, and development of a network demonstrator to propose and evaluate the possible integration strategies in 5G terrestrial Core Networks of non-3GPP Satellite segments. The demonstrator in particular will be based on the use and extension of Open Source solutions for 5G Core Networks and a SatCom emulator using the STARFISH technology, with the addition of control and user plane functions to enable traffic steering (ATSSS).

ANChoR (2021-2022)
ARTES AT 3A.108/ITT9745 ESA Contract No. 4000131477/20/NL/AB;.

Data-driven Network Controller and Orchestrator for Real-time Network Management ANChOR aims at prototyping a Data-driven Controller and Orchestrator for terrestrial/satellite networks. The project spans a number of innovative techniques and concepts under the same technological umbrella: 5G-compliant use-cases, satellite into 5G, ETSI MANO architectures, Data Mining solutions, and test platforms for validation.

SVDES Live tests
CCN MASSIVE VDES (2021 – finished)
VDES Over The Air tests (2021) ESA Contract No. 4000135397/21/NL/FE/mkn
The main aim of the proposed activity is to carry out laboratory and live tests in order to provide the scientific and industrial community working on VDES with results that can be used to support their development of VDE-SAT Link ID 20 and, eventually, support the standardization process still on-going, thanks to the experience that will be made available by the MASSIVE team on the random access techniques that are the foundation of the VDE-SAT Link ID 20. The target satellite selected for the early live tests of this activity is NorSat-2 (ID 42828).

MBI with the financial support of the POR CreO FESR Regione Toscana Azione 3.1.1. sub-azione 3.1.1a3, AIUTI FINALIZZATI AL CONTENIMENTO E CONTRASTO DELL’EMERGENZA EPIDEMIOLOGICA realized a NUOVO HUB SATELLITARE

Nuovo Hub Satellitare→

AIS HAB (2019)
AIS Receiver on High Altitude Balloon. The AIS-HAB mission aims at receiving AIS messages using an innovative approach based on a High Altitude Balloon (HAB). A COTS AIS Receiver (Automatic Identification System) was used to receive AIS messages sent by ships from very high altitudes (up to 35 km). This payload was operated in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The possibility of receiving messages from such a high altitude is of great importance for many different aspects such as SAR activities as well as the opportunity for monitoring maritime traffic over large areas.

To know more →


Satellite Backhauling Prototype for Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IOT)
Satellite solution E-SSA based for the backhauling of LP-WAN/NB-IOT networks

ISM HAB (2018)
Measurement of the interference to small LEO communication satellites in ISM bands using High Altitude Balloons
The ISM-HAB project aims at measuring using an innovative approach based on High Altitude Balloons (HAB) the interferences emitted by the existing population of ground terminals working within the following bands:
S bands (ISM 2,4 GHz): 2400 – 2483 MHz
UHF bands (ISM 868 MHz and 900 MHz bands): 862 – 922 MHz
Among all the possible LP-WAN protocol, the ISM-HAB will focus on the feasibility of a LEO constellation operated using the F-SIM protocol on the return-link (terminal to satellite) that have been developed by MBI in collaboration with Eutelsat for the operation of the SmartLNB terminal
To know more →

MBI in collaboration with Natech, Cnit and Qinova, with financial support of POR CreO FESR Regione Toscana Azione 1.1.5, has carried out an ambitious project in the precision agriculture sector, through the adoption of fog computing and machine learning architectures

To know more →

MASSIVE (2017-2020)
Satellite Gateway Development for Massive Uncoordinated Access Networks
Adaptation of E-SSA to ME-SSA for M2M applications

GEMMA (2017-2020). Gateway demonstrator for E-SSA-based Machine-to-Machine Applications
Development of a forward link air-interface for M2M application to be coupled with ME-SSA

QV-LIFT (2016-2020)
EU H2020 Space COMPET-2-2016 GA730104. The QV-LIFT ( Project aims at developing technologies and solutions for satellite communications using Q/V bands. MBI was in charge of designing, implementing, and testing smart gateway functionalities in High Throughput Satellite networks using Q/V bands. In the context of this project, an E-SSA (F-SIM) based satellite infrastructure was employed in a multi-gateway environment, and techniques to maximize satellite infrastructure availability in the presence of weather impairments experimented with.

NEFOCAST (2016-2019)
Tuscany Regional Government – FAR-FAS 2007-2013. In the NEFOCAST project, managed by MBI, a large-scale experimental network using commercial F-SIM services was deployed to assess the possibility to use interactive satellite terminals as rain sensors. Algorithms to retrieve rain rate from the satellite signal attenuation were implemented and are being patented. Results have been compared with other meteorological systems (disdrometers, rain gauges, weather radars) with very good results. Techniques for geographic spatialization of the rain field, based on the use of Kalman filters, have been studied

To know more→

SVI.I.C.T.PRECIP. (2016). Development of an integrated technological platform for the control and computer transmission of data on precipitation fields in real time for the supply of the state of cloud cover and precipitation in the very short term with a high level of detail and accuracy. MBI has supplied satellite telecommunication systems based on new waveforms that allow for various improvements over other technologies commonly adopted in this field. MBI is employed with EUTELSAT SA in the engineering and implementation of the transceiver systems at the teleports that will be used by the new Smart LNB systems that will be used in the project.
To know more →

ACCORD (2014-2017)
ESA ARTES 5.1, ESTEC Contract N. 4000109542/13/NL/EM. The ACCORD project is aimed at developing a connectivity platform able to handle innovative terminals which automatically switch between different available interfaces and related protocols, without any interruptions to the service. The ACCORD solution is based on a smart-router, which provides vertical handover by selecting the most appropriate connection based on a customizable policy. The resulting platform is fully-software based and uses a Software-Defined-Radio approach.

M2M-SCADA (2014-2016). Frequency Flexible M2M Terminal Modem Development.
Development of an E-SSA version for M2M application (S-M2M).

AIRONE (2014-2015). Satellite link for personal aircraft meteo information service
The AIRONE project of the Italian Space Agency aims to demonstrate satellite telecommunication services in S-band in order to improve ultralight aircraft navigation. MBI is providing the telecommunications technology for the project.

SATURN (2012-2014). Smart mAritime saTellite terminal for mUltimedia seRvices and conteNts
ESTEC Contract 4000106485/12/NL/US. SATURN was financed by the European Satellite Agency and ran between 2012 and 2014. MBI was the prime contractor for the extension of the MSS services to the maritime sector using the W2A satellite. MBI was responsible for designing and testing the S-MIM communication protocols for services such as broadcasting, geo-referencing information and security services for maritime scenarios. This was carried out by implementing the ground segment of the return link and operating the link communication on W2A

Implementing IP-based satellite network that enable M2M services, scalable to tens of millions of users, with simple consumer-grade equipment

SafeTRIP (2009-2013)
EU FP7-SST-2008-RTD-1 GA233976. Satellite Applications For Emergency handling, Traffic alerts, Road safety and Incident Prevention (FP7-TRANSPORT-233976). The SafeTRIP project: Satellite Applications For Emergency handling, Traffic alerts, Road safety and Incident Prevention (FP7-TRANSPORT-233976), was funded by the European Commission within the 7th framework program. It lasted from 2009 to 2013, and led to the creation of a variety of safety services within the transport field. In particular, SafeTrip integrated new S-band satellite technology with other existing systems, such as satellite positioning and terrestrial communications. MBI designed and implemented the integration platform, so as to create an original way to achieve a holistic approach to the infrastructure / vehicle / driver chain.

DENISE (2009-2011)
S-band Interactive System Definition and Proof-of-Concept Demonstration Phase 1 ESTEC 22439/09/NL/US
Phase 1
Demonstrator Emergency aNd Interactive S-band sErvices (ESTEC 22439/09/NL/US)
Demonstrator Emergency aNd Interactive S-band services (ESTEC 22439/09 / NL / US) was financed by ESA between 2009 and 2011. It studied and demonstrated the feasibility of an interactive system on the S-band, using 15 MHz for uplink and downlink routes on the W2A satellite. MBI had an important role in defining the S-band Mobile interactive multimedia protocol (S-MIM) for messaging applications and real-time emergency services via handheld and vehicular terminals.

J-ORTIGIA (2008-2010)
J-Ortigia Phase 1-2-3
2008-2010, ESA ARTES 3-4, ESTEC Contract 21517/08/NL/US. The J-ORTIGIA project was the continuation of the ORTIGIA ESA project to study and validate the technical and commercial feasibility of launching a family of Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) using new satellite resources in S-band. The MSS use a hybrid satellite / terrestrial architecture to provide affordable multimedia services on mobile devices. During the project MBI tested the DVB-SH technologies in real-world scenarios on handheld or vehicle-mounted devices. A fully operational Earth Pilot Network was deployed in Italy in October 2008 and was used with the S band payload. The band was available throughout Europe as a result of a joint venture between Eutelsat and SES-Astra using the EUTELSAT10A (W2A) satellite, which was launched on 3 April 2009.

MYRESIS (2007-2008)
MiReSys ESTEC Contract  21329/08/NL/AD

UNIC (2006-2008)
EU FP6 IST STREP 027034. This project involved developing the technologies required to provide interactive triple-play services (audio-video-data). Traditional TV sets were used as devices for receiving services, while satellite was used for transmission. Using satellite it was possible to reach every house in Europe, including rural and disadvantaged areas without broadband. The UNIC project integrated the most advanced satellite technologies dedicated to Direct-To- Home television services (DTH) with IP services running on terrestrial networks (eg. VoIP). The result was a platform that provides a real alternative to traditional or emerging internet access systems, such as terrestrial, DTT and IPTV platforms.

VideoSat For Distance Learning (2005). Distance education in the medical field. The elements on which it is based are: distribution of courses via satellite, training on edufiction films and use of courses through an advanced Set-Top-Box. Teaching through edufiction combines emotional and narrative learning methods with advanced techniques for visual stimulation. These video courses, designed to meet the ministerial requirements for Continuous Medical Education (CME), are distributed via satellite. The Set-Top-Box receives the contents and, through an appropriate e-learning application, provides the user with an advanced and innovative training experience. As part of the project, the following have been developed and integrated: the CME system, the system for transporting video courses using satellite push technology, the Set-Top-Box. It is an advanced Set-Top-Box equipped with push client, multimedia player and video-oriented e-learning application adapted to television-like interaction.

MOWGLY  (2005-2007)
EU FP6 SPACE IP 516135

The MObile Wideband Global Link sYstem (MOWGLI) project aimed at studying the implementation of DVB-S2/DVB-RCS standards for broadband access to users of collective mobile vehicles (aircraft, trains, vessels).
Platform capable of providing broadband internet and intranet access for passengers in mobile vehicles such as airplanes, trains, ships. In a scenario characterized by the growing need to access the internet anytime and anywhere, the MOWGLY system provides a solution with a quality of service comparable to that of terrestrial networks, even in situations of mobility. During the project, complex problems of broadband satellite communication systems were solved, such as size and weight of the antennas, total interoperability with terrestrial networks and continuity of the connection. The quality of service management was then developed in the presence of many dozen passengers who use their PCs for work or leisure at the same time.


Experimentation of a set of tools and services to support the activities of doctors who work on patients in prison. The project used the satellite wireless connection and WI-FI for the realization of videoconferences and teleconsultation in the prison environment. A Patient Clinical Diary was then created as well as biomedical devices for the acquisition and analysis of biological signals. The experimentation of the system was carried out in two European prisons, in Italy and in Spain.

AXMEDIS Platform dedicated to the production, protection and multi-channel distribution of cross-media content. It has been designed to reduce costs and increase efficiency, thanks to the availability of tools to automate the entire transformation chain (access to content management systems and the database, processing, adaptation, licensing, transcoding, metadating, billing, etc.). It is an application that uses the rights management model also in the context of B2B services. AXMEDIS allows you to enhance accessibility to content thanks to the integration of legal peer-to-peer platforms. Multi-channel distribution is also supported (e.g. mobile, satellite, kiosk, iTV) with a large number of devices, including PCs, PDAs, Decoders, smartphones.

RTRTSAT Implementation of broadband connection systems for small and medium-sized local authorities located in underused areas. The deployment of the network was completed with the connection of over 75 sites located in 14 Mountain Communities. The connection is made by installing a user station and configuring it to connect it to the internet and to the Telematic Network of the Tuscany Region

We invest in agility, robustness, flexibility and scalability of tomorrow networking

Research and development ultima modifica: 2022-07-07T18:08:22+02:00 da