NSR's Non-GEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit

Non-GEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit

Non-GEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit, v3.0

PUBLISHED: September 2022

Available Licenses: Corporate: $9,995

  • Report Summary
  • Key Features
  • Table of Contents
  • Supporting Articles


This update includes:

  • Datasets driving toolkit assessment for 84 LEO and MEO constellation shells (operational and planned ) comprising around 142 thousand satellites.
  • The addition of Intelsat MEO constellation filed with the FCC, including digitized FCC data and configurable Link Budget & Throughput tab for benchmarking the Intelsat-planned MEO V/Ku-band system against other LEO/MEO V systems.
  • The Non-GEO ground network dataset expands to 232 gateway stations. Data includes operational and planned GW location data for Starlink, SES O3b, mPower, OneWeb, Iridium and GlobalStar allowing NCAT users to drive calculations of serviceable areas and other metrics.
  • Updated pre-run simulations of satellites in line of sight for all 84 constellation shells.

NSR’s NonGEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit 3.0 (NCAT3) is an assembly of flexible, easy-to-use analytical models that x-ray and benchmark LEO and MEO satellite constellations at architectural and business layers.

NSR’s industry-leading configurable toolset is meant for both business and technical professionals alike seeking in-depth understanding of NGSO high-throughput SATCOM. The 15+ tools deliver granular, territory-level assessments of non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite constellations

Version 3 of NSR’s popular benchmarking toolbox includes an expanded database and as requested by clientsincorporates quarterly updates. The input data tables are doubled in size to support concurrent benchmarking of 100 sub-constellations, and allow data synchronization across tools, facilitating reconfigurations and update releases.  

Thousands of data points processed through the toolkit’s logic constitute an unbiased, factual vehicle for deep-diving into the technical and business aspects that modulate addressability, bandwidth supply-demand and constellations’ competitive standing versus terrestrial networks.

With pre-loaded, updatable datasets, configurable filters, inputs and visualizations, NCAT3 is a standalone NSR product that may also be leveraged in combination with market data and insight from relevant NSR and Analysys Mason research studies.LEO and MEO satellite constellations beaming tens of Terabits per second are disrupting the space business while also affecting the wider telecommunications industry, making it vital for strategists, planners and decision makers across fixed/wireless telecom and satellite value chains to measure and visualize the impact at granularly defined levels. 

NSR’s Non-GEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit 3.0 answers key questions  

  • How different are the NGSO architectures at beam and satellite levels?
  • What is the forward and return link capacity (spectrum, bandwidth and IP throughput) per selectable gateway/user beam, satellite and constellation?
  • How effectively can LEO and MEO systems serve fixed-data and mobility (aero/maritime/rail) hot spots?
  • How much capacity is available proportionally overhead each territory and country, per degree of latitude and longitude?
  • How can the capital cost per usable Mbps/Month be inferred? What is the sensitivity to cost and performance elements?
  • How to assess supply and demand dynamics factually, per degree of latitude and longitude, using configurable mobility and fixed broadband datasets?
  • What is the maximum latitude reached by each sub-constellation and how many satellites are visible based on location?
  • How many gateway stations are within single-hop visibility of user terminals? What land and sea regions can be served?
  • How much space is required to house constellations’ antenna farms at third-party teleport, telco or datacenter facilities? What is the IP-transit fiber capacity required?
  • Under what conditions can SATCOM constellations become competitive vs. fiber optics to service distant underserved communities? How sensitive is the backhaul business case to CAPEX and OPEX elements?
  • How does fiber latency benchmark against LEO topologies, depending on POPs, use of optical inter-satellite links (OISL) and link relays?
  • What are the satellite handoff rates and “pass time”, per system?
  • What are the regulatory exclusion angles for NGSO systems to avoid interfering with GEO (GSO) systems?
  • What is the histogram of antenna “look angles” pointing at visible satellites based on terminal and Gateway station location?
  • What is the regulatory status of each major initiative and proposed modifications?

NSR’s Non-GEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit 3.0 (NCAT3) provides clients with an equal set of analytical instruments that NSR leverages internally to holistically assess LEO/MEO HTS constellations in support of focused research studies and consulting projects. NCAT3 includes a wide range of input and output items including filters, maps, calculators, benchmark charts, infographics, exportable input/output data tables, heatmaps, and visualizations.  

Bottom Line: Clients rely on a feature-rich toolbox for factual assessments of LEO and MEO constellations

NSR’s NonGEO Constellations Analysis Toolkit includes a multiplicity of analytical tools distributed across 15 Excel files (plus user guide and mobility datasets). Each tool has its own set of input variables, filters and calculation engines that drive output results, charts, maps, exportable data tables and visualizations.  

Toolkit Elements Include

  • Sophisticated but easy-to-use analytical models driven by auto-populated or manually-set inputs and filters
  • Output-rich set of technical and business metrics benchmarking constellations performance
  • Useful visualizations including comparison charts, heatmaps, deployed satellites, orbital routes, footprints per constellation and infographics
  • Detailed input and output data tables with information per system and sub-constellation
  • Bandwidth supply and addressability assessments for geographic-based SWOT and TAM analysis
  • Examination of line-of-sight satellites and gateway/terminal beam IP throughput
  • Estimator of breakeven capital costs per deployed and usable Mbps
  • Estimator of land space and terrestrial bandwidth required to house NGSO gateway ground stations (at telecom, data centers and teleport facilities)
  • Terrestrial versus satellite backhaul business case: Sensitivity analysis via configurable Monte Carlo simulation
  • Uplink and downlink discrimination angle calculations for NGSO-GSO interference avoidance
  • Other models and calculators included: Satellites’ visibility cone and beam-covered areas, shells’ latitude reach, % of World surface and population addressed, orbital period, satellite handoff time, slant range, satellite vs. terrestrial latency, upstream and downstream spectrum and throughput, spectral efficiency, fiber vs satellite NPV, profitability, etc.  

Who Should Purchase NCAT3

  • Established and Emerging Satellite Operators (GSO & NGSO, FSS & MSS) 
  • Teleport Operators, Satellite Service Providers and System Integrators 
  • Distributors and Resellers of Managed Satellite Services and Capacity 
  • Fiber Optics Network Operators, IP Transit and Cloud Service Providers 
  • Fixed and Wireless Telecom Operators: Telcos, MNOs, Cable Operators, TowerCos and WLL (wireless local loop) Players
  • Equipment Vendors Developing Solutions for NGSO SATCOM, including Terminals, Antennae (MSA & ESA), Broadband Hub/Modems, RF Equipment and Ground Network Virtualization Sub-Systems
  • Satellite Manufacturers and Spacecraft Component Vendors
  • Airlines, Cruise Lines and Energy Companies
  • Other Major End Users of Satellite Bandwidth and Services including Commercial, Government, Defense and First Responders
  • Telecom/Cable/Satellite Industry Associations and Research/Development Labs
  • IT Companies developing virtualized cloud software solutions for satellite constellations
  • Think Tanks, Space Agencies and Universities
  • Regulators and Spectrum Utilization Agencies
  • Financial Institutions, Investment Management and Insurance.  

Systems Analyzed in this Product 

72 distinct NGSO sub-constellations comprising over 130 thousand satellites are pre-loaded to the toolkit (expandable to 100 shells). The list includes FCC-granted, in-orbit and operating, proposed modifications and new systems filed at ITU level: Amazon Project Kuiper, AST Space Mobile, Astra Space, Boeing, China GW-2 & GW-A59, E-Space, Hughes HVNET, Kepler Communications, LYNK Global, Mangata Networks, OneWeb (phases 1 & 2), Rivada Space Networks, SES O3B, SpaceX Starlink (gen 1 & 2), Telesat Lightspeed and Viasat. 

Table of Contents

1. Toolkit User Guide (PDF)
1.1 Executive Summary
1.1.1 Toolkit Summary Table
1.1.2 Non-GEO HTS Factors
1.1.3 Workflow & Flowchart Symbols
1.2 Toolkit Assumptions
1.3 Quick User Guide, by Tool
1.3.1 Inputs & Output
1.3.2 Filters
1.3.3 Sample Output, Charts and Data  

Toolkit (15 Excel files + Mobility Dataset Sample)
2. Tool 1: General & Calcs
2.1 Maps with orbital routes and satellite footprint
2.2 Comparison charts for field of view, latitude reach, orbital inclination and altitude, satellite pass time, handoffs/hour, link delay and slant range
2.3 Output Table with calculations per constellation shell: Orbital period, flight velocity, latitude reach, satellite handoff rate, Earth’ coverage, slant range and delay
2.4 Infographics for fixed broadband, mobility (aero/maritime), wireless backhaul and space-mobile applications
2.5 Orbital Dynamics Calculators
2.6 Mbps (CIR) to GByte (Usage) Pricing Converter

Tool 2: Sats & Orbital Routes
3.1 Maps displaying all satellites and orbital routes for each constellation shell and for final combined system
3.1.1 Expanded to support more orbital routes and sub-constellations (shells)

4. Tool 3: Sat Tracker
4.1 Map with visible sats and routes for selectable constellation shell based on site location
4.2 “Sat Tracker” chart showing antenna look angles (azimuth & elevation) for visible routes
4.3 Distribution histogram for the antenna elevation angle
4.4 Calculation of satellites in Line of Sight (LOS) for the defined site location

5. Tool 4: Sats in Line of Sight (LOS)
5.1 Chart and table with the average number of satellites in Line of Sight across all latitudes
5.2 Pre-ran data table and benchmark charts for all pre-loaded constellation datasets

6. Tool 5: Throughput & Link Budgeting – MASTER DATA FILE
6.1 Link Budgeting (LB) tools per system with support for –both- parabolic and flat-panel antennas
6.2 Generic LB Tool for any LEO/MEO system
6.3 Uplink and Downlink Frequency Plans
6.4 Charts comparing constellations’ spectrum and IP throughput at beam and satellite levels
6.5 Maps comparing constellations coverage and beamwidth
6.6 FCC filing datasets digitized for Link-Budgeting use
6.7 Infographics of user and gateway beam spectrum bands and constellation’s key architectural characteristics

Tool 6: Addressability Map
7.1 Analysis of addressable population and surface area for fixed-data services
7.2 Density maps and tables for the targeted population and target areas

8. Tool 7: Fiber Optic vs. SAT Delay
8.1 Analysis of propagation latency for end-to-end link using Fiber Optics (FO) and LEO Satellite (SAT)
8.2 Configurable processing delay per routing/satellite hop.
8.3 Benchmark of four possible SAT scenarios considering use of Inter-satellite links (optical ISLs), terrestrial interconnections and gateway relay stations
8.4 Infographics output for SAT vs. FO scenarios

9. Tool 8: Fiber Optic vs. SAT Business Case
9.1 Business-Case sensitivity analysis for Fiber Optics (FO) versus Satellite (SAT) project evaluation
9.2 Charts with resulting EBITDA, FCF, NPV and Profitability including histogram distribution of possible outcomes
9.3 Scatter plots illustrating correlations between model inputs and BC output

10. Tool 9: Non-GEO Business Case
10.1 Sensitivity analysis for the capital cost of deployed and usable Mbps/Month and bandwidth breakeven price
10.2 Probability charts
10.3 Scatter plots illustrating correlations between model inputs and BC output
10.4 Infographic summarizing tool’s analysis

11. Tool 10: Gateway Visibility
11.1 Heatmap analysis of world geographic spots within one-hop visibility of gateway stations
11.2 Calculation and visualization of single-GW, dual-GW or multiple-GW visibility per degree of lat/lon

12. Tool 11: Exclusion Angles, EPFD Analysis
12.1 Calculation of Downlink and Uplink Discrimination Angles based on the Equivalent Power Flux Density (EFFD) limits of Article 22 of the ITU Radio Regulations; applicable to FSS (Ku & Ka) frequency bands
12.2 Heatmaps of possible (allowed & disallowed) uplink look angles for the user-antenna visibility cone and satellites’ field of view, based on site latitude

13. Tool 12: Mobility Heatmap
13.1 Traffic heatmap analysis of satellite capacity demand for mobility applications, including aero/in-flight connectivity, maritime and rail
13.2 Pre-loaded with sample datasets for the airline business – but tool is not limited to airlines
13.3 Heatmap and output data table of satellite IP traffic demand per degree of latitude and longitude
13.4 Configurable schedules /Itineraries (up to 2,500) and time span for analysis
13.5 Supports analysis of satellite demand under either GEO or Non-GEO supply scenarios
13.6 Sample Dataset File from OpenFlights.
13.7 Output Table Combiner file to run simulations of aggregate bandwidth demand for scenarios with over 2,500 routes

14. Tool 13: Gateway Housing
14.1 Estimator of the minimum land area required (square meters of real estate) at gateway sites to house/host NGSO antenna farms
14.2 Calculation of required IP transit fiber capacity (Gbps) at the gateway site to support the visible satellites

15. Tool 14: Manual Measurement Tools
15.1 Visual aid and measurement tools to perform manual measurements and revisions of constellations’ orbital mechanics (distances, angles, etc)

16. Tool 15: NCAT3 DASBOARD
16.1 Encompassing, configurable dashboard to perform Non-GEO supply-demand analysis per country and degree of latitude and longitude
16.2 Takes input tables from other NCAT3 tools
16.3 Supports fixed data and mobility data -individually or combined
16.4 Fully selectable list of countries and territories for country/region level analysis 

List of Exhibits

1. Charts
Non-GEO-HTS Orbital Routes
1.2 Relative Size of Field of View (FoV) & Latitude Reached
1.3 Orbital Inclination & Altitude
1.4 Maximum Satellite Pass Time
1.5 Satellite Handoffs per Hour
1.6 Maximum Latitude Reached and Satellite FoV Map
1.7 Maximum and Minimum Link Delay and application infographics (fixed broadband, in-flight connectivity, maritime/cruise, cellular backhaul, space-mobile)
1.8 Single-Shell Maps of Satellites and Orbital Routes
1.9 Combined or Full-Constellation Maps of Satellites and Orbital Routes
1.10 Visibility Cone of Satellites and Routes
1.11 “Sat Tracker” of antenna elevation and azimuth
1.12 Elevation Angle Distribution Histogram
1.13 Satellites in Line of Sight (visibility)
1.14 FCC filings digitized for HTS constellations *
1.15 Generic and individual Link Budget tools /tables
1.16 Uplink & Downlink Frequency Plans
1.17 Preferred DVB-S2X ModCods
1.18 Gateway Beams – Spectrum
1.19 User Beams – Spectrum Gateway Beams – Reuse Factor
1.20 User Beams – Reuse Factor
1.21 Gateway Beams – Bandwidth
1.22 User Beams – Bandwidth
1.23 Gateway Beams – Throughput
1.24 User Beams – Throughput
1.25 Number of Gateway Beams and Type
1.26 Number of User Beams and Type
1.27 Global Aggregate Forward and Return IP Throughput
1.28 Satellite Footprint
1.29 Satellite FWD/RTN Capacity Averaged per Sq. Km of Coverage Area
1.30 Satellite FoV and Single Beam at Sub-Satellite Point
1.31 Individual Beam Footprints at Sub-Satellite Point
1.32 World Population Distribution
1.33 Addressable Population
1.34 Addressable Surface Area
1.35 Addressable Population Map
1.36 Fiber Optics Delay -Infographic
1.37 LEO with ISL Delay -Infographic
1.38 Hybrid LEO-FO Delay -Infographic
1.39 LEO with Gateway Stations Delay -Infographic
1.40 LEO with Relay Stations Delay -Infographic
1.41 Animated Clip Samples
1.42 EBITDA Probability Charts
1.43 FCF Probability Charts
1.44 NPV Probability Charts
1.45 PV of FCF as Growing Perpetuity Probability Charts
1.46 NPV Profitability Index Probability Charts
1.47 Satellite NPV vs. Bandwidth Cost Scatter Plot
1.48 Satellite NPV vs. GW Hosting Revenues Scatter Plot
1.49 Satellite NPV vs. StatMuxing Savings Scatter Plot
1.50 Satellite NPV vs. Terminal CAPEX Scatter Plot
1.51 PV of FCF as Growing Perpetuity vs. FCF Growth Rate Scatter Plot
1.52 Probability Charts for Breakeven Price per Usable Mbps per Month, considering all addressable area
1.53 Probability Charts for Breakeven Price per Usable Mbps per Month for Projected Captured Market
1.54 Scatter Plot for Breakeven Cost per Usable Mbps per Month; considering all addressable area
1.55 Scatter Plot for Breakeven Price per Usable Mbps; for estimated market capture
1.56 Infographic for Estimated Capital Cost per Usable Mbps
1.57 Infographic for Main Architectural Aspects
1.58 Infographic for Spectrum & Bandwidth
1.59 Gateway Density Visibility Maps
1.60 NGSO Earth Station Radiation Pattern and Discrimination Angle Chart
1.61 Clarke Belt Visible GEO Arc Chart
1.62 Worst-Case Geometry Exclusion Areas for Antenna Visibility Cone and Satellite’s Field of View
1.63 Heatmap of Mobility Traffic/Demand
1.64 Gateway Housing Charts/Visuals for Antenna Farm Space and Terrestrial Interconnect Bandwidth.
1.65 Satellite Footprint Radius Chart
1.66 Aggregate Gateway Site Terrestrial Bandwidth Cart and Visible Satellites
1.67 Manual Measurement Visual Aids and Charts for MEO, LEO and VLEO
1.68 Map of countries included in Dashboard Analysis
1.69 Map with Distribution of Deployed Satellite Capacity
1.70 Map with Distribution of Covered Population
1.71 Map with Distribution of Target Population
1.72 Heatmap of Mobility Bandwidth Demand
1.73 Heatmap of Combined Fixed Data and Mobility Traffic Demand
1.74 Supply and Demand Heatmap 

2. Tables
2.1 Orbital Dynamics Data
2.2 Spectrum, Bandwidth and Throughput Data
2.3 Data table with elevation angle distribution
2.4 Satellites in LOS
2.5 Link Budget
2.6 Transmit and Receive Frequency Bands
2.7 Link Budget Summary
2.8 Satellite Spectrum and TX/RX Channels
2.9 Satellite and Forward/Return IP Throughput
2.10 Preferred DVB-S2X ModCods
2.11 FCC Filings Technical Data
2.12 Atmospheric Loss Assumptions
2.13 Population Distribution Data Set
2.14 Addressable Population Distribution Data
2.15 Addressable Surface Area Data
2.16 Fiber and Satellite Delay
2.17 Fiber vs. Satellite Business Case Sensitivity Analysis
2.18 EBITDA Output of Sensitivity Analysis
2.19 FCF Output of Sensitivity Analysis
2.20 NPV Output of Sensitivity Analysis
2.21 PV of FCF as Growing Perpetuity Output of Sensitivity Analysis
2.22 NPV Profitability Index Output of Sensitivity Analysis
2.23 Sensitivity Analysis Monte Carlo samples
2.24 Sensitivity Analysis Histogram Data
2.25 FO CAEX Debt Financing Repayment Schedule
2.26 SAT CAPEX Debt Financing Repayment Schedule
2.27 Capital Cost per Mbps Analysis Table.
2.28 Gateway Visibility Table
2.29 Output table for population within single-sat-hop gateway visibility
2.30 Applicable Tables from Article 22 of the ITU Radio Regulations
2.31 Clarke Belt Visible GEO Arc Table
2.32 Antenna Look Angle Data Table (discrimination angle per azimuth & elevation)
2.33 Mobility Carriers Table
2.34 Mobility Routes & Itinerary Table
2.35 Mobility Ports/Airports Table
2.36 Mobility Heatmap Analysis Data Table (1 degree lat/long precision)
2.37 Supply-Demand Heatmap Output Data Tables (1 degree lat/long precision) for selected Non-GEO system/s and studied countries /territories. 

FCC filing datasets were digitized for use within the link budget (LB) analysis “throughput” tool. FCC filings digitized include Amazon Project Kuiper, Astra Space, Boeing, Hughes HVNET, OneWeb (phases 1 & 2), SES O3B (current and next generation MEO-HTS), Starlink (approved/operating Gen1 and filed Gen2), SpaceX VLEO, Telesat Lightspeed (granted and modified), Telesat VLEO and Viasat MEO & LEO. 

AST Space Mobile, China GW-2 & GW-A59, E-Space, Kepler Communications, LYNK Global, Mangata Networks and Rivada Space Networks are not fully digitized. Data and calculations for such systems are provided for orbital mechanics but not for IP throughput analysis. Toolkit users can refer to the relevant ITU/FCC filings to extract technical data and leverage the generic Link Budgeting tool (included with the toolkit) to run performance calculations on such systems and/or any other.   

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