Near-Space Communications: The Last Piece of 6G Space-Air-Ground-Sea Integrated Network Puzzle

Hongshan Liu, Tong Qin, Zhen Gao, Keke Ying, Ziwei Wan, Jingjing Zhao, Rui Na, Zhongxiang Li, Gaojie Chen, Chun Hu, Ruiqi Liu, Yikun Mei, Tuan Li, Tianqi Mao, Shuo Wang, Dezhi Zheng
Computer Science, Information Theory, Information Theory (cs.IT), Signal Processing (eess.SP)
2023-12-30 00:00:00
This article presents a comprehensive study on the emerging near-space communications (NS-COM) within the context of space-air-ground-sea integrated network (SAGSIN). Specifically, we firstly explore the recent technical developments of NS-COM, followed by the discussions about motivations behind integrating NS-COM into SAGSIN. To further demonstrate the necessity of NS-COM, a comparative analysis between the NS-COM network and other counterparts in SAGSIN is conducted, covering aspects of deployment, coverage and channel characteristics. Afterwards, the technical aspects of NS-COM, including channel modeling, random access, channel estimation, array-based beam management and joint network optimization, are examined in detail. Furthermore, we explore the potential applications of NS-COM, such as structural expansion in SAGSIN communications, remote and urgent communications, weather monitoring and carbon neutrality. Finally, some promising research avenues are identified, including near-space-ground direct links, reconfigurable multiple input multiple output (MIMO) array, federated learning assisted NS-COM, maritime communication and free space optical (FSO) communication. Overall, this paper highlights that the NS-COM plays an indispensable role in the SAGSIN puzzle, providing substantial performance and coverage enhancement to the traditional SAGSIN architecture.
PDF: Near-Space Communications: The Last Piece of 6G Space-Air-Ground-Sea Integrated Network Puzzle.pdf
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