Communication and Navigation

Fraunhofer offers pioneering technologies in the field of (high-rate) satellite communication and navigation. Our focus is on the development of advanced solutions that enable the almost unlimited exchange of data between satellites and ground stations.

Satellite communication: technologies for limitless data exchange

At the centre of our research and development is the design of technologies that enable efficient and secure communication between satellites and ground stations. We go beyond conventional transmission technologies by driving forward the definition and architecture of overall systems and the development of individual components such as antennas, transmitters and receivers.

The solutions we develop ensure secure and robust data exchange when using satellite-based technologies. The focus is not only on the transmission of data, but also on the continuous optimisation of broadband-capable components and technologies. Our aim is to continuously improve broadband transmission via satellite and achieve very high throughput rates.


Our focal points at a glance:

  • System engineering: We design, optimise and validate systems in terms of security, capacity, performance and availability, such as printed antennas. We offer an independent assessment in the form of consulting and design reviews.
  • DVB-S2X solutions: Our expert team designs DVB-S2X technologies and solutions for professional equipment, including high-throughput satellite systems and demodulator IP. DVB-S2X optimises the use of satellite bandwidth, resulting in higher data transmission efficiency. This enables the transmission of larger amounts of data with the same bandwidth or the transmission of the same amount of data with reduced bandwidth requirements.
  • IOT via Satellite: We offer customised IoT via Satellite solutions that meet the specific requirements of your application. Our focus is on providing additional capacity via geostationary satellites (GEO satellites) in the C-, Ku- and Ka-band as well as innovative LEO (Low Earth Orbit) or HEO (Highly Elliptical Orbit) constellations that are specially tailored to the requirements of IoT.
  • Regenerative payloads: We provide you with high-performance digital signal processing that meets the requirements of modern satellite communication. Thanks to flexibility and remote configuration, on-board processors can be adapted to new communication standards at any time, ensuring a high level of future-proofing.
  • Test systems: We offer you radiation qualification and hardening as well as the option of emulating realistic mobile bidirectional satellite connections, taking various channel environments into account. In addition to satellite communication in Ku-band and Ka-band, our test facility enables experiments in the 5G FR2 frequency range, which extends the application possibilities to broadband terrestrial communication.
  • Navigation technologies: Through our continuous investment in research and development, we ensure excellence in satellite navigation technology. Our expertise ranges from high-precision GNSS antennas to the processing of signals from sources such as Galileo, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and SBAS in the multi-frequency range.
  • Direct 5G satellite connectivity: We develop advanced concepts for integrating satellites into the terrestrial 5G infrastructure. Our focus is on seamlessly connecting terrestrial and satellite-based communication systems.
  • Laser communication: We are working on laser communication systems that achieve significantly higher data rates and can therefore transmit large amounts of data faster. Laser communication is also a reliable form of data transmission as it is less vulnerable to interference, for example from atmospheric disturbances.
  • Quantum communication and encryption: We use quantum technologies to create secure communication systems. Eavesdropping security plays a crucial role for society, governments and military organisations today and in the future.


Why Fraunhofer:

  • Innovative technologies: our research and development is at the cutting edge of technology to bring you groundbreaking solutions.
  • Security and robustness: We prioritise the security and robustness of our solutions to ensure reliable data exchange in any situation.
  • Broadband optimisation: Through continuous research and innovation, we are pioneers in the development of broadband-capable satellite communication components.


Take a look at our project examples

Find out more about Fraunhofer contributions to space missions