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Researchers unite to take satellites to a higher level

By Wang Mingjie in London | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-07-19 17:28

China and the United Kingdom will work even more closely together on research collaboration, with institutes from both nations linking up to develop satellite communications networks.

Xi'an-based China Academy of Space Technology Xi'an (known as CAST Xi'an) has signed a two-year research contract with the University of Surrey's Institute for Communications Systems (ICS) to develop High Throughput Satellite and 5G mobile satellite systems.

The announcement follows less formal but highly successful research visits between the organizations during the past two years.

The new collaboration includes support for ICS researchers, and research visits that will involve members of the Chinese team working with the ICS team that is led by professorial research fellow Barry Evans and Xiao Pei, a professor of wireless communications.

The University of Surrey has pioneered research into the integrated design of satellite and ground systems to optimize capacity.

Evans said the research will help China provide very high capacity satellite systems for future broadband and 5G coverage.

He said such an upgrade would "provide users with better quality and higher rate communications at a reduced cost".

CAST Xi'an vice-president Wang Wei and Rahim Tafazolli, director of Surrey's ICS and 5G innovation center, signed a memorandum of understanding that also calls for collaboration on a future joint laboratory at the university involving the two institutes, with researchers from both centers of excellence conducting regular exchanges.

Tafazolli said: "We welcome this research collaboration with CAST Xi'an, as it brings together experts from two strong organizations to work toward the next generation of satellite communications. The joint lab will cement our relationship with CAST and further long-term cooperation between China and the UK on the strategically important area of satellite communication networks."

Founded in 1965, CAST Xi'an is a subsidiary of the China Academy of Space Technology, within the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

It is China's largest supplier of subsystems and equipment for spacecraft and, during the last five decades, has supplied products at both the systems level and the equipment level for more than 140 spacecraft for telecommunications, moon exploration, and the Chinese Shenzhou Spaceflight mission.

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