Affiliations: Communications Research Laboratory, 4‐2‐1 Nukui‐Kita, Koganei, Tokyo 184‐8795, Japan Tel.: +81 42 327 7421; Fax: +81 42 327 7583; E‐mail: email@example.com
Abstract: This paper has two purposes. One is to show what targets that satellite communications R&D for next 30 years should pursue. Another is to give a clear justification for a study of a geostationary platform. First, it discusses whether the satellite communications is needed or not in the IT (Information Technology) era. And it also discusses the necessity for satellite communications R&D, especially by the government. Second, the paper proposes a future vision of communications satellite R&D in response to the recent rapid increase of capacity of terrestrial links. Three generations of Internet satellite are proposed: first generation Internet satellite, in the 2000s; second generation Internet satellite in the 2010s; and third generation Internet satellite in 2020s, whose respective satellite capacities are several to several tens Gbps, several tens to several hundreds Gbps and several hundreds to several thousands Gbps. The first generation Internet satellite is based on R&D projects already approved in Japan. The second generation Internet satellite includes the technology for the more global scale of IT and higher speed communications. The third generation Internet satellite is a much more advanced system, for which it is necessary to introduce a future geostationary platform. Finally, it discusses the approach to technology R&D from the viewpoint that communications satellite R&D drives the high technology program. And the items of technology R&D are described.