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  Integrated High Altitude Platform: LEO Satellite Mega-Constellations for Next Generation Non-Terrestrial Networks

   School of Physics, Engineering and Technology

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

LEO satellite mega constellations promise to revolutionise wireless connectivity in many areas of the world. However, they have a fundamental drawback in that conventional cellular user equipment cannot be used directly. This is in contrast with to be services offered from High Altitude Platforms (stratospheric aircraft, airships or balloons), which are capable of seamlessly integrating with terrestrial cellular networks. 

This project will examine how an integrated network of HAPs and LEO satellites can be used to exploit the wide area coverage from LEO satellites, and the high-capacity density, low-latency, direct to the user cellular communications, available from constellations of HAPs, to deliver efficient next generation services, including autonomous driving and industrial control. 

The project will include development of innovative collaborative antenna beamforming techniques and dynamic interference management strategies, considering Radio Access Network (RAN) disaggregation and practical backhaul/fronthaul constraints. A mixture of simulation and analysis will be used to assess performance. Stochastic Geometry, Game theory and Markov analysis will be particularly important analytical tools. 

The research will exploit connections with most of the world’s HAPs developers, York’s membership of the HAPS Alliance, and the University’s new Institute for Safe Autonomy, which is a £35M investment to establish a UK leading institute in the area.

Entry requirements:

Candidates should have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related subject.

How to apply:

Applicants should apply via the University’s online application system at Please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project and you will need to have sufficient funds in place (eg from scholarships, personal funds and/or other sources) to cover the tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research degree programme. Please check the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology website View Website for details about funding opportunities at York.

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