SEAKR Engineering is using next-generation technologies to build digital RF processors for Saturn Satellite Networks’ small GEO satellite known as “NationSat.” Saturn is a company founded by space industry veterans focused on building small geostationary satellites, and is building its first NationSat satellite using a 2.5 kW bus design. Saturn’s new GEO satellites deliver the most affordable access to space communications for countries and national service operators where traditional satellites are too big and expensive.
In alignment with Saturn’s mission of low weight, affordable satellite builds, SEAKR’s next generation RF processor, a software-defined radio (SDR), enables a highly integrated RF payload while minimizing overall system mass and power. SEAKR’s SDR is compact in design, made of light-weight materials and affords size, weight and power (SWaP) best optimized for small satellites. The RF processor can be synchronized to scale higher system throughput, and enables NationSat satellites to carry the equivalent of 48 x 36 MHz digitally configurable transponders. SEAKR’s processor also supports payload management functions by interfacing with Telemetry, Tracking & Control (TT&C) systems, power, and clock to payload RF units (Low noise amplifiers, receivers or converters). SEAKR is also working with Saturn on an evolved digital RF processor to support High-Throughput Systems (HTS) with capacities up to 85 Gbps. SEAKR has successfully passed Saturn’s Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and is on track to deliver its first processor in 2020.
SEAKR’s RF processor for Saturn leverages four generations of architectural capability supporting the full spectrum of payload processing performance requirements, with a high level of on-orbit reconfigurable processing capability. Pulling from its established heritage capabilities, strength in RF communications, along with the continuous product and architectural advancement, SEAKR continues to define leading edge, state-of-practice processing systems in partnership with Government, Civil and Commercial entities. SEAKR’s previous study and prototype advancements have successfully contributed to our customer’s ability to solve complex challenges imperative in advancing capability to meet today’s most daunting mission objectives. Key technologies being deployed and leveraged include: ADC and DAC Technologies, FPGA-based Processing Technologies, and ASIC-Based Processing Technologies.