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Inmarsat Government selects Rocket Lab to develop L-band radio for NASA

Credit: Rocket Lab

Edinburgh / Long Beach, California, 7 November 2022. – Launch and space systems company Rocket Lab, has partnered with Inmarsat Government to develop and manufacture an L-band radio in support of NASA’s Communications Services Project (CSP), Rocket Lab said. CSP aims to accelerate the development of commercial near-Earth communications services by leveraging the expertise and technology of satellite communications providers. 

Under the partnership, Rocket Lab will help enable Inmarsat’s real-time, near-Earth telemetry, command, and control (TT&C) service, InCommand. Inmarsat will integrate Rocket Lab’s new Frontier-L radio with the ELERA global L-band network in geosynchronous orbit.

NASA’s CSP will utilize commercial satellite communications services to replace the current Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) system. The latter has provided communications services for the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, among others.

The Frontier-L radio transmitter that will support Launch and Early Operations Phase (LEOP), command and control, real-time tasking, and contingency operations for satellites. The technology features Deep Space Network (DSN) and other common waveforms. The Frontier series enables radiometric navigation methods, precision timekeeping, forward error correction encoding and decoding, and a hardware based critical command decoder, the company said.

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