World’s First Multi-Band, Multi-Satellite Electronically Steered Antenna Array System

ATLAS Space Operations has deployed its first X-Band electronically steered array system called LINKS. The first-of-its-kind 4-element array consists of 16 individual antennas and is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Historically, space-to-ground communications have been conducted through a network of large, and expensive, parabolic dish antennas. These legacy systems can take up to months to install and deploy, creating a costly capital expenditure burden on the satellite ground network operators. Additionally, once these antennas are installed - they stay there for the rest of their serviceable life. LINKS was invented to alleviate all of these obstacles, and then some.

LINKS is the paradigm-shifting alternative to traditional parabolic dishes, researched and developed by ATLAS. The system is the first commercially available, mobile, rapidly deployable electronically steered array RF ground system in the world. The array, capable of S and X-Band, automatically integrates into ATLAS’ proprietary Freedom Software Platform. Creating a software-defined antenna system capable of supporting satellite communications, as well as other RF applications, such as detection, tracking, and exploitation.

LINKS stands only 20 inches high and 26 inches corner to corner. This revolutionary design makes way for an agile, responsive system capable of providing high data flow in operationally limited environments. The days of pouring concrete and building expensive mechanical pedestals are now a thing of the past. The four LINKS units deployed in Albuquerque took a single day to install and link up to the Freedom Software Platform within seconds of activation.

Operationally, the four-unit LINKS system, which now sits atop an office building, offers ATLAS customers with similar capabilities afforded by a mid-sized parabolic antenna. With no moving parts required, the system provides a higher gain than a parabolic antenna, while simultaneously tracking multiple satellites at a single time - reducing costs, and scheduling conflicts for satellite operators.

Currently, ATLAS’ Freedom Network consists of 21 operational and planned antennas globally employing their proprietary Freedom Software Platform. The Freedom Network is capable of securely handling both commercial and U.S. civil spacecraft, allowing operators to communicate with their satellites by reducing their capital expenditures at every ground entry point. Click here to learn more.