Software-defined Radio Assembly Makes Space Missions more Flexible

BAE Systems has announced its new general software-defined radio (SDR) assembly for high-reliability commercial and Department of Defense space applications. The SDR integrates the company’s RAD5545™ Single Board Computer (SBC) with advanced Field Programmable Gate Array-based transceivers, enabling unparalleled flexibility, on-orbit reprogrammability and increased capacity for signals processing.

The flexibility allowed by the general-purpose software defined radio for customers to reprogram missions makes this hardware a product that customers will be able to use in the future. Coupled with RAD5545™ technology, the processing power and capability enables the customers to apply their spacecraft to multiple missions that evolve over its lifespan.

The software defined radio’s (SDR) unique, upgradeable SpaceVPX architecture can accommodate an alternate transceiver or design improvement while retaining the integrity of the assembly. To facilitate broad application, it was designed to host third party hardware and mission intellectual property or algorithms. The SDR provides multiple receive and transmit channels that can be configured for different applications, like weather sensing, flexible communications payload, or specialized radio frequency sensing.

The RAD5545™ SBC delivers exponential improvements in processing throughput and bandwidth as compared to predecessor products. The SpaceVPX RAD5545 computer is powered by the radiation hardened general purpose System-on-Chip processor.