Smiths Interconnect Optical Transceivers Used in the SES-17 Ka-band Satellite

Smiths Interconnect Optical Transceivers Used in the SES-17 Ka-band Satellite

Smiths Interconnect Canada (former Reflex Photonics Inc.), is proud to be the supplier of SpaceABLE radiation-resistant optical transceivers that are the backbone of the SES-17 payload data path. The SpaceABLE Series allows the interconnection and routing of an overall throughput of more than 15 Terabit/s and permits the use of the full Ka beam antenna bandwidth while being considerably lighter and more scalable than copper interconnects.

SES-17, the very high-throughput satellite (VHTS) in geosynchronous orbit, was successfully launched on October 22nd, 2021 from Arianespace’s Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. Built by Thales Alenia Space, the SES-17 multi-mission Ka-band satellite will provide comprehensive coverage across the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean. From its orbital slot of 67.1 degrees West, the very high throughput geostationary (GEO) satellite incorporating cutting-edge technologies is set to deliver the best connectivity experience for SES customers operating in the aeronautical, maritime, enterprise, and government markets.

The SpaceABLE transceivers are engineered to withstand radiation doses >100 krad (Si). The modules operate at up to 28 Gbps per channel over an operating temperature range of –40 ºC to 85 ºC at ultra-low bit error rates, with an expected life of over 20 years.

Guillaume Blanchette, Product Line Manager for Space Optical Interconnects at Smiths Interconnect said: “In the last 5 years, Smiths Interconnect has made significant investments to establish comprehensive Space Testing Programs, to qualify the SpaceABLE Series for space applications. Seeing our products used and playing such a crucial role in a breakthrough satellite-like SES-17 is a great achievement and a testament to our engineering capability and our rigorous approach to space qualification.”

SES-17 is a highly flexible and powerful satellite that incorporates cutting-edge technologies and is set to deliver the best connectivity experience for customers. The SES-17 all-digital payload uses Thales Alenia Space’s 5th generation digital transparent processor (DTP), which enables unique features such as unlimited switching/routing and frequency conversions while delivering up to ten times more throughput than traditional satellites. Furthermore, data path, bandwidth, and power can all be changed on the fly to meet a customer’s changing requirements and real-time traffic demands.

The SpaceABLE Series offers the following benefits to the SES-17 payload:

  • Density: less than 6mm high (module and interposer).
  • Ruggedness: withstand radiation doses >100 krad (Si) and qualified per MIL-STD 883 shock and vibration.
  • Duration: expected life up to 20 years.
  • Performance: up to 10.3125 Gbps/channel over a recommended operating temperature range of –40 to 85 ºC.
  • Sensitivity: –9 dBm for BER 10–12.
  • Low power consumption: 115 mW/lane (<10 pJ per bit).

Click here to learn more about these optical transceivers.

Click here to learn more about SES-17.

Publisher: everything RF