BAE Systems’ new software-defined radio assembly makes space missions more flexible

BAE Systems today unveils its new general software-defined radio 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 our customers will be able to use into the future,” said Ricardo Gonzalez, director of Space Systems at BAE Systems. “Coupled with our RAD5545™ technology, the processing power and capability enables our customers to apply their spacecraft to multiple missions that evolve over its lifespan.”

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The software-defined radio assembly will allow customers to apply their spacecraft to multiple missions. (Photo courtesy: BAE Systems)

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 a broad application, it was designed to host third-party hardware and mission intellectual property or algorithms. The SDR provides multiple receive and transmits 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.

BAE Systems is a pioneer and leader in narrowband and broadband communications technologies, with more than two decades of core expertise in software-defined radios for air, land and sea forces. The company’s Common Datalink radio family merges the latest generation wideband, high-speed hardware and software technologies to provide warfighters with interoperable broadband data link communications solutions.

The SDR assembly will be developed and produced in BAE Systems’ sites in Manassas, Virginia and Merrimack, New Hampshire.

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