COM DEV Europe has been awarded a $4m (Canadian) contract for the supply of Telemetry, Tracking & Control (TT&C) transponders for the first six FORMOSAT-7 spacecraft being developed by Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd to support global weather forecasting.
The order, which was announced in October, is initially for 14 units, with an option for an additional 12. It will be fulfilled during the next two years through COM DEV Europe´s facility in Aylesbury (UK).
COM DEV’s S-Band TT&C transponder, which was developed and certified under the European Space Agency’s ARTES 3-4 Programme, combines the latest gallium nitride power amplifier technology with a flexible software-defined radio (SDR) system in a very light-weight, compact and efficient design, using commercially available components (ESA class-3). The SDR is implemented on a field programmable gate array, allowing the use of different modulation schemes and data rates to provide a flexible approach for different missions and mission phases.
The FORMOSAT-7 program will be the third mission this equipment will have supported, having previously flown on exactView-1 and is currently preparing to fly on a forthcoming Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite (M3M) launch.
“The ARTES 3/4 support in the development of our innovative new TT&C product was an essential element of its successful early adoption for the FORMOSAT-7 programme,” said Rob Spurrett, President of COM DEV. “The advice provided by ESA during its design and validation ensured a robust but cost-competitive product which we are confident will lead to further orders around the world.”
“COM DEV has an innovative and cost-effective design-to-cost approach which led to a successful qualification campaign,” added Xavier Geneste, ESA Senior Spacecraft Engineer. “This in turn made successful in-orbit demonstrations possible.”