Home >> News: October 7th, 2013 >> Story
Satnews Daily
October 7th, 2013

COM DEV Europe + SSTL—Tackling TT&C For FORMOSAT-7 (Satellite—Transponders)

[SatNews] COM DEV Europe has been selected to provide the Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) Transponder equipment to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for the first six spacecraft in the FORMOSAT-7 global weather forecasting program.

This information follows earlier information that was imparted on February 25, 2013, which had identified the Authorisation to Proceed but, at that time, could not identify the customer. The total contract, worth more than CDN $4m, will be fulfilled at COM DEV Europe's facility in the UK over a two-year period and involves the initial build of 14 units, with options for an additional 12 units to be ordered in 2013 or 2014.

TT&C transponders are the vital communications link between the spacecraft and ground stations and are, therefore critical to the day-to-day operation and success of any mission. COM DEV Europe has an impeccable reliability record of delivering space equipment for well over 27 years working with all the world's prime satellite manufacturers. The company undertakes leading edge R&D activities to update its product portfolio and specialises in the development and supply of spacecraft communication equipment including Inter-Satellite Links, Transponders/Transceivers and DownLink Communication equipment. Using heritage parts data and advanced design techniques, a product has been proven that combines the high performance of modern devices with proven reliability at an affordable cost. The transponder gained flight heritage in 2012 with the launch of the exactView-1 mission and further flight heritage will be obtained with the launch of the M3M spacecraft expected in late 2013.

The COM DEV Europe transponder combines a very light, compact and efficient design employing the latest Gallium Nitride (GaN) power amplifier technology and cutting edge digital signal processing techniques. The design uses commercially available components (ESA class-3) and is free from ITAR restrictions. It is also based on FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) and Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology to allow a flexible approach for different mission types and phases.

The development and qualification of the equipment was part-funded through the European Space Agency ARTES program, with support from the UK's Technology Strategy Board. The support that is given to UK companies enables them to invest in leading-edge product developments with large potential export benefits.

COM DEV Europe's President, Rob Spurrett, said, "We have developed an excellent working relationship with SSTL during the initial phases of the programme and looking forward to continuing this to the successful delivery of the programme. The fact that SSTL have selected our unit for this high profile international mission makes me extremely proud, and we believe endorses the technologically advanced nature of the product and its value for money for the wider space market."