NASA Communication Services project sees Inmarsat government select Rocket Lab to develop L-band radio
Rocket Lab USA, Inc., a leading launch and space systems company, announced that it has been selected by the Inmarsat Government as a partner to develop and manufacture an L-band radio in support of the NASA Communication Services Project (CSP). CSP seeks to accelerate the development of commercial near-Earth communications services by partnering with satellite communications providers (SATCOM). Rocket Lab will help enable Inmarsat’s InCommand, a real-time, near-Earth telemetry, command and control (TT&C) service for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites for CSP with the new Frontier-L radio of the company connecting to Inmarsat’s ELERA global L-band network in geosynchronous orbit (GEO).
As NASA prepares to decommission the agency-owned and operated Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), which provided communication for the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and many satellites of NASA Earth Observation, CSP aims to leverage commercial satellite communications services to ensure that future NASA missions have similar reliable, secure, and high-performance space relay capabilities.
Rocket Lab’s Frontier-L radio is a transmitter that will support Inmarsat government demonstrations of a variety of TT&C applications, enabled by Inmarsat’s ELERA global L-band network, including the launch and launch phase. early exploitation (LEOP), ubiquitous command and control, real-time missions and contingency operations for LEO orbiting satellites.
“Rocket Lab and the Inmarsat Government both share a culture of innovation, pioneering technology and reliable mission success, so we are honored to work together to support NASA in this vital project to enable major missions of the future. “said the founder of Rocket Lab. and CEO, Peter Beck. “We look forward to building on the strong heritage of our Frontier radios by supporting Inmarsat’s world-renowned satellite network and core satcom-as-a-service capabilities. »
Frontier-L joins Rocket Lab’s existing line of radios, including Frontier-S S-band and Frontier-X X-band telemetry, tracking, and software-defined command radios, which can support near missions from Earth and in deep space. Based on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Frontier radio, Frontier-L bundles Deep Space Network (DSN) and other typical waveforms (SN, KSAT, SSC) in a compact package with enhanced commercial components for high reliability applications. The Frontier by Rocket Lab family of radios includes extensive features not typically available in a low cost radio, including a coherent transponder to enable radiometric navigation methods, precision timing functions, encoding and decoding of forward error correction (FEC) and hardware-based critical control. decoder (CCD).
Steve Gizinski, Chairman of the Government of Inmarsat, said: “The Government of Inmarsat has partnered with leading suppliers to the space industry to demonstrate the capabilities of Inmarsat’s global and reliable ELERA satellite network, including NASA Communications Services Project and Rocket Lab is a key partner for us. . Rocket Lab’s Frontier-L radio will leverage InCommand on the ELERA network as an important new ubiquitous command and control capability to improve the operation of spacecraft in low Earth orbit. This will enable new communications services for industry and government. »