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RF Systems on Chip and Mixed-Signal Front-End Devices: Game-Changing RF Technologies for Space Applications

Budroweit, Jan (2023) RF Systems on Chip and Mixed-Signal Front-End Devices: Game-Changing RF Technologies for Space Applications. IEEE Microwave Magazine, 24 (2), pp. 49-56. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. doi: 10.1109/MMM.2022.3217988. ISSN 1527-3342.

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Official URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/10004808


Growing interest in the commercialization of space (NewSpace) is leading to increased acceptance of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics and thus enabling use in space of the latest technologies developed for terrestrial applications. This opens new capabilities for applications in space missions. RF communication via satellites has been established for decades; traditionally used for military applications, it is becoming increasingly important for commercial users. Today, global connectivity and access to the Internet has never been so important, and the demand for worldwide connectivity increases significantly each year. Space-based Internet access is especially important for areas with poor terrestrial infrastructure, such as Africa and Antarctica. There are already geostationary-Earth orbit (GEO)-stationary-located satellites available such as Inmarsat or low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations like Iridium, which provide almost-global access to the Internet, but they are either very expensive or have low data rates and long latencies, so they are not very attractive. New solutions with high data rates, low latencies, and affordable fees are currently in development, such as StarLink, with its giga constellation [1] , [2] , and Amazon’s Project Kuiper [3] , [4] , [5] . So it is true: there really has been a change in the market with the NewSpace Era. With NewSpace, or in other words, the commercialization of space, traditional space missions with high-quality assurance requirements, very long design and manufacturing times, and extraordinary costs may become obsolete at a certain point, at least when it comes to commercial services like satellite-based Internet access. To decrease the lead time and costs of such missions, satellite designers and manufacturers need to rely on commercially available electronics, namely, COTS devices, which are usually much cheaper and have better performance and shorter lead times compared to space-qualified parts. In terms of performance, COTS devices have great benefits over space-qualified parts simply because the design, development, and qualification processes for space parts are very complex and take years before they are qualified and available for the market. It is likely that state-of-the-art space-qualified parts are 10 years behind what we currently have available for terrestrial applications, such as for the automotive or industrial markets [6] . One obvious reason is certainly that electronic parts manufacturers develop products for certain markets, and space is yet not one of the biggest or most attractive markets. But this has already started changing and big players such as Texas Instruments and Analog Devices are moving forward with the NewSpace wave and establishing ever-more products for commercial space applications. Truly, using state-of-the art electronics is not only of interest for the space-based Internet, there are also other space-related applications that can clearly benefit from using the latest technologies.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/192969/
Document Type:Article
Title:RF Systems on Chip and Mixed-Signal Front-End Devices: Game-Changing RF Technologies for Space Applications
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Budroweit, JanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7599-0836UNSPECIFIED
Date:January 2023
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Microwave Magazine
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 49-56
Publisher:IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Keywords:RFSoC, MXFE, Space Application, Satellite Communication, RFI
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Compact Satellites FO V
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Avionics Systems
Deposited By: Budroweit, Jan
Deposited On:09 Jan 2023 10:35
Last Modified:19 Oct 2023 10:14

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