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Space Micro awarded Air Force contract to enhance Nanocom space radios for DOD satellite applications

(18 February 2021 - Space Micro) The U.S. Air Force, through its AFWERX program, has awarded Space Micro an STTR contract to enhance its current Nanocom Software Defined Radio (SDR) for new U.S. Space Force programs, including SmallSats and CubeSats.

The contract, “Modular Software Defined Radio for Resilient SATCOM”, requires Space Micro to assess future DoD requirements for advanced SATCOM.

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Nanocom SDR (courtesy: Space Micro)

Space Micro's Nanocom is a miniaturized (1U), quick-to-field, cost-effective modular SDR. Designed under previous programs to perform in hostile and extreme environmental conditions, Nanocom is programmable on orbit and suitable for a variety of applications, including Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TT&C) transceiver, mission data transmitter, and Radio Frequency (RF) receiver with onboard signal processing. It contains the latest generation Xilinx Zynq Software on a Chip (SoC) whose large availability of programmable logic resources support sophisticated, cognitive anti-jamming algorithms. The included Gigabit Ethernet interfaces support classified data and waveform loading. The Nanocom’s modular design allows it to be easily configured to support different data rates, frequencies, bandwidths and interfaces.

Space Micro’s family of Software Defined Radios comprises two different models: Space Micro’s Zynq 7020-based µSDR-C targets UHF, S-Band, L-Band and low C-Band applications, while the more powerful Zynq 7045-based Nanocom targets higher frequency, higher data rate, and more processor intensive RF applications.

Space Micro has already delivered several µSDR-C SDRs for commercial and U.S. Government programs and is currently under contract to deliver X- and Ka-Band Nanocom SDRs for additional U.S. Government programs.

“We are pleased to enter into this fast-paced contract with AFWERX and by our discovery process, assess SATCOM needs that will support space programs and missions for various DoD agencies including the U.S. Space Force, Air Force, SDA, MDA, Navy SPAWAR, DARPA, Army SMDC, SOCOM, DIU, AFRL, and NRL,” said David J. Strobel, Space Micro CEO. “The Air Force can leverage our past and current commercial and IR&D investments in our dual-use space radios. Space Micro is also observing a new demand for U.S. domestic sourcing of space subsystems for certain U.S. Government agencies and programs.”