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UK RF manufacturer contributes to ‘fibre-in-the-sky’ low Earth orbit network

RF and mmWave expert, Filtronic, has secured a contract with US-based Almagest Space to develop a space-qualified customised E-band transceiver and other E-band payload components. The products will be used in Almagest’s global low earth orbit (LEO) two-way optically connected satellite network for ultra-high throughput data delivery services. The network will initially comprise 24 satellites and be scalable to meet increasing demand, ultimately carrying petabytes of data across the globe and in space.

To deliver the high performance required to build a fibre-like satellite network, Almagest chose to incorporate foundational E-band technologies into its three planned Almagest Missions, comprising two increasingly sophisticated in-space demonstration missions followed by its commercial global constellation.

For the initial technology demonstration project, Filtronic has developed an Ikelos board, which interfaces Filtronic’s standard Morpheus X2 with a a commercially available software defined radio (SDR). The Morpheus X2 is a high-performance E-band transceiver supporting linear Tx output power in excess of 24dBm. With a compact low mass form factor, this transceiver is ideal for applications where size, weight and power (SWaP) are critical.


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