Microwave Journal
Akash Systems

FCC Grants Akash Systems Experimental GaN on Diamond Satellite Launch

January 10, 2019

Akash Systems Inc. announced it has been granted an experimental Special Temporary Authority (STA) license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a satellite featuring its proprietary GaN on diamond technology.

The GaN on diamond transmitter will be integrated into a Ka-Band (17.2 to 20.2 GHz) 3U radio transmitter and launched in a 12U CubeSat, intended to demonstrate new levels of data transmission toward the goals of increasing capacity and reducing end-user costs. The objective is to demonstrate more than 5 Gbps downlink speeds from a 10 W 3U radio transmitter in the satellite.

Tentatively slated for launch in early 2020, the satellite will demonstrate the data rates, reliability and space-qualification readiness of GaN on diamond technology. GaN on diamond enables a smaller, lighter and higher performing satellite, helping achieve lower launch costs, reduced cost-per-bit, more launch cycles and increased communications access from satellite constellations.

“Anyone buying our solid-state power amplifiers (SSPA) to transmit data to or from space will be interested in the space worthiness and reliability of our SSPA products. This launch helps us capture that worthiness and reliability data for them.” &mdash Jeanette Quinlan, director of space systems, Akash Systems

“Taking the lead in the SATCOM industry, this demo will showcase the use of our proprietary GaN on diamond RF amplifier technology. Beyond the capability to handle the increasing demands of today’s extreme data throughput, we are confident future adoption of the system will drive down end-user costs to levels never before seen.” — Felix Ejeckam, GaN on diamond inventor, Akash Systems co-founder and CEO

Akash is continuing to focus on scaling up and qualifying its GaN on diamond power amplifier product line, planning to announce products with higher frequencies in the coming months.