Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/36368-cesiumastro-releases-space-qualified-software-defined-radio-with-open-reconfigurable-fpga
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CesiumAstro Releases Space Qualified Software-Defined Radio with Open Reconfigurable FPGA

July 14, 2021

CesiumAstro announced the release of the flight-ready SDR-1001 credit-card-sized modular software-defined radio (SDR) for commercial, government and defense applications, tested to NASA GEVS standards and available in volume. Featuring four transmit (Tx) and four receive (Rx) channels tunable from 300 MHz to 6 GHz, the SDR-1001 ships with a default BPSK/QPSK modem and optional FPGA Developer Toolkit enabling custom waveform development. 

SDR-1001 Highlights: 
    High-reliability flight-ready solution for low earth orbit (LEO) and airborne missions
    Credit-card-sized stand-alone module weighing 100 grams
    4 Tx / 4 Rx channels tunable from 300 MHz to 6 GHz with 100 MHz RF bandwidth per channel
    Custom waveform support with 70 percent FPGA resources available for custom designs
    Ships with a default carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) mesh networking modem with SpaceWire and Ethernet connectivity. 

Designed to meet the demanding requirements for launch, as well as the extreme conditions of space and airborne environments, the SDR-1001 integrates a flexible RF front-end with high performance FPGA to support a five-to-seven-year mission duration. Mil-Spec connectors provide access to RF signals and enable both SpaceWire and Ethernet connectivity. Integrated redundancy and failover logic provide resiliency from radiation events with onboard telemetry delivering system health and power management information. 

The pre-loaded reference modem functionality provides a CSMA-based multi-point mesh networking capability out of the box. When two SDRs establish a connection, data packets from Ethernet, SpaceWire or serial port are routed across the link. Cesium is also developing turnkey waveform support for DVB-S2, DVB-S2X and CCSDS with Tx data rates up to 500 Mb/s. 

Cesium’s FPGA Development Kit allows communications engineers to build and deploy custom waveforms on the SDR-1001’s open and reconfigurable FPGA. The underlying board support package firmware provides a simplified API for controlling the RF front-end and data management while enabling full access to baseband IQ data for custom waveform and modem development. Support and training are provided with the FPGA Development Kit to accelerate user success. 

“SDR-1001 is a key component of Cesium's product portfolio of modular payload solutions,” said Shey Sabripour, founder and CEO of CesiumAstro. “We’re focused on providing high-reliability solutions at scale to meet the growing needs of New Space and airborne markets using the latest technology advancements.” 

The SDR-1001 is offered as a stand-alone module, but also forms the backbone of other Cesium products, including fully integrated L-, S-, X-, Ku- and Ka-Bands connectivity and phased array solutions. Producing low-SWaP, plug-and-play hardware with high volume manufacturing techniques, Cesium is uniquely suited to support volume orders for LEO space and airborne applications.