Enables communication in remote corner of the world

With our world-class signal processing equipment, we will increase the capacity for people depending on mobile communication across Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.

  • Text:Ove Ronny Haraldsen

In Horten, Kongsberg Space Electronics will deliver advanced electronic components for å new communication satellite that will improve the mobile coverage in areas with insufficient ground network. The equipment is to be integrated in Airbus Defence and Space’s new mobile communication satellite, Thuraya 4-NGS.

Kongsberg Space Electronics, KSE has delivered high quality electronic equipment to telecom, navigation and earth observation satellites for many years – in total there are more than 250 satellites in orbit with KSE equipment onboard. The activity covers the complete chain from design and development to manufacture, qualification and delivery of the electronic hardware. The equipment are critical parts of the payload of these satellites and the design is tailored to each specific requirement.

8215_06_28x36_72dpi (002).jpg

"In addition, a line of recurring products for the communication link for space craft has been developed and successfully promoted in the market. This line consists of Command Receivers, Telemetry Transmitters and Beacons that are vital for the remote control and operation of the satellite", says Nina Dyveke Storbakk, Unit Product Responsible.

A WORLD LEADER WITHIN SURFACE ACOUSTIC WAVE FILTERS

KONGSBERG will deliver integrated L-band pre- and post-processors. These enable the satellites to meet the communication needs at all times, both when new requirements appear and/or when the local capacity is too poor. The L-band processors are «SAW»-based (Surface Acoustic Wave filters) and the development is supported by European Space Agency and the Norwegian Space Agency.

“SAW stands for Surface Acoustic Waves. Through advanced use of SAW in electronic circuits, extreme performance signal filtering can be achieved. This is a powerful tool in many telecom applications and is used for channel filtering”, says Nina Dyveke Storbakk

The expertise covers inhouse competence within RF design and electronic design to meet requirements for space applications. Furthermore, qualified build technologies, product simulation and analysis are critical elements to control in this business.  Various types of Frequency Converters have always been a key competence.

“These products are typically included in every telecom satellite payload. KSE is a world leader within SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) filter technology. This filter technology is utilized to achieve the extreme performance requirements for many of our products and is often an enabler for a preferred and optimized design solution”, says Nina Dyveke Storbakk.

CONNECTING FAMILIES AND CREATING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

The satellite will deliver higher capabilities and flexibility while increasing capacity and coverage across Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. The new generation of modular digital processors from Airbus Defence and Space offers full flexibility for more than 3200 channels and dynamic allocation over many spot beams. 

KSE deliveries are critical parts of the beam forming system of the satellite. The advanced beam forming from the satellites will open for an optimization of the traffic pattern. The beams can be dynamically directed to the areas where communication capacity is needed and can increase bandwidth locally.

“Rapid changes in the communication needs, can be met with a flexible change of the satellite beams. The performance of the equipment delivered from KSE is critical to achieve the needed pointing accuracy for the system and to achieve the needed quality of the communication signals”, says Grunde Joheim.

- How do you feel personally about working on a project that helps improve mobile communication around the world?

“It is very encouraging and motivating to work with advanced space electronics that are parts of critical infrastructure here on earth. We know we contribute to technology that enables communication in ever remote corner of the world. For the individual user, this can represent a link back home to his/her family and friends or even be the basis of generation of business and growth all around the planet”, says Grunde Joheim.

KONGSBERG has a strong design & manufacturing capability for satellite onboard electronics, per date with hardware on more than 200 satellites. The company has a global footprint with all major primes.

"We are proud to be a trusted partner to Airbus Defence and Space. They have been an important customer for many years, and this contract secures our leading position within the mobile GEO-satellite market. It gives us a solid foundation for further growth and development", says Director of Marketing in Space and Surveillance at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Ellen Dahler Tuset.

Related stories