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Tethers Unlimited says two-way radio for small satellites has aced first orbital test

22 Mar 2019, 03:42 UTC
Tethers Unlimited says two-way radio for small satellites has aced first orbital test
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The software-defined SWIFT-SLX S-band radio is designed to fit on a CubeSat-class satellite. (Tethers Unlimited Photo)
Tethers Unlimited weathered a wave of bad news over the winter, but now some good news has bloomed. The company, headquartered in Bothell, Wash., reports that its SWIFT-SLX S-band radio has been successfully operated in orbit.
The compact software-defined radio provided two-way communications between Harris Corp.’s first small satellite, known as HSAT-1, and the satellite’s ground operators, Tethers Unlimited said this week in a news release. HSAT was launched last November by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, with Seattle-based Spaceflight handling logistical support.
SWIFT-SLX is designed to fit on CubeSat-class spacecraft, and can be configured to meet a wide range of mission needs, including in-flight adjustment of operating frequencies for S- and L-band communications. Development of the radio was supported with Small Business Innovation Research grants from the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Army Space and Missile Defense Center.
“Our team has worked very hard to bring the SWIFT radios to the level of maturity and quality necessary to meet the needs of top-tier customers such as Harris Corp.,” Tethers Unlimited CEO Rob Hoyt said. “The great performance of the SWIFT-SLX right out ...

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