Inovor and ANU to develop satellite communications systems


Satellite manufacturer Inovor Technologies and the Australian National University have come together as part of the iLaunch Trailblazer project to develop resilient radio links to ground stations and for inter-satellite communication.

The project will develop and qualify a satellite-based Software Defined Radio for an on orbit demonstration of capability.

Satellites rely on radio systems to generate, transmit, receive and process signals and when communicating with satellites the ability to transfer more data is advantageous, according to a statement, something traditionally achieved using Radio Frequency (RF) technology due to its ability to travel long distances. However, these signals may be weakened due to interference.

To make SATCOMM more resilient, Inovor Technologies and ANU are co-developing a new software-defined radio (SDR) solution that is set to be onboard all of Inovor’s locally manufactured satellites.

Inovor CEO and Founder Matthew Tetlow (pictured) said: “These SDRs are being designed to resist the extreme temperatures and radiation levels of space and will be able to position satellites more accurately post launch and feed control information to the onboard manouvering system.

“All these critical components, will be crafted within our facilities, to establish a sovereign edge, reinforcing our ability to maximise mission assurance.”

To enable Inovor to develop a high data rate radio sub-system, ANU will conduct research and provide simulation models to guide design choices and validate the design at various stages.

In parallel, Inovor will develop the prototype hardware and software incorporating an SDR module that is capable of a space to ground link and inter-satellite links, using the simulation models provided by ANU to qualify the design at critical points.

This prototype hardware will be integrated into the Inovor Apogee Bus for an on orbit demonstration of all capabilities.

iLAuNCH Trailblazer Executive Director Darin Lovett (pictured) said: “Inovor is a pioneering Australian space company. I’ve worked with them for five years now and witnessed their drive to build sovereign capabilities for the space industry, from star trackers and reaction wheels to entire small satellite buses.

“This project under the iLAuNCH partnership will see ANU and Inovor build a satellite-based Software Defined Radio (SDR) and a subsequent launch into space to demonstrate critical space-flight heritage, paving the way for exports.”

Picture: Darin Lovett of iLaunch and Dr Matthew Tetlow of Inovor

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