Quasar launches digital multibeam satellite ground station


CSIRO related start-up company Quasar Satellite Technologies has launched its world first fully digital multibeam satellite ground stations.

The stations will revolutionise the space industry, enabling government, defence and intelligence agencies, as well as private organisations, to establish a view of every satellite in orbit, according to a statement.

To be unveiled at the Space Force Association’s Inaugural Spacepower Conference, Quasar’s software-defined phased array antennas provide steerable electronic beams to characterise and access data from satellites in low, medium, and geostationary orbit (LEO, MEO and GEO).

“It is a crucial asset for government space programmes, geopolitical risk assessment, national security, intelligence initiatives and anomaly detection.”

Quasar’s technology is unique in that it has no moving parts and supports multiple space missions simultaneously on the same antenna, including powerful all-sky SDA and radio spectrum monitoring capabilities.

One Quasar ground station replaces hectares of traditional parabolical dishes which are mechanically steered and use technology that is decades old in design.

Quasar CEO Phil Ridley said: “There are about 8,200 satellites currently in orbit; McKinsey forecasts there could be more than 65,000 by 2030, however industry figures suggest this number may even reach 100,000.

“Existing technologies can’t meet the scope of this new demand; parabolic dishes can only focus on one satellite at a time, require abundant physical space, and are expensive to operate and maintain.”

Quasar digital antenna technologies are complemented by a software platform that includes 24×7 dedicated communications ground station as a service (GSaaS) capability.

“Through rigorous testing we have demonstrated our phased array can track multiple satellites in the sky, across multiple orbits, simultaneously.

“That means government, defence and intelligence agencies can ‘hear the whole sky’ for active satellite transmissions and provide real-time, actionable radio-frequency information to characterise transmitting objects instantly.

“There is no other technology today which has this ability.”

Quasar’s technology will be available to Five Eyes and Quad nations and their allies.

The US is the company’s primary target market, alongside Australia, the United Kingdom, India, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand.

Quasar has already received a purchase request, with demonstrations scheduled for additional government and commercial entities.

“This represents a remarkable opportunity for Australia.

“As an Australian product, there are also immense export perks to boost the economy as international demand soars, while bolstering our nation’s space credentials.”

Quasar launched in 2021 with A8.7 million in seed funding from Main Sequence, CSIRO and four industry partners. The company also received $1.9m from the NSW Physical Sciences Fund and a $5.3m Defence Innovation Hub contract to develop its Generation 2 systems.

Further reading:
CSIRO spin-out Quasar is building world-leading satellite tech
Quasar Satellite Technologies awarded space innovation contract

Picture: CSIRO

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