In this post we give a brief overview of S-band transmitters and transceivers and share listings of multiple products available on the global marketplace – if you would like to skip the introductory material and instead get straight to the product listings, please click here.
Introduction to S-band transmitters and transceivers
Traditionally, the S-band was very popular for satellite tracking, telemetry and command in spacecraft operation. However, with the invention of CubeSats, the UHF/VHF bands saw a rise in popularity due to the lower constraints (e.g. omni-directional antennas and low cost) while operating in these bands. Given that the technologies in many of the payloads onboard CubeSats are also maturing and so require higher data rates for telemetry, the S-band is gaining greater traction in the CubeSat world too.
From a regulatory standpoint the S-band offers an advantage by potentially mitigating the paperwork for two separate bands (UHF/VHF). However, S-band transmitters need antennas that are directional, and when the satellites are still in tumbling mode establishing contact can be very challenging.
Therefore, teams need to ensure that their satellite can de-tumble and point quite well in order to establish communications with the satellite if they use the S-band alone and in order to have a good link.
S-band based Software Defined Radios (SDRs) are also highly popular due to the flexibility they offer in terms of architecture and implementation.
Several suppliers are now focusing on developing S-band transmitter solutions with the CubeSat form factor in mind and are optimising the power, mass and size constraints of their transmitters to align with the structure, volume, and power consumption of CubeSats.
S-band transmitters on the global marketplace
In the section below you can see an overview of several S-band transmission systems available on the global market that can be used by CubeSat and small satellite developers to fit their telemetry and telecommand requirements.
Please note that this list will be updated when new products are added to the global marketplace for space – so please check back for more or sign up for our mailing list to get all the updates.
You can click on any of the links or images below to find out more about each of the products and can submit a request for information (RFI) on the pages that open or send us a general query using the link below, and we will use our global network of suppliers to find a system to meet your needs.
The Alén Space S-band Transmitter is a high data rate transmitter designed for CubeSats and nanosatellites. It is a TOTEM SDR-based onboard processing (OBP) / programmable FPGA DVB-S2 transmitter. The payload is designed to maximize customers' download of information and shorten the time needed to receive the data generated by the payload of their small satellite platforms.
The AAC SpaceQuest TX-2400 is a proven satellite and launch vehicle S-Band transmitter with a built-in FM/FSK modem for the downlink of payload data and telemetry.
The Cubecom STX S-band Transmitter is a compact nanosatellite X-band transmitter utilizing the DVB-S2 standard. The system is suitable for missions that require a medium data rate downlink.
The EnduroSat S-band transmitter is an S-band transmitter operating in either commercial (2200 – 2290 MHz) or amateur (2400 - 2450 MHz) frequency band suitable for CubeSat or nanosat LEO missions. Idle and transmit are two modes of operation with the option of real-time change of transmission parameters such as central frequency, output power, and symbol rate.
The IQ Spacecom XLink-S is an S-band transceiver system (SDR) suitable for micro, nano and pico satellites in LEO environment. The physical dimensions of the system allow it to fit in a 1U CubeSat. The Standard CCSDS protocols are used to develop the radio interface and radio protocol. With appropriate FEC encoding schemes, the SDR supports higher order types of modulations and schemes such as BPSK and QPSK.
The SkyLabs NANOlink-base-2 is a S-band TM/TC satellite communication subsystem miniaturised with full duplex communication link and CCSDS compliance. The system is designed to provide improved communication data link budgets. SkyLabs assures outstanding performance of NANOcomm-2 by designing a best-in-class SWaP characteristics.
The SkyLabs NANOlink-boost-2 is a S-band TM/TC satellite communication subsystem with full duplex link and integrated RF power amplifier. The system is CCSDS compliant and is designed to provide improved communication data link budgets through the additional power amplifier. SkyLabs assures outstanding performance of NANOcomm-2 by designing a best-in-class SWaP characteristics.
The SkyLabs NANOlink-boost-dp-2 is a TM/TC satellite communication subsystem with full duplex communication link in S-band frequency range, integrated RF power amplifier and signal splitter/combiner. The system is CCSDS compliant and is designed to provide improved communication data link budgets. SkyLabs assures outstanding performance of NANOcomm-2 by designing a best-in-class SWaP characteristics.
An ultra high frequency (UHF) band transmitter with an operating frequency of 430 to 440 MHz - which is adjustable depending on user needs. The system features a variety of modulation options and is housed in a 70 x 40 x 14 mm^3 case.
The Augustus Aerospace Company's S2DR 1000 Dual-Transceiver Space SDR is a software defined radio designed for small satellites. It consits of Xilinx's Zynq-7030 SoC and Kintex-7 FPGA along with ARM Holdings' dual ARM® 9 cores processor. The product also consists of high performance RF transceivers which can be customized for LEO CubeSat deployment, specifically for scienific and military missions.
The CesiumAstro SDR-1001 is a compact software-defined radio designed for military and commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) applications. It consists of customizable FPGA fabric that enables user-defined communications system. It has SpaceWire and UART data interfaces with an option of 10GBASE-KR & 1000BASE-X. SDR-1001 supports several high-order modulations including DVB-S2X and LTE-grade waveforms.
The Honeywell Aerospace STC-MS03 is an S-band telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) transceiver designed for space applications. It is based on software defined radio (SDR) and is designed to allow for fast customization to accommodate customer requirements. The STC-MS03 is designed with specific attention to power and size to address the limited space and reduced battery capacity of small satellites.
The ISIS S-band Transmitter is a transmitter designed to meet data rate downlinks of up to 4.3 Mbps with CubeSat compatibility. The transmitter can be used for both Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) systems or Payload Data downlinks. The S-band transmitter is flexible and implments CCSDS as data link layer protocol. The system allows in-flight configuration of modulation scheme, frequency, data-rate, and RF output power.
The NANOWAVE NW2729-70 is an S-band Solid-State Power Amplifier (SSPA) transmitter for pulsed operation. It provides a series of Solid-State Power Amplifier Transmitter units in 19" rack mountable chassis or custom-designed housings based on the SSPA power bricks. The total output power of the NANOWAVE Solid-State Power Amplifier (SSPA) transmitter product line ranges from several 100 W to 10 kW (higher output power possible on request), covering the frequency range from L- to Ka-Band.
The Syrlinks EWC29 S-Band Transceiver is a low power consumer S-band transponder designed for medium-sized space platforms. Syrlinks co-designed EWC29 Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), France. For transmission purposes, EWC29 operates in the 2200-2290MHz range. While for the receiveing purposes, EWC29 operates in the 2025-2110MHz frequency range at a data rate which can be selected in the range from 8 to 256kbps.
The Syrlinks EWC15-NG S/S-Band Transceiver - CCSDS is a new generation transceiver designed for space applications. It's hardware is based on EWC15 & EWC15-C Syrlinks products. The company's EWC15 series of products have been used as telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C) for low earth orbit (LEO) small satellite missions. The EWC15-NG consists of a smart communication protocol in order to achieve a fast signal acquisition.
The Syrlinks EWC27 + OPT27-SRX X/S transceiver is a communication unit for small satellites. It is designed to control the supplies of the power amplifier in order to obtain the efficiency for each RF power level. EWC27 design and manufacturing are mainly based on qualified COTS components and stressing tests on QM units. Its architecture inherits from the EWC28 X Band transmitter, which is in-flight proven on different missions, especially PROBA-V by ESA/QinetiQ Space nv.
The Tethers Unlimited SWIFT-XTS is a dual band (S- and X-Band) software defined transceiver designed for aerial and space applications. It weighs approximately 800 grams and suitable for use in satellites, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and high altitude platforms (HAPS). The SWIFT software defined radios are compatible with Type-1 encryption modules and can support AES-256 encryption natively.
The Tethers Unlimited RAVEN-SDR is a software defined radio system designed for space applications. It weighs 1 kg and has an additional AES256 Quantum Secure Zero Trust Blockchain. It can also accept third-party applications with incredibly throughput, speed, and flexibility.
The Tethers Unlimited SWIFT-SLX is a flight proven dual band (S- and L-Band) software defined transceiver designed for space applications. It weighs less than 400 grams and requires approximately 16 Watts of operating power. The SWIFT software defined radios are compatible with Type-1 encryption modules and can support AES-256 encryption natively.
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