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Jul 23 2015

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Making communications a SNaP

Future Army Nanosatellites to Empower Soldiers. This is right up my ally, since I’m very familiar with military SATCOM in general, and UHF SATCOM in particular.

It says that they’ll use existing UHF SATCOM radios, but because SNaP will be a LEO constellation and UHF satellites are in GEO, they’ll have to use different antennae. The exception to this will be current radios that use omni antenna…which come to think of it are a sizable population.

3 are to launch later this year with more possibly later. These are 3U CubeSats that cost about $500,000 each…if they work, they’ll have the potential to radically change the SATCOM paradigm going forward.

These will also be the first CubeSats with propulsion (I’m guessing SEP), and they’ll have deployable solar panels arrays as well, which are better able to face the sun for power collection.

“SNaP is designed for UHF communication with existing Army and some coalition radios,” Webber said. “The advantage low-Earth orbit provides is the fact that satellites are so much closer to the Earth, which allows much lower signal levels to be received and processed.”

Very…VERY interesting!! I assume these will be single-channel CubeSats, but I could be wrong.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/07/23/making-communications-a-snap/

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