SatixFy's Posts

October 17, 2023

Progress Report: 4 Months Post Launch, JoeySat Communicating with Ground Stations and all Tests are on Track

by: Tariq Roshan

Designed to demonstrate the viability of next generation digital regenerative satellite communications, the beam-hopping JoeySat broadband satellite – launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on May 20th – is currently meeting our high expectations.

An exciting milestone was achieved when the team received the payload’s first RF signals. This first communication represented the success of 15 months of hard work.

Since then, our team has been engaged in system testing, following a comprehensive plan to incrementally test all elements of JoeySat’s functionality.

To date, we have completed foundation tests and are now beginning to power up and test more complex functionality. First in line is SatixFy’s next-generation Electronically Steerable Multibeam Antenna (ESMA), the basis for the satellite’s advanced multibeam and beam-hopping capabilities. This is expected to enable testing of the satellite’s ability to transmit data, stream video and support VOIP services while the beam is hopped across multiple coverage cells.

It is all very exciting – and we intend to continue to update as the project progresses.

The SatixFy communication payload: foundation for complete network operations                              We at SatixFy are obviously very pleased with this confirmation of our advanced payload technologies. We believe that the groundbreaking multibeam and beam-hopping capabilities made possible by our fully digital regenerative payload processor and flat-panel ESMA will kick-start a step-change in SatComs: a phase that OneWeb has labelled “Beam-Hopping into the Future”.

A word about SatixFy’s Beam Hopping Technology: we have designed this technology to improve service flexibility, reduce payload costs, increase total capacity compared to legacy satellites and HTS, and reduce unmet capacity. Our current version already boosts throughput to greater than 100 Gbps for HTS satellites, and we are extending it to include beam-hopping-enabled Ultra High Throughput Satellites (UHTS).

The JoeySat payload was designed, manufactured and qualified under a private-public partnership (PPP) between SatixFy and OneWeb, ESA and UKSA. It consists of generic OBP and ESMA units that support unidirectional traffic, with a complete payload including two units of each element. This enables bidirectional communication between the Ground Gateway and the User Terminal population.

The key metrics include:

  • OBP Processor
  • Feeder Link Bandwidth: 1-GHz/4-Gbps (FWD/RTN)
  • User Link Bandwidth: 1-GHz/4-Gbps (FWD/RTN)
  • Power, Size & Mass: 100W, 45x25x30cm, 7.5Kg
  • ESMA Antenna
  • Beams, Elements: 32-Beams, 256-Elements
  • Power, Size & Mass: 170W (Tx)/100W (Rx), 40x24x3cm, 3.5Kg

JoeySat: the Next Steps

While we are extremely encouraged by the results of the past four months, there is still plenty of work to do to confirm all of JoeySat’s technology and functionality. The team will soon be carrying out user link checks, end-end link checks, traffic tests, multi-beam tests, and tests of PRBS and user-traffic beam-hopping. This will be followed by a full JoeySat Demo, which is designed to confirm its ability to provide video streaming, VOIP connectivity and more using the advanced multibeam/beam-hopping paradigm.

Wish us luck – and stay tuned to track our progress!


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