Kratos introduces OpenSpace virtual channelizer and combiner
On November 29, San Diego, CA-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. announced the general availability of its virtual OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner for satellite ground operations. The products are used to split and combine digitized RF signals for more effective downlink and uplink, especially to support the advanced capabilities of next generation software-defined satellites and LEO constellations. For example, to support increasing customer demand or to address potential cases of interference, a high bandwidth signal from a software-defined satellite can be split into smaller signals and routed across the ground dynamically for service delivery or for RF analysis.
The OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner are completely virtualized running on general purpose compute, replacing the racks of proprietary RF analog devices such as splitters and dividers that constitute today’s ground systems. Analog hardware components are not capable of keeping up with the faster demands growing in the space layer, such as high throughput spot beams, multi-orbit constellations and programmable payloads. For example, it can take days, weeks and sometimes months to make configuration changes to hardware, often requiring technicians to fly to remote locations to re-cable and install hardware in teleports. As software, however, the OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner enable configuration and reconfiguration in just seconds in order to adapt to changing mission conditions such as interference or to support changing customer service levels.
The OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner go beyond simple virtualization. They are orchestrated together with any standards-based digitizer and with other OpenSpace Platform ground functions to support automation and the quick provisioning of new services across the ground segment, including needed uplink/downlink functions. Virtual elements can be spun up for new missions on the fly and when no longer needed, spun down so the resources can be used for other operations.
The OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner support a variety of satellite use cases for applications in two-way satellite communication (SATCOM) services, Earth Observation and Remote Sensing (EO/RS), and Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TT&C). Intelsat, the world’s largest commercial satellite operator, will be among the first users of the OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner for SATCOM. In May of this year Intelsat announced it would use Kratos’ OpenSpace Platform to support its coming software-defined satellites and supporting ground network.
“We are supporting our customers growing connectivity needs for high-speed and reliable coverage on a global scale by enabling software-defined capabilities across our network,” commented Carmel Ortiz, VP of Systems Innovation at Intelsat. “Working in concert with our dynamic satellites, the OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner as part of the OpenSpace Platform will help us accelerate the provisioning of new connectivity services and respond to traffic spikes in a matter of seconds.”
“The OpenSpace Channelizer and Combiner are available today to support the satellite ground systems movement toward digital transformation,” explained Christopher Boyd, Vice President of Product Management at Kratos. “The OpenSpace Platform is a fully digital gateway solution with digitizers that route IF signals from antennas across the ground system using virtualized channelizers/combiners to modem service chains that process the signals. The fully digital and software-based approach enables OpenSpace to be deployed in a single teleport or scaled across multiple teleports and data centers depending on service scale requirements.”
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