Reconfigurable communications

QinetiQ, Spectrum Signal Processing and MacDonald Dettwiler are to build a reconfigurable satellite terminal technology demonstrator for the Canadian Government.

The Canadian Government has awarded a contract worth £1.43m for a reconfigurable satellite terminal technology demonstration project, to a team of companies comprising QinetiQ, Spectrum Signal Processing and MacDonald Dettwiler.

The project is designed to develop, integrate and demonstrate a reconfigurable, multi-function ground-based satellite communications terminal that can replace several ‘system specific’ fixed function terminals.

By implementing Software Defined Radio (SDR) technologies and the Software Communications Architecture (SCA) developed by the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program in the United States, a single satellite terminal will be capable of supporting several satellite networks, operating at different frequencies with different waveforms and protocols.

MacDonald Dettwiler, as the prime contractor, has overall system design and integration responsibility while QinetiQ is providing the core IP and enabling satellite communications waveforms. For its part, Spectrum Signal Processing is supplying high performance wireless signal processing products based on its flexComm SDR-3000 platform.

Deliveries are expected to start as early as the second quarter of 2004 with completion in 2006.