Prototyping and Deploying Satellite Communications

High-density, wide-area communication coverage based on LEO (low Earth orbit) satellite networks is transforming the way satellite communications (SATCOM) are used. LTE has been expanded to SATCOM, and 5G will soon follow the same path. Military applications must explore the low probability of intercept (LPI) waveforms to avoid detection, and anti-jam architectures to combat interference in congested and contested spectrum.

The main drivers for SATCOM testbeds and receivers are:


  • Wideband, flexible radios for prototyping spread spectrum and frequency-hopping techniques

  • Multi-channel phase coherency for implementing and assessing techniques for digital beamforming

  • Integration with open-source network layer stack IP to get up and running faster for end-to-end testbed development  

  • Compatibility with various software toolchains for easy integration into current development workflows

  • Integration of RF capabilities with various computing elements for host-based processing and FPGA acceleration of compute-intensive functions

NI COTS Components for SATCOM Prototyping and Deployment

  • PXI Vector Signal Transceivers combine an RF and baseband vector signal analyzer and generator with a user-programmable FPGA for real-time signal processing up to mmWave.

  • USRP Software Defined Radio Devices provide a software-defined RF architecture to design, prototype, and deploy wireless systems with custom signal processing.

  • PXI Vector Signal Analyzers offer wide bandwidth with high measurement performance and speed, and they can be used in deployed ground receiver applications.

  • In end-to-end SATCOM prototyping, PXI Digital Waveform Instruments can generate and analyze waveforms sent over fiber or free space, imitating intersatellite links.  


Solution Advantages


NI offers a variety of solution integration options customized to your application-specific requirements. You can use your own internal integration teams for full system control or leverage the expertise of NI and our worldwide NI Partner Network to obtain a turnkey solution.

NI Partner Network

The NI Partner Network is a global community of domain, application, and overall test development experts working closely with NI to meet the needs of the engineering community. NI Partners are trusted solution providers, systems integrators, consultants, product developers, and services and sales channel experts skilled across a wide range of industries and application areas.

Services and Support

NI works with customers throughout the life of an application, delivering training, technical support, consultation and integration services, and maintenance programs. Teams can discover new skills by participating in NI-specific and geographic user groups and build proficiency with online and in-person training.

Satellite Communications Prototyping and Deployment with NI COTS Components

See how COTS components help to accelerate the development of new algorithms, waveforms, and architectures for satellite communications. Read how COTS modules can be deployed in SATCOM ground receivers for flexible multi-mode operation, with scalability to multichannel, phase-coherent acquisition.

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