Today, highly integrated connectivity depends on an extraordinary number of technologies and services – many of which are rapidly becoming reliant on space communications.
Since the first ground station at Goonhilly (Cornwall) was built to transmit live television programmes between Europe to America via satellite, BAE Systems has remained at the forefront of secure, assured, and timely communication technologies covering waveforms, transmission techniques and processing algorithms.
Supporting the European Space Agency with deep space communications
Satellites are essential for navigation, communication, weather forecasting, deep space exploration and more. To operate effectively, spacecraft must receive commands from the Earth and send data back. They also need to be tracked accurately, so that their orbits can be determined and so they can be safely navigated through space. For decades, BAE Systems has provided the European Space Agency with the most advanced Deep Space Tracking, Telemetry and Command (TT&C) technology that makes this possible.
Our waveform technologies deliver reliable communications, with greatly increased data rates and inherent security, between the Earth and a myriad of exciting missions, including journeys to comet 67P (Rosetta), Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury.
Building an advantage in space
Our work provides the European Space Agency with the most powerful satellite modem system – for an operational advantage in space.
- Highly accurate navigational capabilities: determining a spacecraft’s distance to an accuracy of just 10 cm as it orbits a planet, asteroid or comet anywhere up to the solar system’s edge.
- Mission-critical transmission: sending and receiving data that is both crucial and scientific, over billions of km between spacecraft and the ground station which can take hours to traverse, at the speed of light.
- Assured control in complex environments: commanding spacecraft and receiving data in emergency or failure modes such as during very weak downlink periods due to spacecraft spinning.
Protecting operations from threats
Utilising waveform technology to send signals safely and securely through space as well as land, sea, air or underwater, is a BAE Systems specialism.
Our unique heritage in waveforms can be traced back to the days of Marconi and the beginnings of the radio wave story.
Since then, our teams have applied knowledge to identify and develop solutions for various radio wave applications, and we are continuing to do this to future-proof operations too.