Visualization of the test using the GateHouse SatCom testing and emulation tools.
An important step in preparing a satellite for launch is to make sure that all features and payloads are working as intended. It must be able to operate without maintenance for its many years of service. Massive amounts of data are transmitted in both forward and return links to secure the stability of all components. Long-term testing in days, weeks, or even months is conducted to validate the reliability of the applications in all possible scenarios.
Each application is validated carefully and end-to-end communication between the application running on the satellite and on ground must be carefully validated in all use cases and under all link conditions, working with constraints to the environment in which the application is installed.
The testing and emulation equipment from GateHouse help IDRS satellite developers test the performance of the payload and/or application in a controlled environment off-air prior to making the satellites ready for launch. The emulator facilitates testing of critical terminal performance characteristics, for example how the application handles latency, black zones, channel noise, Doppler shifts, bit errors and more. The testing and emulation tool is a cost-effective way to make sure that the satellite application is systematically tested prior to launch in order to avoid mission failures.
Francis Low, Head of Advanced Development, Addvalue, says “For more than 40 years, Inmarsat has offered world-leading satellite-based communications. With IDRS, Addvalue is proud to extend the Inmarsat broadband connectivity back into space with its IDRS terminal, which is currently the world’s first and only IDRS terminal. The IDRS terminal enables spacecraft operating in Low-Earth Orbit to have ubiquitous, real-time, on-demand and 24/7 communications via Inmarsat’s L-band network. We appreciate our strong partnership with Inmarsat and GateHouse in the development of this game changing technology.”