Military Embedded Systems

CesiumAstro Releases Space Qualified Software-Defined Radio with Open Reconfigurable FPGA

Press Release

July 14, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas – July 14, 2021 – CesiumAstro announced today the release of the flight-ready SDR-1001 credit-card-sized modular software-defined radio (SDR) for commercial, government and defense applications, tested to NASA GEVS standards and available in volume.

Featuring 4 TX and 4 RX channels tunable from 300 MHz to 6 GHz, the SDR-1001 ships with a default BPSK/QPSK modem and optional FPGA Developer Toolkit enabling custom waveform development.

SDR-1001 Highlights:

  • High-reliability flight-ready solution for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and airborne missions
  • Credit-card-sized stand-alone module weighing 100 grams
  • 4 TX / 4 RX Channels tunable from 300 MHz to 6 GHz with 100 MHz RF bandwidth per channel
  • Custom waveform support with 70% FPGA resources available for custom designs
  • Ships with a default CSMA mesh networking modem with SpaceWire and Ethernet connectivity

Designed to meet the demanding requirements for launch, as well as the extreme conditions of space and airborne environments, the SDR-1001 integrates a flexible RF front-end with high-performance FPGA to support a 5-to-7-year mission duration. Mil-Spec connectors provide access to RF signals and enable both SpaceWire and Ethernet connectivity. Integrated redundancy and failover logic provide resiliency from radiation events with onboard telemetry delivering system health and power management information.

The pre-loaded reference modem functionality provides a carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) based multi-point mesh networking capability out of the box. When two SDRs establish a connection, data packets from Ethernet, SpaceWire, or serial port are routed across the link. Cesium is also developing turnkey waveform support for DVB-S2, DVB-S2X and CCSDS with TX data rates up to 500Mb/s.

Cesium’s FPGA Development Kit allows communications engineers to build and deploy custom waveforms on the SDR-1001’s open and reconfigurable FPGA. The underlying board support package (BSP) firmware provides a simplified API for controlling the RF front end and data management while enabling full access to baseband IQ data for custom waveform and modem development. Support and training are provided with the FPGA Development Kit to accelerate user success.

“SDR-1001 is a key component of Cesium's product portfolio of modular payload solutions,” said Shey Sabripour, founder and CEO of CesiumAstro. “We’re focused on providing high-reliability solutions at scale to meet the growing needs of New Space and airborne markets using the latest technology advancements.”

The SDR-1001 is offered as a stand-alone module, but also forms the backbone of other Cesium products, including fully integrated L-Band, S-Band, X-Band, Ku-Band, and Ka-Band connectivity and phased array solutions. Producing low-SWaP, plug-and-play hardware with high-volume manufacturing techniques, Cesium is uniquely suited to support volume orders for LEO space and airborne applications.

To learn more about the CesiumAstro SDR-1001, click here:

For purchasing information, please email [email protected]


About CesiumAstro:
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in Broomfield, Colorado, CesiumAstro builds high-throughput, software-defined phased array communication payloads for airborne and space platforms including satellites, missiles, UAV, and more. Cesium’s full-stack, multi-mission hardware and software products enable a range of commercial, government and defense objectives. CesiumAstro provides full in-house design, manufacturing and testing capabilities based on the AS9100 standard. For more information, visit:

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