US Army Selects Tethers Unlimited for SBIR Contract
[Via Satellite 11-06-13] The U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) has awarded Tethers Unlimited (TUI) a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to complete development of a system that will enable CubeSats to communicate directly with handheld UHF radios, which are used by used by Army troops. TUI’s “Swift-TacSatcom” system combines a frequency-agile software defined radio with deployable antennas to enable these small, low-power, low-cost spacecraft to support soldiers in the field by providing real-time access to mission critical data and communications.
“The Swift-TacSatcom radio system will enable spacecraft that are smaller than a loaf of bread and cost less than a million dollars each to provide tactical communications to our deployed service members, accomplishing mission-critical tasks that currently require large satellites costing hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Rob Hoyt, CEO and chief scientist, TUI.
TUI’s Swift software defined radio platform allows the radio frequency and waveforms to be readily adjusted, enabling the user to set the radio frequencies just prior to launch or even during on-orbit operations.