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DIFI Standards Group Works for Commercial Adoption in 2022, ThinKom Joins Group 

By | May 16, 2022

      Via Satellite illustration

      The Digital Intermediate Frequency Interoperability Consortium (DIFI), an independent group advocating for interoperability between satellite and ground system networks, is working toward commercial adoption of its standard in 2022. The organization released its goals for 2022 on May 15. 

      Last year, DIFI consolidated two separate standards groups into one group to extend, adapt, improve, and certify the current interoperability standard. In August 2021, DIFI introduced version 1.0 of its interoperability standard based upon VITA 49, called the IEEE-ISTO Std 4900-2021: Digital IF Interoperability Standard. 

      In 2022, the consortium plans to mature the 1.0 specification to “clean up and address deficiencies in the specification.” 

      The consortium’s goal is for five companies to have DIFI self-certified products available for demonstration, and demonstrate two independent vendors interoperating with the standard. It is also working for two global Geostationary (GEO) satellite operators, one regional GEO operator and three Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) ground system-as-a-service operators to adopt the standards, and have 100% U.S. Department of Defense acceptance. 

      DIFI also plans to release open-source certification software this month. 

      Separately, ThinKom Solutions joined the consortium. ThinKom develops and supplies phased-array antenna systems for fixed and mobile satellite applications. 

      “We believe open digital interfaces will be critical in providing an orderly transition as the new generation of Non-Geostationary satellite constellations and terrestrial infrastructure proliferate over the coming years,” said Bill Milroy, CTO and chairman of ThinKom. 

      DIFI has more than 30 corporate members including Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Kymeta, Intelsat, Gilat Satellite Networks, SES, and ST Engineering iDirect, and eight government/non-profit partners including the U.S. Space Force. ViaLite Communications and Cobham Satcom joined the consortium earlier this year.