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UrtheCast’s SAR Technology Passes Prototype Testing

By | May 2, 2016
      OptiSAR UrtheCast

      Digital rendering of an OptiSAR pair of satellites, one optical, one radar. Photo: UrtheCast

      [Via Satellite 05-02-2016] UrtheCast has successfully completed prototype hardware testing of the principal core enabling elements for its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology. This includes the digital sensor electronics, which comprise the “heart” of the SAR instrument, and the dual-frequency, multi-aperture SAR antenna.

      UrtheCast, with its partners, built two multi-channel Digital Radio Frequency Units (DRFUs) and completed testing of the core functions at ultra-high data rates representative of the flight system. This included tests to demonstrate the ability to synchronize two DRFUs at the terabit per second data rates required for multi-aperture operation of the SAR antenna. According to UrtheCast, the tests have demonstrated a 150 femtosecond sampling accuracy.

      The company also built and tested a panel of its dual-frequency, multi-aperture antenna using flight representative manufacturing processes that have successfully demonstrated the antenna’s Radio Frequency (RF) performance in both the X- and L-band frequencies and in both transmit and receive modes.

      UrtheCast’s planned OptiSAR constellation consists of 16 satellites in pairs of two, with each pair comprised of one multispectral optical satellite and one SAR satellite.