ATLAS Space Ops Deploys World’s First Multi-Band, Multi-Satellite Electronically Steered Array

ATLAS Space Operations, Inc., a company that provides satellite communications as a service through an innovative software-driven, high data flow global antenna network, announced today the deployment of the first X-Band electronically steered array system – LINKS™. The first-of-its-kind 4-element array consists of 16 individual antennas and is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Historically, space-to-ground communications have been conducted through a network of large, and expensive, parabolic dish antennas. These legacy systems can take up to months to install and deploy, creating a costly capital expenditure burden on the satellite ground network operators. Additionally, once these antennas are installed – they stay there for the rest of their serviceable life. LINKS™ was invented to alleviate all of these obstacles, and then some.

LINKS™ is the paradigm-shifting alternative to traditional parabolic dishes, researched and developed by ATLAS. The system is the first commercially available, mobile, rapidly deployable electronically steered array RF ground system in the world. The array, capable of S and X-Band, automatically integrates into ATLAS’ proprietary Freedom™ Software Platform. Creating a software-defined antenna system capable of supporting satellite communications, as well as other RF applications, such as detection, tracking, and exploitation.

LINKS™ stands only 20 inches high and 26 inches corner to corner. This revolutionary design makes way for an agile, responsive system capable of providing high data flow in operationally limited environments. The days of pouring concrete and building expensive mechanical pedestals are now a thing of the past. The four LINKS™ units deployed in Albuquerque took a single day to install and link up to the Freedom™ Software Platform within seconds of activation.

“I am extremely proud of the whole team at ATLAS for achieving this significant milestone. What it represents for the satellite industry is a complete departure from traditional space to ground communications. At ATLAS we innovate to change the game.” Said Sean McDaniel, CEO of ATLAS. “What we have delivered here is innovation where it’s needed most, finally giving the industry access to an electronically steered, multi-band, multi-satellite capable ground system. Some people in this industry have referred to this as the “Holy Grail” of satellite communications. I view this achievement as a defining moment for ATLAS and frankly the entire industry. This is only the beginning.”

Operationally, the four-unit LINKS™ system, which now sits atop an office building, offers ATLAS customers with similar capabilities afforded by a mid-sized parabolic antenna. With no moving parts required, the system provides a higher gain than a parabolic antenna, while simultaneously tracking multiple satellites at a single time – reducing costs, and scheduling conflicts for satellite operators.

“LINKS™ leverages leaps forward in computing and networking technology to eliminate the need for a large parabolic signal concentrator.” Said ATLAS Chief Engineer Steve Gaines. “We are witnessing first hand, an example of advancement in one technological field directly pollinating a leap forward in another area. While electronically steered apertures have been around for some time, this is a first-of-its-kind application, explosively widening communications options for current and future satellite operators.”

Currently, ATLAS’ Freedom Network™ consists of 21 operational and planned antennas globally employing their proprietary Freedom™ Software Platform. The Freedom Network™ is capable of securely handling both commercial and U.S. civil spacecraft, allowing operators to communicate with their satellites by reducing their capital expenditures at every ground entry point.

Spread the awesome news!

Explore More News & Updates

Ground Segment Value Chain Infographic

Ground Segment Value Chain

Ground service providers offer a range of services from simple rack space to commodity hardware accessed by a VPN tunnel. However, it is worth evaluating the entirety of the chain with respect to the work your team will have to perform to integrate. If you are launching your first test spacecraft, and need 2 full time engineers to perform integration with ground providers, it can dramatically affect your costs. As a result, you have to ask yourself: what will I get in return from each ground service provider?

Read More »
ATLAS Space Operations has been awarded a NOAA IDIQ multi-year contract for Ground Station as a Service (GSaaS) solutions.

ATLAS Awarded NOAA IDIQ Contract For GSaaS Services

ATLAS Space Operations announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded it an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for space communication services. The multi-year, multi-million dollar contract will use ATLAS to provide Ground Station as a Service (GSaaS) capabilities to power NOAA missions using ATLAS’ Freedom™ Software and its Global Antenna Network.

Read More »
ATLAS Wins Defense Innovation Unit Award for Unified Federated Network

ATLAS Wins Defense Innovation Unit Award for Unified Federated Network

ATLAS Space Operations announced that the Defense Innovation Unit awarded it the Hybrid Space Architecture (HSA) contract to demonstrate a federated network. Leveraging its operational experience and prior development activity, the HSA capability represents a major advancement in network management, which is particularly meaningful for aging communications infrastructure.

Read More »