15/02/20212 Minutes

Satellite Systems Optimization: The Next Frontier in Size, Weight, and Power

Innovation in electronics manufacturing means that satellite system engineers leverage a wide range of tools to apply to the design and development of highly advanced systems, achieving reduced ground segment form-factors, and reduced space segment launch costs through combining reduced satellite mass and volume with increased power. Reaching the Next Frontier in Size, Weight and Power (or SWaP) is being achieved through the twin pilllars of Very High Density Integrated Circuits and new methods for embedding COTS components.

This specialised session Spotlighted the challenges and solutions behind the fundamental shift in space systems wherein circuit densification, embedded components and hybrid assemblies are enabling the virtuous circle of decreasing launch costs > more satellites launched more often > reduced redundancies > reduced mass and volume > further reducing launch cost.

Beginning with presentation slides covering: How reductions in launch costs are impacting system design; Circuit densification for SWaP reduction; Design strategy: embedding components; Design strategy: hybrid assemblies; and, Advances for mobile ground terminals, our Benchmark experts then responded to moderator and live audience questions, beginning with an exploration of the trade-offs of hybrid assemblies versus the difficulties of manufacturing processes.

Discussion then turned to the question of reduced requirements for redundant systems whilst maintaining reliability and long operating life in cubesats, specifically referencing m-SAP circuits, mixed materials and very dense topologies, and ensuring design reliability and conformity to design standards.

Audience questions ranged from the general, such as evaluating the effect of the pandemic crisis on manufacturing component supply chains; to the specific, such as defining precisely what influences circuit densities achieveable with m-SAP, quantification of power consumption savings, Europe-based testing of Space Qualified Payoad Electronics, and Benchmark’s work beyond RF.

If you missed the live broadcast catch-up with the recording here.