Kratos and Kymeta to integrate advanced antenna technologies with software-defined ground systems
Kymeta, the communications company making mobile global, and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading national security and space solutions provider, has announced a strategic partnership to jointly develop products and solutions that will enable modern, virtualized ground systems to better leverage the capabilities of next generation mobile satellite antennas.
Among the broader goals of the partnership are to advance the ability of ground systems to support, leverage, manage, and control electronically-steered and multi-purpose antennas to better support the capabilities of software-defined and multi-beam satellites. This effort will initially focus on joint development of a software-defined remote terminal that will support a variety of dynamic satellite connectivity applications, including support for multi-orbit use cases where connectivity to LEO, MEO, and GEO satellites through the same antenna are desirable.
The space industry is immersed in a renaissance, driven by technology breakthroughs such as small satellites, proliferated low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations, software-defined payloads, multi-orbit services, and more. On the ground, commensurate advances in satellite networks are occurring, as witnessed by the growth of ground-as-a-service providers, mobile communications-on-the-move, and virtualized ground systems. These advances at both ends of the space/ground connection mean that satellite systems must come to act more dynamically, adapting on-the-fly to changing needs, conditions, service levels, and business or mission requirements.
“Today’s modem/antenna interface assumes an analog, static, one-for-one relationship at a time when the space layer has evolved to include highly dynamic multi-orbit networks and software-defined payloads,” said Greg Quiggle, Vice President of Space Product Management at Kratos “Remote terminals must digitally transform, embracing the unique capabilities of electronically steered antennas (ESA) and universal customer premise equipment (uCPE) to dynamically enable multi-beam, multi-band, and multi-use at the network edge.”
The Digitally-Transformed Remote Terminal will combine a Kymeta ESA with a software-defined uCPE based on Kratos OpenSpace technology, all in a unified terminal package. The OpenSpace Platform is the first and only commercially available software-defined and orchestrated ground system that allows satellite and communications operators to advance the digital transformation of their satellite networks.
“Kymeta is excited to partner with Kratos, a leader in the space network virtualization revolution, to jointly develop a digital ground terminal that leverages the Kymeta u8 antenna technology,” said Lilac Muller, Kymeta’s Vice President of Product Management. “The Kymeta u8 is a software-defined platform that unlocks the potential of future capabilities in both terrestrial and space-based networks in geostationary and non-geostationary orbits.”
In order to deliver a solution that dynamically adapts to changes at the space layer while also supporting multiple functions at the network’s edge, the jointly developed products will conform to industry standards, including the IEEE-ISTO Std 4900-2021: Digital IF Interoperability Standard, v1.0 from the Digital IF Interoperability (DIFI) Consortium (DIFI). Both companies believe that common standards are essential for the space industry to realize the opportunities on the horizon and to advance the industry’s integration with the larger global communications infrastructure. Both are founding members of DIFI, an independent organization created to develop and promote standards for interoperability in space and satellite systems.