Paradise launches new QubeFlex satellite modem for CubeSat/Smallsat/LEO applications

July 11, 2017

Paradise has today launched the QubeFlex, a software-defined satellite modem designed specifically for CubeSat and Smallsat Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) applications. The QubeFlex is suitable for a wide range of applications including earth and weather observation, oil and gas exploration, space research and space telemetry. The rapidly expanding smallsat market has been characterised by a plethora of ad-hoc comms systems involving repeated reinvention of the wheel. The growing commercialisation of this sector has created the need for a professional off-the-shelf solution that provides fast time-to-market and end-to-end communications. New applications require much higher data rates than have previously been available. With our partners, we provide both the onboard and ground-based communications and even simplify onward processing and storage of the received data. Put simply, the QubeFlex™ replaces the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach to smallsat comms with the convenience of plug-and-play.


The QubeFlex™ has been carefully designed to match the need of LEO applications. The demodulator will acquire and remain locked to the signal even when faced with the largest Doppler frequency shifts caused by fast-moving LEO satellites. In addition to IF and L-band support, S-band signals can be demodulated directly without the need for any further down conversion. The QubeFlex™ supports CCSDS telemetry and other common space transmission and packet standards. Forward error correction ensures data is protected against transmission loss. High data rates ensure maximum data can be received on each satellite pass. Demodulator output is formatted for convenient onward computer processing and storage.


Director of Engineering, Colin Mackay, commented: ‘This is our third new modem launch is as many weeks and underscores Teledyne’s investment power and continued commitment to meeting the needs of the satellite industry. Why new modems and why now? Well, user applications are becoming increasingly diverse and this trend is set to continue. We therefore needed to balance our existing portfolio of fairly general-purpose products with new products that are much more application-oriented. Our software-defined modem technology can easily be adapted to meet new needs. The QubeFlex™ is a good example. It addresses the concerns of LEO users, including the CubeSat community, who want to move on from the existing low data rate, lossy radio comms and ad-hoc approach that have characterised a large part of this sector. We believe that the QubeFlex™ is ideally suited to meeting these emerging needs and will provide a much better quality of service, while also taking into account the severe onboard size, weight and power restrictions that affect smallsats. Our partners provide CubeSat-compatible onboard comms that provide full interoperability, so between us we offer an end-to-end solution including the ground-based data capture.’


A datasheet for the QubeFlex™ can be found here.