To deliver the next generation of satellite services, spacecraft operators are increasingly using high-throughput payloads with larger bandwidths at higher frequencies. Characterizing transponder performance such as SNR, SFDR, and flatness over hundreds of MHz or several GHz, can be very difficult for OEMs and equally challenging for suppliers of test and measurement equipment.

The architecture of a high-throughput payload is shown below, and satellite manufacturers are looking for a measurement solution that will allow them to generate wideband, microwave carriers to test their transponders, as well as broadband, RF receiver to characterize the performance of the payload transmitter.  

An AWG is a universal signal source and is first used to generate a series of single tones at different frequencies to measure the payload’s receiver in-band SNR, harmonic, and spurious performance. Rajan Bedi, (Spacechips) discovered the Proteus arbitrary waveform transceivers (AWT) from Tabor Electronics.

For the white paper>>