Commercial communication satellite operators face a difficult challenge. In the rapidly evolving global telecommunications industry, entire market segments can emerge, thrive, change and disappear during the 15-year on-orbit lifetime of a modern communication satellite.
To address these changing needs, it is desirable to have a communications payload that can reconfigure its antenna beam patterns after the spacecraft is placed on orbit. This capability has the added benefit of allowing satellite operators to use a single satellite design for multiple orbit slots, simplifying sparing and reducing the operator’s overall satellite acquisition cost.
This on-orbit flexibility, however, must be achieved within the stringent constraints of size, mass, cost, power consumption, reliability and technical risk. Ferrite switch networks, which Honeywell excels at producing, are the most efficient way to provide this capability.