Rakon launches new equipment for space

Headquartered in Auckland, Rakon is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of frequency control products and timing solutions. Its products can be found at the heart of many applications, from 5G networks and satellites, to even vehicles on Mars.

Its latest technology is a series of NewSpace equipment for platforms and telecommunications payloads. The range includes NewSpace GNSS receivers and S-band transceivers designed for smallsat platforms, data communications and transmissions. It also features master reference oscillators (MRO) and master local oscillators (MLO), which can be delivered as an integrated frequency generation unit (FGU).

This equipment is the recent evolution of Rakon’s “high-reliability frequency control products and timing solutions for the space industry”.

NewSpace MRO

The NewSpace MRO is designed for applications that require high stability and reliable 10 MHz to 1 GHz frequency signals. The equipment is suitable for Telecom satellites of Low Earth Orbit (LEO), small Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO) and satellite constellations.

Key features:

  • High-frequency stability with an overall frequency stability guarantee of ±200 ppb for 12 years
  • Low phase noise with a floor noise as low as -160 dBc/Hz for a 10 MHz unit
  • A choice of power bus of 28 V or 50/75 V
  • A distribution unit with blocks of eight outputs

NewSpace MLO

This piece of modular equipment is designed for applications that require highly reliable signals from 500 MHz up to 40 GHz. It is also suitable for high-frequency Telecom satellites of LEO, small GEO and satellite constellations.

Key features:

  • High frequency output signal from 20 to 40 GHz
  • Low phase noise (-130 dBc/Hz floor noise for a 1 GHz unit)
  • Integrated DC/DC converter
  • TM/TC interface module
  • Frequency distribution unit with blocks of eight outputs

GNSS receiver

The GNSS receiver is an “easy to customise multi-constellation, multi-frequency and multi-antenna piece of equipment”. The company says it is off-the-shelf compliant with Galileo and GPS signals, and its design can be adjusted to take into account new constellations or new signals on request.

Key features:

  • Warm/cold TTFF: <10s / < 100 s
  • High position accuracy (800km): < 8 cm
  • Up to 48 channels
  • 1PPS signal output
  • Power consumption: up to 5W
  • Supply voltage: 5 V
  • In-orbit reconfiguration

S-band transceiver

This is a low SWaP (size, weight and power) full-duplex piece of equipment. Designed for tracking, telemetry and command (TT&C) and high data rate communications between satellites or between satellites and ground stations, it operates over commercial frequency ranges and only needs passive external antennas to be fully operational.

Key features:

  • Full duplex communication
  • In-flight re-configurable frequency range (Tx/Rx)
  • In-flight re-configurable data rate
  • Triple safety watchdog
  • Low power consumption (<12W on Tx)
  • Max. Tx & Rx baud rate: 5 Mbps
  • CAN-bus and RS-422 interfaces to onboard systems
  • RF output power of up to 33 dBm (2W)
  • Supply voltage range: 5-28 VDC

This new range of equipment will support emerging NewSpace payloads and platforms with cost-effective and short lead-time solutions.