NASA has selected the U.S.-incorporated subsidiary of Telesat to demonstrate the potential of its satellite-based broadband connectivity network to provide space-to-space relay capabilities to support communications for future near-Earth missions.
Telesat Government Solutions said Tuesday it received $30.7 million in funding from the Communications Services Project to co-develop space-based radio frequency terminals that will be hosted on two Earth observation spacecraft.
The RF terminals will transmit data in Ka-band frequency to Telesat-operated satellites located at a higher altitude.
The company will also demonstrate space relay connectivity between optically-linked low-Earth orbit satellites before downlinking data to ground NASA operation centers.
The NASA CSP program aims to evaluate the possibility of using commercial satellite communications networks to support future space missions as the space agency works to decommission its legacy Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.