Planet has announced the completion of ground tests for its role as a subcontractor on the NASA Communications Services Project (CSP). The company worked in partnership with SES Space & Defense and Telesat Government Solutions for this project.
The first ground demonstration took place in late August in Mountain View, California, using a user terminal and SES’ NSS-9 satellite in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). Planet utilized its own designed flight representative radios, custom spread spectrum waveforms, and both omni and directional antennas for this successful demonstration.
The ground test validated the radio and antenna design, link margin, data rates, and latency, marking an important step towards offering real-time connectivity solutions with Planet’s satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). The aim is to provide ubiquitous low data rate intersatellite links using Geostationary Orbit (GEO) C-band beams.
Kiruthika Devaraj, the Vice President of Avionics and Spacecraft at Planet, expressed the significance of this milestone in advancing their plans to provide timely insights to their customers.
The NASA CSP project aims to utilize commercial providers to develop high-rate and high-capacity two-way communications to replace the aging Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) constellation. The TDRS constellation currently provides information relay services to the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, and other missions. The resulting satcom systems will be designed to meet the requirements of NASA missions as well as commercial customers.
In August 2022, SES and Telesat chose Planet as a subcontractor for their CSP projects.