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Safran Data Systems is virtualizing its modems and making plans for the ground segment of tomorrow with the French government recovery plan

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Safran Data Systems is part of the selected consortium of the “Virtualized Ground Segment” call for proposal. Safran Data Systems will benefit from it and will accelerate the development of "NuRoN" software modems product line, and make antennas operable from the Cloud.

A part of the French recovery plan dedicated to Space

Operated by CNES, the "Space" component of the "France Relance" recovery plan focuses on 5 topics whose goal is to meet the identified needs of the French Space industry (from large groups to startups), both in terms of technology and time to market (launchers and orbital systems, virtualized ground segment, terminals,…). This financial support accelerates innovation and prepare French Space companies for the evolutions of their markets.

 

"Ground segment virtualization" call for proposal

Safran Data Systems is part of the selected consortium of the “Virtualized Ground Segment” call for proposal. Safran Data Systems will benefit from it and will accelerate the development of "NuRoN" software modems product line, and make antennas operable from the Cloud.

This call for projects aims to create a French offer of flexible ground segment and Cloud infrastructure dedicated to space. As a recognized world leader in radio processing and space access equipment, Safran Data Systems will upgrade its antennas, modems and digitizers, and make the Proof of Concept that it is possible to operate this equipment from a Cloud-type infrastructure. By enabling the operation of a network of ground antennas from the Cloud, Safran Data Systems implements a major development in the ground segment: the virtualization of radio processing; that is, the relocation of processing operations that are mainly carried out today on electronic devices close to the antennas.

 

NuRoN: the birth of a range of products dedicated to the ground segment of tomorrow

The NuRoN product line was born out of Safran Data Systems' desire to support new space players, and to make the processing operations and tools provided by Cortex modems more accessible. Cortex is the industry standard product for the space operations, especially for satellite Command and Control (TT&C), and its value is driven by state-of-the-art electronics performing the most complex processing operations. These processing operations, which have build Cortex’s reputation of reliability and performance, can now run on resources already owned by customers, thanks to NuRoN. From a simple laptop, datacenter or client’s chosen public/private Cloud service, the new NuRoN software modems are designed to process signals at ever greater speeds, in locations that are physically separate from the antennas where those signals are received and digitized.

Safran Data Systems will also develop a new generation of very high-bandwidth digitizers for integration directly into the antennas. In combination with its range of software modems, Safran Data Systems will provide Europe with a complete solution for the acquisition of space data to and from trusted clouds, such as GAIA-X initiative for example.

 

A sustainable offer in response to new challenges

This new offer can help rationalize the on-site need for electronic equipment and make use of the IT equipment and infrastructure already owned by our customers. This will help reduce dependence on electronic components which are increasingly difficult to source, and often sourced from outside the EU.

Lastly, the flexibility of such a "virtualized" ground segment will provide greater freedom in locating the processing for critical missions. In situations where processing had previously been performed near the antenna in remote locations, often entailing complex logistics in terms of personnel and equipment (e.g. for control centers), it will now be possible to site information processing and decision-making in the most logical locations. The entire philosophy behind this future ground segment virtualization offer is to enable organizational structures that are more economical in terms of equipment and human travel, and thus, more sustainable.

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