Inmarsat Government Selects Rocket Lab to Develop L-Band Radio for NASA Communication Services Project – Parabolic Arc


LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced today having been selected by Inmarsat Government as a partner to develop and manufacture an L-band radio in support of NASA’s Communication Services Project (CSP). CSP seeks to accelerate the development of commercial near-Earth communications services by partnering with satellite communications providers (SATCOM). Rocket Lab will help enable Inmarsat’s InCommand, a real-time, near-Earth telemetry, command and control (TT&C) service for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites for CSP with the new Frontier-L radio of the company connecting to Inmarsat’s ELERA global L-band network in geosynchronous orbit (GEO).

As NASA prepares to decommission the agency-owned and operated Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), which provided communication for the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and many satellites of NASA Earth Observation, CSP aims to leverage commercial satellite communications services to ensure that future NASA missions have similar reliable, secure, and high-performance space relay capabilities.

Rocket Lab’s Frontier-L radio is a transmitter that will support Inmarsat government demonstrations of a variety of TT&C applications, enabled by Inmarsat’s ELERA global L-band network, including the launch and launch phase. early exploitation (LEOP), ubiquitous command and control, real-time missions and contingency operations for LEO orbiting satellites.

“Rocket Lab and the Inmarsat Government both share a culture of innovation, pioneering technology and reliable mission success, so we are honored to work together to support NASA in this vital project to enable major missions of the future. “said the founder of Rocket Lab. and CEO, Peter Beck. “We look forward to building on the strong heritage of our Frontier radios by supporting Inmarsat’s world-renowned satellite network and core satcom-as-a-service capabilities. »

Frontier-L joins Rocket Lab’s existing line of radios, including Frontier-S S-band and Frontier-X X-band telemetry, tracking, and software-defined command radios, which can support near missions from Earth and in deep space. Based on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Frontier radio, Frontier-L bundles Deep Space Network (DSN) and other typical waveforms (SN, KSAT, SSC) in a compact package with enhanced commercial components for high reliability applications. The Frontier by Rocket Lab family of radios includes extensive features not typically available in a low cost radio, including a coherent transponder to enable radiometric navigation methods, precision timing functions, encoding and decoding of forward error correction (FEC) and hardware-based critical control. decoder (CCD).

Steve Gizinski, Chairman of the Government of Inmarsat, said: “The Government of Inmarsat has partnered with leading suppliers to the space industry to demonstrate the capabilities of Inmarsat’s global and reliable ELERA satellite network, including NASA Communications Services Project and Rocket Lab is a key partner for us. . Rocket Lab’s Frontier-L radio will leverage InCommand on the ELERA network as an important new ubiquitous command and control capability to improve the operation of spacecraft in low Earth orbit. This will enable new communication services for industry and government. »

+ ABOUT Rocket Lab

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. We provide reliable launch services, satellite manufacturing, spacecraft components and in-orbit management solutions that make getting into space faster, easier and more affordable. Based in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the small Electron orbital launch vehicle, the Photon satellite platform, and the company is developing the large Neutron launch vehicle for constellation deployment. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most launched U.S. rocket each year and has delivered 151 satellites into orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling national security, scientific research and space debris mitigation. , Earth observation, climate monitoring and communications. Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft platform has been selected to support NASA missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private commercial mission to Venus. Rocket Lab has three launch pads at two launch sites, including two launch pads at a private orbital launch site in New Zealand and a second launch site in Virginia, USA, which is expected to become operational in 2022. To learn more, visit www.


The United States Government has relied on and trusted Inmarsat Satellite Services since 1979. The Inmarsat Government continues to provide the world’s most advanced global mobile satellite communications services to United States agencies of Defense, Intelligence, Homeland Security , public safety and civilian, with highly reliable, secure and affordable connectivity services. By implementing solutions with government users in mind, Inmarsat Government provides resilient and flexible capabilities to complement government satellite resources anytime, anywhere. Built on a scalable, industry-leading multi-band network infrastructure, Inmarsat Government offers a suite of managed network services and end-to-end communications solutions to support users on land, at sea and in the air. , even in the most remote areas of the world. Based in Reston, Virginia, Inmarsat Government is a wholly owned subsidiary of Inmarsat Group Holdings Limited.


Inmarsat provides leading, innovative, advanced and exceptionally reliable global mobile communications around the world – in the air, at sea and on land – that enable a new generation of commercial, government and mission-critical services. Inmarsat is driving the digitalization of the maritime industry, making operations more efficient and safer than ever. It ushers in a new era of in-flight passenger services for aviation, while ensuring aircraft can fly with maximum efficiency and safety. Additionally, Inmarsat is enabling the rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and enabling the next wave of game-changing technologies that will underpin the connected society and help build a sustainable future. And now, Inmarsat is developing the first multidimensional communication network of the future, ORCHESTRA.

In November 2021, Inmarsat and Viasat announced plans to combine the two companies to create a new leader in global communications.


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