Space Commerce

ETL Systems hails the dawn of a new digital era for the ground segment

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
ETL Systems
March 14, 2023
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ETL Systems hails the dawn of a new digital era for the ground segment
ETL Systems

ETL Systems, the global manufacturer of RF systems and components, has launched Genus Digital at SATELLITE 2023 to enable government and defence organisations, satellite operators, broadcasters and telcos to fully or partially digitise the analogue signal in their satellite ground segments.

The company, which is synonymous with innovation, has invested significantly to develop Genus Digital, its Digital IF product.

The new technology will enable customers to improve operational flexibility, resilience and redundancy by making it possible to sample analogue signals then transport them as IP packets for reconstruction at another location. This is a key requirement for interfacing to a virtual environment as the virtualization movement within the ground segment gains pace.

One of the many benefits of Digital IF is the flexibility it will allow, enabling the physical decoupling of antennas from modems. Being able to geographically separate system elements, with no impact on signal quality, enables ‘behind the wire’ encryption, reducing the risk of exposure – a key requirement for defence organisations.

Working as part of the Digital Intermediate Frequency Interoperability (DIFI) Consortium, ETL Systems has ensured that the technology aligns with an open, interoperable Digital IF/RF standard.

Genus Digital can work alongside existing analogue ground station infrastructure, enabling operators to gradually move to Digital IF, or to utilise it for selected signals alongside traditional analogue signal processing. Sold as an individual component rather than a turnkey solution, it facilitates easier re-routing of signals via IP addressing, as well as removing the need for specific fibre types required for RF over Fibre.

Simon Swift, Engineering Director – Digital Technologies at ETL Systems and Vice Chair of the DIFI working group, said:

“We are incredibly excited to launch Genus Digital at SATELLITE 2023. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work from our fantastic team of engineers at ETL, who have invested a huge amount of time, dedication and expertise into the product development.

“As the virtualisation of the ground station continues at pace, Genus Digital will provide operators with the flexibility to deploy new waveforms and, in conjunction with the implementation of virtual instruments, to monitor any signal from anywhere.”

At launch, Genus Digital is able to digitize 4 channels of 500MHz bandwidth (providing a total 2GHz of instantaneous bandwidth). These 4 channels form the core of the Genus Digital modular product.

Swift added: “As the product evolves, it will grow in capability, scope and scale. There’s going to be more channels so that we’ll be able to add greater bandwidth capability into a single unit of our product – for example, running multiple quad band antennas through a single modular box.”

ETL Systems will be exhibiting at SATELLITE 2023. Find out more here:

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