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Akash wins approval for GaN-on-Diamond Satellite Launch

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Launch will demonstrate over 5Gbps downlink speeds from a 10W 3U radio transmitter

Akash Systems, a company focused on next generation mini satellites, has been granted an Experimental Special Temporary Authority (STA) license from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a satellite launch featuring its proprietary GaN-on-Diamond transmitter technology.

The GaN-on-Diamond technology will be integrated into a Ka-band (17.2 to 20.2 GHz) 3U radio transmitter and launched in a 12U CubeSat allowing for new levels of data transmission for customers to increase capacity and reduce end-user costs.

“Taking the lead in the satellite communications industry, this demo will showcase the use of our proprietary GaN-on-Diamond Radio Frequency (RF) amplifier technology,” said Co-founder, CEO and GaN-on-Diamond Inventor Felix Ejeckam. “Beyond the capability to handle the increasing demands of today’s extreme data throughput, we are confident future adoption of the system will drive down end-user costs to levels never before seen.”

The company’s satellite launch will demonstrate the transmitter’s capability to handle more than 5Gbps downlink speeds from a 10W 3U radio transmitter. Tentatively slated for early 2020, the launch will validate the data rates, reliability and space-qualification readiness of the GaN-on-Diamond transmitter technology. The new technology enables a smaller, lighter and higher performing satellite that will pave the way to lower launch costs, reduced cost-per-bit, more launch cycles, and increased communications access around the earth.

“Anyone buying our solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) to transmit data to or from space will be interested in the space worthiness and reliability of our SSPA products,” said Jeanette Quinlan, director of space systems, Akash Systems. “This launch helps us capture that worthiness and reliability data for them.”

Akash will continue to focus on scaling up and qualifying its GaN-on-Diamond Power Amplifier product line, offering customers products with higher frequencies that will be announced in the months ahead.

The picture above is an artist’s rendering of Akash Systems’ McNair 12U CubeSat. Photo Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

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