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Northrop's SharkSat Payload Transmits Telemetry Data Back to Ground; Candace Givens Quoted

Candace Givens VP Northrop Grumman
Candace Givens, VP, Northrop Grumman

The Northrop Grumman-built SharkSat payload collected and transmitted performance and telemetry data back to mission controllers while orbiting the Earth during a two-week demonstration aboard the company's Cygnus spacecraft in January.

SharkSat offered insight into the functioning of its multiprocessor architecture and other electronic components that could be used to develop a Ka-band software defined radio that could have potential applications in 5G, cognitive and autonomous systems, space-to-ground and space-to-space communications, Northrop said Monday.

“SharkSat's success directly reflects the speed and agility that our team put forth to deliver mission success,“ said Candace Givens, vice president of payload and ground systems division at Northrop.

The demonstration also helped validate the ability to incorporate new software into an in-flight satellite through a terrestrial ground station and test the resilience of technologies via the South Atlantic Anomaly, a space region that appears to cause communication disruptions to orbiting satellites.

The two-week demonstration was performed after Cygnus departed the International Space Station after a three-month stay at the orbiting laboratory.

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