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.