As the space industry experiences disruption not seen since the original space race of the 1960s, numerous companies are gearing up to provide space-based capabilities with new risk profiles, increased volumes, and decreased costs. Established businesses are adapting to take advantage of these opportunities.

Whether it’s high-throughput satellite (HTS) microwave payloads or telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C), design and validation tools from Keysight provide greater assurance that your satellite and its subsystems work the first time, every time, for the duration of the mission.

Report: Opportunities, Innovations & Challenges in Space Tech

Global players in the space tech ecosystem told us about the challenges, opportunities, and trends they see in 2023.

Our research and interviews with industry executives and engineers worldwide revealed their scope and nature —and what they mean for your business. Here are the highlights:

  • Current market landscape and most important trends
  • Top satellite applications driving market growth
  • Top enabling technologies, technology trends, and novel solutions
  • What space technology leaders consider to be the top challenges and barriers
Satellite Industry Revolution graphic

Performance Over The Life Cycle

Reduced launch costs and the advancement of reusable rockets drive today’s satellite industry revolution. The lower barrier to entry allows the rapid development of lower earth orbit (LEO) constellations comprising hundreds or thousands of satellites. Demand for bandwidth also surges with innovations in terrestrial technologies such as 5G, the connected car, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart homes and cities. A rising number of high-throughput satellites must transfer a vast amount of data.

In the path to new satellite development, every step is crucial — from design and simulation to verification and manufacturing through deployment. Keysight will help you accelerate the speed of design, test, and manufacturing while maintaining a high quality of service.

Digitalize Your Workflow and Accelerate Your Mission

Win the race to design and deploy satellite technologies and systems. Download our white paper and learn how digital engineering techniques and model-based engineering methods can accelerate development and reduce your risk and costs.

  • Reduce costly satellite system re-design with digital twin models
  • Improve models throughout the product lifecycle to further increase your design confidence and reduce risks
  • Take a look at the example provided for high-power, solid-state power amplifiers (SSPA) used in satellite ground stations
Engineer on computer
Channel Simulation and Emulation

Channel Simulation and Emulation

Providing real-world conditions for satellite communications requires state-of-the-art software and hardware support. SystemVue software integrates with other applications to quantify system-level performance metrics under realistic signaling and environmental conditions, including 3D kinetic scenario modeling with terrain-accurate Doppler and fading through integration with AGI's System Tool Kit (STK) Software;

PROPSIM Channel Emulation hardware allows you to create realistic, real-time propagation environments. Create high-velocity test environments found in low Earth orbits (LEO) in the lab that meet requirements for the highest levels of Doppler, fading, delay, and additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN); with accurate, realistic, and repeatable test conditions.

Design Verification and Component Test

The move from low- to high-volume production of complex satellite systems is a challenge specific to LEO constellations. The testing of today's electronic systems benefits from high‑performance test equipment — analog and vector signal generators, spectrum analyzers, vector signal analyzers, vector network analyzers, and more. You can simulate the entire RF channel from ground station to ground station, and test precision hardware components via hardware in the loop (HWIL). In either case, our solutions are ready for your complex test applications.

You no longer need to introduce more risk to lower test costs. Process-based design and test reduce test time and cost without sacrificing operational confidence.

Bridge Digital and RF Domains

High-performance phased-array antennas feature the versatility needed to secure connections and enable sensing capabilities. These sophisticated antenna systems integrate digital signals in the RF front-end architecture to meet size, weight, and power plus cost (SWaP+C) requirements. New challenges demand that engineers ensure wide bandwidth in higher frequency operations, process large amounts of digital data, and verify performance characteristics earlier in the design process.

Keysight’s digital wideband transceiver test solution compares digital and RF signals between device input and output. In doing so, it unveils radio frequency (RF) performance characteristics of mixed-digital RF devices.

System and Signal Monitoring

Satellite ground station installation and maintenance (I&M) requires a wide range of RF/microwave tests up to mmW frequencies. Keysight's handheld microwave analyzers have the functionality of up to 20 instruments which reduces the pieces of heavy test equipment that you need to take to the field.

The N6820ES Signal Surveyor 4D software enables observation of spectrum use with advanced energy detection, triggers, and automatic alarm tasking.

Fieldfox and user rain field test

Satellite Signals and Communications

Satellites are designed to send and receive signals; for simple telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) of the satellite itself, to the broadcast of audio and video content, or as part of a modern high-throughput satellite (HTS) or 5G communications network.

Keysight products allow you to generate and analyze video signals DVB-S/S2/S2X, standard or custom communication signals like: custom IQ, OFDM, and 5G from dc to V-band and beyond. These tools are necessary to test the entire satellite system. These products also let you debug everything from sensor data on the controller area network (CAN) bus, to cutting-edge low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS), or SpaceWire signaling in a digitally channelized or regenerative satellite.

Satellite Power Systems

A satellite must generate, store, and manage all of its power requirements throughout its operational lifetime. Proper analysis of power generation, storage, and usage in a satellite is an essential part of the system test.

During satellite testing, it is seldom possible to use actual solar arrays to provide power. Two of the reasons for this are obvious; there is no direct sunlight in a test bay, and it is not practical to test outside. Solar array simulators provide repeatability and controllability that make it possible to simulate the effects of varying operating conditions — light intensity, temperature, shadow, eclipse — at multiple operating points and achieve consistent results.

Keysight Satellite Power Systems
Keysight Reengineering Services


The space industry transformation by market and technology forces brings new opportunities for growth and challenges. Keysight offers a powerful combination of industry-leading solutions, technical expertise, and transformation experience. We will help you achieve remarkable results to meet your key business objectives.

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