Communications Systems Testing

On-orbit operation of nanosat communications links is complicated and not easily replicated on the ground. Issues such as range loss, ionospheric scintillation, Doppler shift, and RF interference significantly complicate the process. SDL’s specialized SmallSat Verification & Validation Lab, designed specifically for test and validation of nanosat systems, reduces communications risk during the mission.


  • Specializing in high-speed nanosat downlinks
  • Cabled and over-the air testing
  • Antenna performance characterization
  • Ability to simulate the following effects on communication links:
    • Range loss
    • Doppler shift
    • Ionospheric scintillation
    • Ground or space based RF interference



Deep Space Radio

A unique deep space communications architecture designed to relay mission data to NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN).


Dynamic Ionosphere CubeSat Experiment

Twin CubeSats mapped the geomagnetic Storm Enhanced Density (SED) plasma bulge and plume formations in Earth’s ionosphere.


Auroral Spatial Structures Probe

ASSP was designed to measure the spatial and temporal variation of the energy flow in the upper atmosphere in and around the aurora to better understand global temperature changes in the thermosphere.


Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter

The HARP instrument is a wide field-of-view hyper-angular imaging polarimeter designed to characterize aerosol and cloud properties.

Spacecraft Platform

SDL’s spacecraft platform is a set of standard and customizable components that can be assembled into multiple mission configurations while minimizing non-recurring engineering costs and development schedules.

Various DoD Programs