R&D Magazine named the system developed in collaboration with NASA as one of the 100 most significant U.S. technology innovations of 2013.
Ka-band frequency technologies provide high-speed broadband connectivity for data, digital video and audio transmission. The Harris/NASA team developed the first space-qualified, software-defined radio that operates in the high-capacity Ka-band frequency range, setting the stage for replacing unique fixed-function mission radios with in-orbit, reprogrammable, multi-waveform software defined radios.
The Harris/NASA software-defined radio is already in use. It is operational on the International Space Station and was successfully reprogrammed, demonstrating high-speed data transmissions through the NASA tracking data relay satellite system.
Harris said that for the system it leveraged its AppSTAR reconfigurable payload architecture, which enables ground mission planners to reconfigure and a radio's functions during a mission by uploading or modifying software.