Digital RF-SCOE

Framework of Reprogrammable SDR-based EGSE Radio Systems

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

The RF SCOE, which is the industry-standard solution to test the radio frequency sub-systems of a satellite, is currently a major business of the Atos - Space and Avionics unit. Costs for RF SCOE systems are most of the time dominated by expensive COTS radio instrumentation, which is resold as part of the EGSE systems.

Besides their costs, most of the time they provide a plethora of functions not needed by the EGSE and their integration into the system is time and space-consuming, as well as complex to achieve.

Contents and goals

To avoid such downsides, we envisage to implement a standard and consistent framework of reconfigurable and reprogrammable EGSE radio systems (Digital RF SCOE), which provides overall cost competitiveness, and fulfil the requirement of state-of-the-art EGSE systems. Targeted EGSE components are expected to have a 60-80% reduction in functional complexity with respect to their COTS counterparts.


The Digital RF SCOE exploits SDR (Software-defined Radio) technology to implement functional elements of EGSE systems, which to this day used to be allocated to expensive RF Instrumentation like, but not limited to, Spectrum Analysers, Power Sensors, Signal Generators, and Up- and Down-Converters.

The key advantage of SDR systems is to replace several dedicated hardware components, various processing platforms, and generalized signal processing modules and reporting tools with a unified platform. It is envisaged to perform rapid prototyping and advanced implementation of Satellite testing and monitoring systems using SDR technology.

Airbus DS in Friedrichshafen is currently accessing their traditional RF SCOE requirements if they are still applicable for their telecom, navigation and earth observation satellite AIT, or if they can be relaxed such that they can met by a Digital RF-SCOE. Airbus is very much interested into the output of this activity and a follow-up product development and would prefer to use such a Digital RF-SCOE already for the Galileo Transition Batch and Gen 2. In the market of traditional satellite manufactures (Airbus DS, TAS, OHB) a Digital RF-SCOE would help us to secure and extend our RF-SCOE business.

For a Mega-constellation of Small satellites or CubeSats, the operating frequency is 6 GHz in the S-Band. Therefore, a Digital RF-SCOE would be a full low-cost equivalent to a "traditional S-Band SCOE".

SDR development benefits from optimizing modular elements relevant to the target Satellite mission, which is noticeable in Mega-Constellations for CubeSats, Small-Sat’s, or any Nano-satellites. GOMSPACE, a Danish manufacturer for small satellites would be very interested in such a Digital RF-SCOE for the MAIT of his recently awarded contract for 250 small satellites. Please also see its attached letter of Interest. In "New Space" – the upcoming market for mega-constellations of small satellites, a Digital RF-SCOE would open new business fields for us. This market we can’t address with our traditional, COTS based RF-SCOE systems.

Expected results

The proposed ASAP-15 project Digital RF SCOE shall elaborate on the detailed requirements, system and detail design for the Digital RF SCOE product line. The concepts and design shall be validated by practical investigations and evaluations.


Project Partners


Atos IT Solutions and Services GmbH

Contact Address

Atos IT Solutions and Services GmbH
MSc Áine Neuhaus MSc
Wagramer Straße 19
A-1220 Vienna