The ISARA mission will demonstrate a Ka-band reflectarray antenna that will increase downlink data rates for small spacecraft from the typical existing rates of about 10 kilobits per second (kbps) to approximately 100 megabits per second (Mbps). This technology maintains compatibility with existing ground stations and is extensible to antennas for radar systems. For the demonstration mission, the reflectarray antenna has been integrated onto the back side of a commercial deployable solar array that is easily stowed along the body of the 3U CubeSat.More »
The radio communication technology flown on ISARA has the potential to greatly increase the data downlink capability for CubeSats to up to 100 Mb/s while maintaining compatibility with legacy ground stations. This will extend the capability of CubeSats and further enable their use for CubeSats high value data-intensive science missions. Additionally the antenna technology is directly applicable to radar instruments and could enable new remote sensing capabilities within the CubeSat form factor.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Pasadena, California|
|Pumpkin Inc.||Supporting Organization||Industry|
|The Aerospace Corporation||Supporting Organization||Industry||El Segundo, California|
The ISARA mission has successfully demonstrated a high bandwidth Ka-band CubeSat communications capability that is applicable to commercial and government systems. For a modest increase in mass, volume and cost, this technology increases downlink data rates from a baseline of 9.6 kbps for existing UHF systems to over 100 Mbps, a 105 fold increase in data capacity. This technology is being used on the MarCO CubeSats that are currently on-course to Mars to relay data in real time from the InSight lander during its decent to the Martian surface.