CNES and STmicroelectronics to Develop Astragan Chipset – Satellite Today

CNES French Space Agency

CNES pavilion at the Paris Air Show. Photo: CNES

[Via Satellite 10-03-2014] The French Space Agency, CNES, has signed a contract with STmicroelectronics to develop the Astragan1 chipset, which aims to bring fast satellite broadband to users everywhere, including in areas outside those covered by terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband networks. The chipset will support services equivalent to those offered by fiber optic, ADSL and 4G networks. This contract is part of the THD-SAT2 project to deploy fast broadband Internet services funded by the French government’s Investment for the Future Program (PIA for its name in French).

Developed in partnership with STmicroelectronics and Thales Alenia Space, the Astragan chipset is a key technology to produce low-cost, very-high-performance satellite terminals. The chipset will perform reception, transmission and video processing and Internet access functions for satellite terminals. Satellite data download will rely on the second generation Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite extension (DVB-S2x) standard compatible with fast broadband carrier frequencies. Data upload will use the new DVB-RCS2 standard and incorporate all advanced functions for adapting to network traffic, interference and signal propagation. A latest-generation processor will implement video processing and Internet access functions.

Satellite terminals using the Astragan chipset will integrate with users’ home network environment, giving them access to TV and Internet services on their television sets, smartphones, tablets and PCs. Fully compatible with all frequencies in the Ku- and Ka-bands allocated to satellite broadcasting and telecommunications systems, the chipset will offer users Internet and HD/Ultra-HD TV download rates of up to 200 megabits per second and upload rates up to 10 megabits per second.

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