With nanosatellites being used for deep space missions, the need for a unique communications architecture to relay valuable mission data back to NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) is vital.
To meet this need, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory designed the Iris deep space small satellite radio. Iris is a software-defined telecommunications subsystem designed specifically for orbits beyond LEO, such as MEO, GEO, Lunar, and interplanetary missions.
Iris uses an environmentally robust architecture, including radiation-tolerant parts needed for deep space, multi-year missions. The design incorporates the advanced thermal management needed for navigation tracking sessions of several hours.
The Space Dynamics Laboratory is responsible for fabricating and testing the Iris radios in our NASA-certified facilities and providing mission support.