Home >> December 2022 Edition >> Year in Review 2022: Part I
Year in Review 2022: Part I
ALL.SPACE • Alpha Data • Atheras Analytics • Ball Aerospace • Beam Communications


2022 will be remembered by many as the year ubiquitous connectivity across multiple networks was made possible with a single, smart terminal, marking the start of a new era of ground system technology developed and proven by ALL.SPACE.

The initial production of the world’s first multi-network, multi-orbit platform.
Brian Billman, Chief Marketing Officer

Until now, satellite systems were closed off, often proprietary, and unable to communicate with other satellite, cellular or terrestrial networks.

Our mission to converge advanced communications over multiple networks and operators over one terminal began about nine years ago and led us to breakthrough discoveries in the new field of transformational optics.

This year, ALL.SPACE developed the world’s first and only smart terminal, a software-defined platform that is capable of connecting across networks via multiple, simultaneous, full-performance links that converges satellite and cellular network access, intelligent routing, edge computing and specialized modems into a single, integrated solution.

The smart terminal’s unique ability to connect satellite operators across orbits and cellular operators across all available networks creates the world’s most convergent communications platform.

A Year Of Historic  Firsts

Over the past 12 months, ALL.SPACE successfully completed a series of historic, first-of-their-kind, multi-orbit terminal trials, focused on meeting specific communications requirements for commercial, government and defense markets.

At the start of the year, together with SES Government Solutions, ALL.SPACE demonstrated the smart terminal’s multi-link capabilities to meet the rigorous conditions and challenging

connectivity demands of U.S. and NATO Forces during GEO and MEO resiliency tests at the U.S. Army proving grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

During the spring, ALL.SPACE successfully completed field tests with Telesat showcasing the smart terminal’s ability to link with satellites in LEO and GEO orbits, proving the platform’s world- first, all-orbit capability.

The growing ALL.SPACE team has constantly refined and extended the capabilities of the terminal, improving the per formance, enhancing software -defined capabilities, and increasing the ruggedness of the smart terminal to ensure it delivers the needed connectivity in the moments that matter.

The company is currently working with the U.S. Department of Defense to fully qualify our terminal for their use, proving the breakthrough platform with an eye on our upcoming product rollout.

Redefining Connectivity

2022 has witnessed a flurry of satellite launches into non-geosynchronous orbit (NGSO), as well as new deals and partnerships between the traditional satellite operators and new LEO operators. These multi-orbit strategies are aimed at driving more efficient and resilient networks in space, leveraging the different LEO, MEO and GEO resources to take advantage of each platform’s best attributes. all the while creating a new network greater than the sum of its parts.

The ALL.SPACE smart terminal is the key element missing from this critical equation, the missing piece of the network that makes a new age of convergence possible.

Over the last few years, there has been increased focus on the new, highly advanced satellites and constellations headed for space.

During this time we have been laser focused on the development of a modern ground system capable of aggregating these systems and networks for an unprecedented connected experience ever ywhere.

This is the year our strategic vision played out with the first smart terminals being readied to ship to government and commercial customers across the globe.

We are excited to see what new and unimaginable applications our multi- network, multi-orbit platform empowers in the next year and for years to come.

Our commercial and government customers will ultimately leverage the terminal to unleash the full potential of their existing and advanced satellites, constellations, and cellular networks to support a new age of connectivity across a broad range of vertical markets over the coming months and years.

Alpha Data achieved significant milestones in 2022 as the company pushed the envelope for performance electronics. These achievements are grounded in industry-wide collaboration and call attention to Alpha Data’s expertise, at the crossroads of the space, electronics, aviation, and defence industries — each of the successes achieved in 2022 demonstrate the firm’s capacity to fulfill the most demanding scientific and computing demands. 

Meaningful Milestones
David Miller, Managing Director, and Andrew McCormick, Technical Director




The resounding success of the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) stands out as a key achievement for Alpha Data this year. This groundbreaking mission was conceived by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to fill a critical gap in understanding Earth’s dust cycle.

From the exterior truss of the International Space Station (ISS), EMIT studies the heating and cooling effects of dust clouds blown from arid regions across vast distances. Alpha Data was selected to provide EMIT’s Focal

Plane Interface Electronics–Digital (FPIE-D) — a data acquisition, cloud-screening, compression, storage and downlink computing system. That Alpha Data was selected as Partner for this indispensable piece of hardware speaks to its long-standing and fruitful relationship with NASA JPL. The work was split between the company’s team in Littleton, Colorado (who designed and manufactured the hardware), while the Edinburgh Team provided software and firmware in collaboration with Mercury Systems and Correct Design.

Image cube showing the true-color view of an area in
northwest Nevada observed by NASA’s EMIT imaging
spectrometer. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS

The FPIE-D continuously scans 328 spectral bands and handles high data rates, allowing it to store detailed images of EMIT’s target regions, built over the course of multiple revisits by the ISS.

The FPIE-D features a powerful SoC FPGA (System-on-a-Chip Field- Programmable Gate Array)-based system to deliver Alpha Data’s signature performance computing in the high- radiation environment.

The EMIT FPIE-D board design is based on a standard Alpha Data COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf). Alpha Data in Colorado, modified the board to meet the mission’s stringent requirements, resulting in a rugged electronic package capable of delivering mission-critical performance.

 ADM-VPX3-9Z5 certified for High-Radiation Environments 

Alpha Data’s new, defense-grade, ADM-VPX3-9Z5 System on a Module (SoM) was successfully validated for launch into orbit. The Defense-Grade ADM-VPX3-9Z5 is produced by Alpha Data in collaboration with AMD Xilinx and Texas Instruments.

This new product is an off-the -shelf, SOSA-aligned, OpenVPX standard SoM intended for defence applications. The distinctive features again highlight Alpha Data’s robust industr y relationship.  Indeed, the board uses the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ XQZU19EG FPGA and features Mil-temp Enhanced Plastic components from Texas Instruments for System Monitoring, Power and Temperature Sensing.

Alpha Data Senior Engineer David Dolman
holding the Focal Plane Interface Electronics –
Digital (FPIE-D)

The ADM-VPX3-9Z5 is also compliant with the auxiliary I/O in low-voltage (LVAUX) mode for Single Event Effects (SEE) mitigation. The ADM-VPX3-9Z5 provides a hard-wearing module in a 3U-VPX form factor, which can be used for everything from early lab development to test, qualification and deployment in rugged environments.

Environmental testing was conducted by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at the Higgs Centre for Innovation.

ADM-VPX3-9Z5 passed these stringent tests with flying colors. Subjected to the NASA GSFC-STD-7000A testing standards, the ADM-VPX3-9Z5 exceeded expectations for performance under a range of vibration  conditions typical of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space launch and similar atmospheric operations. In fact, the board surpassed acceptance levels of vibration and the VITA47 specification by 1.4x and 1.6x, respectively.

In addition to EMIT’s successful deployment, the ADM-VPX3-9Z5’s certification continues to assert Alpha Data’s ability to support customers from the off-the-shelf design board to deployment with high performance. 

 Space 2.0 and the ADK-VA600 

2022 witnessed Alpha Data herald the next generation of adaptable data processing in space with the launch of the company’s brand-new ADK-

VA600 Versal AI Core Development Kit. Growing from Alpha Data’s experience in creating Dev-kits for space-ready hardware, the firm teamed up with AMD Xilinx, Texas Instruments, Teledyne e2v and Infineon Technologies to bring the game-changing Xilinx XQR Versal AI Core VC1902 ACAP to the NewSpace market. The ADK-VA600 offers a radiation-tolerant, reference design and introduces a step-increase in processing power for SWAP-constrained missions.

The board brings together the best- in-class of the industry, featuring Space-Enhanced Plastics (SEP) power management and critical systems monitoring devices from Texas Instruments, rad-tolerant DDR4 memory from Teledyne e2v and rad-tolerant flash memory from Infineon Technologies. Moreover, it also includes an accessible front panel VITA 57.4 FMC+ site for advanced I/O and Data Converter module connectivity. An accompanying VPX Rear Transition Module provides further I/O flexibility, advanced system monitoring, test access and target scrubbing features.

Together, these components make the ADK-VA600 a powerful, space- enhanced board suited for multi-year missions in LEO. Furthermore, the board’s form factor follows Alpha Data’s tradition of continuity from design and development through to deployment. Indeed, its 6U VPX form factor ensures the board can be easily developed in the lab and its 6U Space VPX equivalent is available for rapid deployment in extreme environments.

Looking back on a fruitful year, Alpha Data are proud to work with outstanding partners and collaborators and, as 2022 concludes, the company looks forward to another year of pushing the boundaries of high performance electronics.

This has been an exciting year for Atheras Analytics, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company based in the UK.

A Year of Product Realization
John Yates, Chief Executive Officer

The company was established in 2020 to determine how machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML / AI) could be applied to address the challenges faced by HTS and VHTS satellite operators that employ Ka-band and Q/V-band links.

As the satellite industry moves toward the use of higher capacity satellites operating in these higher frequency bands, there is an increasing need to effectively plan and manage the large number of gateway networks required to support these services — in particular, the management and mitigation of weather-related events.

During 2021, the company was highly focused on optimizing its AI-based Outage Prediction Algorithm (OPA) and developing a complete suite of software tools. The Smart Gateway Diversity (SGD) Optimization Toolkitthat has been developed to optimize the design and operation of HTS, VHTS and EHTS system gateways by employing Smart Gateway Diversity (SGD) techniques.

All of the aforementioned development activities came to fruition in 2022 with the launch of these tools.

These include the firm’s SGD Design Tool that enables operators to optimize the design of their next-generation SGD HTS satellite networks and the SGD Operational Tool which, by predicting outages and transferring traffic to alternate gateways before outages occur, can significantly improve network availability.

UTOPiA is the company’s end-user application that uses the same AI-based Outage Prediction Algorithm as the other tools to forecast outages for individual Ka-band and Q/V-band VSAT terminals at specific locations in order for outages to be anticipated and the appropriate mitigating actions taken.

Having established these tools, the company has also worked with the firm’s first customers — some of the world’s largest satellite operators.

In 2022, Ball Aerospace continued to provide solutions for their customers’ toughest problems and addressing the critical needs for the nation. The company made strides in programs designed to deliver actionable environmental intelligence, including the scheduled launch of its Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2).


Ball Aerospace:
Innovative solutions in 2022

Dr. Alberto Conti, Senior Director, Civil Space, and
Dr. Jake Sauer, Vice President and General Manager, Tactical Solutions

The company also demonstrated flat panel Ku- and Ka-Band mobile user terminals on multiple commercial and platforms. Additionally, the Ball Aerospace ramped-up the volume manufacturing of their Electronically Scannable  Array technology focused on bringing affordable, multi-orbit, SATCOM solutions to users.

The final months of 2022 witnessed the launch of JPSS-2 carrying the Ball Aerospace-built OMPS instrument that provides a daily, global map of stratospheric ozone and high-resolution, vertical profiles from the troposphere up into the lower stratosphere, helping scientists track the health of the ozone layer. This marks the third OMPS instrument to fly on polar-orbiting satellites developed by NOAA, NASA and industry partners.

The company built the OMPS-equipped Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership  (Suomi NPP) satellite, which reached an 11th year on-orbit in 2022 and will remain in operationn within the polar satellite system, even as JPSS-2 comes online. OMPS is also on the Ball-built NOAA-20  satellite and will be on JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 built by industry partners.

Meanwhile, after delivering the Tropospheric Emission: Monitoring  of Pollution (TEMPO) spectrometer to NASA in 2021, the firm continues to work closely with NASA and the spacecraft manufacturer over the past year in support of integration and test in preparation for a 2023 scheduled launch. Once launched, TEMPO will gather hourly measurements of air pollution over North America from GEO orbit. TEMPO will join MethaneSAT,  also launching in 2023, with a Ball-built, advanced spectrometer capable of detecting methane concentrations as low as two parts per billion.

In addition to these ongoing programs, the company was selected by NASA to complete three, Phase A studies for new instruments designs to help define NOAA’s Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) program.

This next-generation constellation of geostationary weather satellites will address critical operational environmental prediction requirements and major environmental challenges for U.S. weather, ocean, air quality and climate operations.

Ball Aerospace also continued to support architecture trades for Landsat Next. The Landsat series, a collaboration between NASA and the United States Geological  Survey (USGS), celebrated its 50th year of continuous Earth Observation (EO) in 2022.

Ball Aerospace is committed to supporting NASA and USGS as they develop next-generation solutions focused on maintaining the continuity of this important data-collecting and delivery program.

Ball strongly believes the nation’s natural resources can be properly managed through accurate measurements and Landsat has been a key component of acquiring that knowledge for the last half-century.

Not all of Ball Aerospace’s products end up in space. The company has five-decades of heritage building antennas that help mobile users communicate with satellites, be that on the ground, air or sea.

There have been some major shifts in the SATCOM industry with the expansion of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites by operators that promise global, low-latency networks to commercial and military customers. Plus, GEO and MEO satellites continue to remain critical components of communication infrastructures.

Ball has been leveraging its experience in Electronically Scannable Arrays (ESA) that are able to operate in this new, multi-orbit world. Over the past year, the company formed strategic partnerships that will bring SATCOM terminals to a broad range of platforms.

To address the historically high cost of ESA technology, Ball Aerospace teams designed a modular, ESA solution called a subarray, an antenna building block that can be scaled to meet the unique performance and environment requirements of different use cases,

including maritime, land mobile and In- Flight Connectivity (IFC). Earlier in 2022, Ball Aerospace also entered into a collaboration with diversified manufacturer Flex. By leveraging Flex’s global supply chain and experience manufacturing communications products, the company is scaling the manufacture of these satellite-based,

A Ball Aerospace engineer completes work on flat panel antenna. Image is courtesy of Ball mobile communications solutions.

The company continued working with Stellar Blu Solutions  to bring multi- orbit, Ku-band terminals directly to the airborne market. In June, Ball, OneWeb and Stellar Blu, using the firm’s ESA technology, were able to achieve high- speed, low-latency, inflight LEO satellite connectivity on a commercial airliner.

Testers on the flight were able to conduct Microsoft Teams calls, stream 4K video from YouTube and Netflix, play online VR and Nintendo Switch games. The advantage of this technology is that seamless switching between LEO, MEO and GEO is possible without the need to change antenna hardware. As there are no moving parts, these terminals are more resilient and easier to maintain.

Commercial and military users finally have a single solution, even as they fully operate in multi-orbit environments.

Overall, the challenges of 2022 presented Ball Aerospace with opportunities to innovate new solutions and increase our flexibility and agility to meet the rapidly changing needs and demands of our customers. We entered new markets with new partners and new technology. In short, we established a strong foundation for 2023 and beyond.



The past year may have been a volatile period for many as the world continued to grapple with the fallout of the global pandemic and geo-political tensions — however, it also served to prove how defensive and resilient parts of the satellite industry can be, including
Beam Communications.

Assured Connectivity
Author: Michael Capocchi, Managing Director

The past year may have been a volatile period for many as the world continued to grapple with the fallout of the global pandemic and geo-political tensions — however, it also served to prove how defensive and resilient parts of the satellite industry can be, including
Beam Communications.

In spite of the macro challenges, Beam Communications Holdings Limited delivered record annual revenues in the 2022 financial year.

The company is forecasting stronger growth in the year ahead, thanks to several accomplishments the firm completed during the past 12 months.

One of these key achievements is the $12 million contract with Iridium for Beam to develop and supply the next- generation Iridium Certus® satellite device, which is capable of data speeds that are 35 times faster than previous generation devices.

Meanwhile, Beam’s joint-venture ZOLEO Inc. expanded into Europe following a successful period of sales in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

ZOLEO is a seamless messaging solution that has won several international awards since the product’s launch in 2020.

Beam developed the portable ZOLEO device in collaboration with the company’s Canadian partner, Roadpost Inc.

Demand for Beam’s other innovations is also continuing to grow as consumers and enterprise customers are increasingly recognizing the need to be always connected in the aftermath of devastating disasters and other tragedies that have grabbed international headlines.

The improving features and affordability of personal SATCOM solutions is opening the market to a point where satellite is no longer seen as a small niche market.

Given Beam’s long and successful track record in the sector, the company is perfectly placed to benefit from this trend.