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Q-MTitan™ in Space

Radiall's Multifiber Optical Links On Board SES-17 Satellite

October 2022

During the last few years, Radiall and Thales Alenia Space teams worked together to design optical links for space. Based on Radiall’s Q-MTitan multi-fiber contact, the optical links are specifically designed for use on the all-digital payload of Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS), such as SES-17, which successfully launched into space on October 23, 2021.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, SES-17 marks an important milestone in satellite technology: it is the first Ka-band GEO satellite to embark on a fully digital payload powered by the 5th generation of Digital Transparent Processor (DTP5G) from Thales Alenia Space. This makes it the most powerful and flexible satellite ever procured by SES and built by Thales Alenia Space, and we are honored to have been part of its launch. SES-17 is a geostationary (GEO) satellite that provides coverage across the Americas, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. It provides unmatched connectivity services to commercial airlines and business jets, commercial ships and cruises, enterprises and governments. 

Radiall offered the ideal optical solution for this satellite. Our solution satisfies the desired performance features of space environments, such as density, ease of installation, weight, optical performance and resistance to radiation. Before these solutions could be implemented on the satellite, our teams qualified them using a test plan defined with CNES and Thales Alenia Space. The plan included mechanical, thermal, outgassing and radiation tests that simulated the operating conditions in space. The testing confirmed that Radiall’s multi-fiber optical contacts, connectors and harnesses were suitable to use inside and between payload application equipment.

The full optical link consists of harnesses, combining ruggedized optical contacts like Q-MTitan with 12 radiation-resistant fibers. These assemblies are connected by HDQX, an 8- or 10-cavity multipin panel feedthrough disconnect connector. The HDQX 8 and HDQX 10 connectors offer a secure, reliable and size-optimized solution to connect 96 to 120 fibers.

Cathy Combet, optical interconnect product manager at Radiall, shared about her experience with this project. “It is a great honor to be part of this thrilling adventure and to be the supplier of the optical link of the first launch of the fully digital VHTS payload. Radiall has a very long history in delivering high quality and reliable coaxial connectors, cable assemblies, microwave components and switches for space, and we now extend our product offer with qualified optical interconnects.”

The Q-MTitan series for space provides a variety of benefits:

  • Dense and lightweight solution
  • High optical performance: IL <0.5 dB and EOL <1 dB
  • Radiation resistant
  • Low outgassing materials upon ECSS-Q-ST-70-02C
  • EMI: SE > 55 dB up to 18 GHz

If you’re looking to design a custom solution for a space application, our team would love to work with you. Book a virtual meeting with one of our experts today.

Optical Harness with Q-MTitan Series

Q-MTitan™ 12-fiber Contact