Lime Microsystems and ESA Launch the SDR Satcom Initiative

The combination of the LimeSDR Mini low-cost software defined radio platform and satcom software distributed on a dedicated app store designed to accelerate development while bringing down the barriers to entry.

August 15, 2019 – Lime Microsystems and the European Space Agency (ESA) have jointly announced the SDR Satcom initiative, an effort to accelerate development of satellite communications technologies while simultaneously lowering the barrier to innovation.

Hosted as part of the MyriadRF open source ecosystem, SDR Satcom is built around the LimeSDR Mini low-cost high-performance software defined radio and a new distribution platform dubbed the SDR Satcom App Store. Based on the ‘snap’ package format developed by Canonical and previously used in the LimeNET family of products, the SDR Satcom App Store is designed to make it as simple as possible for users to download and run satellite communications applications – and for developers to contribute and distribute same.

The heart of the SDR Satcom initiative is to lower the barrier to entry which has previously kept many brilliant minds away from satellite communications development. While the LimeSDR Mini is already an extremely low-cost, open-hardware design, ESA has partnered with Lime Micro to make fifty units available to SDR Satcom developers free of charge. These boards are ready to run with software from the SDR Satcom App Store or elsewhere as soon as received and come complete with an aluminium enclosure. Interested parties can find out more and apply for a board at the official SDR Satcom website.

Software available at launch on the SDR Satcom includes: SDRangel, a front-end for software defined radio and signal analysing; Gpredict, a real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction application; SatHelperApp, a tool for demodulating and decoding LRIT and HRIT signals; and WeatherDump, a cross-platform tool to record, demodulate, decode, and process data from a number of weather satellites. Developers of satellite communications apps are also invited to submit their own snap packages for inclusion.

More information on the SDR Satcom project can be found on the official website.