Testing spacecraft or satellite RF Interfaces is a vital stage of spacecraft assembly, integration, and test (AIT) both at sub-system level and full spacecraft level.
During satellite AIT via Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE), operators can communicate directly with the spacecraft. The operators use a fixed cabled connection. This is frequently done by using the bypass connections from the TM/TC Front-End to the On-Board Computer. It is also done via the real RF interfaces of the spacecraft. The spacecraft or satellite RF interfaces are typically connected to an RF SCOE (Special Check-Out Equipment). The RF SCOE includes up/down conversion, RF test and measurement equipment. The interfaces can also be connected to the TT&C Modems for AIT purposes.
TT&C Modem for AIT
The TTC-IMBU is a TT&C Modem (Modulator/Demodulator) allowing direct control and monitoring of spacecraft in EGSE environments. This includes RF SCOEs as well as operational ground stations.
The system provides Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) in an Integrated Modem and Baseband Unit (IMBU).
The TTC-IMBU is typically integrated into an RF SCOE such that it is used to test and communicate with a spacecraft via the RF link.