DIFI Announces PlugFest 2024 Europe

DIFI Announces PlugFest 2024 Europe

Harwell UK event is DIFI’s first-ever test of ground segment interoperability in Europe

June 17-21, 2024 – UK Satellite Applications Catapult’s Harwell Campus

PISCATAWAY, N.J., May 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UK Satellite Applications Catapult’s Harwell Campus will be the site of the second PlugFest of the Digital Intermediate Frequency Interoperability Consortium (DIFI). This first-ever DIFI event in Europe is being organized by founding member ETL Systems. The PlugFest, which will include companies testing digital operability of ground segment technology using the DIFI Standard, begins on Monday June 17 and will run through Friday June 21. From Monday to Thursday morning, the event is restricted to DIFI members bringing equipment to be tested, while Thursday afternoon’s Showcase event will be open to all and include a keynote, panel session, demonstrations and discussions with the companies testing the interoperability of their products.

During the last PlugFest, hosted by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions in Colorado Springs, USA, 25 engineers tested 13 vendor technologies at the 1.1 standard level. Nearly 90% of the planned interoperability tests were successful, proving the core functionality of the DIFI Standard in providing interoperability among different vendor systems. During the UK event, the goal is to test compatibility for products at the 1.1 and the new 1.2 level.

DIFI’s Chairman and Kratos’ Vice President of Advance Technology Stuart Daughtridge noted that, during the last PlugFest, the test profiles ranged from low to high sample rates with low to high bit depths – specifically, from 12.5 Msamples/sec at a bit depth of 16 bits per sample, up to 750 Msamples/sec at a bit depth of 6 bits. “We expect this PlugFest to be as rigorous and productive for our members,” he added. “It will also provide more opportunities for engagement with the Showcase and networking to follow.”

Simon Swift, Engineering Director for Digital Technologies with ETL Systems, the host organization for the event added, “We are very proud to bring this PlugFest to the UK and Europe. Our members here and internationally are keenly interested in interoperability as a means of continuing the innovations that are taking place at teleports and the ground segment of the satellite industry.”

For information on registration for DIFI PlugFest 2024 Europe, email plugfest@dificonsortium.org

For information on membership visit: www.dificonsortium.org

About DIFI

The mission of the Digital Intermediate Frequency Interoperability (DIFI) Consortium is to enable the digital transformation of space, satellite, and related industries by providing a simple, open, interoperable Digital IF/RF standard that replaces the natural interoperability of analog IF signals and helps prevent vendor lock-in. Today, ground segment relies on coaxial cable to transport RF at intermediate frequencies, such as L-Band, between antennas and modems and through multiple analog devices. Analog IF systems, with their inflexible chain of hardware, are difficult to scale and complex to operate. They are struggling to handle today’s capacity demands and cannot scale up to meet the needs of tomorrow.

The industry needs an open and transparent standard, developed, and adopted not by vendors alone but by users, operators and vendors working together.  A standard that meets the broadest range of needs without becoming too complex and costly to implement.  A standard that reduces the total cost of ownership and boosts network and terminal agility, performance, and resilience, enabling ground segment to seamlessly adapt to rapidly changing space-layer payloads, orbits and constellations.

Joni Sterlacci, Program Manager, j.sterlacci@ieee.org

2024-05-10T09:50:23-04:00May 10, 2024|News & Articles|

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