RAD5545 software defined radios are on their way to Lockheed Martin to support future space missions.

BAE Systems say they have delivered their first shipment of next-generation radiation-hardened software defined radios (SDR) to Lockheed Martin Space.

The radios provide spacecraft with the performance, availability, reliability and on-board signals processing capacity needed to support future space missions — from planetary exploration to communications, national security, surveillance, and weather missions.

“Our RAD5545 software defined radios are ideal for any mission requiring reconfigurable radio processing,” said Ricardo Gonzalez, director of Space Systems at BAE Systems. “The radios can be easily modified to address various reconfigurable processing solutions.”

According to the firm:

“BAE Systems’ software defined radio is anchored by the RAD5545 single board computer (SBC), providing the most advanced radiation-hardened quad core general purpose processing solution available today to address future threats on a variety of missions. The system leverages modular and standard building blocks including a SpaceVPX chassis and backplane electrical connectors, Serial RapidIO® and Spacewire interfaces, and a fully supported expansion port for a custom interface card. Adhering to industry standards, this flexible and adaptable architecture supports reconfiguration for other missions by simply swapping out SpaceVPX modules, a highly desirable feature in today’s space hardware.

BAE Systems’ next-generation software defined radios, centered around the RAD5545 computer, represent a significant advance in high reliability reconfigurable electronics systems. Increased processing power, and a radiation-hardened design combine for a product line that can enable increased mission flexibility. The RAD5545 SBC delivers exponential improvements in size, speed, and power efficiency over its predecessor single board computers. BAE Systems also offers a suite of radiation-hardened Serial RapidIO network products that complement the RAD5545 SBC and allow the user to efficiently manage and route data through a system. Products include the RADNET® 1848-PS, an 18-Port RapidIO Packet Switch, the RADNET 1616-XP Crosspoint, a protocol agnostic SerDes signal circuit switch and replicator, and the RADNET SRIO-EP, a Serial RapidIO endpoint.”

The RAD5545 SDR was developed at BAE Systems’ sites in Merrimack, NH, and Manassas, VA, and is produced in Manassas.

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Why doesn’t BAE build huge Manned rockets or have a bigger piece of the space pie, or even just launching satellites ect.


In the US how would it have competed with the established suppliers on a large scale? In Europe the French pretty much control the launcher business and a company like Bae would be at the unpredictable machinations of political decisions that tend in such matters to be disadvantaged towards UK champions, one of the reasons it got out of Airbus. In the UK how would it have a serious market till recently and the present situation presently is far better suited to smaller more focused businesses anyway than a large conglomerate for which such a business would be tiny. The… Read more »


Ok fair enough, but BAE always buy American company’s and are huge in USA so who knows if they developed their own rockets if they would be successful. But American/NASA contracts are what’s helping keep space x in business and those contracts are huge. So maybe another rocket company isn’t needed after all.


It’s becoming a very crowded and competitive marketplace and big rockets are expensive to develop. For instance the European Space Agency, currently using the very successful Ariane 5 rocket, has recently suggested that the successor Ariane 6, costing an estimated $3.2 bn to develop, might be pretty much obsolete on day 1 of its life due to SpaceX and other rocket manufacturers heading in the direction of extensive and ultimately total re-usability. The plan is for Ariane 5 to be phased out in favour of Ariane 6 over a transition period from 2020 to 2023 (first commercial launch of Ariane… Read more »


Why would they need too? They already make loads of money supporting the rocket launch and space industry. If a rocket fails they aren’t out any money. In fact they just get more money making replacements systems for the next rocket.