CNES projects library

June 8, 2017


Developed under CNES supervision, the FAST project (Future Advanced Satellite Telecommunications) amounts to the development of third-generation digital processors to be used on civilian and military telecommunication satellites.

FAST processors will become a key component in telecommunication satellites and embody a remarkable leap forward in terms of performance, thanks to a modular design and increased digital processing capabilities in onboard processed bandwidth from a few GHz to a few dozen GHz.

These processors will also be flexible, able to switch frequencies and interconnect between the various beams being processed by the payload. These are crucial features when it comes to connecting military users located in different theatres of operations or avoiding interference in communication bands.

Another objective of this R&D project is to reduce these processors’ power consumption, mass and volume, and in general to offer solutions to the difficult challenges that have to be faced in the fiercely competitive telecommunications field.

The FAST processors will be the core of the Syracuse-4 military telecommunication satellites (former Comsat NG). The project was kicked off in 2012 under CNES’s dual (civilian/military) research budget, in partnership with Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor on the Syracuse-4 payload for the French Ministry of Defence.