NASA Space Communications and Navigation Testbed on the International Space Station uses Sierra Nevada antenna pointing technology

International Space Station

SPARKS, Nev., 22 Aug. 2012. The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed, a software-defined radio experiment on the International Space Station (ISS), employs an antenna pointing system developed by engineers at Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems in Sparks, Nev.

The SCaN Testbed, developed by the NASA Glenn Research Center personnel, will perform a variety of communications, networking, and navigation experiments in space to advance space communication technologies in support of future NASA missions and other U.S. space endeavors.

SNC supplied the integrated antenna pointing system, which features SNC open-loop, microstepping technology. This same system has flown on Deep Impact, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Suomi NPP, and several commercial remote-sensing platforms.

Japan’s HTV3 cargo carrier, launched on a Japanese H-II rocket, delivered the SCaN Testbed in July 2012. Initial reports indicate the system is operating as designed.

The NASA SCaN program is designed to provide communications and navigation services to space flight missions throughout the solar system via a new generation of software-defined radios.

 “This is another excellent example of a successful collaborative program between SNC and NASA,” says Matt Johnson, space technologies director of programs for SNC’s Space Systems.


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.

Featured Slideshows

Insight into UPS Flight 1354

The aerospace community and larger public have turned their attentions once again to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the U.S., as a "go-team" of 26 investigators strives to piece together the events that lead to the crash of UPS Flight 1354 on 14 Aug. 2013.

Enabling technologies: An open-source, two-seat aircraft

MakerPlane Inc., an open-source hardware and software organization, aims to revolutionize the aviation industry by enabling the use of low-cost digital manufacturing technologies to build aircraft quickly, safely, and at low cost.

Social Activity

Wire News provided by   


There is no current content available.

Most Popular Articles

All Access Sponsors

Download Our Free Apps



Follow Us On...

Avionics Article Archives

Click here for past articles