Affordable, high performance, end-to-end solution for receiving and processing X-Band data from Terra and Aqua (MODIS), Suomi-NPP and FengYun-3 Earth Observation Satellites.

Key Features

Automatic data reception from X-Band Earth Observation Satellites including Terra and Aqua (MODIS), Suomi-NPP and FengYun-3A/B/C (FY-3).

Complete end-to-end solution with automatic data processing to level 0, 1 and 2 (currently level 0 and 1 only for FY-3).

6Affordable to meet the limited budgets available for X-Band systems in universities and research institutions.

Simple installation with minimal civil engineering works.

1.5m high-speed antenna system enclosed in a radome to allow normal operation at wind speeds up to 185km/h (115mph).

All external components designed and treated to survive tropical and marine environments, with a water ingress protection rating of at least IP65.

State-of-the-art RF components, allowing good data reception from 15° satellite elevation with a 1.5m antenna. In practice good quality data can be received from Terra and Suomi-NPP at 7° elevation and from Aqua and FY-3 at 5°.

Automatic daily prediction data update from the internet ensures accurate tracking of all satellites.

Modular construction for easy maintenance and future upgrades.

Comprehensive hardware and software diagnostics at all levels.

Comprehensive hardware and software diagnostics at all levels.

Combined X/L-Band option allowing reception and processing of data from both X-Band and L-Band satellites using the same antenna system.


  • 2m diameter radome with hydrophobic coating to minimise signal loss caused by standing water during rainfall.
  • 1.5m prime focus aluminium parabolic dish antenna.
  • High-speed dual-axis antenna rotator (elevation over azimuth).
  • Dual-axis rotator controller with closed-loop feedback control system for excellent pointing accuracy and smooth tracking.
  • X-Band scalar feed horn, low-noise amplifier (LNA) and block downconverter (BDC).
  • Rugged, weatherproof GPS antenna (mounted outside radome).
  • Optional radome environmental control unit for hot climates.
  • Optional radome heater for very cold climates.
  • Modular receiver rack (4U rack mount) containing the following removable modules:

    LNB power supply. XDC programmable downconverter. USB hub and serial adapters. GPS receiver. Switch mode power supply. Optional USB interfaces for reception of L-Band services.

  • High-rate demodulator (1U rack mount).
  • 2kVA UPS (tower or 2U rack mount).
  • Ingest PC (midi-tower or 4U rack mount) running 64-bit Windows with Dartcom Polar Orbiter Ingester software.
  • Processor PC (midi-tower or 4U rack mount) running NASA RT-STPS, Simulcast, IPOPP and CMA FY3L0pp/FY3L1pp software.
  • Optional visualisation PC (midi-tower or 4U rack mount).
  • 6U desktop or optional 22U floor-standing cabinet for complete rack-mounted system.

Radome2m diameter, low-loss composite, hydrophobic coating
Antenna typeParabolic dish, solid spun aluminium
F/D ratio0.364
Gain @ 8200MHz39.3dBiC including 0.4dB radome loss
FeedScalar horn
Frequency range7200–8500MHz
 Axial ratio 2dB max
 Polarisation RHC/LHC, software remote-controlled
 Control By ingester PC via MAD XPA controller
 Movement 0–360° azimuth, 0–180° elevation
 Speed 48°/sec azimuth, 10°/sec elevation
 Mechanical tolerance ±0.15°
 Tracking accuracy ±0.1°
 Stabilisation Active, with gyro sensors for pitch, roll and yaw rates
 Azimuth range No limit (continuous)
 Elevation range –10° to 190°
 Pitch rate ±15° in 6 seconds
 Roll rate ±30° in 8 seconds
 Yaw rate ±80° in 50 seconds
 Turn rate 10°/second