Axon’ links on board SWOT to observe oceans and rivers

20 Dec 2022

The French-U.S. SWOT mission (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) was sucessfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California on December 16. On board the payload, SpaceWire links and AxoMach high-speed data links made by Axon' Cable.

Surface Water and Ocean Topography
Considering that 90% of the earth is covered by water, no one can deny the importance of monitoring surface water levels in rivers, lakes and other waterways as well having an accurate topography of the oceans.  
The SWOT mission is a joint mission of CNES and NASA, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA). Scientists expect detailed data which will help them to model ocean/atmosphere interactions and help to anticipate consequences of climate changes.

High data transfer
“The scientific heart of the spacecraft is an innovative instrument called the Ka-band radar interferometer (KaRIn), which marks a major technological advance. KaRIn bounces radar pulses off the water’s surface and receives the return signal using two antennas on either side of the spacecraft” states the NASA. An innovative instrument requires innovative high data rate links. Designed by Axon’ Cable, AxoMach® are super-fast, multi-gigabit data rata links which provide data transmission rate up to 10 Gb/s per lane.

In addition to AxoMach®, Axon’ SpaceWire links (according to ECSS-E-ST-50-12C Rev1) which  enable data transfer rates of up to 400 Mb/s are on-board the mission too. . The ESCC3902/003 qualified cables and ESCC3401/029 EPPL2 Micro-D connectors and accessories manufactured by Axon’ protect the integrity of LVDS signals provided by the devices.