System Engineering

RKF provides end-to-end satellite and terrestrial communication system engineering support for advanced terrestrial communication networks; mobile, direct-broadcast and fixed satellite services; and high-altitude platforms (HAPS).

Areas of Expertise

RKF's areas of expertise include:

  • Telecommunications system engineering
  • RF engineering
  • Air interfaces
  • Network architectures
  • Protocol development
  • Space and Ground-based beamforming for Satellite systems
  • Antenna modeling and design / Terrestrial smart antenna technology
  • Ad hoc networks
  • Processor/ASIC & Component design
  • User terminal and handset development
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum Management

An area of focus is flexible high throughput satellite (HTS) technology for GEO and non-GEO satellite systems where RKF intellectual property is changing the industry. RKF has developed a next-generation HTS satellite architecture that can provide full earth coverage with the ability to move capacity in-orbit anywhere it is needed. Working with SEAKR Engineering, Inc, RKF is helping to design the beamforming and channelizing processor that along with the HTS designs will supports 100 Gbps to Tbps+ data rates.

Engineering and Design Services

RKF offers a full range of system engineering and design services, including risk assessments, cost analysis, system specifications, operations concept documents, trade and interference studies, creating Requests for Proposals (RFPs), participating in standard groups and working with customers and manufacturers to support acquisition and lifecycle management. In addition, RKF performs due diligence for potential investors of new technologies and expert witness services arguing patent law and other technical support to legal activities.

An example project lifecycle is:

Concept Phase Many projects start at the concept phase where RKF assists clients with the high-level design tradeoffs used to optimize the system to meet constraints and business requirements. RKF then supports the development of, Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposals (RFP), Statements of Work (SoW), bidder negotiation, bidder evaluation criteria, draft contracts, and selection of a bidder.
Design Phase RKF performs the detailed trade studies, to define the system requirements and makes feasibility assessments. This requires end-to-end system models to evaluate the key metrics such as system capacity, availability and Quality of Service (QoS). RKF is usually the only entity on the project that understands the complete end-to-end system performance; this allows RKF to assess and provide the best guidance to customers on the various design options, risks and waivers.

RKF can generate all high-level systems engineering documents including Concept of Operation, Architecture and Requirements documents. RKF supports all program management meetings, design reviews (SDR, PDR, CDR) and technical interchange meetings. With an exceptional engineering staff, RFK can focus on custom solutions and the highly challenging technical issues.

Development Phase RKF generates or reviews test plans and procedures for subsystems and supports verification and validation planning for the end-to-end system. RKF reviews the schedules and critical paths to assess and advise on risk. RKF will support the testing and review the test data. RKF will provide end-to-end assessments of any non-compliances and make recommendations to resolve issues.
Deployment Phase RKF provides deployment planning services, launch support services and field testing for operational verification. The RKF end-to-end models are used to assist in business planning, assessing deployment options, coverage, capacity, and availability.

Example Projects

RKF is an innovative company involved in groundbreaking technologies and projects. Examples include:

  • Support of OneWeb in developing a constellation of over 600 LEO satellites
  • Assisted NASA in defining the Next Generation optical relay satellite network.
  • System engineering for Terrestar, which launched the largest commercial satellite, at the time and the first 3G satellite system. In this capacity, RKF was critical in developing the first smartphone with an internal antenna that could communicate with a GEO satellite and developed critical IP for the calibration and pointing system.
  • RKF worked as telecommunication subject matter experts on DARPA’s F6 project - a fractionated satellite cluster in space
  • Supported Cisco in the development and testing of the first router in space

With an eye to the future, RKF also supports a variety of silicon-valley interests and is in the forefront of HAP, 5G, and IOT technologies.