Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Qorvo Provides Key Enabling Technology for Identifying, Mapping and Tracking Threats from Near-Earth Objects

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 12, 2021
Filed under , , , , , , , , , , ,
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Green Bank Telescope, and Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) are working in collaboration to improve planetary radar capabilities. With the addition of Qorvo’s Spatium power amplifier technology, the project now has the power to identify and characterize even small NEOs earlier with more precision. (Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello)

GREENSBORO, NC (Qorvo PR) — Qorvo® (Nasdaq: QRVO), a leading provider of innovative radio frequency (RF) solutions that connect the world, today announced its Spatium® solid-state power amplifier (SSPA) technology will play a key role in a new planetary radar experiment using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Planetary radar is instrumental in characterizing Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) by providing precision measurement of shape, rotation, position, and an estimate of composition.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) are collaborating on a project to improve planetary radar capabilities that would allow for earlier and more precise analysis of targeted NEOs. Until now, traditional radar has lacked the necessary power to identify and characterize smaller NEOs. Qorvo’s Spatium power amplifier technology offers advantages of higher RF power output and reliability and could play a key role in the next generation of ground-based planetary radar.

NRAO and Green Bank Observatory, using a RI&S radar, conducted the first-ever transmission from the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The test produced detailed images of the Apollo 15 moon landing site by way of a transmitter installed on the Green Bank Telescope. At the heart of this RF transmitter lies Spatium technology, 700 watt, 13-16GHz SSPA providing the power necessary to achieve this technological milestone.

“Our first radar study with Raytheon characterized the moon in unexpected ways, and we anticipate that this upcoming study will do the same for Near-Earth Objects,” said Tony Beasley, director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and vice president for Radio Astronomy at Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI). “Each milestone we achieve in this and other research and technology collaborations informs and improves our efforts toward the next generation of radio telescopes and observations.”

This new capability paves the way for exploring other planets and objects in the solar system without the need to launch additional space probes or satellites. Powerful radar signals have been beamed from Earth into space and bounced from objects in our solar system since the 1950s.  Using the Green Bank Telescope and Spatium as a transmitter will increase scientists’ ability to use radar to explore the solar system using ground-based instruments.

Roger Hall, Qorvo’s general manager of High Performance Solutions, said, “We are proud to be part of this historical technological milestone. Spatium technology provides a unique value proposition in the market and offers customers a solution not available anywhere else. We continue to invest in and develop new standard, higher power derivatives of Spatium products for K, Ka and Ku bands to meet the growing needs of our customers.”

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Green Bank Observatory are facilities of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

About Qorvo

Qorvo (Nasdaq: QRVO) makes a better world possible by providing innovative Radio Frequency (RF) solutions at the center of connectivity. We combine product and technology leadership, systems-level expertise and global manufacturing scale to quickly solve our customers’ most complex technical challenges. Qorvo serves diverse high-growth segments of large global markets, including advanced wireless devices, wired and wireless networks and defense radar and communications. We also leverage unique competitive strengths to advance 5G networks, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and other emerging applications that expand the global framework interconnecting people, places and things. Visit to learn how Qorvo connects the world.

Qorvo is a registered trademark of Qorvo, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Leave a Reply