SWIFT® Software Defined Radios

The SWIFT radios are a family of software-defined radios designed to provide high-performance communications for CubeSats and other small spacecraft. SWIFT radios are built on a modular platform, using a common baseband board combined with one or more RF frontends optimized for each application. This modular design enables frequency and bandwidth flexibility. SWIFT modules are compatible with Type-1 encryption modules such as the KI-55 and GNOME, and can support AES-256 encryption natively. Their form factor is compatible with common CubeSat bus platforms. SWIFT radios have successfully passed exhaustive compatibility testing with multiple ground stations.

The SWIFT SDR family includes transmitter and receiver solutions covering a wide range of frequencies, including:

All SWIFT software defined radios share a common link-layer software architecture called SWIFT-LINK. SWIFT-LINK provides abstracted and frequency-agnostic multi-network, multi-channel, full-duplex communications support.

SWIFT-SDRs with SWIFT-LINK can provide compatibility with a wide spectrum of existing networks, interfaces, and protocols, including:

  • NEN/DSN: CCSDS TC/TM, Raw bit-sync
  • RBC, Atlas, SFN
  • Custom/commercial/private
  • Crypto units such as the KI-55 and GNOME
Physical Interfaces
  • RS-232/422/485
  • LVDS
  • 3.3V CMOS/TTL
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • MIL-STD-1553
  • Sync. Clock+Data (200 Mbps)
  • Dual SpaceWire (100 Mbps)
  • Dual UART (10 Mbps)
  • HDLC Framing
  • GPIO for Rx IRQ/Tx Enable


These RF front ends can be combined and augmented with customized communications protocols to implement solutions for a wide range of small satellite communications needs, including:


The SWIFT-SLX is a programmable S/L-band transceiver for small satellites built upon a high-performance SDR architecture that provides software control to key radio parameters, including frequencies/channels, waveforms, and modulation parameters. It provides for simultaneous reception on both SGLS and USB bands, and transmissionon on S-Band with over 30 MHz bandwidth. SWIFT-SLX also provides integrated AES-256 encryption. The SWIFT-SLX has been successfully integrated with multiple different CubeSat and SmallSat buses, and has passed compatibility testing with AFSCN, NEN, and multiple commercial ground station modems.

Availability: FMs available now


SWIFT-XTS - 100 Mbps X-band downlink + SGLS/USB/ISM Transceiver

SWIFT-XTS provides small satellites with a high- throughput downlink in X-band and a robust S- band transceiver in a compact package. The waveform and coding agility of the software defined radio enables a wide range of link margins to suit multiple missions and multiple mission profiles.

Availability: FM's available now

SWIFT-KTX - K-band transceiver

The SWIFT-KTX is a Ka-band transmitter that can provide 100 Mbps downlink capability at frequencies of 24-26 GHz.

Availability: FM's available now

SWIFT-WRX - Wide Band Receiver

TUI is developing a wide-band receiver to enable CubeSats to receive signals across a very wide range of frequencies. First generation SWIFT-WRX units will receive signals across the range of 50 MHz - 7 GHz. TUI intends in the future to expand this range to 50 MHz-19 GHz.

Availability: EM's delivered, for FM please call


The SWIFT-UTX is a UHF communications subsystem for CubeSats designed to enable these low-cost satellites to communicate with standard military issue handheld radios.

Availability: Please Call

SWIFT-RelNav - Relative Navigation, Sync, and Intersat Comm

TUI can provide a 'software app' for SWIFT transceivers, such as the SWIFT-SLX, that provides capabilites for precise, 'zero-overhead' inter-satellite ranging and synchronization on top crosslink communications. The RelNav app provides range sensing between satellites to better than 10 cm accuracy as well as timing and frequency synchronization to better than 1 ns, 0.1ppb.

Availability: Please Call


CAD solid model files of many of these products are available to aid you in satellite configuration efforts.  Please contact us to request access to the file repository.

The SWIFT word and the SWIFT Logo are registered trademarks of Tethers Unlimited, Inc.


For more information on Tethers Unlimited's SDR technologies, please | Contact TUI |

All images and text Copyright 1994-2018 Tethers Unlimited, Inc.