ALL.SPACE CTO Named Co-chair of DIFI Consortium Specification Working Group
Supporting Satcom Industry Efforts to Embrace a Common Digital Modem Standard
By Anne Wainscott-Sargent
4 May, 2023
On Monday, John-Paul (JP) Szczepanik, Chief Technology Officer of ALL.SPACE, was named co-chair of the Digital Intermediate Frequency Interoperability (DIFI) Consortium Specification Working Group.
He joins group chair Simon Swift, Engineering Director for Digital Technologies at ETL Systems, in leading the evolution of DIFI’s digital Intermediate Frequency (IF)/Radio Frequency (RF) interoperability specification.
“I’m excited to serve as co-chair and help drive the committee forward so that we can see the standardisation that’s needed within the industry,” said Szczepanik, noting that ALL.SPACE has been a major advocate of DIFI’s efforts from the beginning.
“DIFI has gotten a lot of the right players involved who are showing a commitment to standardisation that works for everybody,” he says. “It’s very much an open standard and they’re looking to get broad input to make sure the standard does what the industry needs it to do.”
He notes that a lack of standardisation has held back the satellite industry on several different fronts. He warns that without the evolution from L-band to a digital interface, the satellite industry won’t be competitive from a user experience point of view when compared to other industries like telecoms or the New Space entrants to the market.
“The interaction between the modem and capable, new multi-beam electronically scanned terminals is growing in importance and will unlock capabilities to allow us to compete against 5G, 6G and vertically integrated players like Starlink and Amazon whose solutions include a tightly coupled modem” he says.