SWaP- Get it low

SWaP is an acronym for Size, Weight and Power. In research and development, it is generally used in reference to optimize the Size, Weight and Power of a device or system. 

There are always many factors that go into development of a new or updated product design, and the more complex that product is, the more factors there are to consider. When the product or system is being developed for the space industry those factors are often boiled down to the SWaP criteria.

SWaP stands for Size, Weight and Power – it is typically used in the context of reducing the overall dimensions and weight of a device while increasing its efficiency and lowering the overall footprint. The industry trends toward smaller more powerful devices and is a significant advantage for most customer groups over time.

For transportable satellite terminals, size and weight are of the utmost importance, but also the radiated power that the equipment can handle to create the best link over the satellite. Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) is mainly driven by the terminal’s antenna gain and the output power of its amplifier. The SWaP factor for a satellite terminal is therefore best described with Size (cm) * Weight (kg) / EIRP (W). The lower the factor, the better.

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