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Many interesting scenarios are emerging on the horizon of satellite communication: communication system flexibility is a keyword for revenue enhancement and Software Defined Radio (SDR) is a means for achieving it. However, its development on the satellite side is slowed down by several constraints that the harsh space environment imposes on the satellite technology. This paper outlines the main scenarios for space-borne SDR and digs into the details of some application requirements. The goal consists in highlighting the capabilities of the current technology for SDR receivers, through a survey that compares space with ground market for two of the main receiver components: ADC and FPGA.
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