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Genus Digital


Digital IF is the technology that bridges the gap between the traditional RF technology and the evolving cloud virtualised ground segment.  

ETL's GENUS DIGITAL plays a pivotal role in this transition by efficiently sampling analog signals from diverse sources. Subsequently, these signals are encapsulated as IP packets and transmitted over a ethernet connection, a process commonly referred to as 'RF over IP'. At the receiving end, the signals are reconstructed, enabling seamless communication and data transfer between locations. This innovative approach not only streamlines signal transport but also facilitates the integration of traditional RF systems into modern digital infrastructures, marking a significant advancement in telecommunications technology.

Introducing the Genus Digital 5000 [Digital IF]

Introducing the Genus Digital 5000

There’s no doubt that the Satellite Communication (SatCom) industry is changing. As global connectivity demands surge and smart satellites redefine capabilities, the ground segment must work in harmony with the space network. This requires the Analog RF signals to be interfaced to the new Digital ground segment this is enabled by GENUS DIGITAL 5000.

This evolution empowers the ground segment to synchronise and expand alongside the enhanced functionalities introduced by smart satellites. The adoption of a cloud-based ecosystem is pivotal for future flexibility, scalability, and dynamic operations.

Operating in the cloud will unlock a wider array of end-user applications. The ground network's ability to dynamically adapt to changes in sync with the space network becomes increasingly crucial.

As global connectivity demands soar, our engineers at ETL Systems have developed the GENUS DIGITAL 5000, an innovative solution set to redefine industry standards. Clients eager to experience its capabilities first-hand, can secure a spot on the trial list, gaining exclusive access to experience and explore the GENUS DIGITAL 5000 features.



Typical New Ground Architecture - Cloud Diagram

Digital IF, or Digital Intermediate Frequency, represents a ground breaking technology for distributing RF signals over IP (Ethernet ).
In simple terms, Digital IF utilises high-speed Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) to sample incoming L-band signals, converting them into packets for transmission over IP links to another GENUS DIGITAL 5000.

The receiving Digital IF receives IP packets over fast Ethernet and recreates the original L-band signal using high-speed Digital to Analog Converters (DACs).


Use cases


Digital IF technology will be a key enabler for digital modems - software or hardware based. It will provide operators with the flexibility to deploy new waveforms and, in conjunction with the implementation of virtual instruments, to monitor any signal from anywhere.
Diagram illustrating the use of Digital IF in a virtualised ground system

Diversity antenna sites

A Digital IF system protects against rain fade, atmospheric conditions and kinetic strike. It also allows transmission over 100s of miles without degradation regardless of the length of fibre or quality of RF cabling. Users will not need multiple fibre regeneration points to maintain signal quality.

This allows increased diversity antenna separation - key as satellite frequencies increase.
Diagram illustrating use of Digital IF for diversity antenna sites

Non GeoStationery Orbit (NGSO) Systems

The precise timestamping in the DIF system allows for exact handover points between antennas used for NGSO.

Precise time stamping can also be used for GEO-locating “interfering” signals, via Time of Flight (ToF) measurements.
Diagram illustrating use case for Digital IF in NGSO systems

Security & Intelligence

The ability to geographically separate system elements with no impact on signal quality will enable ‘behind the wire’ encryption and reduce risk exposure. With fully remote system monitoring/control, only the antenna would be in the line of fire if located in a hostile territory.

Diagram illustrating security applications for Digital IF

Features & Benefits of DIF

Resilience Icon


Easier to re-route signals in the digital domain via IP addressing

Flexibility Icon


Signal routing now moves to the IP domain
Modulation and encryption agnostic


Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)

Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)

Enables use of Virtual Modems in the cloud

Virtual modems become OPEX rather than CAPEX (Hardware Modems)

Other VNFs may also be employed

Signal Quality Icon

Signal Quality

 Signal quality is no longer a function of length of fibre or quality of RF cabling.

This allows increased diversity antenna separation

RF over Fibre regeneration points are no longer needed to maintain signal quality

Security Icon


 Signal security maintained at source – encryption “behind the fence” is enabled

Things to be aware of icon

Things to be aware of

You will need access to an IP network with 100GBE ethernet capability.



What is the difference between Analog and Digital IF?

Analog IF signals fluctuate in amplitude over time and are prone to degradation during transmission. Resulting in the need for signal conditioning to help compensate for losses over large distances. Digital IF, however, changes these signals into a digital stream, eliminating the need for signal conditioning and enabling signal transport over longer distances without analog interference or losses.

Analog signals are manually routed through Matrices. With Digital IF, the process becomes remarkably streamlined—simply a few clicks to alter the destination to a different IP address. This grants users operational flexibility, such as easy antenna changeover, with unprecedented ease and efficiency.


Transitioning to Digital IF

Transitioning to Digital IF

Transitioning from analog to Digital IF will require you to evaluate your existing analog systems and identify the feeds you want to move into digitalisation.

Digital IF can integrate with analog equipment like Matrices, RF over Fibre, and Frequency Converters. Moreover, Digital IF is compatible with both legacy and virtual modems that follow the DIFI standard, facilitating a shift towards a fully digital configuration.

For utilising any Digital links, it's essential to have 100GBE Ethernet and access to a dedicated IP network.


The DIFI Standard

Make sure that the virtual modem manufacturer you choose strictly follows the DIFI Standard to ensure compatibility and seamless integration within your system. By confirming their adherence to this standard, you can ensure a smoother transition and interoperability with Digital IF technology, thereby enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your system's operations.
DIFI Consortium Logo

How your Analog Configuration links to Digital

Transitioning from analog to Digital IF requires a carefully planned and strategic approach. ETL's Genus Digital solution offers a seamless integration path, facilitating the incorporation of analog equipment such as Matrices, RF over Fiber systems, and Frequency Converters into a digital framework. This transition is made even smoother by the compatibility of Genus Digital with both legacy and virtual modems that adhere to the DIFI standard. By leveraging Genus Digital, organisations can simplify the migration process, optimise system performance, and pave the way for a fully digitalised operational environment.

How Your Analog Configuration Links to Digital