Mission Overview

Iris Version 2 is a CubeSat/SmallSat compatible transponder developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a low volume and mass, lower power and cost, software/ firmware defined telecommunications subsystem for deep space technology demonstration missions. Iris V2’s features include 0.5 U volume, 1.2 kg mass, 35 W DC power consumption when fully transponding at 4 W RF output (12.6 W DC input for receive only), and interoperability with NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) at X-Band frequencies (7.2 GHz uplink, 8.4 GHz downlink) for command, telemetry, and navigation.

Image of IRIS cubesat

Iris V2 is designed with an environmentally robust architecture including radiation tolerant parts needed for deep space missions with durations of a few years and thermal management needed for navigation tracking sessions of several hours.

Iris uses a hardware slice architecture and reconfigurable software and firmware enabling extension and adaptation to new capabilities. Among those now planned are: Radio Science support (atmospheric and media measurements and occultations, gravity fields, radars, and radiometers); additional frequency bands (Ka-, S-, UHF); Disruption/Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN); proximity operations (at other planets such as Mars); Near Earth Network (NEN) compatibility; and Space Network (SN) compatibility.

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  • Deep-Space Network Compatible
  • Low Volume, Mass, and Cost
  • Configurable Software Defined Coherent Transponder
  • 0.5 U Volume
  • 1.2 kg Mass
  • 35 W DC Power Consumption at 4 W Radio Frequency Output, Full Transpond mode
  • Deep Space Network Capability at X-Band Frequencies for Command, Telemetry, and Navigation
  • Ka-Band, S-Band, UHF Options
  • Passive (Conductive) Thermal Dissipation
  • Radiation Tolerant Parts for Extended Deep Space Missions up to three years
  • Configurable for Earth Orbit