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Telecommunication Networks & Technology Branch (Code 566)

A simulation of Space Mobile Networking Concepts at the Near Earth Network site in Alaska, Fairbanks.

Figure 1: A simulation of Space Mobile Networking Concepts at the Near Earth Network site in Alaska, Fairbanks.


The mission of the Telecommunication Networks and Technology Branch is “to deliver leading edge telecommunication systems and technology to advance NASA missions, scientific discovery, and innovation,” and the vision of the Branch is “to enable a deeper understanding of the universe for the benefit of humankind, by providing advanced telecommunication solutions.”

Code 566 maintains core communications and network engineering disciplines and facilities for the analysis, design, test, implementation, and demonstration of RF, digital and optical communication systems and networks. 

Code 566 provides expert leadership in the development, validation, and infusion of advanced technologies, protocols and standards for near-earth, lunar, and planetary space communications.  Technology development efforts cover a wide range of components, techniques, and standards targeted for both users and providers of telecommunication services.   Examples include but are not limited to smart radios, transceivers,  high- speed modems, network gateways, adaptive coding and modulation, dynamic simulators, cognitive telecommunication technologies, custom network management & analysis tools, spectrum management, RFI analysis, reverse engineering practices, as well as research and development in the field of Quantum Communications.

Code 566 performs hands-on engineering with industry, academia, and national laboratories to mature technologies and to incorporate them into components and systems capable of fulfilling the unique mission requirements necessary to enable space communications; in addition to developing next generation of baseband, RF, digital, and optical space communications technology for unique mission requirements. The Branch also provides mission design & analysis services, components and testing for the unique needs of the SmallSat/CubeSat mission community.

We provide expertise in both spaceflight and ground communications and network engineering while working closely with flight projects and mission services to develop space-to-space and space-to-ground mission operations communications. 

The Branch manages and operates the NASA GSFC Communications, Standards, and Technology Laboratory (CSTL).  The lab provides a full end-to-end facility for hardware in the loop performance testing and demonstration of prototype systems, standards and protocols, via utilization of live sky TDRSS spacecraft, operational spacecraft transponders and ground system equipment; the lab can also simulate and accurately emulate RF link dynamics.  The lab provides technical expertise in space communications, orbital dynamics and mission data delivery, which enables analysis of a wide range of mission scenarios, various network studies (coverage, loading, etc.), and custom analysis tool(s) development.

Our branch also provides expertise to develop next-generation technologies to improve performance of the international Search and Rescue system.

The Branch supports NASA GSFC Code 450 (Exploration and Space Communications Projects Division) as well as the NASA HQ Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program Office.

Branch Management Team

Steve Sirotzky Allen Mirkadyrov Vacant

Steve Sirotzky

Allen Mirkadyrov
Associate Head
Associate Head


Contact Us
Main Office: 301-286-5634
Website: Forthcoming