Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

      How to Buy

      Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

                                • Altium Designer

                                  Professional unified design system, high productivity stress-free environment and Native 3D™ PCB editor

                                • Altium Vault

                                  Centralized platform for ECAD design data, library, workflow and team management

                                • CircuitStudio

                                  Professional PCB design tool, ready to pick up and go

                                • Ciiva

                                  Transform intent into realizable design with intelligent parts that manage themselves, so you don't have to.

                                • CircuitMaker

                                  Streamlined PCB Design tool custom built for your community

                                • Altium Subscription

                                  Altium products are constantly being updated to provide the latest technology

                                • TASKING

                                  World-renowned for superior compiler technology, TASKING tools have been used for over 25 years

                                • Product Extensions

                                  Additional tools, analysis systems, support for new devices and design flows for Altium products

                                • Altium DXP Developer Platform

                                  Create and deploy custom extensions and business system integration for Altium products

                                • Octopart

                                  Fast, accurate, and easy to use component search, that connects you with supply chain and component data.

                                • Perception Software

                                  Making ECAD collaboration effortless in PLM environments

                                Altium Designer 17

                                Stress-free, Native 3D™ PCB design for professionals

                                • Forum

                                  Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other

                                • Blog

                                  Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too

                                • Ideas

                                  Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools

                                • Bug Crunch

                                  Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important

                                • Wall

                                  A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to

                                • Beta Program

                                  Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools


                                Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

                                Customer Success

                                Our customers can be found changing every industry; see how

                                How to Buy

                                Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

                                • Documentation

                                  The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.

                                • Training & Events

                                  View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online

                                • Design Content

                                  Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs

                                • Webinars

                                  Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars

                                • Support

                                  Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options

                                • Technical Papers

                                  Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.

                                • Video Library

                                  Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer

                                SpaceQuest uses Altium Designer to develop game changing AIS satellite payload.

                                SpaceQuest is a recognized leader for development and rapid turnaround of advanced microsatellites and space systems and a pioneer in the satellite AIS market. Altium Designer™ enabled SpaceQuest to develop an experimental AIS collection payload from concept to flight hardware in just six weeks.

                                The Automatic Identification System, (”AIS”) is a navigation communications system for maritime collision avoidance. International treaty requires most large cargo and passenger vessels to be equipped with AIS transponders. Today nearly 100,000 vessels are tracked by competent maritime authorities using coastal stations but their range is limited to the horizon since AIS operates in the VHF band.

                                The Challenge

                                In 2009, SpaceQuest was developing microsatellites AprizeSat-3 and AprizeSat-4 for asset tracking and management services from low E-earth orbit. Recognizing the limitations of coastal AIS tracking networks, SpaceQuest was also exploring how to collect AIS signals from space. In 2007 SpaceQuest was the first to demonstrate collection of AIS signals from space using an experimental receiver hosted on a customer satellite. Over the next two years, SpaceQuest analyzed the payload data and worked on AIS signal processing software.

                                Mark Kanawati, Vice President of SpaceQuest recalls, “We had a preliminary design of a payload to collect AIS signals, but that design was a prototype and our development processes were still evolving.”

                                SpaceQuest was in the late stage delivery of AprizeSat-3 and AprizeSat-4 when the decision was made to integrate an updated prototype AIS collection payload on AprizeSat-3. Integrating a brand new  payload relatively late in a satellite development project is unheard of in the space industry. SpaceQuest has a reputation for delivering space systems on tight schedules nevertheless only six weeks remained before AprizeSat-3 was scheduled to ship to Kazakhstan for launch.

                                “Delivering a completely new electronic board, on such a compressed schedule using our previous myriad of tools and processes would have been daunting,” recalls Kanawati. “Altium Designer has helped us accelerate our time to market not only from the design perspective, but also the management/ creation of the design/library data and associated documentation.” SpaceQuest employs a distributed design team based at multiple locations. Previously electronic board design relied on a variety of tools to address the PCB layout, electrical and mechanical checks. In addition, much of the work was outsourced.

                                Crunch Time

                                One of the SpaceQuest engineers suggested trying Altium Designer™ as a possible way to get ahead of the schedule. The intuitive workflow of Altium Designer™ enabled SpaceQuest to consolidate all the board schematics into one environment, conduct electrical integrity, routing and mechanical fit checks and spin a flight prototype board in just over one week. The time saved was crucial as it allowed focus on populating the board with electronic components, testing of the AIS decoder software and final thermal and vacuum chamber testing. Missing the AprizeSat-3 integration deadline would mean waiting two years for another launch opportunity.

                                Go For Launch

                                SpaceQuest was able to complete testing of the flight prototype AIS collection board and integrate the payload enclosure into AprizeSat -3 in time for delivery to Kazakhstan. On July 29, 2009, AprizeSat-3 and AprizeSat-4 were successfully launched into a low-earth orbit on a Russian Dnepr rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome. The experimental AIS collection payload performed flawlessly.

                                Remarks Kanawati, “The capabilities offered by Altium Designer was one of the factors that enabled us to integrate an experimental payload at a late stage in the launch campaign and validate our technology on-orbit for a promising new service.” The AIS flight experiment was a game changer for SpaceQuest, which established itself as an early pioneer in AIS data services that which ultimately became its primary business.

                                Following the AprizeSat-3 project SpaceQuest has fully adopted Altium Designer™ in its electronic board development pipeline from design, to layout, to assembly. PCB directives are maintained automatically from design to layout stage saving time and eliminating errors. Designer’s Differential Pair Routing and Integrated Pin Swapping have enabled productivity gains for SpaceQuest engineers.

                                Leveraging the 3D PCB visualization capability allows engineers to achieve reduced tolerances for smaller and lighter payload enclosures, which translate, to less mass and volume- critical drivers in the space industry. That same capability allows a high degree of confidence for mechanical compatibility prior to committing to board fabrication.

                                SpaceQuest used to generate PCB board assembly drawings using a separate CAD tool but now generates drawings directly from Altium Designer™. The company also has seen efficiency benefits for its product documentation and inventory control by leveraging Designer’s Report Manager to set up a Bill of Materials (BOM) report.

                                SpaceQuest continues to expand its constellation of AIS satellites with development of AprizeSat-7 and AprizeSat-8 microsatellites planned for launch in second quarter of 2013. Altium Designer™ is utilized by SpaceQuest in-house and by its vendors throughout the development process for microsatellites and other space systems.

                                About SpaceQuest

                                SpaceQuest, Ltd. (“SpaceQuest”) is a U.S. satellite technology company headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and is a developer of advanced satellite technology for government, university and commercial use for over eighteen years. SpaceQuest operates a constellation of six AIS collection microsatellites in low-earth orbit. SpaceQuest has delivered twelve microsatellites and been involved in over 47 space development projects, including avionics for the world’s first private space station, Genesis I and Genesis II, for Bigelow Aerospace.

                                Related Stories

                                High-tech US defense contractor ITT Corporation, Systems Division switches to Altium technology for its complex re-engineering projects.

                                Read more

                                Designing PCBs for Mars – making complex design process management work in the real world.

                                Read more

                                When it comes to green engineering, there appears to be a clear trade-off between long-standing corporate strategies and environmental responsibility. But what if it was possible to overcome market pressures and see the benefits of both?

                                Read more
                                We are happy to assist you!
                                contact us how to buy support
                                Сall Sales - United States
                                +1 800-544-4186
                                +1 800-231-0951
                                Not your Region?