I've been tasked with developing (or at least investigating) the possibility of a software defined radio for my university's cubesat program. I'm using a PlutoSDR to experiment with different data modes in GNUradio. I've been able to do quite a bit, and love this device, but after looking at the datasheet, I'm not sure if it would be a good device for the project due to power consumption. All of the AD936x transceivers have rather high power consumption. (1/4+ watt receive). This may not sound like a lot, but it is in space. Power is as valuable as gold and all that heat needs to go somewhere.
It needs to be able to transmit 9600b ax.25 packets and possibly basic image transmission (faster than SSTV but slower than ATV, we haven't selected a mode yet). Also, it needs to be able to receive over-the-air updates in some format for other systems (likely higher baud ax.25).
An SDR is not required for the next cubesat launch, but I'm just curious, knowing the advantages, is there a good solution for a low cost low(ish) power SDR? Should I stick to an embedded microcontroller and off the shelf fsk transceiver?
The wisdom the fellow freaks have on here never ceases to amaze me and has helped me with many projects.
Thank you and 73, N2EEE.