Satellite Communications

Consulting Services

AM1 LLC provides in-house as well as completely  independent prototype/product-development services which generally involve RF-related systems spanning a wide range of technical disciplines. Activities include traditional RF topics as well as related digital signal processing pertaining to modems, GPS, etc. We are considered experts in RF system design, frequency synthesis, phase-locked loops, digital signal processing, and communication systems in general. Whether your needs involve technical paper-designs, exhaustive design reviews, or full prototype hardware development and fabrication, AM1 stands ready to serve your technology needs.

Engagement Alternatives

The most common AM1 / client engagement models include:

  1. Straight time and materials. This model works best on large projects where the client’s staff are working closely with AM1 staff, and or the project details (required resources, level of effort) cannot be clearly delineated.
  2. Fixed price. This model works well when project objectives and level of effort can be clearly delineated (e.g., design review) or a repeated task is involved where a sufficient history allows budget and resources to be reliably ascertained.
  3. Multi-Phase. Under this arrangement, a time and materials effort is usually conducted first wherein the primary objective is to develop a clear project plan, relevant specifications, and a top-level design. The second phase typically involves the hardware/software development effort based upon the project plan developed during phase I. The main objective of phase II is usually the delivery of 1 to 3 hardware prototypes which are used for design verification, advanced marketing, and proof of concept. Higher quantity production would normally be addressed in phase III.


Successful projects begin with good up-front planning. It is imperative that AM1 and its customers have the same expectations going into the project; otherwise one party (usually both) can come away less than satisfied. The top three areas where alignment is crucial are generally

  • Cost
  • Calendar Schedule
  • Technical Expectations

The nature of these three items depends significantly on the stage at which our involvement begins with the project. Many companies, for example, operate as if the last days of the project schedule are the most important. We can all agree that these “last days” are the most expensive because the greatest number of people are usually involved toward the end of a project. AM1 personally believes that the most valuable days of a project are at its beginning because burn-rates are lower, management visibility is more forgiving, and most importantly, there is more time available to recover from any would-be mis-steps. Consequently, we attempt to keep any project panic toward the beginning of a project where it really does the most good. AM1 looks on the first days of any project as fine gold.

These three items are best captured in a detailed set of deliverables that our customer and AM1 agree on. If the list of deliverables is unknown or defined poorly, then both parties must take a step backward and do a study-phase with the sole purpose of coming up with these detailed deliverables.

Most of the projects that we get involved with are fairly large, and they involve working directly with the customer’s staff. Under these circumstances when the scope of the project is difficult to define, AM1 staff usually work at a straight hourly rate.

Every project is different. The fastest way to see if AM1’s design services can match your needs is to have a phone conversation. Consider this an open invitation to have that conversation.