Picosats

Satellite Communication

KA-BAND TRANSCEIVER

Since industry was suffering from the lack of satellite telecommunication missions based on small satellites, this project aimed at filling such a gap through the realisation of a miniaturised K/Ka-band FSS regenerative Transceiver for CubeSats and small satellites. The R&D activities were completed in 2021 with the development of a TRL6 prototype for LEO applications, characterized by restricted size (1.5 U), mass (1.5 kg) and power consumption (35 W). Signals are processed by a receiver (27.5 – 30 GHz) and a transmitter (17.8 – 20.2 GHz) that can work separately thanks to a double local oscillator. The in-between board, where a DVB-S2 modem (200 MHz bandwidth) and a microcontroller unit (MCU) are integrated, is able to guarantee high data rates (over 100 Mbps), to control the Transceiver proper working and to exchange information with the platform.

Supported by ESA

PICOSATS RADIOSAT project is supported by ESA in the framework of the activity Miniaturized Ka-band FSS Transponder for Small Satellites (contract No. 4000117224/16/UK/AD)

Completed in 2021

BEAMSAT 2

The BeamSat-2 project, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), aimed to develop a cost effective High Gain Antenna (HGA) operating in the 59,3 – 71 GHz frequency band and capable of transmitting and receiving at the same time. The project consisted of four main tasks: an antenna state-of-the-art review, the selection and development of the candidate solution, the antenna manufacturing and finally the testing. Moreover, we have been able to study the applicability of Additive Manufacturing (AM) to the RF sector. This led us to develop an Axially Displaced Ellipse (ADE) antenna solution, implementing 3D printed metallic parts, such as the illuminator and the polariser.
Along with the antenna, an alt-azimuth pointing system has been designed and manufactured. Having the goal of a high compact solution, we developed a pointing system that occupies 0.5U (comprehensive of the HGA).

SUPPORTED BY ESA

“Cost-Effective High-Gain CubeSat Antennas” project is supported by ESA (Contract No. 4000129811/20/NL/AF)

Completed in 2022