Session

Technical Poster Session IV

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Small satellites have established themselves as pathfinders for a broad range of applications. The ever-increasing capabilities of both platforms and payloads enable a variety of scientific and commercial applications in fields like communications, remote sensing or even interplanetary exploration based on this satellite class.

TUBIN is a microsatellite mission in the 20 kg class aiming at the detection of high-temperature events in the thermal infrared using microbolometer technology. To this end, the satellite carries a payload consisting of two infrared sensors in conjunction with a medium-resolution CMOS imager for the visible spectrum. The TUBIN mission implements the flight proven modular TUBiX20 microsatellite platform of Technische Universität Berlin that was first demonstrated on orbit in 2017.

XLink is an X-band transceiver developed by IQ wireless GmbH from Berlin, Germany in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin. It bases on a modular software-defined radio platform providing two uplink and two downlink channels that can be configured to different frequency bands and for downlink data rates up to 100 Mbps. The transceiver was qualified for LEO applications in 2019, at which time TUBIN was already in production phase.

However, given the significant advantages a faster downlink channel would provide for the TUBIN mission, a study was conducted to assess the expenditure of a late integration of XLink into TUBIN. The changes in hardware could be limited to minor additions to two electronic boards and an update to an outer structure element to include the transceiver itself and necessary additional antennas.

This paper presents the integration of the XLink transceiver into the TUBIN satellite, while highlighting how the modular systems architecture of the TUBiX20 platform minimised the changes to the spacecraft required for this task. Furthermore, operational scenarios for the demonstration of XLink are presented, highlighting the potential advantages the transceiver may bring for the TUBIN mission. The ground segment of Technische Universität Berlin with a 3 m dish has been extended to implement X-band capability and should be used for TM/TCas well as broadband payload data reception thus providing an inexpensive but powerful remote station.

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Paper for A Last-Minute Upgrade: Rapid Integration of an Opportunity Payload into the TUBIN Mission

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Aug 1st, 12:00 AM

A Last-Minute Upgrade: Rapid Integration of an Opportunity Payload into the TUBIN Mission

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Small satellites have established themselves as pathfinders for a broad range of applications. The ever-increasing capabilities of both platforms and payloads enable a variety of scientific and commercial applications in fields like communications, remote sensing or even interplanetary exploration based on this satellite class.

TUBIN is a microsatellite mission in the 20 kg class aiming at the detection of high-temperature events in the thermal infrared using microbolometer technology. To this end, the satellite carries a payload consisting of two infrared sensors in conjunction with a medium-resolution CMOS imager for the visible spectrum. The TUBIN mission implements the flight proven modular TUBiX20 microsatellite platform of Technische Universität Berlin that was first demonstrated on orbit in 2017.

XLink is an X-band transceiver developed by IQ wireless GmbH from Berlin, Germany in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin. It bases on a modular software-defined radio platform providing two uplink and two downlink channels that can be configured to different frequency bands and for downlink data rates up to 100 Mbps. The transceiver was qualified for LEO applications in 2019, at which time TUBIN was already in production phase.

However, given the significant advantages a faster downlink channel would provide for the TUBIN mission, a study was conducted to assess the expenditure of a late integration of XLink into TUBIN. The changes in hardware could be limited to minor additions to two electronic boards and an update to an outer structure element to include the transceiver itself and necessary additional antennas.

This paper presents the integration of the XLink transceiver into the TUBIN satellite, while highlighting how the modular systems architecture of the TUBiX20 platform minimised the changes to the spacecraft required for this task. Furthermore, operational scenarios for the demonstration of XLink are presented, highlighting the potential advantages the transceiver may bring for the TUBIN mission. The ground segment of Technische Universität Berlin with a 3 m dish has been extended to implement X-band capability and should be used for TM/TCas well as broadband payload data reception thus providing an inexpensive but powerful remote station.