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X-Band CubeSat Communication System DemonstrationToday's CubeSats mostly operate their communications at UHF- and S-band frequencies. UHF band is presently crowded, thus downlink communications are at lower data rates due to bandwidth limitations and are unreliable due to interference. This research presents an end-to-end robust, innovative, compact, efficient and low cost S-band uplink and X-band downlink CubeSat communication system demonstration between a balloon and a Near Earth Network (NEN) ground system. Since communication systems serve as umbilical cords for space missions, demonstration of this X-band communication system is critical for successfully supporting current and future CubeSat communication needs. This research has three main objectives. The first objective is to design, simulate, and test a CubeSat S- and X-band communication system. Satellite Tool Kit (STK) dynamic link budget calculations and HFSS Simulations and modeling results have been used to trade the merit of various designs for small satellite applications. S- and X-band antennas have been tested in the compact antenna test range at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to gather radiation pattern data. The second objective is simulate and test a CubeSat compatible X-band communication system at 12.5Mbps including S-band antennas, X-band antennas, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) /GSFC transmitter and an S-band receiver from TRL-5 to TRL-8 by the end of this effort. Different X-band communication system components (antennas, diplexers, etc.) from GSFC, other NASA centers, universities, and private companies have been investigated and traded, and a complete component list for the communication system baseline has been developed by performing analytical and numerical analysis. This objective also includes running simulations and performing trades between different X-band antenna systems to optimize communication system performance. The final objective is to perform an end-to-end X-band CubeSat communication system demonstration between a balloon and/or a sounding rocket and a Near Earth Network (NEN) ground system. This paper presents CubeSat communication systems simulation results, analysis of X-band and S-band antennas and RF front-end components, transceiver design, analysis and optimization of space-to-ground communication performance, subsystem development, as well as the test results for an end-to-end X-band CubeSat communication system demonstration. The outcome of this work will be used to pave the way for next generation NEN-compatible X-band CubeSat communication systems to support higher data rates with more advanced modulation and forward error correction (FEC) coding schemes, and to support and attract new science missions at lower cost. It also includes an abbreviated concept of operations for CubeSat users to utilize the NEN, starting from first contact with NASA's communication network and continuing through on-orbit operations.
Document ID
20160001365
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Altunc, Serhat
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Kegege, Obadiah
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Bundick, Steve
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Shaw, Harry
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Schaire, Scott
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Bussey, George
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Crum, Gary
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Burke, Jacob C.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Palo, Scott
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
O'Conor, Darren
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
February 2, 2016
Publication Date
August 8, 2015
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN24039
SSC15-IV-8
Meeting Information
AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites(Logan, UT)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.
Keywords
NEN
transmitter
Cubesat

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