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An Optimum Space-to-Ground Communication Concept for CubeSat Platform Utilizing NASA Space Network and Near Earth NetworkNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) CubeSat missions are expected to grow rapidly in the next decade. Higher data rate CubeSats are transitioning away from Amateur Radio bands to higher frequency bands. A high-level communication architecture for future space-to-ground CubeSat communication was proposed within NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. This architecture addresses CubeSat direct-to-ground communication, CubeSat to Tracking Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) communication, CubeSat constellation with Mothership direct-to-ground communication, and CubeSat Constellation with Mothership communication through K-Band Single Access (KSA). A study has been performed to explore this communication architecture, through simulations, analyses, and identifying technologies, to develop the optimum communication concepts for CubeSat communications. This paper presents details of the simulation and analysis that include CubeSat swarm, daughter ship/mother ship constellation, Near Earth Network (NEN) S and X-band direct to ground link, TDRSS Multiple Access (MA) array vs Single Access mode, notional transceiver/antenna configurations, ground asset configurations and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) signal trades for daughter ship/mother ship CubeSat constellation inter-satellite cross link. Results of space science X-band 10 MHz maximum achievable data rate study are summarized. CubeSat NEN Ka-Band end-to-end communication analysis is provided. Current CubeSat communication technologies capabilities are presented. Compatibility test of the CubeSat transceiver through NEN and SN is discussed. Based on the analyses, signal trade studies and technology assessments, the desired CubeSat transceiver features and operation concepts for future CubeSat end-to-end communications are derived.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wong, Yen F.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Kegege, Obadiah
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Schaire, Scott H.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Bussey, George
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Altunc, Serhat
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Zhang, Yuwen
(Harris Corp. Herndon, VA, United States)
Patel Chitra
(Harris Corp. Herndon, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
June 17, 2016
Publication Date
August 6, 2016
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Small Satellite Conference 2016
Location: Logan, Ut
Country: United States
Start Date: August 6, 2016
End Date: August 11, 2016
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Utah State Univ. Research Foundation
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
CubeSat RF Communication
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