Technological Demonstrator of New Radio Links between Small Satellites and Earth Stations for Advanced Digital Applications (CHILD-SAT)
Proyecto TED2021-129196B-C41 financiado por MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 y por la Unión Europea “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR
2022 - 2024
The popularization of access to space has experienced great growth in recent years, thanks to the appearance of pico- and nanosatellites (small satellites weighing less than 10 kg). However, one of its great limitations is related to the low emission power, which is why they usually operate in low orbits (LEO) and with a high relative speed around the Earth (complicating their stable orbital position, which requires continuous corrections and adjustments). For this, omni-directional antennas are required in the VHF and UHF frequency bands that guarantee the essential communication links, associated with the telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) subsystems. However, the limited bandwidth available at these frequencies makes them unsuitable for high-speed massive data transmissions, as required by most space applications offered from these small platforms.
To solve these needs of the new space economy (also known as new space) in the field of communications, the complete technological development (including practical demonstrator) of a high-speed data downlink operating in C band and Ku band, and with enough bandwidth to serve future applications in this new space sector, will be accomplished in this project.
A second major aim of this project is the practical demonstration of services and applications that (in connection with the identified Digital Transition needs) can be provided by small sats. In this sense, communications experiments with existing and active CubeSats and small sats, for testing their future use in scientific activities (on-board experiments), in the digital transformation of the agro-food and industrial sector (acting as IoT sensor network hub) and providing full-coverage of wideband Internet services (IoS fleets), will be performed.