Inter-satellite links for cubesats

A. Budianu, T.J.W. Castro, Arjan Meijerink, Marinus Jan Bentum

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Realizing inter-satellite links is a must for ensuring the success of cubesat swarm missions. Nevertheless, it has hardly been considered until now. The communication systems for cubesats have to deal with a few peculiar demands regarding consumed power, geometry and throughput. Depending on the type of application, required data rates can go up to tens of megabits per second, while power consumption and physical size are limited by the platform. The proposed communication scheme will combine power-efficient modulation and channel coding with multiple access and spread spectrum techniques, enabling the deployment of multiple satellites. Apart from this, the antenna system has to be designed such that links can be established and maintained independent of the satellites' orientation. An electrically steerable radiation pattern is achieved by placing antennas on each face of the cube. Conformal beamforming provides the system with 5 dBi gain for any desired direction of transmission, eliminating the need for attitude control. Furthermore, using planar antennas reduces the complexity of the mechanical part as they require no deployment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherIEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-1812-9
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2013
    Event2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, United States
    Duration: 2 Mar 20139 Mar 2013


    Conference2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityBig Sky


    • EWI-23457
    • IR-86303
    • METIS-297037


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