Measurements on an autonomous wireless payload at 635 km distance using a sensitive radio telescope

Marinus Jan Bentum, Johan Leijtens, Chris Verhoeven, Hans van der Marel

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    Abstract

    The Delfi-C3 spacecraft carries the first autonomous wireless payload in space. This payload is a wireless sun sensor developed by TNO in the Netherlands. The data captured by the sensor is wirelessly transported to the central computer system inside the spacecraft. Since no additional power supply is needed, this sensor is fully autonomous. The radio link is a FSK link at 915 MHz using a standard Nordic Chipset. At the Delfi C3 spacecraft two of these autonomous sun sensors are mounted. Unfortunately only one is operational. Using the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope we tried to detect the 915 MHz signal from the sun sensor to the internal receiver. Before the measurements could be done, the effects of the shielding of the spacecraft case were measured using a spare spacecraft. The final obtained link budget showed a 10 dB SNR when using a 25 meter single dish telescope. Measurements were performed at the WSRT by using multiple radio telescopes placed in the orbit direction. The downlink signal of Delfi C3 was detected, but the 915 MHz signal was not as it should be. We conclude that the sun sensor is malfunctioning.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication33rd ESA Antenna Workshop on Challenges for Space Antenna Systems
    Place of PublicationNoordwijk
    PublisherEuropean Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
    Pages1-5
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)not assigned
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2011
    Event33rd ESA Antenna Workshop on Challenges for Space Antenna Systems 2011 - Noordwijk, Netherlands
    Duration: 18 Oct 201121 Oct 2011
    Conference number: 33

    Publication series

    Name
    PublisherEuropean Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)

    Conference

    Conference33rd ESA Antenna Workshop on Challenges for Space Antenna Systems 2011
    CountryNetherlands
    CityNoordwijk
    Period18/10/1121/10/11

    Keywords

    • METIS-281644
    • EWI-21005
    • IR-78985

    Cite this

    Bentum, M. J., Leijtens, J., Verhoeven, C., & van der Marel, H. (2011). Measurements on an autonomous wireless payload at 635 km distance using a sensitive radio telescope. In 33rd ESA Antenna Workshop on Challenges for Space Antenna Systems (pp. 1-5). Noordwijk: European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).