Distributed Ground Station Network For CubeSat Communications

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

Zachary J. Leffke KJ4QLP has written a Masters Thesis which explores the concept of deploying a network of distributed ground station receiver nodes for the purposes of increasing access time to the spacecraft, and thereby increasing the potential amount of data that can be transferred from orbit to the ground. The current trends in CubeSat communications are analyzed and an argument made in favor of transitioning to more modern digital communications approaches for on orbit missions. Finally, a candidate ground station receiver node design is presented a possible design that could be used to deploy such a network.

The paper’s acknowledgements read:

I would like to thank Dr. Robert W. McGwier [N4HY] for his steady guidance in this work. His depth of experience in Amateur Radio satellite communications and Software Defi ned Radio has been an invaluable resource.

I would also like to thank the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, commonly known as AMSAT. This collection of eclectic geniuses, that build and launch satellites as part of a hobby, have been a steady source of encouragement and technical savvy and are an excellent group of role models that I am proud to be associated with.

Speci cally, I would like to thank Douglas Quagliana [KA2UPW] and Joe Fitzgerald [KM1P] from AMSAT for their speci c words of encouragement and genuine enthusiasm for this project. I hope the work presented here can help further the mission of AMSAT.

I would also like to thank Howard Long [G6LVB], the inventor of the FUNcube Dongle Pro Plus. Without this economic and brilliantly designed device, the creation of the prototype presented in this work would not have been possible.

Read the paper at http://t.co/yQx2O0PPUF