IITMSAT Communications System : A LeanSat Design Approach

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, November 9, 2017

Akshay Gulati, Shubham Chavan, Joseph Samuel, Sampoornam Srinivasan, Pradeep Shekhar, Akshat Dave, Aditya Sant, Sourbh Bhadane, Mayug Maniparambil, Vishnu Prasad Sivasankarakurup, Dhanalakshmi Durairaj, David Koilpillai, Harishankar Ramachandran
(Submitted on 3 Nov 2017)

IITMSAT is a student-built nano satellite mission of Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. The objective is to study the precipitation of high energy electrons and protons from Van-Allen radiation belts to lower altitude of 600-900 km due to resonance interaction with low frequency EM waves. The unique communications system design of IITMSAT evolves from the challenging downlink data requirement of 1 MB per day in the UHF band posed by the mission and the satellite's payload, SPEED (Space based Proton and Electron Energy Detector). To ensure continuous downlink data stream in the short Low earth Orbit passes, a robust physical layer protocol was designed to counter time-varying aspects of a Space-Earth telecom link. For the on-board communications system, two types of design alternatives exist for each module. The first option is a custom design wherein a module is developed from scratch using discrete components.The other option is an integrated design wherein an electronics COTS module can be directly plugged into the subsystem. This module is evaluated by carrying out vibration and thermal tests. If an integrated module is low-cost and meets the design requirements, it is preferred over a custom design. In order to carry out performance tests under simulated link conditions, an RF attenuation test setup was designed that can work at extreme temperatures. Burn-In tests for 72 hours at ambient and extreme temperatures were carried out. Integrated tests indicate all IITMSAT design requirements have been met. Hence a robust communications system has been validated. The time taken for development of on-board telecom and GS was less than a year and was achieved at a low cost which agrees to a LeanSat approach.

Comments:    25 pages, 10 figures, Submitted to and accepted at The 3rd IAA Conference On University Satellite Missions
Subjects:    Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Space Physics (
Cite as:    arXiv:1711.01145 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1711.01145v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Vishnu Prasad Sivasankarakurup
[v1] Fri, 3 Nov 2017 13:19:03 GMT (892kb)

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