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JOANNEUM RESEARCH

News

A Nanosatellite for the ESA

The DIGITAL institute is conducting research on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) into the next generation of communications satellites.

We are investigating the properties of the so-called W band (75 GHz), which is to be used in future high-performance satellites. The picture shows a nanosatellite (3U CubeSat) developed by us with the researcher Michael Schmidt.
Foto: JOANNEUM RESEARCH/ Bergmann


JOANNEUM RESEARCH - DIGITAL is researching the next generation of communications satellites on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). The "W-Cube" project is investigating the properties of the so-called W-band (75 GHz), which is to be used in future high-performance satellites. For this purpose, a nanosatellite (3U CubeSat, see photo) is also being developed, which emits circularly polarized test signals at 75 and 37.5 GHz.

A new ground station on the roof of our DIGITAL institute will measure these two signals in order to create models for the wave propagation in this frequency range and subsequently optimize the transmission capacities. This is an important contribution to determining the dimensions of satellite links in this band.

The satellite is the first in the world to operate in this frequency. It is expected to be launched at the end of 2020 and will orbit the earth for at least 2 years.

 

The project is led by JOANNEUM RESEARCH and will be carried out with an international consortium of leading space researcher: LC Technologies Portugal, Reaktor Space Lab Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Fraunhofer IAF Gesellschaft, University of Stuttgart.

 

> Further information on the "W-Cube" project can be found on the ESA website