New ground station STREAM
With revolutionary advances in the small satellite sector, especially related to the emerging mega constellations, SPACE-SI saw a need to design the groundstation that will be able to track a large number of low powered satellites, many of them cube-sats, that will produce huge amounts of fragmentally generated data. This new trends in small satellite industry are driving up the demand for groundstations and similarly require significant reduction of procurement, operational and maintenance costs per antenna as well as an increase of their performance with respect to positioning accuracy, agility, durability and interoperability, under radically increased frequency of passes. Additionally, the lower orbits (<400km), lower power, and higher frequencies up to Ka-band, will require both very precise reflector geometries and more accurate tracking at higher speeds, a problem for traditional pedestal geometries.
SPACE-SI with partners came up with a design that addresses all of the above stated issues by a combination of novel pedestal geometry, very rigid ultra lightweight reflector build from carbon fibre composites, usage of readily available COTS components, low component count and a modular software architecture. The antenna is radome protected and air-conditioned, providing for all-weather operation and eliminating the effects of wind and solar radiation. Control software was designed with ease of use, networking and remote operation in mind. It employs Web interface for complete configuration, monitoring and control of antenna. If an operator wanted to use their own software to manage multiple antennas, an API is provided which makes it very easy to integrate this groundstation into an existing network of centrally controlled groundstations.
Key features of STREAM ground station:
- LEO tracking
- high precision
- Ka/Ku-band ready
- no keyholes
- carbon fibre dish
- extremely low-loss radome
- ultra wide-band radome
- full hemispherical coverage
- fully automated
- published API
STREAM represents the next generation of LEO tracking ground stations by capitalizing on key innovations, such as:
- New thin membrane radome material with less than 0.2 dB of loss at all frequencies up to 40 GHz without tuning.
- New three axes geometry having full hemispherical coverage without keyholes.
- New high precision single motor drive system for each acis that minimizes cost and complexity while maximizing accuracy.
- Use of carbon fibre material for lighter, stiffer components and precise operation.
- Modular, state-of-the-art design for both hardware and software.
- Maximum use of COTS components for easy and cost effective maintainability.
- Rapid on site installation including optional portable and mobile version.
Optimized for NewSpace applications
- Broadband and multiband communications for frequencies up to 40 GHz.
- High precision tracking to enable the acquisition of narrow RF beam signals resulting from high frequencies, large apertures and antenna efficiencies.
- Monopulse, auto tracking feed.
- Easy setup and rapid response time for tracking very low and decaying orbits.
- High operational performance with precision, accuracy and repeatability.
- Satellite data processing and mission control can be performed at the ground station.
- Optimized for total integration and networking of ground stations.
- High reliability and maximum availability.
- Extremely low total life cycle costs enabled by high MTBF and low MTTR.
- Modular hardware and software design.
- Very low complexity.
All met through the use of:
- Web based command and control interface designed using web-sockets and similar protocols;
- High use of COTS equipment and open source software;
- Very high level of hardware integration greatly reducing part count and interconnections;
- Optimizes CNC precision production techniques.
You can download the PDF flyer here.