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SALSAT - Spectrum AnaLysis SATellite

Artistic Impression of SALSAT during an overflight in the low earth orbit


The Mission

The research project SALSAT (Spectrum AnaLysis SATellite) develops, launches and operates a nanosatellite with a payload for in-orbit spectrum analysis. The primary payload is the spectrum-analyzer SALSA, which has been developed and space-qualified within the recent research activities of the chair of space technology. SALSAT is based on the TUBiX10 satellite bus which has been developed at the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin. An existing flight spare satellite of the S-Net mission is utilized and modified to accommodate the specific needs of the SALSAT mission. The primary focus of the project consists of the design of Hard- and Software components as well as the operation of SALSAT in orbit. Scientific data for the analysis of the global spectrum use is gathered and processed throughout the mission lifetime. The data is used to generate heatmaps of the global spectrum use as well as to detect harmful interference. Study groups of the ITU for spectrum analysis for small satellites are also accompanied in the scope of the SALSAT mission.

The payloads

The SALSAT mission consists of the primary payload SALSA, which is a spectrum analyzer for the analysis of the spectrum utilization from the low earth orbit. SALSA solely analyzes the portion of the spectrum which is utilized for satellite communication (e.g. amateur radio bands). The following frequency bands will be analayzed:

  • VHF: 145.80 – 174.00 MHz
  • UHF: 400.15 – 420.00 MHz
            435.00 – 438.00 MHz
  • S band: 2 075.00 – 2 095.00 MHz
                 2 255.00 – 2 275.00 MHz

The spectrum utilization will be collected and analyzed within these frequencies. As a result a global heatmap of the spectrum utilization over time and location will be generated.

The SALSAT mission will also feature multiple secondary payloads:

  • Laser-Retroreflectors for ground-based high accuracy orbit determination
  • Optical paylaoad for verification of the attitude control system of SALSAT
  • Novel Fluiddynamic Actuator (FDA) for attitude control of nanosatellites
  • Modified S-Link RF transceiver for full-duplex communication in the S band
SALSAT satellite overview


SALSAT (Spectrum AnaLysis SATellite) project team
project lead

systems engineer

software engineer

electronics engineer

communications engineer

student assistant

student assistant

student assistant


Preparatory research projects

As previously mentioned the SALSAT project conducts in-orbit spectrum analysis in defined RF bands. The chair of space technology at the TU Berlin conducted preparatory work within the scope of two completed research projects (REPIN and SALSA). These projects established the theoretical and practical foundation for the SALSAT mission. The utilized satellite bus (TUBiX10) has been developed and space qualified within the S-Net project. This project also utilizes the SLink RF transceiver. The secondary payload for attitude control is developed, qualified and manufactured within the FDA project.

Technical Parameter

This paragraph contains the main technical parameters of SALSAT. It shall be mentioned that the exact parameter evolve during the development process. The table below represents the technical specifications at the stage of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in October 2018.

SALSAT: Technical Paramet
approx. 550 - 600 km (SSO)
Launch Date
Design Lifetime
>1 year
12.00 kg 
240 x 240 x 240 mm³
UHF (TM/TC), S band (UL/DL of payload data)
Attitude Control
3-axis control with MEMS sensors, magnetorquers and reaction wheels
Spectrumanalyzer (SALSA), optical camera, 3-axis Fluid-Dynamic Actuation system (FDA), S-band transceiver (SLINK) and Laser reflectors
SALSAT Mission Patch
SALSAT Mission on Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn)



Badsi, Radim; Barschke, Merlin F.; Soyer, Babtiste; Engeldrum, Chris and Marx, Johan (2012). Operations of a self-reconfigurable CubeSat. 12th International Conference on Space Operations

Weise, Jana; Brieß, Klaus; Adomeit, Andre; Reimerdes, Hans-Günther; Göller, Michael; Dillmann, Rüdiger (2012). Ein Intelligentes Baukastenkonzept für das On-Orbit-Satelliten Servicing. Proceedings of the 2nd National Conference of Space Robotics

Adomeit, Andre; Lakshmanan, Martin; Seefeldt, Patric; Reimerdes, Hans-Günther; Weise, Jana; Brieß, Klaus (2012). Structures for modular and serviceable Spacecraft Systems. Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Spacecraft Structures, Materials & Environmental Testing

Baumann, Frank; Trowitzsch, Sebastian; Brieß, Klaus (2012). BEESAT - A CubeSat Series Demonstrates Novel Picosatellite Technologies. presentation at the 4th European CubeSat Symposium

A. Kohfeldt, M. Schiemangk, St. Spießberger, A. Wicht, A. Peters, G. Erbert, G. Tränkle (2012). Micro-integrated, high power, narrow linewidth master oscillator power ampli- fier for precision quantum optics experiments in space. CLEO 2012: OSA Technical Digest

Badsi, Radim; Barschke, Merlin F.; Soyer, Babtiste and Marx, Johan (2012). OpenCube: a generic CubeSat platform. presentation at the Canadian Space Summit

Weise, Jana; Avsar, Cem; Buhl, Matthias; Dornburg, Lars; Meschede, Thomas; Brieß, Klaus (2011). A Novel Design Approach Based on Building Blocks for Servicable Satellites enabling On-Orbit-Servicing. Proceedings of the 62nd International Astronautical Congress

Weise, Jana; Brieß, Klaus; Adomeit, Andre; Reimerdes, Hans-Günther; Göller, Michael; Dillmann, Rüdiger; Nölke; Daniel (2011). Ein Bausteinkonzept für wartungsfreundliche und rekonfigurierbare Satelliten. Proceedings of the 60th German Aerospace Congress

Klaus Brieß, Frank Baumann and SebastianTrowitzsch (2011). Present and Future Picosatellite Missions at TU Berlin. 8th IAA Symposium Small Satellites for Earth Observation

Brieß, Klaus; Baumann, Frank; Trowitzsch, Sebastian (2011). Present and Future Picosatellite Missions at TU Berlin. Proceedings of the 8th IAA Symposium Small Satellites for Earth Observation, 49-52.

Timm, Christina; Pacholke, Fabian; Hissae Shibuya, L.; Weise, Jana; Kornemann, Götz; Brieß, Klaus; Fernandes, D. (2011). FoX – A German-Brazilian Formation Flying Mission. Proceedings of the 8th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation

Timm, Christina; Pacholke, Fabian; Hissae Shibuya, L.; Weise, Jana; Brieß, Klaus; Fernandes, D.; Yamaguti, W. (2011). FoX – Formation flying eXperiment – First Milestone of the German-Brazilian Formation University Cooperation. Proceedings of the 1st IAA Conference on University Satellites Missions

Karsten Großekatthöfer; Christian Raschke (2011). Support of ACS development and test by dynamic simulation models. IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation

Yoon, Zizung; Terzibaschian, Thomas; Raschke, Christian (2011). Development and verification of the fault tolerant attitude control system of OOV-TET satellite. 8th. International ESA Conference on Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems

Cenkeramaddi, Linga Reddy; Genov, Georgi; Kohfeldt, Anja; Njoten, Kare; Rostad, Maja Elise; Skogseide, Yngve; Roscoe, Magnus; Solberg, Arne; Stadsnes, Johan; Ullaland, Kjetil; Østgaard, Nikolai; Budtz-Jørgensen, Carl; Kuvvetli, Irfan; Mikkelsen, Sindre; Mæhlum, Gunnar. (2011). Low-energy CZT detector array for the ASIM mission. IEEE I2MTC Proceedings, 2119.

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Brieß
Tel. +49 30 314-21339
Room F 515

Grant No.:

50 YB 1805