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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)



Barschke, Merlin F.; Levenhagen, Jens; Reggio, Domenico and Roberts, Peter C. E. (2014). ASSET: A software tool for the evaluation of manoeuvre capabilities of highly agile satellites. CEAS Space Journal, 37-45.

A. Kohfeldt, A. Bawamia, Ch. Kürbis, E. Luvsandamdin, M. Schiemangk, A. Wicht, G. Erbert, A. Peters, G. Tränkle (2014). High power, narrow linewidth, micro-integrated semiconductor laser modules designed for quantum sensors in space. CLEO: 2014 OSA Technical Digest

Noack, Daniel; Ludwig, Jonathan; Brieß, Klaus (2014). AN ANGULAR RING STORAGE DEVICE FOR SMALL SATELLITES BASED ON A LIQUID METAL ACTUATOR. 65th International Astronautical Congress

Kirchner, Georg; Grunwaldt, Ludwig; Neubert, Reinhard; Koidl, Franz; Barschke, Merlin; Yoon, Zizung and Fiedler, Hauke (2013). Laser ranging to nano-satellites in LEO orbits: Plans, issues, simulations. Proceedings of the 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging

Schmid, Michael (2013). Deutsche CanSat-Höhenrakete DECAN an der Technischen Universität Berlin. Proceedings of the German Aerospace Congress 2013

Daniel Noack, Jonathan Ludwig and Klaus Brieß (2013). Untersuchungen zu einem fluiddynamischen Aktuator für den Einsatz auf dem Nanosatelliten TechnoSat. 62. German Aerospace Congress

Barschke, Merlin F.; Yoon, Zizung and Brieß, Klaus (2013). TUBiX - The TU Berlin innovative next generation nanosatellite bus. presented at the 64th International Astronautical Congress

Dornburg, Lars; Weise, Jana (2013). Analyse von Bausteingeometrien für die Gestaltung modulare Satelliten. Proceedings of the 62nd German Aerospace Congress

Rießelmann, Jens; Weise, Jana; Brieß, Klaus (2013). Thermal Architectures and Interface Ideas for Modular Serviceable Satellites. Proceedings of the 64th International Astronautical Congress

Sascha Weiß, Falk Kempe and Klaus Brieß (2013). GPS Tracking on the Three-Axis Stabilized Picosatellite BEESAT-4. 7th Pico and Nano Satellite Workshop on "Technologies for Small Satellite Research"

Sebastian Grau and Daniel Noack and Abdurrahman Öz and Rolf Thomasius and Klaus-Dieter Lang and Klaus Brieß (2013). Multifunktionale Integration von Komponenten für Pikosatelliten - Ein Schritt auf dem Weg zu Mikrosystemen im Satellitenbereich. 62. Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress. DGLR.

Barschke, Merlin F.; Adirim, Harry; Balagurin, Oleksii; Ballheimer, Walter; Dornburg, Lars; Kayal, Hakan; Noak, Daniel; Nitzschke, Christian; Pilz, Nobert A.; Wojtkowiak, Harald; Brieß, Klaus (2013). TechnoSat - A nanosatellite mission for on-orbit technology demonstration. Proceedings of the 27th AIAA/USU Conference on Samll Satellites

Schmid, Michael; Fleischer, Philipp; Sliwowski, Filip (2013). DECAN (Deutsche CanSat-Höhenrakete) - A Sounding Rocket Project at TU Berlin. Proceedings of the 5th European Aerospace Conference

Baumann, Frank; Ballheimer, Walter; Großekatthöfer, Karsten; Nitzschke, Christian and Brieß, Klaus (2013). TUBIN - A Nanosatellite Mission with Infrared Imager Payload. presented at the Small Satellites Systems and Services Symposium

Barschke, Merlin F.; Baumann, Frank; Ballheimer, Walter; Großekatthöfer, Karsten; Nitzschke, Christian and Brieß, Klaus (2013). TUBiX20 - The novel nanosatellite bus of TU Berlin. Proceedings of the 9th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation, 93-96.

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

Grant No.:

50 YB 1805