SALSAT - Spectrum AnaLysis SATellite
- Artistic Impression of SALSAT during an overflight in the low earth orbit
- © TUB
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 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
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
The SALSAT Team
|project lead||Jens Großhans, M.Sc.
engineer||Dipl.-Ing. Huu Quan Vu
||Philipp Wüstenberg, M.Sc.
engineer ||Michael Pust, M.Sc.
assistant||Alexander Balke, B.Eng.|
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.
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.
|Orbit ||approx. 500 - 600 km
x 240 x 240 mm³|
|Communication||UHF (TM/TC), S band
(UL/DL of payload data)|
Control||3-axis control with MEMS sensors, magnetorquers
and reaction wheels|
optical camera, Fluiddynamic actuation system (FDA), S-band
transceiver (SLINK) and Laser
|Author||Bartholomäus, Julian; Barschke, Merlin F. and Lehmann, Marc|
|Title of Book||Proceedings of the 12th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation|