3CAT-2, an experimental nano-satellite for GNSS-R earth observation: mission concept and analysis
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Global navigation satellite system reflectometry is a multistatic radar using navigation signals as signals of opportunity. It provides wide-swath and improved spatiotemporal sampling over current space-borne missions. The lack of experimental datasets from space covering signals from multiple constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou) at dual-band (L1 and L2) and dual-polarization (right- and left-hand circular polarization), over the ocean, land, and cryosphere remains a bottleneck to further develop these techniques. 3Cat-2 is a 6-unit (3 × 2 elementary blocks of 10 × 10 × 10 cm3) CubeSat mission designed and implemented at the Universitat Polite`cnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech to explore fundamental issues toward an improvement in the understanding of the bistatic scattering properties of different targets. Since geolocalization of the specific reflection points is determined by the geometry only, a moderate pointing accuracy is only required to correct the antenna pattern in scatterometry measurements. This paper describes the mission analysis and the current status of the assembly, integration, and verification activities of both the engineering model and the flight model performed at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya NanoSatLab premises. 3Cat-2 launch is foreseen for the second quarter of 2016 into a Sun-Synchronous orbit of 510-km height.
CitationCarreno-Luengo, H., Camps, A., Muñoz, J.F., Vidal, D., Amezaga, A., Bolet, F., Jané, J., Olivé, R., Carola, J., Catarino, N., Hagenfeldt, M., Palomo, P., Cornara, S. 3CAT-2, an experimental nano-satellite for GNSS-R earth observation: mission concept and analysis. "IEEE journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing", 1 Octubre 2016, vol. 9, núm. 10, p. 4540-4551.