The flexible microwave payload-2: A SDR-based GNSS-reflectometer and L-Band radiometer for CubeSats
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
This article presents the FMPL-2 on board the FSSCat mission, the 2017 ESA Small Sentinel Satellite Challenge and overall Copernicus Masters Competition winner. FMPL-2 is a passive microwave instrument based on a software-defined radio that implements a conventional global navigation satellite system-Reflectometer and an L-band radiometer, occupying 1 U of a 6 U CubeSat. The article describes the FSSC at mission context, the payload design and implementation phases, the tests results in a controlled environment, and finally the calibration algorithms applied to the downloaded data in order to extract the appropriate geophysical parameters: sea-ice coverage, sea-ice thickness (SIT), and low-resolution soil moisture. This article covers the overall payload design, from a high-level block diagram down to single-component specifications from both hardware and software points of view. The main block of the instrument is based on the combination of an FPGA, which virtualizes a dual-core ARM processor, where most of the calculus are performed, and a software-defined radio module, in charge of I/Q data demodulation. The article also explains the design and implementation of a signal conditioning board required for the correct operation and calibration of both instruments.
CitationMuñoz, J. [et al.]. The flexible microwave payload-2: A SDR-based GNSS-reflectometer and L-Band radiometer for CubeSats. "IEEE journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing", 23 Març 2020, p. 1298-1311.
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