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Open positions

Current available positions for students to collaborate in the Lab

Here you can find the open positions for students available at UPC NanoSat Lab

S-Band Satellite Ground Station adaptation to Up-Link

The Montsec S-Band Ground Station has historically worked only in S-Band downlink, both in commercial and amateur bands. After the addition of uplink capabilities, there is a need to create the control software for the transmission RF Chain, and the logic behind it. 

  • Keywords: FPGA, SDR, Linux, RF, Power Amplifiers, LNA, distributed software
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Electronics.


Satellite operations development

Satellite operations are a key step in the lifecycle of a satellite mission, involving the remote control of the satellite, and the downlink of scientific and operational data during the passes over the ground station. A series of developments need to be carried out to prepare for the operations phase, starting from the understanding of how the operations of each mission are carried out, to software developments in line with the control, processing, and telemetry.

  • Keywords: Front-End, Back-End, Data visualization, Coding and Decoding, Protocols
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Information technology

S-Band positioning upgrades

The positioning control of a satellite ground station allows for the uninterrupted pointing to the satellite during the transit of the satellite over the ground station. This allows for the maximum directivity of the antenna to be achieved, improving the communications link. Smooth motion of the antenna, and precise determination of the current Elevation and Azimuth are key to provide small movement jitter, and consequently interruptions in communications. Developments towards a smoother movement and absolute encoders for the S-Band and UHF ground stations will be carried out.

  • Keywords: Positioning, Absolute encoders, PID, Software control.
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Industrial, Electronics

FPGA-based miniaturized reflectometer for Pocketqubes

GNSS-Reflectometry is a remote sensing technique that acquires a known signal after its reflection, obtaining important geophysical measurements. New developments of Pocketqube-based Earth Observation payloads are underway to provide a low-cost efficient implementation of a reflectometer with open source FPGAs. Future PoCat's will include new GNSS-Reflectometry Earth Observation payloads, in which the lab has a long-lasting experience and demonstrated flight heritage. The next challenge is to implement such systems in a 2P PocketQube.

  • Keywords: FPGA, Linux, RF, Signal Processing
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Electronics, Aerospace

Vibration testing for CubeSat and PocketQube missions

Provide support on Vibration Testing campaign for different satellite missions. The main tasks within this work would be: 1) preparing the test campaign with the required documentation, 2) performing the test campaigns with support of laboratory personnel, 3) analysing the obtained data and verifying the functionality of the item tested.

  • Keywords: EVT, AIV, Shaker, Testing
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Electronics, Aerospace

Thermal Vacuum Chamber testing for CubeSat and PocketQube missions

Provide support on thermal vacuum chamber campaign for different satellite missions. The main tasks within this work would be: 1) preparing the test campaign with the required documentation, 2) performing the test campaigns with support of laboratory personnel to verify the functionality of the item tested in extreme conditions, 3) analysing the obtained data.

  • Keywords: EVT, AIV, TVAC, Testing
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Electronics, Aerospace

Contribution to the thermal analysis of the 3Cat-4 mission

The thermal analysis of the 3Cat-4 mission has to be updated, including the new orbit where the satellite will be ejected to. Within this work the following tasks have to be completed: 1) updating the thermal model, 2) configuring new orbit parameters, 3) analysing data results.

  • Keywords: Thermal analysis, Thermal Desktop, AutoCAD
  • Recommended studies: Aerospace

On-board software of 3Cat-8

Using the new Triskel board, the on board data handling (OBDH) system will be implemented, orchestrating an scheduling all payloads tasks, communications etc. To do that, it is needed to understand the operations of all systems first. A Matlab simulator will be used first to get trained.

  • Keywords: SW, C++, C
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Computer Science

AOCS of 3Cat-8

While the GNSS-RO deployable antenna is stowed,  the Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) relies on 3 orthogonal magnetorquers and a reaction wheel to control the satellite attitude. After the 2 PocketQubes deployment, the ionic propulsion system will be activated to raise the orbital height and compensate for the atmospheric drag. At the final orbital height, the GNSS-RO antenna will be deployed (see below) and scientific operations will start. This drag will self-aling the 3U axis of teh S/C with the velocity vector, but still the control in that axis will have to be performed using the magnetorquers, and notably the reaction wheel. In this TFG/TFM the algorithms for these three modes will have to be designed and implemented.

  • Keywords: SW, Matlab
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Aerospace

Deployable antenna (mechanical aspects)

The GNSS-RO payload antenna is formed by 3 x  ~1.5 m long arms spaced 120 deg holding a Fresnel Zone Plate antenna. This TFG/TFM will finalize the design performed in 3 previous TFGs and will implement it, including the electronic circuits to perform the controlled deployment.

  • Keywords: Deployable, antenna, stepper motors
  • Recommended studies: Aerospace, Industrial, Mechanical

Deployable antenna (electromagnetic aspects)

In this TFG/TFM the electromagnetic aspects will be analyzed for the final antenna configuration, once it is optimized from the mechanical point of view. Antenna pattern characterization in anechoic chamber is also foreseen.

  • Keywords: Deployable, antenna, CST, anechoic chamber
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications

Polarizer rotation control

The polarimetric and multi-spectral aurora imager will be formed by a Bayern-type multi-spetral camera with a rotating polarizer in front of it located in one of the two "tuna cans". This TFG/TFM will focus in the control of such rotation motor, so that images are acquired when the polarizer is at particular angles, so that the first three Stokes elements can be properly computed.

  • Keywords: Mechanical, optical, hyperspectral
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Electronics

On-board software of the PoCat-1/2

Based on previous Advanced Engineering Project (PAE) student work, and using a low power STM 32 microprocessor, the OBDH, ADCS and Communications system (Space-to-ground and inter-satellite links) will be finalized and integrated all together.

  • Keywords: SW, C++, C
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Computer Science

Earth Observation data processing and interpretation applying Databases

Raw data is obtained from the different experiments on board our CubeSats. Once downloaded on Earth, this data needs to be processed through different types of programming languages such as C++, Python or Matlab aiming to obtain Earth Observation maps such as: soil moisture, ice thickness and concentration in the polar caps, wind, vegetation, among others. Due to the large volume of data generated, the implementation of a database in SQL will facilitate the generation of maps and its interpretion.

  • Keywords: GNSS-R, Radiometry, Hyperspectral camera, Processing, C++, Python, Matlab
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Computer Science, Aerospace

Satellite Orbital Simulator development

UPC Nanosat Lab facilities uses a Helmholtz Coils and a Light Canon to test the satellite and to simulate the environmental parameters of the magnetic fields and sun vector in order to test and calibrate ADCS subsystem, and to test power subsystem functionalities (batteries duty cycle) within orbital situation. Develope a stand-alone operational software that simulates the actual orbital values to control the coils and light canon input values, and integrate an autonomous actuators control with an embedded solution.

  • Keywords: Matlab, C++, C, Linux, Electronics, Orbital mechanics
  • Recommended studies: Telecommunications, Computer Science, Aerospace