GNSS and SATCOM multi-purpose satellite: a case study with protective measures for small debris and radiation

In recent research studies, satellite signals have been used for multiple capabilities, e.g., communication and navigation. This creates a dual capability within the same platform. Different orbits categories can be considered for such a double capacity, namely LEO and MEO. However, the protection of the satellite structure for both collisions and radiation are different in both orbits categories.


The main goals are the analysis for different orbits and different capabilities, the performance and restrictions upon the chosen orbits, as well as the protective countermeasure that needs to be put in place. This includes, but not limited to:
• Analyze the feasibility of a constellation of satellites with double purpose in LEO / MEO
• Determine the minimum of satellites to provide SATCOM and navigation over Switzerland on a permanent basis as case study
• Simulate correct operational capacities of the constellation
• Review the literature for satellite shielding and radiation protection
• Analyse the probability of collision with small objects in different orbits
• Provide recommendations

Required skills

For the good realization of the project, it is recommended that the student have:
• Understanding of the different satellite sub-systems and orbital dynamics.
• Programming skills in Java or python
• Ability to appraise and adapt the project to fulfill the needs of the project
• A sense of responsibility to provide the work quality to be used for everyday applications

Place of work

The student will have the opportunity to work in a stimulating environment with other students in different locations (Lausanne, Bern, Zurich) and at different observation sites depending on the needs of the projects.


The student is expected to deliver at the end of the project the following elements:
• Proposition of constellations with their respective advantages and drawbacks
• The source code related to the simulations developed during the project
• A complete documentation of the development and methodology, including a description of the environment, the installation procedure and configuration
• The results of the analyses with limitations and recommendations for further work