Testing and validation of a S and C-band receiver for satellite tracking analysis

Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is an activity ensuring the monitoring of space activities in order to have a common operational picture of space. One of the tools for this are ground stations with antennas able to track the changes in frequency of the satellite radio emissions. While the satellite orbits in the sky, the signals goes through a Doppler shift and can be monitored. Thanks to this trace, the orbital parameters of the satellites can be determined. Depending on the frequency on which the satellites emit their signals, different ground antennas have to be used.


Research a low-cost approach to monitor the S-band and C-band frequency bands for satellite activities. Continuation of the project ASTRA and the currently developed LEO satellite tracking antennas on the roof at EPFL. The goals include to:
• Study the state-of-the-art as well as making a trade-off analysis for specific hardware.
• Test and validate the hardware
• Extract orbital and attitude properties of the satellites using analysis tools such as Doppler curve monitoring
• Assess scalability limitations for high frequency SDR stations

Required skills

For the good realization of the project, it is recommended that the student have:
• Understanding in RF and signal processing
• Programming skills in Java or python
• General understanding of the orbital dynamics
• Ability to appraise and adapt the project to fulfill the needs of the Space Domain
• 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) in Switzerland depending on the needs of the projects.