About

The activity

All Working Packages and sub-activities will be managed using open source and publicly documented project  management tools (like GitLab) to ensure visibility for all participating stakeholders. In addition to this open and documented approach, regular stand-up and update meetings will be held for all Working Packages and sub-activities to ensure cross-project collaborations where seen fit and tracking of accountability for all owners.

Scouting, description, formalization and initiation of sub-activities will happen in a fast-paced process, committing to less than 3 weeks period since the inception of an idea about a sub-activity till the initiation of the work around it.

Libre Space Foundation is embedded in the maker/hacker/diy global community including the Greek one. LSF has been driving a number of community building efforts around this community through a variety of activities like the organization of the first Open Source Cubesat Workshop (2017 in ESOC premises), targeted workshops around GNU Radio in Greece and Europe as well as running an online community about open source in space with a strong focus on communications and SDR .

Background

The main advantages of Software Defined Radio (SDR) technologies are reconfigurability, adaptability, re-usability and fast development cycles. These are key aspects for a space mission. Especially the reconfiguration capabilities of an SDR-equipped spacecraft may find several applications that can significantly increase the success of a mission on both the scientific research and the engineering goals.

In contrast to a conventional spacecraft communications system, an SDR enabled communications subsystem will allow the spacecraft to easily adapt to various and ever-evolving mission needs or even recover from possible problems after the launch. For example, one of the most common problem encountered by operators after the deployment in space is the frequency drift. Using conventional RF hardware, the frequency offset compensation can be relatively challenging to be performed. In most cases, especially in Cubesats, this frequency offset is never compensated, posing a possible interference source for other satellites operating on the same spectrum region. An SDR capable spacecraft should be able to deal with the frequency compensation with ease.

In addition, an SDR-equipped spacecraft can extend its functionality depending on the mission needs. The SDR sub-system can be used for spectrum sensing, avoid interference or even change completely the telecommunication scheme (modulation, FEC, frequency, etc) to establish communication with additional ground stations or other spacecrafts.

SDR applications do not cover only space but ground segment too. The rapid prototyping and the re-usability features that SDRs provide, allow for synergies and experimentation with state of the art telecommunication principles.