Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite comms system

Date:
August 25, 2014
Source:
World Scientific
Summary:
Engineers have successfully piloted the world's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite communication system. Designed to evaluate the performance of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in space, the experiment marks a breakthrough in aeronautical engineering.

This image depicts VELOX-I before and after deployment and a picosatellite.
Credit: Shuanglong Xie, Guo Xiong Lee, Kay-Soon Low, Erry Gunawan, 2014

Engineers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have successfully piloted the world's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite communication system.

The team at the Satellite Research Centre launched the VELOX-I, which consists of a nanosatellite weighing 3.5 kg and a piggyback picosatellite weighing 1.5 kg, from the two highest points on campus. Both miniature satellites were configured with a ZigBee wireless network and equipped with small sensor nodes that perform functions such as local sensing, distributed computing and data-gathering.

Designed to evaluate the performance of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in space, the experiment marks a breakthrough in aeronautical engineering. After conducting Received Signal Strength Indicator tests on the satellites' radio frequency modules, a maximum range of 1 km was found to be achievable for inter-satellite communication in the campus environment. An even longer communication range can be expected in free space, due to the absence of signal attenuation caused by fading and diffraction.

To estimate the range of inter-satellite communication in free space, the team applied a link budget analysis based on the Friis transmission equation, deriving an average theoretical distance of 4.186 km and a maximum of 15.552 km. Published in the special issue of Unmanned Systems, these findings present a compelling case for further studies into inter-satellite communication systems with more complex designs.

In addition to their high performance in inter-satellite communication, WSNs are also remarkably suitable for intra-satellite communication. The team found that by replacing internally wired connections with wireless links, a satellite's mass could be reduced by as much as 10%. With the twin pressures of minimising development costs and maximising risk diversification imposing major constraints on satellite design, the production of comprehensive yet lightweight systems could benefit significantly from WSNs.

Although WSNs have been used in a wide range of applications in recent years, their use in space applications has, until now, remained limited. The Singaporean team's data-driven survey has established a sound platform for future formation-flying satellite missions, and seems poised to create subsequent revolutions in space.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Scientific. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shuanglong Xie, Guo Xiong Lee, Kay-Soon Low, Erry Gunawan. Wireless Sensor Network for Satellite Applications: A Survey and Case Study. Unmanned Systems, 2014; 02 (03): 261 DOI: 10.1142/S2301385014400056

Cite This Page:

World Scientific. "World's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite comms system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825100045.htm>.
World Scientific. (2014, August 25). World's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite comms system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825100045.htm
World Scientific. "World's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite comms system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825100045.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Astronomers Spot Largest, Brightest Solar Flare Ever

Astronomers Spot Largest, Brightest Solar Flare Ever

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — The initial blast from the record-setting explosion would have appeared more than 10,000 times more powerful than any flare ever recorded. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Michigan simulated the birth of planets and our sun to determine whether water in the solar system predates the sun. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, including the first woman cosmonaut in 17 years, blasted off on schedule Friday. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins