Heart – ISTnanosat control system.


The Portuguese Space Center, which shares scientific interests with IST-Taguspark and AMRAD, is enhancing its applications either by tracking and working many satellites passing over its ground station or by study, construction, launch and sub-orbital exploration of locally developed/engineered systems. In this sense, new approaches began to be developed with the main objective of building an educational satellite (ISTnanosat-1), able to carry new applications and set out new challenges. The satellite building process, even a CubeSat, is a complex and challenging task. One CubeSat like this one have several systems ranging from transponders to power system.

The Heart of such system is a processor which controls the entire system supporting also the digital communication modes.


To launch CubeSat’s basic payload development, starting with the main sub-system – the main control board. In this work, we intend to develop and test the digital communication modes through already developed transponders, evaluating the system’s processing capacity. In the protocols to be developed, one must have in mind the delay associated with this kind of communications (long range). The basic developed payload, at the end of this project, will likely be tested by launching a balloon which will simulate coarsely the basic flight conditions.


This work implies:

  1. Requirement analysis of the processing board;
  2. Study the interfaces architecture with transponders;
  3. Solution building (prototype);
  4. Real time tests and demonstration.


Rui M. Rocha, Moisés Piedade; with AMRAD support.