Since 2016, Ph.D. student Moses Browne Mwakyanjala of Luleå University of Technology has researched the feasibility, design and potential benefits of replacing traditional hardware for satellite communications with software-based systems.
On February 15, Moses’ defended his thesis and received his doctorate degree.
Software-Defined Radio (SDR) is a technology where components that have traditionally been implemented in hardware are instead placed in a computer’s software. SDR has been used in the mobile telephony industry for quite some time, and with the increasing capacity in personal computers and new hardware for SDR, the technology now has a broader field of application.
Moses’ research is intended to develop a prototype for a system for ground stations that would enable satellite communication to be based on flexible SDR technology, and to investigate new possibilities within communication with satellites enabled by this technology.
The SDR technology has the potential to improve scalability, reliability, and maintainability – for example by enabling upgrades and repairs of radio protocols during a satellite’s lifetime. Reconfigurability enables weight reductions for satellites and potential for cost savings.
The RIT2021-funded project is a collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). Petrus Hyvönen, Director Strategic Technology & Innovation, SaMS Division at SSC says:
– The research project has given a valuable insight into the area of software defined radio basebands. The work has demonstrated the potential of SDR as a technology as well as given important inputs to future ground station architectures.
On behalf of the project partners in RIT2021 we congratulate Moses on his accomplishment and contribution to the development of the space industry.
Find more details on Moses’ research below.