The IEEC is actively participating in this area in collaboration with the NanoSat Lab from UPC and the other institutes. The IEEC has covered the launch costs of the 3Cat-1 mission. For 3Cat-2 the IEEC has developed a payload technology demonstrator of a high resolution magnetometer with future application on ESA LISA mission.
The IEEC is currently working in the next mission 3Cat-3 for earth observation in collaboration with the Institut Cartogràfic i Geogògic de Catalunya that will include a multi spectral sensor camera, a passive radiometer and GNSS-R receiver for soil moisture studies.
Inside this area, another ongoing project at IEEC is development of a new multipurpose space platform that includes an Onboard Computer (OBC) and a communications module based on a Software Defined Radio (SDR) frontend. Current commercial available solutions lack of high processing power and have difficulties to adapt to different payloads, requiring custom solution with ha high overheads to all projects.
The new OBC has a System on a Chip (SoC) solution that includes two high performance ARM cores and two power optimized ARM cores and an embedded FPGA. This architecture allows to embed high performance signal processing algorithms directly in the FPGA to implement different SDR solutions, suitable for different missions as: GNSS, Communications, Radiometry, IoT from space, etc.
The team is composed of experts from successfully accomplished space missions with complementary backgrounds and expertise fields fully covering the required knowledge areas. The institutes collaborating inside the IEEC are:
- Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC) : Team members have extensive expertise, more than a decade, in software programming for critical applications running in space hardware.
- Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICC-UB): Team members have participated in several space missions, being the most relevant: Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager for Solar Orbiter were they developed a new Image Stabilization System based on a tracking camera and the Gaia mission were their contribution was in the payload data handling and compression.
- Centre de Technologies de l’Espai-CRAE (CTE-UPC): Successfully launched two cubesats already Working on three “3Cat” (read as “cubecat”) series:
- 3Cat-4: ESA Educational Program Fly your Satellite
- 3Cat-5 A/B: FSSCAT Copernicus Masters Winner