Technical University of Cluj Napoca IntraSAT-Tech - Center of Competence for Intra-Satellite Radio Technologies




Wireless systems prototyping. The National Instruments (NI) infrastructure available at IntraSAT-Tech allows rapid wireless system prototyping. The SDR NI USRP modules combined with LabVIEW provide a flexible, cost-effective development platform that supports the implementation of a reconfigurable RF frontend composed of multiple synchronized Tx/Rx modules. The platform can be used for the development and testing of various algorithms and system architectures, allowing the customization of the solution to meet the application requirements. The NI testbed includes:

  • 8 NI USRPs, model 2954R (10MHz – 6GHz, up to 160MHz instantaneous BW, up to 200MS/s).
  • An NI PXIe-8880 controller (16 core Intel (Xeon) CPU processor @2.3GHz, 24GB RAM).
  • A synchronization subsystem (an NI CDA-2990 Octoclock and a USRP N2900).
  • The NI LabVIEW Communication System Design Suite 2.0 and MIMO Application Framework that can be integrated with MATLAB for complementary signal processing.

Intra-satellite communications

Intra-satellite communications. IntraSAT-Tech uses a set of professional STARDundee instruments to simulate, develop and test SpW communication networks for spacecrafts. The SpW testbed includes a SpaceWire EGSE Device simulator (as the PDHU emulator), a SpaceWire-USB Brick Mk3 (as the CDHU emulator), a SpaceWire Link Analyser Mk2, and several SpW Laboratory Cables (1.5m).
Moreover, the IntraSAT-Tech team has acquired the necessary expertise to replace the wired SpW links with wireless ones (UWB or high throughput), ensuring the necessary data conversion by means of SpW-to/from-UART, SpW-to/from-PCIe, or SpW-to/from-Ethernet bridges. Two FMC SpaceWire Boards (SpW Interface) and two Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZCU102 FPGA Boards are used to ensure the connectivity and data conversion between the SpW equipment and the radio modules.
To test the performance in highly reflective environment, a satellite mockup is also available at IntraSAT-Tech.

Smart antenna systems development

Smart antenna systems development. IntraSAT-Tech provides the necessary know-how and infrastructure (hardware and software) for the design, development, and testing of smart antenna systems, including EM simulation and design of radiant elements, system integration, and complex algorithm development (direction finding and beamforming).

Advanced atmospheric channel modelling

Advanced atmospheric channel modelling. Several instruments are installed at IntraSAT-Tech to monitor, record, and assess radio signal propagation in various frequency bands.
NovAtel GPStation-6, a professional GNSS receiver, is used for ionospheric scintillation and total electron content monitoring. The measured parameters can be used in the development of ionospheric propagation models for HF transmissions.
A Q/V band receiver operating at 39GHz is installed to monitor the Alphasat TDP#5 beacon, while the Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station provides precise weather information. The corelated propagation and weather data are used to develop a Q/V band channel model for the climate of Cluj-Napoca.

Radio Network Planning

Radio network planning. Network simulation is a cost-effective way to develop the early stages of network centric systems. IntraSAT-Tech employs QualNet Developer 6.1 to design protocols, create and animate network scenarios, and analyze the performance of satellite, cellular, metropolitan, local, and sensors networks.
For a more realistic approach, EXata 4.2. network emulator is used to inject real traffic in the designed simulated networks and evaluate their behavior.
A custom satellite library is used to simulate outage events and traffic management for smart site diversity in high throughput satellite systems.

Space surveillance and tracking

Space surveillance and tracking. In close collaboration with BITNET CCSS, IntraSAT-Tech has developed an SDR-based multifeed reception system that increases the field of view and detection probability in space surveillance and tracking. The solution can be employed for general satellite tracking or in bi-static and multi-static radar systems.

Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing

RF testing and measurements. A state-of-art platform for wireless communications and RF test and measurements is available at IntraSAT-Tech including professional Rohde&Schwarz instrumentation, such as: FPC1000 Spectrum analyzer, ZVL13 Vector Network Analyzer, RTO2064 oscilloscope, RTC1002 oscilloscope, TS-EMF EMF Measurement System.