Antenna Pointing System
The GOMX-3 investigation tests a small satellite with an advanced antenna-pointing system and a variety of communications capabilities. The satellite contains three radios, one of which receives beacons from commercial aircraft to improve air traffic monitoring.
The objective of the NanoRacks-GOMX-3 mission is to flight demonstrate a miniaturized technology payload to be carried on a 3-unit CubeSat nano-satellite platform to be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) during the European Space Agency (ESA) Short Duration Mission in 2015.
The investigation consists of: a reconfigurable software-defined radio receiver operating in the L-band, a new 3-axis attitude determination and control subsystem for robust pointing of directional radio frequency (RF) antennas, an improved version of an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receiver and antenna for recording ADS-B signals from airplanes, an X-band transmitter and X-Band patch antenna to be tested.
Additionally, the CubeSat platform is flight qualified to tailored ESA standards for CubeSats. The mission leads to the maturation of the technology payloads, reconfigurable software-defined radio (SDR) and 3-axis Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), to high Technology Readiness Levels such that they may be used in future missions with a lower technical risk.
The NanoRacks-GOMX-3 investigation tests new payloads in space, including radio receivers and an advanced pointing system. It contains an advanced pointing system to control directional antennas, improving the ability to receive radio signals from Earth or from other satellites.
GomSpace, a Danish company, designed the satellite, including its pointing system and radio payloads. A Danish astronaut is scheduled to be on board the International Space Station during deployment, sparking renewed interest in space exploration among the Danish public.
The satellite receives automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) signals from airplanes flying above Earth, improving international air traffic monitoring and safety in areas where no ground stations are nearby.
The investigation also tests a new miniaturized three-axis satellite control system that can be used to more accurately aim payloads on future satellites, benefiting users on Earth.
Read more about GOMX-3 Antenna Pointing Research.