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USNA Satellite Lab/Ground Station. Bob Bruninga, Ground Station Engineer. Astronautics Overview Satellite and communications Labs Satellite Student Design Projects Ground Station Ops Extracurricular. April 2008. RAFT & MARScom. Astraonautics Track Overview.

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usna satellite lab ground station
USNA Satellite Lab/Ground Station

Bob Bruninga, Ground Station Engineer

  • Astronautics Overview
  • Satellite and communications Labs
  • Satellite Student Design Projects
  • Ground Station Ops
  • Extracurricular

April 2008


astraonautics track overview
Astraonautics Track Overview
  • 8 Faculty in Astronautics (out of 16 total in Aerospace)
    • 3 Full time Civilian Astronautics Faculty (PhD)
    • 2 Full time Military (PhD)
    • .5 Half-time with NASA Faculty (PhD)
    • .5 Half-time Aero (structures) (PhD)
    • 2 Funded Chairs (PhD)
    • 1 Engineer (Labs and Satellite Projects) (MS EE)
  • Students
    • 15-30 Astro(30%) (out of 50-90 in Aerospace Major)
astronautics budget
Astronautics Budget
  • Internal O&M,N $150K
  • Navy Network Warfare $150K (Space Chair, Tech, Support)
  • External (Gift or Endowment)
    • Heinline Chair $130K (endowed chair)
    • Roger’s Chair $140K (endowed chair)
    • Aerospace Corp $ 50K (ParkinsonSat)
    • Aero Gift Fund $ 5K (Various)
    • Total Budget about $625K
satellite labs
Satellite Labs
  • Missions, Orbits, STK Projects
  • Communications, Links, Antennas
  • Transmitters, Receivers, Losses
  • EPS, Electrical Power System
  • Signals and Telemetry
  • Thermal Lab
  • ADCS



Noise temperature

antenna lab
Antenna Lab

Geo Arc and

9 operating positions

C/Ku band TVRO

VHF dipole

UHF Satcom

communications receivers losses
Communications, Receivers, Losses


Gain, losses

Amps and LNA’s

Cable losses



Spectrum Analyzer


Demod, Decoding

communications links gain
Communications, Links, Gain


Antenna Size


Gain, Beamwidth

Link Budget




antenna lab for seniors
Antenna Lab for Seniors

RF LABsat model on rotor

Dipole 1

Dipole 1

Rotator and S/A to plot pattern

Antenna Phasing experiment

antenna link budget and gain
Antenna Link Budget and Gain
  • Uses small 2.4 GHz camera/transmitters
  • First observe dipole link (1000’)
  • Place dipole at dish focus and measure gain
  • Swing dish to see Beamwidth
antenna matching and plots
Antenna Matching and Plots

Using GPS signals to plot antenna pattern of GPS

Using PI network to match spacecraft antenna for best SWR

eps lab

Begin using LABsats

Solar Panels

I-V curves




RTG demo


Design Lab

telemetry lab
Telemetry Lab




Engineering conversion



thermal lab
Thermal Lab






attitude control labs labsats
Attitude Control Labs (LABsats)

Can demo all but gravity gradient

adcs p sat demo
ADCS (P-sat Demo)







us naval academy labsats

US Naval Academy LABsats

Labsats mostly integrated into labs by 2004

basic usna sat
Basic USNA’sat

Ham Radio TNC

Terminal Node Controller


transmitter tests
Transmitter Tests

Power out



Spectrum and EMI

demodulation fsk
Demodulation - FSK
  • All Seven Student LABsats on the air
  • Sharing a single TDMA channel
  • Using FSK for demodulation
demodulation psk
Demodulation - PSK

Indoor LABsat RX

LABsat configured as HF to UHF linear transponder

PSK-31 Waterfall Spectrum display on Student’s workstation

command control telemetry ground stations
Command-Control-Telemetry Ground Stations

Laptop Ground Stations for PCSAT’s, ANDE, RAFT, etc

usna satellite lab ground station23
USNA Satellite Lab/Ground Station

Bob Bruninga, Ground Station Engineer

  • Satellite and communications Labs
  • Satellite Design Projects




satellite design projects
Satellite Design Projects
  • NATSweb – 1st Sea-Launch (1997 scrubbed in last week!)
  • PCsat – Launched Athena 30 Sept 2001
  • Sapphire -- Launched Athena 30 Sept 2001
  • PCSAT2 – STS-114 26 Jul 06 return to flight
  • ARISS – Launched on Progress Aug 2003
  • ANDE – STS-116 21 Dec 06
  • RAFT1 – STS-116 21 Dec 06
  • MARScom – STS-116 21 Dec 06
  • MIDSTAR - STP-1 9 Mar 07
  • ParkinsonSAT – Commenced Fall 2006
low cost satellite design projects
Low-Cost Satellite Design Projects
  • NATSweb – $ 2k1st Sea-Launch (1997 scrubbed in last week!)
  • PCsat – $30kLaunched Athena 30 Sept 2001
  • Sapphire - $??Launched Athena 30 Sept 2001
  • PCSAT2 – $35kSTS-114 26 Jul 06 return to flight
  • ARISS – $ 2kLaunched on Progress Aug 2003
  • ANDE – $35k LaunchedSTS-116 21 Dec 06
  • RAFT1 – $15KLaunchedSTS-116 21 Dec 06
  • MARScom – $15KLaunchedSTS-116 21 Dec 06
  • MIDSTAR - $1.8MLaunched Atlas-V Mar 07
  • ParkinsonSAT –$50kCommenced Fall 2006
satellite design involvement
Satellite Design Involvement

PCsat 16 projects

Goodhiew 97, Morgan 98, Lundberg, Scrabeck, Gomez, Melanson, Kollar, Mattera, Ortiz 99 - Burroughs 99, Schwenzer, Nolan, Lawrence, Boutros 2000, Sullivan, Gutweiler 2001, Machinest: Mike Spencer

PCSAT2 8 projects

Otero, Silver, Jones, Kolwicz, Evans, and Henry(03) Operations: Paquette and Robeson(05)

ANDE 8 projects

Aaron, Villalbi, and Weisenberg, Kelley, Keller, Harris(03), Patterson, & Ensign Sillman(02)

RAFT1 16 projects

Robeson, Paquette (06) - Orloff, Kinzbrunner, and Rose(05) - Baker, Tuttle, Colvin (04)

Abbott, Atwater, Brandt, Hansen, McLean(03). And 3 in (02)

Midstar/ICsat 56 students over 8 years

ParkinsonSAT21 projects

Papso, Edirisinghe, Icard, Meyer, Phillips(08), - Dendinger, Lewis, Lwin, Campbell, Sydney, Okun, Londono, Smythe, Lindsay, Mayer 07 -Koeppel, Lovick, Paquette, Piggrem, Robeson, Vandegriff (06)

OPERATIONS:EA-204 Intro to Astro (100 students / year). EA-467 Labs (30/yr)

pcsat launched 30 sept 2001
PCsat, launched 30 Sept 2001

Still semi-operational


6 Students/yr, 2 Profs, 1 Engineer

2200 Amateur Satellite Users

current status
Current Status

Negative power budget due to fail-safe default RX/TX

Full recovery after each full-sun period.

pcsat comms mission
PCsat Comms Mission

Data Relay (Situational Awareness) for Mobiles and Handheld radios. GPS tracking and LIVE to WEB

Blue Force Tracking

typical pcsat user station
Typical PCsat User Station

(Blue Force Tracking)

internet linked ground stns
Internet Linked GroundStns

internet linked ground stns34
Internet Linked GroundStns

internet linked data displays
Internet Linked Data Displays

other experiments through pcsat
Other Experiments through PCsat
  • Antarctic WX station
  • F-16 downed flyer demo (Rome Air Development Center)
  • Arctic Tracking (trucks up frozen rivers >70º Latitude)
  • ISS Joint Ops (2 weeks of constellation flying)
  • USNA Marconi Re-enactment (St Johns Newfoundland)
  • 2200 other users worldwide
air space museum
Air & Space Museum

Donated April 2004 to Smithsonian

For Display

At Dulles

pcsat2 dod synergy in the amateur satellite service
PCSAT2, DOD synergy in the Amateur Satellite Service

Bob Bruninga

US Naval Academy Satellite Lab

Amateur Satellite Service partnering with DOD and ARISS

  • Very short development time
  • Simplicity and off the shelf
  • Educational Project
  • Communications service to Users
  • Telemetry for Space Environment
  • Configuration controlled on the ground
nasa glen solar experiment
NASA/Glen Solar Experiment

40 Solar Cell Samples

Latest triple junction technology

misse5 pcsat2 26 july
MISSE5 – PCSat2 – 26 July

Midshipmen involved in early integration and testing of PCSat2 electronics.

Two views of the initial deployment of MISSE/PCSat by astronaut Soichi Noguchi. It was installed 8 days after the launch of STS-114 (26 July 05)

pcsat2 location
PCSAT2 Location

Returned August 2006 after a year’s exposure

typical user station
Typical User Station




Encourage Schools and Students to get involved in Space

ande satellite
ANDE Satellite

Joint Project with NRL

Atmospheric Drag

USNA Comms


- Temperature

- Attitude

- Laser Control

Primary Lithium Batteries

ande deployment 21 dec 2006
ANDE Deployment 21 Dec 2006

Initially FCAL separated from the container, but not ANDE

Radar returns later indicated ANDE separation

ande satellite50
ANDE Satellite


STS-116 Dec 06

raft project two satellites
RAFT Project (two Satellites)

RAFT-1 (~PCsat)


216.98 MHz

NSSS Radar Fence

stanford cubesat projects
Stanford Cubesat Projects

50 in construction!

AIAA/USU Conference

30% of all papers were related to CUBESATS

navspasur radar fence

Daily Bistatic Radar Demonstrations

raft project marscom
RAFT Project (MARScom)

YP Radios


HF SSB downlink

midstar mission 9 march 2007
MIDSTAR Mission9 March 2007

Atlas-V EELV


ICsat & CFTP

Midn, Mems, Ncnu


No attitude control

usna satellite lab ground station60
USNA Satellite Lab/Ground Station

Bob Bruninga, Ground Station Engineer

  • Satellite and communications Labs
  • Satellite Design Projects
  • Ground Station Ops
  • Extracurricular


12 Meter (AO-40)



Summer Seminars, Tours

AMSAT Tracking

usna satellite lab ground station62
USNA Satellite Lab/Ground Station

RS0ISS>PP0PP0,SGATE,qAo: Go Army beat Navy!

PCSAT-1>APRS,SGATE,qAo: Go Navy Beat Army!

PCSAT2>APRS,SGATE,qAo: Go Navy Beat Army!

usna satellite lab ground station63
USNA Satellite Lab/Ground Station

Bob Bruninga, Ground Station Engineer

  • Satellite and communications Labs
  • Ground Station Ops
  • Satellite Design Projects
  • Extracurricular
other activities
Other Activities

Space Day (Air&Space)

AMSAT (North America)

Marconi 100th(St Johns)

BSA RadioBadge

School Mentoring

Balloon Tracking

amsat operations
AMSAT Operations

AO-40 Rescue


usna extracurricular activities
USNA Extracurricular Activities

W3ADO, oldest USNA ECA (1928)

Annual Moonbounce Event


Football & Boat GPS Tracking, Comms, Imagry, Data, Internet

Sea Trials


Our Satellites provide a low cost educational transponder supporting not only GPS position reporting but also remote WX stations and other data link experiments and other University and School Experiments.

  • The comm channels can potentially draw from over 30,000 experimenters for easy assessment of loading and scaling issues.
  • Not only the sensors and users exist, but the global Internet collection and distribution system also exists from PCSAT1 & 2, ANDE and RAFT.