Geolocation of Radio Frequency Emissions Using a Constellation of Cubesats
Geolocation of Radio Frequency Emissions Using a Constellation of Cubesats - 27 Oct 2014
Research video by Capt Andrew Small
My name is Andrew Small. I am a Captain in the Air Force and I’m working on geolocation of radio frequency emissions using CubeSats. You’ve got a transmitter on the ground and that transmitter is just sending out a signal. You’ve got receivers up in space collecting that signal. If you’ve got multiple receivers, you can compare different things to figure out where that signal is coming from. CubeSat is a micro satellite. It’s kind of a standardized architecture for micro satellites. So what that means is each unit of a CubeSat is a 10 cm cube. So it’s small enough that you could hold it in your hand, but you could multiple cubes together to do slightly larger, more computational things. The nice thing about CubeSats is that they’re much cheaper to build and much faster to develop. With our ever shrinking budgets, that’s becoming more and more important. So the idea for my research was to see what kind of geolocation methods you can use using a small satellite architecture up in low earth orbit. CubeSats are getting more and more prevalent. The types of missions they use CubeSats for has grown a lot. I believe this is the first time that geolocation has been tried with a CubeSat. I believe the plan is to have a CubeSat ready for launch in 2015. It is incredibly cool that the things that I’ll be working on, and that I have worked on, I can watch them progress and see them out in space one day. I’m Capt Andrew Small and I am an electrical engineering master’s student here at the Air Force Institute of Technology.