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Moses Browne Mwakyanjala
Johanna Bergström-Roos, project manager for RIT 2021, Jaap van de Beek, Professor of Signal Processing, Moses Browne Mwakyanjala and Victoria Barabash, head of the Division of Space Technology. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

SDR technology for satellite communication

Published: 17 February 2021

Ph.D. student Moses Browne Mwakyanjala has carried out researched on feasibility, design and potential benefits of replacing traditional hardware for satellite communications with software-based systems.

Software-Defined Radio (SDR) is a technology where components that have traditionally been implemented in hardware are instead placed in a computer’s software. SDR has been used in the mobile telephony industry for quite some time, and with the increasing capacity in personal computers and new hardware for SDR, the technology now has a broader field of application.

Moses Browne Mwakyanjala’s research is intended to develop a prototype for a system for ground stations that would enable satellite communication to be based on flexible SDR technology, and to investigate new possibilities within communication with satellites enabled by this technology.

The SDR technology has the potential to improve scalability, reliability, and maintainability, for example by enabling upgrades and repairs of radio protocols during a satellite’s lifetime. Reconfigurability enables weight reductions for satellites and potential for cost savings.

The RIT2021-funded project is a collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and the Swedish Space Corporation.