R & D

Project SANAG

The SANAG project (Spaceborne Autonomous Navigation based on GNSS) considers the development of the proof-of-concept prototype of an inexpensive and convenient alternative for the precise autonomous on board navigation of space vehicles, orbiting in LEO (Low Earth Orbit), MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) and HEO (High Earth Orbit), up to the Moon altitude. The proposed navigation system is based on the integration of an orbital filter with a dual-frequency high sensitivity autonomous receiver, which processes the signals transmitted by the GNSS satellites orbiting around the Earth. Being fully autonomous, characterized by low power consumption, small volume and small mass, and only using the signals transmitted by current and future GNSS constellations, such a navigation device will be particularly suitable for small satellite platforms, such as pico, nano-, and micro- satellites, and for all kind of space missions which require the autonomy of the spacecraft.

The main project objective is to develop a dual-frequency GNSS receiver demonstrator reaching TRL4 of the call for proposals. Demonstrations of the capabilities will be made using a hardware in the loop test-bench feeding to the receiver platform real radio-frequency GNSS signals as seen from a spaceborne receiver on the considered orbits and generated using a full constellation GNSS simulator. A direct Earth-MTO from a LEO parking orbit to the Moon altitude will be considered as representative of all the GNSS signals conditions that characterize the motion of a receiver on the way to the Moon.

This project is funded by Swiss Space center and the R&D work is done by ESPLAB and Grosso Link.


Beidou Navigation System

Chinese Beidou satellite system has been established successfully in 2013. In order to gradually replace the existing GPS devices in China, the Beidou receiver front-end will have a grand potential market, e.g., the civil portable devices and timing-service devices in the recent future years.

Our project is going to co-operate with ESPLAB-EPFL, who has 10+ year experience and the state-of-the-art results, to develop a multi-frequency receiver system. It can cover the public service frequencies of Beidou, GPS and Galileo navigation satellite. This system will be a system-stable, price-competitive solution for Beidou civilian applications.

This project is planned for four years. The research and development team will be international and multi-culture. The overall budget of this project is around 60 million Chinese Yuan, which approximately equals to 9 million CHF.