The Software Defined Radio Academy YouTube channel recently uploaded an interesting talk by Alex Csete (creator of the popular GQRX and GPredict applications), and Sheila Christiansen. Their presentation discusses their work with the European Space Agency (ESA), Libre Space Foundation and how they are running SDR Makerspace's that are helping students create and track cubesats. During the talk Alex and Sheila also describe various SDR hardware, and how they test them for their purposes.
SDR Makerspace (https://sdrmaker.space) is a collaboration between the European Space Agency and Libre Space Foundation, with the objective of bringing innovative open-source SDR technologies to space communications.
Space is a complex environment. Attempting to incorporate SDRs into complex subsystems of space missions without sufficient understanding of the technology can add unnecessary risks and uncertainties to the mission. SDR Makerspace aims to bring open-source SDR technology to the space industry, focusing on the practical aspects of satellite communications, so as to reduce such risks.
Makers, open-source hackers, SDR enthusiasts, and researchers are collaborating on SDR hardware and software activities, focusing on rapid prototyping and development of reusable, open-source SDR components for future CubeSat missions.
The collaboration consists of many activities, which are organized into three main elements: development of reusable GNU Radio components, research and development in cutting edge technologies like AI/ML, and testing of SDR hardware and software.
Current activities are presented with a focus on the testing of the hardware and software. An overview of the investigation into the characteristics, such as, performance under realistic conditions, damage by radiation to essential parts, functionality of FPGA toolchains, the SDR-system’s complexity, and accessibility to the open-source community will also be covered.