June 15, 2018

Finnish expertise sought for ESA nanosatellite

The 'W-Cube' satellite to be built for the European Space Agency project will feature a Finnish platform and radio transmitter.
The 'W-Cube' satellite to be built for the European Space Agency project will feature a Finnish platform and radio transmitter.
Reaktor Space Lab

Finnish company Reaktor Space Lab and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are involved in a European Space Agency (ESA) project to investigate a new frequency band for future telecommunication satellites.

The ESA-funded project will for the first time ever demonstrate the use of the 75-GHz frequency band for next-generation telecommunication satellites, as a transition to higher frequencies will become a necessity due to the increasing number of satellites and faster telecommunications speeds.

The test flight will be carried out with a Finnish-made CubeSat satellite based on Reaktor Space Lab’s Hello World satellite platform, and it is scheduled to launch into space in 2019.

“Being selected by ESA to take part in this innovative project reflects the importance of the nanosatellite technology recently developed in Finland,” comments Reaktor Space Lab’s CEO Tuomas Tikka.

The satellite, called W-Cube, will also feature a VTT-developed integrated dual-frequency beacon transmitter, and the signal it broadcasts will be observed at a measurement station in Graz, Austria, belonging to the prime contractor JOANNEUM RESEARCH.

“VTT has led the way in the millimetre-wave satellite hardware development and in terrestrial 5G telecommunications radios,” says Tauno Vähä-Heikkilä, vice president at VTT. “The W-Cube nanosatellite provides a unique opportunity to combine our world-class expertise in these two application areas.”

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