System design of an S-band network of distributed nanosatellites


The paper presents the mission and system design of the S-Net mission, which consists of four nanosatellites to demonstrate intersatellite communication in S-band. The goal is to demonstrate multipoint to multipoint communication with high data rates and optimized communication protocols to push further the technological boundary of nanosatellites. To overcome the cross-communication limitations of a nanosatellite, the Technical University of Berlin developed an S-band (2.0–2.3 GHz) transceiver with 100 kbps crosslink and 1 Mbps downlink capability suitable for nanosatellites. Modern transmission techniques such as adaptive modulation and coding with turbo and convolutional coding and up to APSK8 were implemented and tested on ground. The transceiver accommodates the physical layer and data link layer while the satellite controller is responsible for the network layer. Each nanosatellite will be equipped with the above-mentioned S-band transceiver. Hence a mission analysis as well as the design overview of the space segment and ground segment will be described. Different network architectures and corresponding routing algorithm will be demonstrated and verified within the mission.

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Adaptive modulation and coding


Automatic repeat reQuest


Attitude determination and control system


Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH


Command and data handling


Communication system


Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Aerospace Center)


Differential quaternary phase shift keying


Time division duplex

TU Berlin:

Technische Universität Berlin (Berlin Institute of Technology)


Intersatellite link


Low earth orbit


Micro electro mechanical systems


Onboard computer


Power control unit


Payload data handling


Precision formation flight


S-band network of cooperative nanosatellites


S-band transceiver for intersatellite communication


Single picosatellite launcher


Single nanosatellite launcher


Signal to noise ratio


TU Berlin innovative neXt generation nanosatellite bus




University nanosatellite program


Quality of service


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The project S-Net is implemented on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology (ger. Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) under grant no. 50 YB 1225.

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Correspondence to Zizung Yoon.

Additional information

This paper is based on a presentation at the German Aerospace Congress, September 10–12, 2013, Stuttgart, Germany.

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Yoon, Z., Frese, W., Bukmaier, A. et al. System design of an S-band network of distributed nanosatellites. CEAS Space J 6, 61–71 (2014).

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  • Nanosatellite
  • Intersatellite communication
  • Satellite network