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A Survey of Communication Sub-systems for Intersatellite Linked Systems and CubeSat Missions

Paul Muri and Janise McNair
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida P.O. Box 116130, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA

Abstract— Intersatellite links or crosslinks provide direct connectivity between two or more satellites, thus eliminating the need for intermediate ground stations when sending data. Intersatellite links have been considered for satellite constellation missions involving earth observation and com-munications. Historically, a large satellite system has needed an extremely high financial budget. However, the advent of the successful CubeSat platform allows for small satellites of less than one kilogram. This low-mass pico-satellite class platform could provide financially feasible support for large platform satellite constellations. This article surveys past and planned large intersatellite linking systems. Then, the article chronicles CubeSat communication subsystems used historically and in the near future. Finally, we examine the history of inter-networking protocols in space and open research issues with the goal of moving towards the next generation intersatellite-linking constellation supported by CubeSat platform satellites.

Index Terms— Satellites, Earth Observing Systems, Satellite Communication, Satellite Constellations, Wireless Networks

Cite:Paul Muri and  Janise McNair, "A Survey of Communication Sub-systems for Intersatellite Linked Systems and CubeSat Missions ," Journal of Communications, vol. 7, no.4, pp.258-264, 2012. Doi: 10.4304/jcm.7.4.290-308
 

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