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Group Discussion Topics for the 5th UNISEC-Global Meeting

  1. Requirements for Guidance, Navigation and Control of Deep Space Cubesats
  2. Water Quality Management with Micro/Nano Satellites
  3. CubeSat/SmallSat development lessons learned
  4. Discussion of frequency and legal regulations surrounding a ground station network
  5. PocketQube: A New Opportunity and It's Challenges
  6. Using Deep Learning to Manage Space
  7. Small satellites launch systems and services : needs, availability, development trends, and how to get on-board
  8. Manual for Starting a University Pico Satellite Project
  9. Balancing Reliability and Cost; Towards Fostering Greater Mission Assurance For University CubeSats Projects.

Overview of Group Discussionintroduction pdf

Group 1
Requirements for Guidance, Navigation and Control of Deep Space Cubesats

Moderator:Sibel Türkoğlu, Istanbul Technical University
Assistant:Federico Bernardi, Sapienza-University of Rome, Italy

Introductionintroduction pdf / Final presentationfinal presentation pdf

This session will start with analyzing ongoing and planned deep space cubesat's missions' GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control) methods.
After this introduction, we'll focus on differences with earth orbiting cubesat ADC/GNC methods and problems to be overcomed.
Finally, we'll discuss and propose alternative GNC methods for deep space cubesats for the missions we analyzed.

Group 2
Water Quality Management with Micro/Nano Satellites

Moderator: Shinichi Nakasuka and Toshihiro Obata, University of Tokyo, Japan
Assistant: Alice Pellegrino, Sapienza-University of Rome, Italy

Introductionintroduction pdf / Final presentationfinal presentation pdf

One of Micro/nano-satellites' important capabilities is to collect ground sensors' information using weak RF when the satellites fly over the areas where such sensors are located. These Satellites should have receivers which can receive very weak signal from ground. This mission is called "Store and Forward (S&F)," "Data collection," or "M to M," which is one of important functions in "Era of IoT(Internet of Things)" and can be considered a promising application of micro/nano-satellite.

S&F concept is not new; "ARGOS" or "ORBCOMM" are examples and within universities' community, some are already launched like Japanese "Hodoyoshi-3 & 4" (launched in 2014). INMARSAT also recently start to provide such paid service. But in order to facilitate the utilizations of S&F by satellites, cost for using such functions should be reduced. And it would be also attractive if many countries who are suffering from lack of capability to get ground sensor information will develop such satellites and jointly operate them.

What kind of sensor date should be uplinked from the ground? We recognized that "water quality" or "water level" information is very valuable and essential for many countries, which would be very important for health or flood monitoring. Therefore, in this WG, we will discuss the feasibility of using S&F satellite to monitor water quality or level all over the world, and if we find it feasible, will start a kind of international collaborations towards establishment of a network of many S&F satellites so that we can have more time to send data to satellites.

This was also discussed in last year's UNISEC-GLOBAL meeting in Bulgaria and we decided to conduct experiment using TRICOM-1 (3U CubeSat) to be launched in Jan 2017. Unfortunately, this satellite could not reach the orbit because of the rocket's failure. TRICOM-1R, a replacement satellite of TRICOM-1, will be launched in December 2017 to March 2018 timeframe, with which we plan to have the experiment to send data to the satellite from many countries. That would be the first step.

In future, we would like to collaborate with many countries so that each country develop TRICOM-1R type 2U or 3U CubeSat and jointly operate the constellation to obtain much more time to send the data to satellites. If needed, we plan to transfer technical information of TRICOM-1R and its weak signal receiver so that we can discuss how we can create S&F network based on this type of not-expensive and easy to develop CubeSats.

Besides the technical discussions, hopefully we would like to discuss how the international collaborations would be really possible, considering various factors like finance, launch opportunity, skills, license, debris mitigation problem, etc.

Group 3
CubeSat/SmallSat development lessons learned

Moderator: Ryan P. Nugent, CalPoly, USA
Assistant: Giammarco Cialone, Sapienza-University of Rome, Italy

Introduction / Final Presentationintroduction pdf

This group discussion will focus on common lessons learned for first time CubeSat Developers. The lessons learned will cover topics from creating appropriate requirements for your mission, establishing a good program structure, design and analysis, testing, and operations. The discussion will be aided with real life lessons learned and examples from Cal Poly and other CubeSat programs.

Group 4
Discussion of frequency and legal regulations surrounding a ground station network

Moderator: Naomi Kurahara, Infostellar, Japan
Assistant: Niccolo' Bellini, NPC Space Mind, Italy

Introductionintroduction pdf / Final presentationintroduction pdf

In order to realize a ground station network, one must consider not only the technical challenges but also the problem of frequency allocations and legal restrictions. The issue of which frequency to use is a particularly large topic, which the small satellite community is presently facing with regards to UHF band frequency usage. Below are the possible frequency allocations for satellite operation (TT&C).

Uplink: 401-403MHz, 449.75-450.25 MHz
Downlink: 400.15-402MHz,460-470MHz

Among these, there is currently an effort to establish limits on the strength of the waves for the bands Uplink: 401-403MHz and Downlink 460-470Mhz. In the event that the limits are not upheld, the applications for the frequency will not be recognized. In order to uphold the limits, both satellites and ground stations must be able to transmit weak waves. If there is an issue using uplink bands 401-403Mhz, the only remaining option is 449.75-450.25Mhz. However, these bands are only treated as side notes, not first or second frequency allocations, and there is no guarantee that they can definitely be used. With regards to amateur radio bands, there are fundamental disagreements with the idea of using amateur radio frequencies for the purpose of satellite TT&C. As a result, it will become functionally impossible to use those frequencies for satellite uplink.
Maintaining usage of UHF band frequencies is very important for the development of the satellite industry. If unable to use UHF frequencies, there remains no other option but to use high frequency bands. For instance, if a country wanted to begin satellite development, and they were in a situation where they had no choice but to use S/X/Ka band frequencies, this would:
Raise the technological requirements on the satellite end Necessitate the usage of a parabola antenna at the ground station, thus increasing costs on the ground station end
Both of these are significant barriers to entry, and would have an overall negative effect on the satellite industry as a whole.

During this session, we will discuss these problems and how the satellite community should manage them.

Group 5
PocketQube: A New Opportunity and It's Challenges

Moderator: Rakesh Chandra Prajapati, Orion Space, Nepal/Swiss and Marco Truglio, GAUSS S.r.l, Italy
Assistant: Marco Acernese, Sapienza-University of Rome, Italy

Introduction 1introduction pdf / Introduction 2introduction pdf / Final presentationfinal presentation pdf

PocketQube is a pico-satellite of size 5 cm cubed, and weighs 180 grams. The standard was proposed by Prof. Bob Twiggs, who also introduced CubeSat standard. For a developing country the cost of CubeSat projects is still very expensive, which can cost at least 100k US dollars. The building cost of PocketQube could be as cheap as 5k US dollars, and the launch cost is around 25k US dollars. In addition, the development time is short, therefore, undergraduate and graduate students can learn the complete cycle of the satellite development, launch, and work on post processing of the downlink data.

The PocketQube can be used for teaching about small-satellite technology at university level. It can also be used by educational and research institutes, as a platform for capacity building, technology demonstration, and technical development of space research at a very low cost.

Discussion Contents:

  1. Advantage of moving from CubeSat to PocketQube for small company and educational institute, and developing country
  2. Investigation of possible Payload for PocketQube
  3. Identifying potential launch providers
  4. Possible collaboration among the participants' institute and company in the discussion group
  5. Debris risk of PocketQube

Group 6
Using Deep Learning to Manage Space

Moderator:Martin Coleman, MC-IRG, UK

With the complexity of terrestrial and satellite communications networks growing exponentially, both from a global perspective and the Network-within-Network scenario, and a real need to manage both frequency spectrum and space itself, we need to re-think how the communications industry will manage all the above in the future.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the current hot topic across most industries. Many companies are beginning to look at ways in which it can really help improve processes, manage risk and reduce errors. It stands to reason, therefore, that it should be the next tool we look at to solve the problem of managing space, spectrum and communications networks and, for my part, inherently deal with and mitigate interference. We are at a unique moment within the communication industry where there seems to be a perceived balance of understanding and control. However, the continuous race to improve and develop new technology, the rollout of large LEO/MEO constellations and 5G will wipe out our efforts unless we adapt, and soon!

Never send a human to do a machine's job!" Agent - Smith

The sheer amount of data that the industry no doubt has, but probably does not use, needs analysing. Given the real availability of quantum processing and Deep Learning (DL) techniques to handle the complex processes of communication management that we now require, this will be the focus of this discussion group.
Discussion should relate to the use of AI/DL techniques that would apply to a global communication management system. The global aim would allow major communications companies, at both an individual network level or globally, to manage connectivity and maximise the available bandwidth and throughput. Ultimately those companies can offer the best possible quality of service, derive and implement dedicated service solutions and responses, and resolve problems quickly.

Where should we be applying deep learning to see the most positive impact?
What impact will predictive intelligence have on business efficiency & personal organization?
In addition, this discussion will look at ways of moving this forward, getting the right people to understand the "problem" and the global goal of making sure our communications networks remain efficient, seamless and resilient, regardless of growth.

"It really doesn't matter if artificial intelligence is distracting us from whatever you think the 'real' problem is. It's coming anyway," Kevin Drum.
"Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality," Yann Lecun.

The target audiences for this discussion group are:

  1. Data & Machine Learning Scientists/Engineers, CTOs, Founders, Directors or Engineering, CEOs
  2. Communications Network Specialists, Terrestrial, Mobile & Satellite
  3. Satellite specialists - Conjunction, Debris and Operations
  4. Universities, and those in AI/DL R&D
  5. Faculty members serving as mentors for university data analysis and satellite projects
  6. Start-ups interested in AI/DL development and/or new use cases.

Group 7
Small satellites launch systems and services : needs, availability, development trends, and how to get on-board

Moderator:Dr.Vesselin Vassilev, CASTRA, Bulgaria
Assistant: Federica Angeletti, Sapienza-University of Rome, Italy

Introduction / Final Presentationintroduction pdf

Motivation :
The 2017 Nano/Microsatellite Market Forecast by Atlanta-based SpaceWorks Enterprises Inc. projects that up to 2,400 satellites weighing between 1 and 50 kilograms will be seeking a launch from 2017 through 2023. That is 20 percent less than the projection for such satellites seeking launch from 2016 through 2022 in the company's forecast last year. A major reason for that decline is launch. Delays in launches in recent years, caused by launch vehicle failures and other setbacks, have reduced the number of smallsats launched in the last two years.
After reaching a peak of 158 smallsats launched in 2014, that figure dropped to 131 in 2015 and 101 in 2016. Thus, the major bottleneck for future small satellite based business development is the availability of suitable low cost, short time line, launch service.

To discuss the state of the art launch systems and service availability for micro-nano satellites, to discuss the development and the requirements for future launch systems and to exchange user experiences and practices for identifying a suitable launch service provider for a particular xU cubesat project.

Who should attend:
Anyone interested in the topic of launch systems and services for small satellites from technical and practical points of view, participants willing to share their launch service experience and lessons learned.

Group 8
Manual for Starting a University Pico Satellite Project

Moderator:Mehmet Şevket Uludağ
Assistant:Lorenzo Mariani, Sapienza-University of Rome, Italy

Introductionintroduction pdf / Final presentationfinal presentation pdf

Most of the students still thinks that building a satellite is complicated or they are not sure about what to do and where to begin.
There are requirements and recommendation about testing the satellite and its subsystems but not enough information on how to start a university satellite project. Legal aspects can also scare possible new entrants due to the lack of knowledge. It is important to gather all of the lessons learned, pitfalls from previous missions, design steps and recommendation about building a satellite. In this session, the discussion starts by assuming that a university without any satellite experience or testing facility wants to start its own project. With respect to this assumption, first a satellite size is going to be chosen and bullet points for starting a satellite project is going to be discussed. Although one discussion is not enough to cover this topic, creating the bullet points is important for long term goals which are hands on education on satellites, launch of the first satellite and beep from space which are just the first steps for of a long legacy.

Group 9
Balancing Reliability and Cost; Towards Fostering Greater Mission Assurance For University CubeSats Projects.

Moderator: Tejumola Taiwo, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan
Assistant: TBD

The explosive growth of Nano-Satellites (1-50kg class satellites) has redefined access to space and also transforming and recreating development. It is becoming a preference tool for technological demonstration in universities and excellent entrant for developing nations sustainable space program. They particularly offer benefits that make them attractive for many mission profiles. When compared to traditional satellite missions these benefits can include shorter development times, lower costs, opportunities to be launch as piggyback and scalable missions. However, as the market continues to grow there is increased concern regarding reliability as pursuing lower cost sometimes jeopardizes reliability if this is not balance. Nano-satellites have different sub classifications, one of which is CubeSat. CubeSats have standardized geometric dimensions, but there is no such standard or recommendation on reliability requirements in terms of part selection, testing requirement for mission assurance and project management processes. The lack of standards and recommendations on how to balance reliability and project cost is a significant factor contributing to inconsistent CubeSat mission success and higher failure rates when compared to traditional larger satellites.

This discussion group hopes discuss what reliability is in the context of Nano-satellites and the driving factors. The group shall also peruse on the essential factors that drive satellite mission cost. At the end of the discussions, we shall posit how these essential factors can be balance towards mission assurance for CubeSats.

The target audiences for this discussion group are:

  1. Industry that make satellite parts
  2. Mid career space Engineers (Students)
  3. Faculty members serving as mentors for university satellite projects
  4. Policy makers from developing countries who hope to use Nano-satellite as tools for accessing space and meeting national needs.
  5. Start-ups interested in CubeSat development and parts marketing.

5th UNISEC-Global Meeting

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