Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-042711-091356

Document Typethesis
Author NameOlivieri, Steven J
Email Address steve86 at wpi.edu
TitleModular FPGA-Based Software Defined Radio for CubeSats
DepartmentElectrical & Computer Engineering
  • Professor Alexander M. Wyglinski, Advisor
  • Professor Fred J. Looft III, Co-Advisor
  • Dr. R. Scott Erwin, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • fpga
  • software-defined radio
  • cubesat
  • sdr
  • radio
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2011-04-25
    Availability unrestricted


    Digital communications devices designed with application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology suffer from one very significant limitation—the integrated circuits are not programmable. Therefore, deploying a new algorithm or an updated standard requires new hardware. Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) solve this problem by introducing what is essentially reconfigurable hardware. Thus, digital communications devices designed on FPGAs are capable of accommodating multiple communications protocols without the need to deploy new hardware, and can support new protocols in a matter of seconds. In addition, FPGAs provide a means to update systems that are physical difficult to access. For these reasons, FPGAs provide us with an ideal platform for implementing adaptive communications algorithms.

    This thesis focuses on using FPGAs to implement an adaptive digital communications system. Using the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) as a base, this thesis aims to create a highly-adaptive, plug and play software-defined radio (SDR) that fits CubeSat form-factor satellites. Such a radio platform would enable CubeSat engineers to develop new satellites faster and with lower costs. This thesis presents a new system, the COSMIAC CubeSat SDR, that adapts the USRP platform to better suit the space and power limitations of a CubeSat.

  • solivieri.pdf

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