2019-2021

Multihop sensor networks with ultrasonic waves for the temperature monitoring of satellites

The goal of the project SUMSENS is to develop a new cable-free sensor network for satellites communicating via high frequency vibration signals.

Initial Situation

The German government has declared the strategic goal of accessing space independently. In this context, the segment of satellites is being focused on, but has also seen a rise of competition in recent years. This means that European satellite systems have to be more reliable and durable. To reach this target, space vehicles are in need of further digitalization.

Challenges

As depicted above, the market for spacecraft contains a lot of competitors. Thus, the players are under pressure to continuously improve the used vehicles. An important feature is the weight of the missiles, as a lighter weight leads to reduced costs of rocket launches. In recent years, the weight of spacecraft has been constantly reduced, but it gets harder to find savings potential. An area that has not been touched largely is the wiring, even though it is high-weight and low in flexibility. It is used to ensure communication and data transfer via sensors through metal obstacles. Furthermore, the vehicles have to be prepared for the extreme conditions in space, e.g. the temperature.

Goals and Benefits

The project SUMSENS wants to develop a new cable-free sensor network for satellites communicating via high frequency vibration signals. This will make the need for complex wiring on the vehicles redundant. Additionally, the sensor network will lead to cost reduction due to flexible installation, easy expandability, low energy consumption and the avoidance of communication traffic. The sensors will be integrated in a multihop network to monitor the functionality of the vehicle, e.g. the mechanical functions and temperature distribution, on the spot. Augmented Reality will be used for the visualization of relevant data.

Role of Ubimax

Ubimax’s share in the SUMSENS project is the development of the visualization of relevant data. By implementing augmented reality technology, real-time monitoring will be made possible. Additionally, Ubimax will develop an AR-based integration tool for satellite manufacturing.